2013 NFL Free Agents: Breaking Down Best Available Wide Receivers

Tim KeeneyContributor IJanuary 18, 2013

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 13:  Wes Welker #83 of the New England Patriots runs with the ball against the Houston Texans during the 2013 AFC Divisional Playoffs game at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Wide receiver is undoubtedly the deepest offensive skill position of the 2013 NFL free agency class. 

And it's not really close.

I'm not trying to bring down Joe Flacco or Shonn Greene here, but when they are the headliners for the QB and RB positions, it's not exactly hard for the WR position to boast more talent. 

With that being said, let's break down the stacked position. 


Danny Amendola, St. Louis Rams

If Amendola stayed healthy this year, or ever, he would be earning a lot of cash money. 

In just 11 games for the St. Louis Rams this season, the dynamic slot receiver pulled in 63 catches for 666—AH!—yards and three touchdowns. In 42 career games, he has 196 receptions, 1,726 yards and seven scores. 

Amendola is quick, knows how to find open spaces, has sure hands and is an ideal inside target to help teams consistently move the chains. 

Just ask Tom Brady how valuable a guy like that can be. 


Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs

Imagine what Bowe could do with a quarterback not named Brady—well, first name—or Matt—well, last name Cassel. 

With incredible inconsistency under center in Kansas City this season, Bowe still managed to rack up 801 yards and three touchdowns on 59 catches in just 13 games. 

Very quietly, Bowe has been the model of consistency throughout his career. With the exception of a 589-yard season in 2009 when he played just 11 games, he has surpassed the 1,000-yard mark in three of five seasons, and in his rookie year, he totaled 995. 

The big 28-year-old star would be a welcomed addition to any receiving corps as a serious red-zone threat. Here's proof:


Mike Wallace, Pittsburgh Steelers

Say hello to the speedster of the group.

Wallace suddenly has four seasons under his belt, but he hasn't lost any of the lighting-fast speed that has made him one of the most dangerous weapons in the NFL.

It was a bit of a down year in 2012, but he still managed to reel in 64 catches for 836 yards and an impressive eight touchdowns. For his career, Wallace now has 235 receptions and 4,042 yards, which comes out to a ridiculous 17.2 yard-per-reception average.

If you want a rounded wide receiver who can also hit the home run (and give you the occasional frustrating drop), Wallace is your guy. 


Greg Jennings, Green Bay Packers

Jennings was only able to suit up for eight games this season, but that won't make teams forget how talented he truly is. 

Before this season, the 26-year-old veteran had hit at least the 900-yard mark in five-straight seasons and hit 1,100 yards in three of those. In two different seasons, he has found the end zone 12 times. 

Jennings is a wonderful route runner with top-notch hands. He has ideal size and speed, and when he gets in the open field, has sneaky elusiveness.

Despite a disappointing 2012, his combination of talent, humility, consistency and elite production would normally make him the No. 1 receiver in most free agent classes.


Wes Welker, New England Patriots

Except when this guy is around.

Welker proved once again this season that he is without a doubt the best slot receiver in the game as he racked up 118 receptions for 1,354 yards and six touchdowns.

He has now surpassed the 110-catch mark five times in the past six seasons and led the league three of those times. 

It's impossible to find a more reliable, dominant underneath receiver than Welker, and it would be shocking if the Patriots let him hit the free-agent market.