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Top 25 Wide Receivers in the NFL: Andre Johnson Leads the Pack | The DC Times

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Top 25 Wide Receivers in the NFL: Andre Johnson Leads the Pack

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We previously posted NFL starting quarterback power rankings, 32 to 1, and a list of the top 25 running backs.  Today, we are rating the top 25 wide receivers in the NFL.  Before reading, note that it is not simply a collection of the wide receivers with the best stats, but rather the most talented wide receivers in the league (as we see it) .  Also, we did not list any rookies due to difficulties in comparing them to current WRs.

1.  Andre Johnson: Some might put Larry Fitzgerald in the top spot, but Johnson has everything Fitz possesses with better speed.

2.  Larry Fitzgerald: There is no doubt Fitzgerald attacks and high-points the football better than anyone in the NFL.

3.  Calvin Johnson: A down year for Megatron doesn’t drop him in our rankings–he will rebound in 2010.

4.  Brandon Marshall: Marshall doesn’t have the best hands, but he is dynamite after the catch.

5.  Vincent Jackson: Talk about underrated.  Jackson is one of the league’s most complete WRs.

6.  Reggie Wayne: Perhaps under-appreciated due to his consistency, Wayne is still one of the league’s top pass-catchers.

7.  Randy Moss: People will flip when they see Moss this low, but we factor blocking and effort into our rankings.

8.  Steve Smith (CAR): The Panthers’ Steve Smith used to be known as “the good Steve Smith.”  Now, he’s “the mean Steve Smith.”

9.  Miles Austin: Austin had just one big season, but there is little doubt he is the real deal.  Don’t worry Cowboys fans, he will be locked up long-term before you know it.

10.  DeSean Jackson: Eagles fans will be irate knowing we put Austin ahead of Jackson, but the proof is in the pudding (I’m going to be honest–I’m not 100% sure what that means, but I like the way it sounds).

11.  Sidney Rice: Rice is Minnesota’s version of Miles Austin.  He could be Brett Favre’s biggest fan right now.

12.  Michael Crabtree: We saw enough from Crabtree in ’09 to know he is the real deal.

13.  Santonio Holmes: Perhaps the biggest bonehead on this list (only because Matt Jones isn’t good enough to make it), Holmes has an immense amount of talent.

14.  Marques Colston: Colston might put up bigger numbers in a less well-rounded offense.

15.  Roddy White: With Matt Ryan in Atlana, White figures to be a top wide receiver for the next six to eight (or so) years.

16.  Chad Ochocinco: He would have been higher a few years ago, but Ochocinco has always been a bit of a one-dimensional receiver.

17.  Terrell Owens: Despite Owens’ poor numbers last year in Buffalo, we promise you this guy can still play.

18.  Braylon Edwards: 35 catches for 541 yards last season and he is on the list?  Edwards is playing with no confidence right now.  If he can find a way to regain it, look out.

19.  Greg Jennings: We still are not sure how much of Jennings’ success is due to his talent, and how much is due to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers’ offense.

20.  Anquan Boldin: Undoubtedly talented, Boldin simply is injured too often to move up this list.

21.  Wes Welker: A lot of people think Welker is a top-tier receiver.  He is definitely talented, but nowhere near as athletic or explosive as the players above him.

22.  Steve Smith (NYG): Before last season, we thought Smith was simply the Giants’ version of Patrick Crayton.  We were wrong.

23.  Hines Ward: We like Ward a lot and wish we could put him higher, but who would he surpass?

24.  Derrick Mason: This guy gets it done year in and year out.  Too bad it took him this late into his career to find a legitimate quarterback.

25.  Percy Harvin: A “jack of all trades,” Harvin is set to explode in 2010.

Just missed the cut:  Donald Driver, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Mike Sims-Walker, Jeremy Maclin, Hakeem Nicks, Pierre Garcon, Devin Hester, Antonio Bryant, Dwayne Bowe

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9 Responses to Top 25 Wide Receivers in the NFL: Andre Johnson Leads the Pack

  1. Vince Grey says:

    An interesting list to say the least. Very eye-opening with some of the selections and rankings.

    However, before I start critiquing, let me make sure I understand your criteria. You’re basing not on actual production, but purely on how talented you view each receiver as of today, correct?

  2. Correct. Obviously I would raise guys like Welker and drop guys like Edwards based on production. Now have at it.

  3. Vince Grey says:

    Well, even with that criteria, I still have an issue or three. My main point of contention is with the lofty status of Owens.

    Issue 1: T.O.

    I’ll readily concede that even at his advanced age, T.O. still has a measure of that explosive play potential he used to dominate with on so many occasions. However, that explosive play ability is significantly less than what it once was, and, IMO, can no longer compensate for his poor route running and drops. Certainly to the point he’s no longer a viable #1 receiver option, which, based on your lofty position, he could and would be on many NFL teams.

    Issue 2: Anquan Boldin

    Are you saying that injuries have robbed Boldin of his ability so much that he’s permanently dropped to this level, or, when healthy, would he back up near the top where he once was?

    Issue 3: Wes Welker

    Clearly, you feel Wes get’s his stats from something other than talent. Football intelligence perhaps. I think you’re selling the guy short. He’s a lot quicker and faster than he looks, runs killer routes, and never drops a pass. He certainly has amazing football instincts, which I count as an ability, as much or more than a great 40 time or great height.

  4. Issue 1: I concede Owens is a terrible route runner and has poor hands, but that has always been the case. We disagree in that I believe his explosiveness still makes up for those weaknesses. There were a handful of plays last year in Buffalo (even ones that didn’t go for TDs or even receptions) where T.O. showed incredible burst. Your best point is about NFL teams avoiding him, but I think that is due more to the circus that follows him. Is the diminished talent now worth the circus? Who knows?

    Issue 2: I should have made this clearer. Generally I don’t drop guys for injuries, but Boldin is frequently either off the field or playing banged up. Great talent? Yes, but if it almost never gets displayed, I just can’t put him above some other guys.

    Issue 3: I love football intelligence and think it can make even an average player a great one. Welker has it. I’m not saying he isn’t talented, but more so than the players above him? Perhaps a few, but IMO, there is no comparing Welker with, say, Steve Smith (CAR), in terms of athleticism and natural receiving ability.

    Also, I’d love to see your top WRs, if you get the chance.

  5. craig kocay says:

    top four (i think desean would follow this then vj)

    not so much:
    Devin Hester? has he shown anything, he is not even the best reciever on probably the weakest recieving unit in the nfl.

    I think Brandon Marshall is number one with his number with a fairly weak qb. Everyone above him has better qbs (stafford at least can throw the long ball).

  6. You would put Marshall ahead of even Andre Johnson or Fitzgerald?

  7. Vince Grey says:

    Your top ten and mine are fairly close. I like Steve Smith (Panthers) a lot more than you (I’d likely go #3), and I’d drop Reggie Wayne down some, and DeSean would drop several spots, but that’s about it without getting nit-picky.

    The next ten, things begin to hum. I really like Colston, Welker, and the other Steve Smith, while Owens, 85, and Edwards would drop down several slots.

    Getting near the bottom, Hines and Mason are past their prime enough that I’d drop them from the top 25, and a guy I think has great ability and just needs a bit more seasoning is Mike Wallace from the Steelers. He’d make my top 25.

  8. Wow Mike Wallace in the top 25. He definitely has great potential–just surprised to hear you like his ability that much already.

  9. Vince Grey says:

    Well, I’m from Ole Miss, which is where he went to school. Saw every game, many of his practices, and have some “inside” scoop knowledge of his athletic ability from my own eyes as well as several coaches. Basically, the opinion was, he was going to either be a star in the NFL or a complete bust. Seems to be heading down the star path so far.

    Wish he played for a different team however. Not much of a Steelers fan, to say the least. Still, that’s not as bad as my other guy, Patrick Willis, who plays for those *+(&$%!~# 49ers.

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