The offseason is a perfect time to look back on the previous season and pick out the top performers in each position. Since the receiver position is my favorite, I’m going to go ahead and take a look at the top 5 receivers from the previous season.
There are a lot of statistics and analytics that start to get confusing when analyzing players whether it’s NextGen stats or player grades. As receivers, your main job is to catch the ball, run with the ball and score touchdowns as I’m sure everyone knows. Therefore, instead of making things complicated, I’m simply going to rank these players based on catches and targets, total yards and touchdowns. Let’s get to it.
5. Adam Theilen
Adam Theilen has burst onto the scene these past two years and this year was arguably his best year. He caught 91 passes on 143 targets. So, not regarding balls that aren’t catchable or anything like that, he caught about 64% of the passes thrown to him which is pretty good. He racked up over 1,200 yards at 1,276 and averaged 14 yards per catch. He added 4 touchdowns to his stats which, for being a number one receiver, is pretty low. I would confidently say he was in the top 5 this season coming in at number 5.
4. DeAndre Hopkins
DeAndre Hopkins has become one of the most electrifying receivers in the game and that’s shown as he raked in 13 touchdown receptions this year alone. His acceleration and speed is a nightmare. He ended up catching 96 passes but he was targeted the most out of any of the top 5 receivers at 176, which means he caught about 55% of the passes thrown to him, which is kind of a low number. The closest one to him was target 162 times. Even when he only caught 55% of the passes targeted to him, he racked in 1,378 yards, which is good for fourth-most in the NFL. He comes in at number 4.
3. Julio Jones
There’s no doubt that Julio Jones has been one of the best receivers in the league throughout the years. This year was no different besides the fact I would put him as the 3rd best receiver in the league despite what others may say. He did have the second most yards in the NFL at 1,444 which is impressive considering he only had 88 catches. However, he was targeted 149 times and even with all those yards, he was only able to bring in 3 touchdown catches on the year. For being just a big body receiver, that number is way too low for him to be in the top 2 for that year. He comes in at number 3.
2. Keenan Allen
I don’t care what anyone says, the second best receiver in the NFL was Keenan Allen. He racked in an impressive 102 catches on the year which is the best in the league, even better than AB. He had 14 more receptions that Julio Jones and was only targeted 10 more times than Julio at 159 which means he caught 64% of the passes targeted towards him. While his yards come in behind Julio at 1,393 he racked twice as many touchdowns with 6 and average 13.7 yards per catch. He is my pick for number 2 in the league.
1. Antonio Brown
I don’t think this choice comes as a shocker to anyone who follows the NFL. Antonio Brown was number two in receptions with 101 on the year but he racked in the most yards with over 1,500 yards at 1,533 (DAMN!) He also brought in 9 touchdown catches on the year and he did all this while only playing 14 games in the regular season. If he plays the other 2 games, he’s number one in every statistic other than touchdowns. What’s even more impressive is he’s doing this all as a 5’10 receiver in a league that seems to value size over skill. This guy is absolutely the best receiver in the league.
That rounds out my top five and to be honest, I think I nailed it. Thanks for reading!