So Kenny, B-Lew, and I were talking recently about who the best wide receivers were in football, especially in seeing how much has changed from just a year ago when we did this list. See, we've done this before, and this doesn't have just my biased opinion on the best. So, we brought in a couple of consultants to give us 5 varying opinions on the best flankers, split ends, and slot receivers in the league.
Big thanks to Reeta aka The NFL Chick and Richard Boadu from 6 Magazine for helping out on this production. Oh yeah, I chimed in with my own 2 cents as well.
Get ready to be mad at us and totally disagree with our picks, thanks.
10. Greg Jennings, Green Bay Packers: (Last Year - #12 WR) Jennings had a great year under Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay, and is proving to be the "Reggie Wayne" of the NFC. He's stronger than you think, quicker than you believe, and can make literally any catch on the field.
9. Miles Austin, Dallas Cowboys: (Last Year - NR) "Best WR in the seams and after the catch" says Boadu, something I can't disagree with him on. However, its interesting that three of our contributors didn't vote for him at all.
8. Wes Welker, New England Patriots: (Last Year - NR) Edmond, Oklahoma stand up! Without a doubt the best slot receiver in the NFL, he is the master of going over the middle. The NFL Chick has him as the 4th best WR in football, while 3 of us didn't vote for him at all in the Top 10.
7. Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions: (Last Year - #9 WR) On a team who has been horrendously horrible, Megatron has single-handedly carried an abysmal offense to some respectability. At 6'5", 230 pounds and with 4.3 speed...he's like the LeBron James of wide receivers as far as I'm concerned. I have him ranked as the #3 WR in football, however 3 of the 5 contributors did not vote for him in the top 10.
6. Anquan Boldin, Arizona Cardinals: (Last Year - #6 WR) Boldin is a tough SOB after getting knocked out against the Jets and coming back to play after a face fracture last season, and he's looking to get paid in 2011. Probably the best #2 WR in the NFL. He was ranked #6 on last year's list, yet The NFL Chick and myself did not vote him in the top 10.
5. Brandon Marshall, Denver Broncos: (Last Year - #8 WR) The man is just plain ornery in every way, shape, and form. On the football field, his nickname is "The Beast" and for good measure, because if you are a DB...hell, linebacker or defensive end he's capable of stiff-arming you to hell. Off the field...he's just as loquacious. However, you need this man on your team. Marshall received 3 votes as the 4th best WR in football by Kenny, Richard, and myself.
4. Randy Moss, New England Patriots: (Last Year - #2 WR) Per Boadu, who voted him 5th best, he's lost half a step and an inch of bounce, but still better than 90 % of the league. Per Kenny, who voted him 3rd best, Moss will continue to be no lower than three on any list he makes, until his skills decline. Per Reeta, who voted him 5th best, questions Moss' ability to mentally check in and out of games. I truly believe that Moss will have his final crowning year in 2010, when a healthy Brady begins to find #81 streaking up the field to the endzone.
3. Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts: (Last Year - #5 WR) From Kenny, "Reggie Wayne has moved to the best, and here's why. Lose Starvin' Marvin, lose Anthony Gonzalez, lose Addai (may as well had, as much as he disapeered this year), plug in these young cats at WR, and Wayne still does his thing. Great hands, great route-running, gets off the line, physical, can make any catch, any play, at any time. This time last year, I had him only behind Moss. If people wanna say Manning is #1, then I honestly believe a great deal of credit and respect should go to Reginald Wayne." Richard counters as he didn't even vote Wayne into the top 10, saying, "Reggie Wayne is great, but I've seen Marvin Harrison become a Hall of Famer because of Manning and after watching Garcon and Collie last week, I'm convinced that if you have half an ounce of talent Manning will find out and make you great." Wayne received 1 vote as the #1 WR, 2 others voted him 2nd best.
2. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals: (Last Year - #1 WR) Boadu calls Fitz "The love child of Cris Carter and Jerry Rice" (pause) however, I have the feeling that Fitzgerald's ascension as the #1 WR in football last year came when he reached the heights of his superpowers in the playoffs of 2009. He actually had a quiet year, if that's actually possible for Fitzgerald. Still, he's unguardable in any real situation and has the respect of every defensive back and coordinator in the game.
1. Andre Johnson, Houston Texans: (Last Year - #3 WR) Andre Johnson does EVERYTHING, yet he's hardly ever discussed in conversations. He's a beast and should acknowledged like so. Well, we will acknowledge him now on ETSF because we're paying attention to what's going on in Houston, Texas. Simply put, there's nothing that #80 can't do. Plus, he does it in a way that makes it look real easy. The reigning defensive player of the year, Darrelle Revis, gives Dre the ultimate respect in calling him "A Beast" when describing the top receivers in football. So a tip of the cap to Andre Johnson, you have been crowned as the best wide receiver in football. 4 of the 5 contributors voted Andre the #1 WR in the game, with Kenny messing it up with a 2nd place vote. No WR is perfect, but Andre's showing us that he might be close.
Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons: (Last Year - #14 WR) Finished 11th in this year's voting, he's the only real WR option in Matt Ryan's offense and he continues to put up all-pro numbers every year. (Highest vote: Kenny, #8)
Vincent Jackson, San Diego Chargers: (Last Year - NR) Probably the best deep threat in the entire NFL, has succeeded in becoming an all-around wideout. (Highest vote: Ed, #7)
Desean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles: (Last Year - NR) The speedster barely falls out of the top 10, I have a feeling another strong year and he'll be up there. (Highest vote: Reeta, #8)
We've did this in 2009, and it is extremely interesting to see some of the names that were on this last year. No Plaxico, no Terrell Owens, no Steve Smith. Please click on the picture to see how everyone voted on this top 10 list:
And let the debate begin, who are your top 10 WR's? Who's getting too much love? Not enough? Weigh in and discuss!