NFL Power Rankings: Top 15 Receivers
Who is the number 1 receiver in the NFL?
Week 7 is here in the NFL season, so why not find out who is number 1 in receiving? There are a lot of emerging receivers in the game today. A lot of young guys having the season of their lives. Could this be the next generation of good receivers or is it just a fluke? Some of these guys may be 1 and done type players, but others have what it takes to be great in the this league.
As I created this list I tried as hard as I could to capture all aspects of the game. Things such as, their quarterback, running back, and their overall offensive situation. This is hard to do and there will be people left off this list that you weren't expecting. First off, the biggest surprise of the year is Andre Johnson's lack of production. He did not make the list. I know what you're thinking. Why is one of the best receivers in the game not here? Don't forget he is on one of the best teams in the NFL right now. He should be productive with the quarterback he has, and if you want to be elite in this league you have to break that double team and still be productive like Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald.
Also, I tried as hard as I could to leave the past out of these decisions, but it's absolutely impossible. However, if a younger guy is productive this season I did not hesitate to put him above some future Hall of Fame inductees. I know we are all impatient, so without waiting any longer lets find out who is the number 1 receiver in the NFL today.
15. DeSean Jackson Philadelphia Eagles
DeSean Jackson often speaks louder than his actions would suggest he should. However, he is still a talented receiver. Michael Vick has thrown 8 interceptions this season and that could be contributing to why Jackson is not having a better one. He is still averaging almost 78 yards a game, but has only caught 1 TD. Like I said before Vick has a little something to do with that. I expect Jackson to move up on this list. He will eventually break into the top 10 as long as the Philadelphia Eagles improve like they should.
14. Eric Decker Denver Broncos
In case you were wondering Eric Decker is a wide receiver on the Denver Broncos. He has done a great job this season helping Peyton Manning adjust to coming back into the NFL. Decker has caught three touchdowns and averages 74 yards. He is one of two receivers on the Broncos that are on pace to reach 1,000 yards. Peyton Manning is a maker of receivers, but lets try as hard as we can not take anything away from the effort Decker is giving the Broncos right now.
13. Brian Hartline Miami Dolphins
I am not sold on Brian Hartline, but he does have over 500 yards on the season including a 200 yard effort against the Arizona Cardinals. Hartline’s quarterback, Ryan Tannehill, has the potential to be a great in this league. Hartline has helped the rookie develop, but he is a very hot and cold receiver. He only has 1 other game over 100 yards besides the game against Arizona. Hartline is in his 4th season as a professional and can match his career high with of a little over 100 yards.
12. James Jones Green Bay Packers
James Jones is a touchdown factory. He leads the league with 7 on the season and with a QB like Aaron Rodgers that should not change. He would be higher on this list, but he only has 23 catches on the season for 230 yards. The injury to the number 1 receiver Greg Jennings has made Jones Rodger’s number 1 target in the red zone. If he doesn’t have at least 12 touchdowns this season it would be a shock, but I think he will manage 5 TDs in the next 10 games he still has left to play.
11. Marques Colston New Orleans Saints
Marques Colston is on a team with a quarterback that throws the ball a lot. Probably too much in fact, but you won’t hear Colston complaining. He is averaging almost 16 yards a catch to go along with his 4 TDs. The man has had 3 straight 1,000 yard seasons and once again is on track for that particular number and might have over 10 TDs for the second time in his career. If Drew Brees continues to throw the ball all game long like he is losing by 14 in the fourth quarter, Colston should have no problem posting a couple of career highs.
10. Brandon Marshall Chicago Bears
Brandon Marshall may have finally found his home in Chicago with QB Jay Cutler. The unpredictable quarterback has made an effort to get the troubled receiver the ball. Cutler has targeted Marshall 56 times on their way to 35 hookups on the season. Marshall is averaging 99 yards a game catching the football and is on his way to hit that all important 1,000 yard mark on the season. He needs to continue to just play football, so the Chicago Bears can make a run at the Super Bowl.
9. Demaryius Thomas Denver Broncos
Demaryius Thomas might be a product of Peyton Manning, but that does not take away from his 542 yards receiving this season. Thomas is just 9 yards away from his career high in week 7 of the NFL. He is also just 1 TD shy of his career mark of 4. Manning is making him one of his favorite receivers. That is a good thing for any players’ career. Just ask Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, and teammate Brandon Stokley. Thomas should get to 1,000 yards this season for the first time in his career.
8. Larry Fitzgerald Arizona Cardinals
There are very few future Hall of Fame Receivers in this league that are in a situation like Larry Fitzgerald. He is still one of the best receivers in the game and there is no doubt in my mind he would be a top 3 receiver if he had a quarterback not named John Skelton or Kevin Kolb. He is still in the middle of another productive year averaging 71 yards a game. In an offense that averages less than 200 yards a game through the air. I would say that is pretty impressive. Fitzgerald is one of the only reasons the Arizona Cardinals’ offense has scored any points.
7. Percy Harvin Minnesota Vikings
At the moment, nobody in this league has more catches than Percy Harvin. Surprising? Well, the Minnesota Vikings and QB Christian Ponder are already surprising enough. To go along with league leading 49 catches, Harvin also leads the league in the all important Yards after catch (YAC) statistic. Harvin is not only getting open more than any other receiver in the league, he is also doing something with the ball once he has it. He would be higher, but he has only found the end once this season.
6. Roddy White Atlanta Falcons
Roddy White has the luxury of playing with one of the best quarterbacks in the league and opposite of another premiere receiver in Julio Jones. It doesn’t take away from his electrifying play or his ability to move the chains. He is currently tied for the league in first downs with 31 of his 37 grabs.This is White’s 8th season in the league and since his breakout season in 2007 he has caught nothing less than 80 passes including 5 straight 1,000 yard seasons.
5. Wes Welker New England Patriots
When Wes Welker first joined the New England Patriots' offense and started blowing up opposing teams’ defenses I thought it was a fluke. I thought he was a product of the best quarterback in the league, Tom Brady. He has changed my mind. After years terrorizing defenses on third down, I have to admit the “little guy” is one of the best receivers in the game. Wes Welker is once again on track for over 100 catches and well over 1,000 yards. What would happen to the Patriots if Welker went down? Who knows, but his replacement would not fill the void.
4. Calvin Johnson Detroit Lions
Calvin Johnson is a freak. A combination of size and speed that is rarely seen in the NFL. This year he is second in receiving yards per game and is still getting more attention from opposing defenses than anybody on this list. The only thing keeping him from the number 1 spot is his failure to reach the end zone more than once this season. I expect that to change, but until is does he will be kept from the top. Touchdowns are not even close to everything, but when you’re are big as this guy is it’s hard to understand why he hasn’t been more effective in the red zone. “Megatron” is having an off year, but an off year for him is still top 5.
3. Reggie Wayne Indianapolis Colts
Let be honest. We all forgot about Reggie Wayne. Last year the Indianapolis Colts were bad enough to receive the first overall pick in the 2012 draft. This year Wayne leads the league in receiving yards per/game and seems to be making it easier for rookie quarterback Andrew Luck. The 33 year old receiver has proved that he can still beat the young corners in this league and he is well on his way to the Hall of Fame. If the first 5 games are any indication of what he might do for the rest of the season, he will have a career year in terms of yardage and receptions. Lets just hope the "old mans’" body can hold up.
2. Victor Cruz New York Giants
Sometimes we forget that Victor Cruz is only in his third NFL season. He is second in the league in touchdowns and is averaging almost 83 yards a game. Cruz is a shorter receiver with big man numbers. Eli Manning, so far, has made the choice of targeting Cruz more than just about every receiver in the league and shows no signs of slowing down. Cruz has the speed and talent to go far in this league. He is another next generation receiver coming into the prime of his career. The New York Giants hope his talent will hold up as he gets older.
1. A.J. Green Cincinnati Bengals
A.J. Green leads the league in receiving yards and is in the top ten in almost every statistical category. He has done a great job helping his second year quarterback stay away from a sophomore slump. Green is threat on any down in just his second season as a professional. He creates mismatches all over the field and is an exciting player to watch. His 6 touchdown passes is good enough for second. The 2011 fourth overall pick has done nothing but exceed expectations since coming into the NFL.