- CLUTCH Summary: The NFL is deep with wide receivers like Julio Jones and Antonio Brown.
- With the National Football League becoming so pass-heavy, the importance of wide receivers is greater than it has ever been before.
- With so much skill at the position, whenever trying to do a receivers ranked type of column, it’s important to note just how insanely deep the position is in 2019.
NFL Sundays are right around the corner. Before the 2019 season kicks off, let’s examine the best receivers in the the NFL. We will do so by doing a “receivers ranked” style of column.
Two of the league’s most talented receivers — Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham Jr. — were traded in the offseason after both wideouts expressed displeasure with their previous organizations. Brown looks to turn around the Oakland Raiders’ offense, while Beckham Jr. seeks to augment the Cleveland Browns’ up-and-coming offensive unit.
Both players crack the list of the top-10 receivers in the NFL entering the 2019 season.
1. DeAndre Hopkins
No matter who is throwing the ball to Hopkins—whether it be Tom Savage, Ryan Mallett, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brian Hoyer, Brock Osweiler or current Houston Texans Pro Bowl QB Deshaun Watson—the 27-year-old wideout makes the catch. In fact, Hopkins broke NFL records last year by collecting the most receptions (115) without a drop and hauling in the most catchable passes (105) without a drop in a season, according to Pro Football Focus (PFF). PFF began tracking drops in 2006.
Nuk set the PFF record for most catchable targets (105) without a drop this season pic.twitter.com/oREW5KGY1N
— PFF (@PFF) February 10, 2019
2. Julio Jones
Jones led the NFL in receiving (1,677 yards) last season. He’s logged five straight seasons with over 1,400 receiving yards.
The 6-foot-3 WR scored eight touchdowns in the final nine games of the Atlanta Falcons’ season.
Julio Jones is the NFL’s all-time leader in receiving yards per game.
3. Antonio Brown
Brown caught a league-high 15 receiving TDs last season.
Entering his seventh NFL season and first with the Raiders, Antonio Brown must adapt to catching passes from Derek Carr—a major downgrade from future Hall of Fame QB Ben Roethlisberger.
4. Michael Thomas
The go-to target for Drew Brees, Thomas led the NFL with 125 catches—despite ranking 11th in targets (147) in 2018. No other New Orleans Saints WR/TE had more than 35 catches.
Thomas racked up 1,405 receiving yards last season. He was rewarded with a lucrative, five-year contract extension that will make him the highest-paid receiver in the league.
5. Davante Adams
Adams collected career-bests in receptions (113), yards (1,386) and TDs (13) in 2018.
Over the past three seasons, Adams has caught 35 TDs, the second-most in the NFL behind only Brown (36).
Last 4 seasons.. Red Zone Receiving
Davante Adams – 50 receptions, 30 TDs
Michael Thomas – 50 receptions, 22 TDs
Antonio Brown – 47 receptions, 23 TDs
Larry Fitzgerald – 46 receptions, 23 TDs
Davante Adams/Aaron Rodgers RZ combo is one of the most dangerous in football #Packers
— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) July 27, 2019
6. Odell Beckham Jr.
Now catching passes from rising star Baker Mayfield—rather than aging quarterback Eli Manning—the sky is the limit for the new Browns receiver. Beckham Jr. is explosive in the open field and will see less double-teams in Cleveland, thanks to the threat of Pro Bowl teammate Jarvis Landry.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) August 2, 2019
Beckham Jr. ranks No. 2 all-time in receiving yards per contest.
7. Tyreek Hill
Hill earned his third consecutive Pro Bowl honors last year, logging a career-high 87 catches for 1,479 yards and 12 receiving touchdowns. He was also named to the NFL’s All-Pro First Team for the second time in his career.
8. Mike Evans
Evans, who registered a career-high 1,524 yards in 2018, has accumulated over 1,000-yards receiving in each of his first five seasons in the NFL. The only player to open his career with six 1,000-yard receiving seasons was Hall of Famer Randy Moss.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers wideout ranked fourth in the league with 17.7 yards per catch last year.
9. Adam Thielen
Thielen tied an NFL record by recording over 100 yards receiving in eight consecutive contests. The Minnesota Vikings receiver achieved this feat during the first eight games of the 2018 season, a Pro Bowl campaign in which he posted career-highs across the board with 113 receptions for 1,373 receiving yards and nine receiving touchdowns.
"@athielen19 is legit man!!"
Uh. Huh. #NFLTop100
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) July 29, 2019
10. JuJu Smith-Schuster
Named the Steelers’ 2018 MVP by his teammates, Smith-Schuster exploded for 111 catches with 1,426 yards receiving and seven touchdowns.
Smith-Schuster had 68 receptions for first downs and eight 100-yard receiving games. He was at his best as Pittsburgh’s slot receiver. He caught 63 passes from the slot on 92 targets for 814 yards and four touchdowns.
Smith-Schuster had a 97-yard TD reception last year, the longest of the NFL season.
97 YARDS! JUJU GOT WHEELS! 🏃
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 25, 2018