For the next couple of months, I will be breaking down the top 5 players at every position on offense and defense heading into 2018. This week I’ll be sharing my list of the top 5 NFL WRs.
1.Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers
It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that Antonio Brown is first on this list. The 5’10 receiver has been the league’s most consistently brilliant receiver since 2013, putting up no less then 1,200 yards receiving and 8 touchdowns every year. Brown was an MVP candidate last season, prior to going down with a leg injury that cost him the final two games of the regular season. Despite missing those two games, Brown still led the league in receiving yards with 1,533. Some may point to the tremendous talent around Brown as the reason for his success, but just watch his highlights and the look at the stat book and you will see why this man is on another level.
2. Odell Beckham, New York Giants
When Beckham is healthy and has his head straight there is no better receiver in the game. Beckham was only able to play in four games last year and the Giants offense struggled mightily without him. New York was able to score 20 points or more just twice without Beckham, as opposed to three times when Beckham played. At only 25 years old, Beckham has plenty of time to put 2017 behind him and show everyone he is still one of the best and most exciting players in the league.
3.Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
In a strange year where Jones played all 16 regular season games and only caught three touchdowns, he still managed 1,444 yards and had plenty of wow catches. Atlanta changed offensive coordinators last off-season and I believe that more than anything had to do with Jones’ lack of td catches. With another off-season to adjust to Steve Sarkisian’s offense, there’s no reason to doubt Jones making regular visits to the end zone in 2018.
4.DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans
After a disastrous year in 2016 when Hopkins had to deal with Brock Osweiler and Tom Savage throwing him the ball, the Texans got a bright new quarterback in Deshaun Watson in 2017. The Hopkins/Watson duo exploded six touchdowns and 551 yards in Watsons six starts. Unfortunately, Watson was lost to acl injury, but that didn’t stop Hopkins from continuing his dominance. Hopkins finished 2017 with 1,378 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns, and is primed to continue his success next season with Watson back at QB.
5. Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers
It was a toss up between Bengals WR A.J. Green and Allen, but I’ll give the edge to Allen after he reasserted himself as a top wide out after a couple of injury plagued years. For Allen its never been a matter if he can produce, its always been a question of if he can stay on the field. In 2017, Allen was finally able to play in all 16 games and produced elite numbers. No one understands Allen’s value more then QB Philip Rivers, who was more than happy to feed his number one receiver the ball resulting in 102 completed passes between the two. If Allen can continue to stay healthy he should further make his case as a top five receiver.