Tim Brown, Marvin Harrison, Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Andre Reed.
Wide Receivers: Isaac Bruce (2020), Marvin Harrison (2016), Calvin Johnson (2021), Randy Moss (2018), Terrell Owens (2018).
Calvin Johnson replaces Tim Brown in regards to the last five Wide Receivers. This changed the averages from 2020. Games Played dropped by over 23m but Approximate Value only dropped by 10.2. AV/G rose by more than 0.03. Pro Bowls dropped by .6, but First Team All-Pros rose by the same amount. Receiving Yards dropped by nearly 600 Yards, but Touchdowns only went down by 3. Receptions dropped by 117.
Johnson replacing Brown brings overall accumulative numbers down though his stellar, though relatively brief career, shows the AV/G increase as a reflection of a higher standard.
2021 Pre-Season Rank #13, 2020 Pre-Season Rank 20
Wow. Here is a question. If Antonio Brown never played again after Pittsburgh, what would the preception be? He was already an All-Decade Player Wide Receiver and had a claim as the WR of the 2010s. What happened since has tarnished Brown to the point where he may not get in from the frozen foot in Oakland (where he never played), the helmet controversy, and the off-field issues, but Tom Brady bailed him out, or at least temporarily. Brown won a Super Bowl with Brady and the Bucs, but last year, he started on the suspended list and in what looks to be his last game, took off his jersey and ran off the field mid-contest against the Jets. Brown is probably unhirable as an NFL player, but until he retires, he is here on this list. Moving forward, we suspect he will be viewed like T.O., and if that is the case, how mant years will he wait , if Owens waited three?
2021 Pre-Season Rank #12, 2020 Pre-Season Rank #14.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers swap one all-decade Wide Receiver (Antonio Brown) for another in Jones, who returns to the NFC South after playing last year in Tennessee. Jones was disappointing last year, and if Tom Brady can't revive him, we are nearing Jones' end. With that said, Jones might have done enough to get that bust, but his overall Touchdown numbers are low for a player of his caliber. He is a little under 1,800 Yards from 15,000 and if Jones can compile that, they can't keep him out.
2021 Pre-Season Rank #30, 2020 Pre-Season Rank #44.
Hopkins is entering his third year in Arizona, but last year was by his far his worst year on the field, and the first time since 2016 that he was not a Pro Bowl Selection. If this marks the stall and decline of Hopkins, he likely did not do enough to make the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but he isn't done yet, and could bounce back.
2021 Pre-Season Rank #35, 2020 Pre-Season Rank #53.
Hill may have had some off-field issues (and character matters more and more with the Hall) but when you perform well it washes away a lot of the criticism. Now a three-time First Team All-Pro (though one was a Returner) and All-Decade Selection (also as a Returner), Hill is over the MPA for AV/G, and has matched First Team All-Pros. Hill had some harsh words for the Chiefs over his departure, and he is with a rising Dolphins team while still in his personal prime. He coould continue to rocket up this list over the next few years.
2022 Pre-Season Rank #31, 2021 Pre-Season Rank 32.
Green missed the entire 2019 season due to injury and it derailed not only a run of seven straight Pro Bowls, but possibly an All-Decade spot. In his comeback season, Green barely cracked 500 Yards, and he departed Cincinnati for Arizona, though he did have a better debut in the desert, than his swansong in Southern Ohio. Saying that Green is in a holding pattern on this rank mostly due to his position, as the statistical bar for Wide Receivers is very high. He still has time, but 2022 becomes more crucial for a bust in Canton.
2021 Pre-Season Rank #41, 2020 Pre-Season Rank #49.
In 2019, Thomas made history as the Wide Receiver (the first being Jerry Rice) to win the Offensive Player of the Year Award. A high ankle sprain kept Thomas to only seven Games in 2020, and he only had 438 Yards with no Touchdowns. It was a huge setback, but not as big as missing the entire 2021 Season for the same reason. He held on to a similar rank due to his high AV/G, and he returns (hoefully) healthy in 2022.
2021 Pre-Season Rank #67, 2020 Pre-Season Rank #95.
Davante Adams is no longer. Green Bay Packer, and we wil see what he can do for Derek Carr and the Las Vegas Raiders, who will surely treat him as the top offensive threat. He enters this year with a sparkling streak of five Pro Bowls and two First Team All-Pros, and he is arguably coming off ohis best year. If his first two years in Vegas are like his last two in the tundra, he is bona fide Canton contender.
2021 Pre-Season Rank #66, 2020 Pre-Season Rank #82.
A nine-year veteran, Allen went to the last five Pro Bowls, has had five 1,000-Yard seasons, but he has never been a First Team All-Pro. He is in his prime now, but his “peak” needs to see higher production, and a First Team All-Pro would be colossal.
2021 Pre-Season Rank #58, 2020 Pre-Season Rank #73.
Evans has been the top Wide Receiver for the Buccaneers for the last few seasons, and the three-time Pro Bowl Selection flourished with Tom Brady as his Quarterback. He has quietly climbed over 9,000 Yards, is still young and could keep piling up the stats, buy a First Team All-Pro would really help. Notably, Evans has never failed to crack 1,000 Yards in any season, though has only finished in the top ten twice.
2021 Pre-Season Rank #60, 2020 Pre-Season Rank #58.
It looks like the career of T.Y. Hilton might have come to an end, as he is a Free Agent as of this writing and coming off his worst year with only 331 Yards. As it stands, Hilton was a career Colt, a four-time Pro Bowl Selection, and is in the group of Wide Receivers who can claim a Receiving Yards Title (1,448 in 2016). If Hilton's career is over, he failed to make 10,000 Yards, a minimum for a WR to even be looked at in this era, but this is still a nice run and worthy of celebration in Indianapolis.
2021 Pre-Season Rank #118.
After five good years with Minnesota, many pundits wondered how Diggs would perform in Buffalo, but they need not have worried. In 2020, he led the NFL in Receiving Yards, Receptions and was a First Team All-Pro, and last season he had another good year, earning a second Pro Bowl and completing his fourth 1,000-plus Yard year. He should be able to replicate both in 2022.
2021 Pre-Season Rank #61, 2020 Pre-Season Rank #63.
A member of the 10,000 Yard Receiving Club, Jackson took the path of a compiler as he was close to the top tier of Wide Receivers, but never was one. The Rams took a chance on him for 2021, and he needed a monster campaign to put his name back into consideration. That didn't happen, as he asked for his release mid-season, got it, and finished off the year as lower option in Las Vegas. Jackson might not get another job as a football player again, but he leaves the game with solid numbers.
2021 Pre-Season Rank: Unranked
Somebody was going to be the highest debut in the 2022 Pre-Season rank, and who better than the reigning Offensive Player of the Year and Super Bowl MVP, Cooper Kupp, who shattered all of his personal bests. Kupp is now an elite WR, which he was not considered before, so there is still a lot of work to do, but this is a pretty good bet.
Last Year’s Rank #62.
OBJ’s three Pro Bowls were in his first three seasons, and while his last Pro Bowl was in 2016, Beckham Jr. did have1,000-Yard plus seasons in 2018 and 2019. Since that time, injuries piled up, and he just was not the same guy who made the most incredible regualr season catch in history. Last year was the agony and exctacy for Beckham Jr, who seemed rejuvinated in a mid-season pick up by the Rams, where he helped them win the Super Bowl, though in that game he scored a Touchdown and tore his ACL. When he is healthy, we expect that a team will take a chance on him, but the odds of him being what he was in New York seems like a tall order.
2021 Pre-Season-Rank #72, 2020 Pre-Season Rank #71.
Landry has been named to the Pro Bowl five years straight (2015-19) but in that half-decade, the Wide Receiver was never considered the top shelf of wideouts. Regardless of that fact, Landry led the NFL in Receptions in 2017 (112), but the window of where he might be able to enter the top level may have passed him by. Landry is now a New Orleans Saint, and if he has any chance at all to make Canton, he has to do it right now, Jameis Winston might not be the Quarterback to make that happen.
2021 Pre-Season #78, Rank 2020 Pre-Season Rank Rank #84.
Four Pro Bowls is impressive for any NFL player, but with the exception of Quarterback, no position has seen stats change as much as the Wide Receiver. Cooper, who is entering his first season in Cleveland, enters a tenuous situation that does him no favors in compiling Yards ad Touchdowns.
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2021 Pre-Season Rank #124, 2020 Pre-Season Rank #137.
After back-to-back Pro Bowls, Thielen had a poor 2019, though he rebounded in 2020, it was not as good as he had done before. He will have to get back to that level again for any fringe Hall of Fame hope to survive. Is there a WR2 Hall of Fame?
2021 Pre-Season Rank Unranked
Justin Jefferson is one of the top young Wide Receivers in the game and the Vikings are blessed to have him in their squad. Jefferson is only a two-year vet, but he went to the Pro Bowl in both of them and could have a Receiving Yards Title in his future.
2021 Pre-Season Rank Unranked
Samuel is the most unique Wide Receiver of this era, as there has not been a stud WR who was also given the ball ample time on the ground, so much so that he currently has more Rushng Touchdowns (11) than Receiving Touchdowns (10). The inverse Roger Craig went to his first Pro Bowl last year (his third season), and bluntly, we love anyone named Deebo.
Last Year’s Rank #141.
Brown had a breakthrough year in 2020 on an explosive Tennessee offense but was not able to build on that last year. Tennessee surprisingly traded him to Philadelphia in the off-season, and it can be argued that he is at an early crossroads in his career.
2021 Pre-Season Rank #145.
Metcalf has only played three years but he has emerged as the top offensive weapon of the Seattle Seahawks. He regressed in 2021 from his 2020 Season, and he no longer has Russell Wilson throwing him the ball, so this season should be fascinating in his development.
2021 Pre-Season Rank Unranked
Chase is the lone player to have only one year of experince on this list, but of course, it is going to be the Offensve Rookie of the Year who already has a Super Bowl appearance and Pro Bowl on his ledger.