Best Wide Receivers in the NFL 2021-22 Hierarchy Prediction
This is my prediction for the best Wide Receivers in the NFL going into the 2021-22 season. It’s a prediction based on the talent of each player as well as their projected production for next season. Keep in mind while reading that this is a prediction which is why a couple of names will be different compared to their 2020 production.
Stefon Diggs – The receiving leader last season looks to replicate. This is Josh Allen’s favorite target. He has the speed and route running ability to make it look easy.
Tyreek Hill – This is not just a one trick pony. Speed is what makes him elite, but he is not just a straight line receiver like most “track stars”. Tyreek Hill has developed into something special.
DeAndre Hopkins – No growing pains here. Kyler Murray leaned on Hopkins and and rightfully so. He has been one of the best wide receivers in the NFL over the past 5 seasons and 2021 will be no different.
Davante Adams – He missed two games last season and still managed to record 18 touchdowns. Aaron Rodgers will continue to lean on Adams as the depth surrounding him is sub-par.
Calvin Ridley – We saw how dominant he was without Julio Jones last season. Calvin Ridley has the talent and now will have the most opportunity of his career with Julio in Tennessee.
Amari Cooper – I love Ceedee Lamb, but I still think that Amari Cooper is the alpha for this receiving group. With Dak Prescott back in the lineup, production will go up for this receiving group.
Julio Jones – He will retire as one of the top 10 best wide receivers ever, but there are too many question marks in 2021. How will he far in a run first offense? Will he be able to stay healthy? Nobody knows the answer for sure.
D.K. Metcalf – Developing into an alpha wide receiver, but just not quite there yet. I expect him to rise into tier 1 at some point in his career.
A.J. Brown – I wouldn’t be shocked if he outproduces Julio Jones this season. He has the chemistry with Ryan Tannehill and would have been a tier 1 candidate if Julio didn’t join the team.
Michael Thomas – People love to hate Michael Thomas. He will miss the first 8 games of the season, but when he returns he is still one of the best.
Allen Robinson – This man has proven that no matter who you put at Quarterback, he will produce. For his sake I hope Justin Fields takes over QB1 responsibilities sooner rather than later.
Terry McLaurin – We all know Ryan Fitzpatrick loves to sling it. Terry McLaurin has the ability to go up and get it no matter how errant the throw.
Justin Jefferson – I’m usually not one to overrate rookie players, but Justin Jefferson is an exception. No rookie should be as refined as Jefferson showed last season. Very impressive.
Keenan Allen – He had 3 straight 1000+ yard seasons until last season. 992 is good enough. Justin Herbert loves Keenan and he showed. Expect him to get force fed.
Tyler Lockett – I believe he is now the WR2 behind D.K. Metcalf. He has his boom games, but his production is too inconsistent to move him up into the second tier.
D.J. Moore – I love the talent of D.J. Moore, but the arrival of Sam Darnold does has me worried. Darnold reunites with his old Jets WR Robby Anderson.
Cooper Kupp – Who will have the better season? Cooper Kupp or Robert Woods. I have no clue. Both benefit from the arrival of Matthew Stafford and both will produce.
Robert Woods – See above. It will be interesting to see who becomes Matthew Stafford’s favorite target although he does like to spread out the ball like any great Quarterback does.
Kenny Golladay – Now tied for the 6th highest paid Wide Receiver in the NFL. The problem is there are a lot of mouths to feed in New York and he already is hobbled due to a hamstring injury.
Mike Evans – I love Mike Evans, but another case of too many mouths to feed. He is also on a team with a top 3 defense that will take on a more heavy run approach than last season.
Ceedee Lamb – It’s only a matter of time before he jumps up the rankings. I still think Amari Cooper is the alpha receiver for the Cowboys.
Chris Godwin – I love Wide Receivers on their contract year. Godwin has a lot to prove looking for his big payday. He will have to compete for targets with Evans, AB and Gronk.
Adam Thielen – Father time is undefeated. Adam Thielen is still a great Wide Receiver, but it’s only a matter of time before his play falls off.
Will Fuller – Is this Will Fuller on PEDs or Will Fuller off PEDs? If Tua can become the Quarterback he was advertised as it should benefit the speed of Fuller.
Tee Higgins – Don’t let the rookie hype fool you. Tee Higgins will be the WR1 on this team starting off the season.
Robby Anderson – One of the most underrated deep threats in the NFL. He now has his ex-teammate Sam Darnold throwing him the football again.
Tyler Boyd – Tee Higgins is the WR1 and Tyler Boyd is the WR2 for the Bengals. Don’t sleep on these already proven commodities.
Brandin Cooks – Having Tyrod Taylor throwing you the football does not help your value, but being the unanimous best Wide receiver on your own team does. He will get force fed.
Diontae Johnson – If he can cure the dropsies that he has acquired, Diontae Johnson can become an elite Wide Receiver.
Brandon Aiyuk – A beast with the football in his hands. I keep flip flopping between Deebo and Aiyuk for who will be the best Wide Receiver on the 49ers.
Odell Beckham – A victim of hype. I still think Odell is a great Wide Receiver, but this is not the same Odell as advertised. It doesn’t help being on a run first team.
Deebo Samuel – If I were to take a guess, Deebo Samuel will lead the 49ers in receiving yards. He just needs to stay healthy.
Chase Claypool – The athleticism is there. He is not the most refined receiver in the NFL, but not every rookie Wide Receiver is Justin Jefferson. This could be a breakout season for Claypool.
Juju Smith-Schuster – When Antonio Brown left the Steelers, the question became whether or not Juju could perform as the WR1 of his team. The answer is no. He is a role player. And a Tik Toker.
Antonio Brown – This man is still a beast. At age 33 the cliff is coming, but he showed no signs last season. That being said Evans and Godwin will command more targets.
Devonta Smith – I’ve never seen a Heisman winning Wide Receiver get so much disrespect. The size leaves something to be desired, but the talent does not. My guess is he becomes Jalen Hurt’s favorite receiver.
Curtis Samuel – Now on the Washington Football Team, Curtis Samuel will play a gadget role. He is fantastic after the catch.
D.J. Chark – This athletic freak fell off a bit in his second season. If he becomes the favorite receiver of Trevor Lawrence, it could be a breakout season.
Cole Beasley – Arguably the best slot receiver in the NFL. He is good at what he does and the Bills use him as such. He should thank Diggs for taking the attention off of him.
Marquise Brown – Too inconsistent to be higher. Mark Andrews is the best receiver on the Ravens.
Jakobi Meyers – My favorite breakout candidate. His athletic profile is nothing to brag about, but he gets open in man coverage. This ex-Quarterback looks to be perfect for a system that requires smart players.
Jarvis Landry – Old reliable. The stats might not jump off the page, but he is as consistent as they come. Like I said for Odell, he has the not so benefit of being on a run first team.
Corey Davis – This ex-first round pick is now on the New York Jets. Their defense is horrendous so expect a lot of passes from rookie Zach Wilson.
Courtland Sutton – Coming off a serious injury, I still believe in the talent of Sutton. The Quarterback play I do not. Not to mention Noah Fant and Jerry Jeudy will be competing for targets.
Ja’Maar Chase – I think there will be some growing pains for this rookie. He needs to learn how to do his damage in the short to intermediate game better.
Jerry Jeudy – Lots of mouths to feed on this offense and not good enough Quarterback play to do so..
Davante Parker – Not getting enough respect this season. While the Dolphins are another too many mouths to feed situation, Davante Parker is the most experienced on this offense.
Laviska Shenault – Reports from the off-season have been raving about Shenault. I would not be shocked to see him emerge as the WR1 on this team.
Nelson Agholor – There might be growing pains on a new offense, but Mac Jones instead of Cam Newton throwing the football helps the production of these Patriot Wide Receivers.
Mecole Hardman – I mentioned Tyreek Hill isn’t a one trick pony, but Mecole Hardman hasn’t disproved that for himself. He needs to be more than just a speed threat to rise in the rankings.
Michael Pittman – With T.Y. Hilton hobbled by injury, Pittman will be the main target for the time being. He is big bodied with solid run after the catch ability for his size.
Henry Ruggs – The speed is there, but he plays too soft. Maybe the reports of him bulking this off-season will help him develop into something more.
T.Y. Hilton – Starting the season with a disc injury is not a good start for the ageing Hilton.
Elijah Moore – Another player who has received glowing reviews during camp. It will be telling to see how Zach Wilson performs.
Mike Williams – Injuries and inconsistencies aside, Mike Williams is a big bodies WR who will get deep shots from Herbert.
Darnell Mooney – The second fiddle to Allen Robinson. Also known as Jalen Ramsey’s daddy.
Marvin Jones – Apart of a very underrated Jaguars receiving group. He isn’t the most refined WR, but has established himself as a top deep threat.
Michael Gallup – It’s tough to be higher when you’re the third best WR on your team. I think he is solid, but an afterthought in this offense.
Jaylen Waddle – A phenom in terms of athletic profile. Will be raw on an offense that has yet to establish its identity.
Russell Gage – With Julio Jones gone, more targets are up in the air for the improving Russell Gage.
Emmanuel Sanders – The Bills offense is elite. There will be a lot of touchdowns to go around, but Sanders is behind Diggs and Beasley.
FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM: @SOGFOOTBALL
FOR MORE LISTS: CLICK HERE