Where Does Pierre Garcon Rank Among the NFL's Best Receivers?

Thomas Galicia@thomasgaliciaContributor IIDecember 4, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 22:  Pierre Garcon #88 of the Washington Redskins pulls in a touchdown pass against the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day at Cowboys Stadium on November 22, 2012 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Pierre Garcon's first season in Washington hasn't exactly been a bed of roses due to his issues with injuries throughout the season. However, when healthy he's proved himself as Washington's best starting receiver, and possibly one of the best in the NFL

Garcon has only played in six games this season, missing the other six due to an injury on his right foot that he suffered in Week 1 against the New Orleans Saints. He attempted a comeback in Week 4 and Week 5, but in those two weeks, Garcon's injury seemed to hamper him more as he caught four passes for 44 yards combined in both games.

It was even thought that at one point Garcon would miss the rest of the season due to the injury; however, after the Washington Redskins saw that it had heeled enough following their bye week in Week 10, Garcon returned in Week 11 and has been an integral part of the Redskins offense ever since.

Garcon has also proved himself to be one of the best best receivers in the NFL. When he is healthy and playing, he has produced well, giving Washington 15 catches for 244 yards and two touchdowns.

Monday Night saw Garcon play his best game since the start of the season, as he caught eight passes for 106 yards and a touchdown. The effort was similar to his Week 1 performance against the New Orleans Saints, when he caught four passes for 109 yards and a touchdown.

But the biggest stat about Garcon is this: when he's played, Washington has gone 5-1. Without him, Washington is 1-5.

He stretches the field for the Redskins and serves as their biggest receiving threat, thus freeing up Robert Griffin III to make plays with his feet when necessary. Garcon also commands a double-team as the Redskins' biggest threat in the passing game.

He's one of Washington's most valuable players (RG3 is still the most valuable, obviously), however as far as being one of the league's best? That will have to wait.

Garcon is far more valuable to Washington than just about any receiver is to their team (other than Reggie Wayne in Indianapolis, a former teammate of Garcon's), but I still wouldn't say he's the top receiver in the league. I'd have to see more from Garcon throughout the season before putting him as elite, but right now, Garcon is a top-15 threat, inching his way into the top 10.