The production of rookie wide receivers can literally be all over the charts. It’s not like we can find years like Anquan Boldin and Randy Moss had in their rookie seasons very often. Boldin put up numbers that were incredibly impressive of 101 catches, 1,377 yards and eight touchdowns.
Moss, on the other side, just went crazy with 69 catches, 1,313 yards and a ridiculous 17 touchdowns. Moss is often duplicated, but not-so-often replicated in terms of his rookie production.
This year has some major talent at the wide receiver position with some big names like Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, Brandin Cooks, Odell Beckham, Kelvin Benjamin and Marqise Lee. We also have some sleeper potential options in Allen Robinson, Jordan Matthews, Jarvis Landry, DaVante Adams, Cody Latimer and Paul Richardson, just to name a few.
To put it simply, the 2014 NFL Draft was absolutely loaded with talent at the wide receiver position. But who ends up as the most productive rookie wide out when all is said and done? That’s the big question.
With so many options, I strongly believe that it comes down to two players in the end: Evans and Cooks. I know, surpassing Watkins seems crazy, but I don’t think the Buffalo Bills have the targets there to help take the pressure off of him.
For Evans and Cooks though, the talent is there across the roster, plus I actually really like their quarterback options (and that includes Josh McCown). Evans gets a player in McCown who was in a similar situation last year with Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Martellus Bennett. Now he heads to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and gets to toss it to Evans, Vincent Jackson, Tim Wright and another rookie in tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins.
These are some big targets, and great weapons, setting Evans up for the chance to have a solid rookie season.
Now for Cooks. He’s the real dark horse in my opinion, even though many are talking about his talents. The New Orleans Saints obviously have plenty of offensive weapons, but obviously having Drew Brees throw you the ball is the icing on the cake. I think he could immediately turn into a go-to guy for the Saints, and he’ll be a scary threat for the long ball from Brees.
I really think this one is a toss-up, but I’m going with Cooks as my pick for the top producing rookie wide receiver in 2014.