NFL: Top 10 Wide Receivers Entering 2011
Why include an introductory paragraph when no one reads them anyway? The list is what it is.
1. ANDRE JOHNSON, Houston Texans.
Vertical Jumping Ability? CHECK.
Route Running Precision? CHECK.
This is what you want as a WR.
2. LARRY FITZGERALD, Arizona Cardinals.
He is everything that Andre Johnson is. He’s just a step or two slower.
3. CALVIN JOHNSON, Detroit Lions.
He is everything that Andre Johnson is. He just needs to learn how to run routes with surgeon’s precision like Andre Johnson and Fitzgerald do. When he gets to that point? LOOK OUT.
4. RODDY WHITE, Atlanta Falcons.
Rowdy Roddy White proved 2009 was no fluke by leading the NFL in catches in 2010 with 115. He runs all the routes — underneath, slants, deep ins, corners, posts, go routes. Not bad for a guy who was regarded as a #2 entering the NFL.
5. REGGIE WAYNE, Indianapolis Colts.
Reggie Wayne, entering his 12th NFL season, still gets it done. No longer a burner (never was more than a 4.48/4.5 guy) he relies on his precise route-running skills, Hall of Fame hands and the synergy between himself and Peyton Manning to still put up numbers as he did in 2010 (111 catches, 1,355 yards, 6 TD).
6. VINCENT JACKSON, San Diego Chargers.
With the Bolts’ passing game featuring two 6’5″ receivers to go with their 6’5″ QB, they are pretty much set with Jackson, who runs some excellent routes, and has a rare combination of size (the aforementioned 6’5″ and 240 lbs) and speed to run deep routes consistently. When you can outrun and outleap defenders like he and the top three WRs on this list mostly can, you are elite.
7. GREG JENNINGS, Green Bay Packers.
Jennings is very explosive — both from the speed and power perspective. The fact that he can run out of each of the X (“possession”/”sticks” WR), the Y (“the slot”) and the Z (“deep”/”go”) routes, to go along with the Packers’ run and shoot style of offense makes him a dangerous threat anywhere on the field.
8. HAKEEM NICKS, New York Football Giants.
Nicks is a magician with the football. With hands that rival those the size of Shaquille O’Neal, the football is like a softball to him. Catching the ball with oven mitts surely makes your job easier. When you are able to body opposing cornerbacks for position, you are also at an advantage to basically do what you want to do on the football field. He is this generation’s Michael Irvin and will leap at least 3 spots by the end of the 2011 season, if healthy.
9. WES WELKER, New England Patriots.
Wes Welker proved he was not just a product of the Randy Moss Effect (although he also shows pictured what he feels about people claiming that he could not get separation from defensive backs — which is that gesture pictured, borrowed from Randy Moss — whose rationale for doing so on TD grabs was thus) in 2010 by piling up 86 more catches while playing next to a glut of rookies and 2nd year receivers.
10. DWAYNE BOWE, Kansas City Chiefs.
No one ever doubted Bowe’s ability. That has been on display since he was in college. What people have doubted was where his head was in proximity to the game. It can be argued that he hasn’t really had a decent QB in the NFL (easy argument), and being the lone target for those substandard QBs certainly doesn’t help his numbers as an individual.
Despite that, he still managed over 70 catches for over 1,100 yards and a league-leading 15 TDs, most of which came when teams KNEW he was getting the ball. He is a big, fast and powerful man.
Santonio Holmes, New York Jets.
Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers.
Santana Moss, Washington Redskins.
Davone Bess, Miami Dolphins.
Jeremy Maclin, Philadelphia Eagles.