As always, one of our goals is to make sure everyone is on the same accord. The barometer used here is last season's success. However, our panelists were encouraged to use previous years as well, and that is because we want to keep this list "One-hit wonder" free, if you know what I mean. Someone can have a breakout season and not be worth a damn the next, so while it is important what a player did in 2010, it isn't the end-all, be-all. Cool? Cool.
Our esteemed panel is made up of Crazy Joe Simmons, the CEO of Bull City State of Mind. Another panelist is the Reverend Paul Revere, the brainchild of The House that Glanville Built. The other two panelists are Eduardo Maisonet, and the last is myself. Let's do work.
10. Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs (last year - NR): Dwayne Bowe comes in at number ten on the list. The man led the NFL in touchdown receptions last season and also helped the Chiefs to a division title. The Rev has Bowe ranked number seven on his list.
9. Miles Austin, Dallas Cowboys (last year - #9): Smiles proved that his '09 season wasn't in vein by having another strong season in 2010. Last year, he was in this very spot, and while there was concern that '09 might have been a flash-in-the-pan season (as evidenced by three panelists not having him in the top ten last year), we know he's for real now. Three of us have him in our top ten, with him ranking as high as eight on my list.
8. Santonio Holmes, New York Jets (last year - NR): Per Ed, "The most underappreciated wide receiver in the NFL. From making Super Bowl-winning catches, to taking a young quarterback under his wing in a generic offense, the true impact of Santonio is that he can get you a big play at a moment's notice." It looks like Ed's words ring true, because Holmes went from not ranked on last year's list to solid footing this year. Three of the four panelists have Holmes on their list, with Joe giving him the highest ranking at six.
7. Brandon Marshall, Miami Dolphins (last year - #5): I can assure that Marshall's slippage is due more to his situation than his actual performance on the field. Courtesy of The Rev, "Talent-wise, Marshall is right up there with Andre Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson. No question that when his head is right, he's as good as it gets; a dominant, physical, impossible-to-cover wideout." When you see words like that, it's evident that we all recognize game. All four of us have Marshall on our lists.
6. Greg Jennings, Green Bay Packers (last year - #10): What a difference a year makes. Greg Jennings goes from barely making the list last season to vaulting halfway up the list this time around. He's always been one of the more underappreciated wide receivers in football, but it looks like the extended postseason run, along with his sure hands and consistency, helped people realize how dope Jennings truly is.
5. Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions (last year - #7): According to Crazy Joe, "The NFL wasn’t ready for a guy who runs like Randy Moss, has the body of Terrell Owens, and the hands of Cris Carter. That is why he is deemed Megatron. The Megatron Don is the most prolific of any receiver on this list. He plays in a system that doesn’t warrant a lot of accolades, yet he is the focal point of every defense in the league, and he gets it done consistently. There may only be one better route runner in the league than CJ but none possess all of the tools this man does." Crazy Joe takes it a step further by ranking Calvin Johnson as the best wide receiver in the NFL today.
4. Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons (last year - NR): Now this one is baffling. It's not that White doesn't deserve it, but it's that he went from unranked last year to number four now. In the words of my boy Garrett, "He was caught between a rock and hell" last season. Despite three panelists having him ranked on our list last season, it wasn't enough to get him in the top ten. However, everyone made sure to include him this year. Here's more on Roddy, courtesy of Ed...
"For the last couple of years, we've seen the connection that is Matt Ryan to Roddy White blossom into an elite pass-catching duo in The League. White can literally run every route, can get off any defensive back's jam and run past almost every defensive back in the league. Put it like this: I seriously considered putting the man number one on my list; just didn't have the confidence to it. Roddy White is real, so I'd suggest you all better start recognizing his greatness."
3. Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts (last year - #3): Mr. Consistency is right where he was last season: the third-best wide receiver in the NFL, and just like last season, I still have him ranked number one on my list. My rationale remains the same. The man stays healthy, plays at a high level, can get you 100 catches, ten touchdowns, move the chains, go through the middle, go by anyone in the secondary, etc. He does it all. He'll never get the complete credit he deserves, but that's fine. It's up to the fans to recognize game, and to me, there's still no better wide receiver in the game than Wayne.
2. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals (last year - #2): Fitz's place in the upper-echelon of wide receivers is secure. The man can pretty much do no wrong in the eyes of the panelists here, as well as a strong segment of football fans all over.
1. Andre Johnson, Houston Texans (last year - #1): For the second consecutive year, Andre Johnson is ranked by the panelists as the best receiver in the NFL. He's big, he's fast, he's strong, and as evidence of the Titans-Texans clash in Houston last year, he will fight. Two of our panelists have him ranked number one, while the other two have him ranked no lower than the following spot. At this rate, it's pretty much the ultimate sign of respect that can be paid to the man.
Most notable omission:
De'Sean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles: In my opinion, Jackson is the most peculiar good-to-great receiver in football. He doesn't catch a lot of balls, but he gets his team 20 yards a catch, and he's a threat to score just about any time he touches the rock. If this was a top ten players players on offense list, he'd probably be on here, but when it comes to solely being a receiver, it gets tricky.
Last year, we had Randy Moss, Anquan Boldin, and Wes Welker in the top ten, and while Boldin and Welker both received votes this year, they weren't enough to crack the ten.
Also, Reggie Wayne and Roddy White each finished with 29 points. However, Wayne received the only first place vote between the two, which gives him the edge over White for third overall on the list.
Thanks to all who made this possible and, as always, feel free to speak your piece in the comments section.