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