10. Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions
Not only did Kenny Golladay lead the NFL in receiving touchdowns last season, but he was also fifth among WRs in yards per target (10.3). His strength to win while contested and after the catch makes him a chore to cover and tackle.
9. Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers
While injuries slowed him down early in his career, Keenan Allen has become the most consistent wide receiver in the NFL over the past three seasons. He’s borderline unguardable in man coverage and has underrated play strength and YAC ability.
Keenan Allen “Blaze Out”
•Stems towards space o/s of the CB to widen their pedal
•Keeps double move crisp by not getting head around until after the break and drive phase
•Friendly” finish to catchpoint and natural extension of hands pic.twitter.com/Uj2zScDddx
— Brad Kelly (@BradKelly17) October 9, 2018
8. Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys
After lighting up the stat sheet during the second half of the 2018 season with the Cowboys, Amari Cooper remained at that level throughout his first full season in Dallas. He’s now played 27 games with a star on his helmet, racking up over 1,900 yards and 15 touchdowns over that time. Cooper is an elite route runner in the NFL.
Amari Cooper epitomizes the phrase “every route is a fade, until it’s not.” Inside shuffle at the L.O.S consistently moves the CB and makes each stem a mirror image of one another. Keeps his pads low to always be selling vertical and snaps his eyes out of breaks. Technician. pic.twitter.com/LFvVpuDeiv
— Brad Kelly (@BradKelly17) April 21, 2019
7. Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers
One of the most advanced, nuanced route runners in the NFL, Davante Adams has a deep toolbox that starts at the line of scrimmage. His touchdown production slipped last season, but his intermediate presence is one of the strongest in the league. He’s a threat to lead the NFL in receiving yards or touchdowns in a given season.
6. Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Chris Godwin went nuclear during last season, producing nearly 100 yards per game in the potent Buccaneers’ offense. His route running and ball skills make him a threat from the boundary or the slot.
5. Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs
Watching the film, you can tell that defenses are forced to cover the Chiefs’ offense differently when Tyreek Hill is on the field. With his speed, he’s an explosive play waiting to happen, improved in contested situations, and only had three drops last season.
4. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
There are only two wide receivers in NFL history to have over 1,000 receiving yards in each of their first six seasons: Randy Moss and Mike Evans.
3. DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals
DeAndre Hopkins produced early in his career with pedestrian QB play, but those numbers really took off during his time catching passes from Deshaun Watson. Over the past three seasons, Hopkins has posted 315 receptions for 4,115 yards and 31 touchdowns. His improvement in yards after the catch over the past few seasons gives Hopkins a complete skill-set. Hopkins was my number one wide receiver in the NFL at this time last year.
2. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
Julio Jones is playing as well as he ever has, as he’s now produced at least 1,394 receiving yards in six consecutive seasons. Jones’ yards per target over that entire span is a ridiculous 9.7, which means the Falcons essentially gain a first down every time they throw in his direction.
Julio Jones – patience off the LOS, gets vertical and uses a forearm pull to hold the redline. Comeback + go at the top of the route and finishes through contact pic.twitter.com/wa9CsNflsN
— Brad Kelly (@BradKelly17) May 22, 2019
1. Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints
The offensive system and role that Michael Thomas plays have a positive influence on his production, but his traits would translate into every offense. Simply put, Thomas gets open regardless of alignment and has a natural feel for coverage, and drops are basically non-existent (3.2% over the past two seasons).
Thomas set the NFL record for most receptions in a season last year while leading the league in receiving yards, and he’s now caught 82.5% of his targets over the past two seasons. If my life depended on converting a fourth and long, Thomas would be my first choice among wide receivers in the NFL to throw towards.
Second Year Wide Receiver Ranking
5. Darius Slayton
4. Deebo Samuel
3. Terry McLaurin
2. AJ Brown
1. DK Metcalf