Top 10 Best Wide Receivers in the NFL 2021-22
The best Wide Receivers in the NFL seems to be a revolving door. From being the unanimous best Wide Receiver in the NFL to not even recording a touchdown, Michael Thomas is an example of the fall from grace. This list is predicting who will be the best Wide Receivers in the NFL for next season based on talent and projected production.
#10 – A.J. Brown
Before trading for Julio Jones, A.J. Brown had top five Wide Receiver written all over him. The departure of Corey Davis opened up a lot of targets and the Titans defense has been depreciating. Brown has passed the eye test already and the opportunity was there.
With Julio Jones joining the team, I see a slight downtick in projected production. That being said, I still love A.J. Brown as a talent. He has already has built the rapport with Ryan Tannehill and there is something to be said about Julio Jones bringing some of the attention away from him.
While he won’t get force fed with Julio Jones on the team, I still expect A.J. Brown to be one of the best Wide Receivers in the NFL. Julio is the best Wide Receiver on the team, but Brown is close behind. I would not be shocked if he outproduces his counterpart due to the rapport he has built with Tannehill.
#9 – Justin Jefferson
If you’re and Eagles fan who saw your team draft Jalen Reagor one pick ahead of Justin Jefferson, it will hurt reading this. Justin Jefferson’s rookie season was historic and he looks to be the most promising rookie receiver in recent memory.
To record 1400 receiving yards on 125 targets is ridiculous especially for a rookie. To put that in perspective, Keenan Allen was targeted 147 times last season and failed to record 1000 yards.
It is nearly impossible for Justin Jefferson to replicate his success from year one, but I already consider him one in the best Wide Receivers in the NFL. As long as Adam Thielen is along side him and taking away some of that defensive attention, he will continue to produce big numbers.
#8 – Keenan Allen
I was worried about the production of Keenan Allen going into last season. Tyrod Taylor was the starter, and I was far from a believer in Justin Herbert coming out of the draft. Herbert really made me look like an idiot.
Herbert is everything advertised and more with Keenan Allen being his clear number one WR. Hebert actually targeted Keenan Allen 10+ times on 10 different occasions last season. I mentioned the low catch percentage of Keenan Allen from last season, but more rapport will change that.
I believe Justin Herbert will continue to build on the chemistry with Keenan Allen and the departure of Anthony Lynn only means better things for this offense. Keenan Allen is one of the most refined route runners in the NFL who I expect to be targeted downfield more often in 2021.
#7 – Julio Jones
This is me ranking Julio Jones according to what I saw last season when he was healthy. That wasn’t often, but when on the field we continued to see his dominance. In my opinion, he still has it.
If Julio Jones is his 2019 self, he is top 5 Wide Receiver in terms of talent without hesitation. He is that good. The problem is that’s a big if. While I think Julio Jones is a freak of nature, this is the age where receivers historically fall off the cliff in terms of production. The injury concern has me worried.
Another reason he isn’t ranked higher is the transition from one offense and QB to another. He will have to develop a rapport with Ryan Tannehill to produce. I do believe it will happen, but it could be something that happens later in the season. I see him on the outside of the top 5 looking in just in terms of production.
#6 – Michael Thomas
One injury plagued season does not force a player into obscurity. I said that about Christian McCaffrey in my best Running Backs in the NFL list and the same goes for Michael Thomas. He is only a 28 year old Wide Receiver who is supremely talented.
Michael Thomas is a player who is far too overhated. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve laughed at my fair share of slant boy jokes, but it’s time for me to give this man his respect.
It’s safe to say Michael Thomas will never record 149 receptions ever again. With Drew Brees retiring, his catch percentage will drop. That being said, I still think he is going to soak up a lot of targets.
My assumption is that Jameis Winston will be the starting QB. Say what you want about his decision making, but Winston can sling the rock. He will target Michael Thomas deep down the field more than he ever has with Drew Brees. This is unknown territory, but I believe Michael Thomas will return into the top 10 category this season.
#5 – Allen Robinson
Why do people still hate on Allen Robinson? This man has proved that whether it’s Blake Bortles or Mitchell Trubisky at Quarterback, he will still produce an elite level.
Considering who has been throwing to him throughout his entire career, he has been producing absurd numbers. Allen Robinson is really freaking good. Wildly enough, Andy Dalton might be the best Quarterback to ever throw to Allen Robinson. And trust me, it feels crazy saying that.
Going into next season I don’t care if it’s Andy Dalton or Justin Fields who is throwing him the football. He is far and away the best receiver on this team and will be a target vacuum. Robinson knows how to create separation and his contested catch rate is at an elite level. More people need to put respect on his name.
#4 – Stefon Diggs
Stefon Diggs was this good on the Vikings, but people didn’t realize. Sure there was the miraculous catch against the Saints that brought him attention, but he has been consistent his entire career.
Once Diggs joined the Bills and became the main option for a Josh Allen led Bills team, fans have come to their senses. This is a superstar Wide Receiver who was the well deserved receiving leader.
The thing that really stands out is his route running ability. He is an extremely refined receiver who doesn’t need to rely on his athleticism to get open. Pair that with the skillset of Josh Allen and it’s a match made in heaven.
The thing that worries me is defenses dedicating multiple defenders to stopping Diggs. He is the clear and away biggest receiving threat on this team, but having receivers like Cole Beasley and Emmanuel Sanders alongside him does limit my worries.
#3 – Tyreek Hill
“All he can do is run fast!” If you believe this your logic is flawed. Don’t get me wrong, speed kills. Tyreek Hill being the fastest player in the NFL makes things a lot easier, but he is much more than just his speed.
I have seen Tyreek Hill make contested catches that receivers with a few inches on him can’t make. Tyreek plays much bigger than his size when it comes to going up and getting the football and with the football in his hands. I don’t consider him a top 10 route runner, but he doesn’t have to be. He is still great at his craft and I don’t think we have seen the best of him just yet.
When speaking in terms of production, how can you not bet on him going into the 2021 season? His skillset fits perfectly in this offense as he is paired with the most gifted thrower of the football in Patrick Mahomes. I would not be shocked at all if Tyreek Hill ends up the league leader in receiving yards and/or touchdowns. He is that good and this offense is the most high powered in the NFL.
#2 – DeAndre Hopkins
Many people were skeptical with DeAndre Hopkins entering a new offense, but clearly the talent overcame all doubt. When you are an elite Wide Receiver you command targets and DeAndre Hopkins did exactly that. Kyler Murray has his guy in Hopkins and it showed last season in crunch time.
While the Cardinals added A.J. Green and Rondale Moore this off-season, that does not bother me at all looking at the overall outlook of Hopkins next season. Again, he is an elite Wide Receiver and they will find ways to get him the football.
Whether that’s last second hail marys where he is just better than everyone else, or the slow methodical short game. We know what we’re going to get from DeAndre Hopkins and that is elite production.
#1 – Davante Adams
Let me preface this by saying this ranking is under the assumption that Aaron Rodgers is under center for the Packers. With that assumption, there was absolutely no hesitation whatsoever for ranking Adams number one on this list. Rodgers and Adams have developed a chemistry that is almost unguardable.
Davante Adam’s game is nearly perfect. His route running is flawless and he has the athleticism to match it. Remember that time Adams dropped that easy pass? Neither do I. He has become supremely consistent which is why Rodgers relies on him so often.
This man has been on a historic pace these past three seasons and there is nothing that leads me to believe that will change as long as Rodgers is at the helm.
If Jordan Love is at Quarterback, that will be a cause for concern for his production. I can’t imagine he will drop out of the top 10, but I highly doubt he produces like a top 3 Wide Receiver.
That being said, from purely a talent standpoint I believe Davante Adams is the best Wide Receiver in the NFL.
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