NFL1000: Ranking the Top Outside Wide Receivers of 2017 Season

NFL1000 ScoutsFeatured ColumnistJanuary 15, 2018

NFL1000: Ranking the Top Outside Wide Receivers of 2017 Season

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    Don Wright/Associated Press

    Football is the most interdependent sport, as the success of one player rests more on those around him than in any other athletic endeavor. Within that, receivers are as dependent on the forces around them as any players on the gridiron. 

    Say you come out of college and you have all the tools to succeed. You're a height/weight/speed guy. A scout's dream. In the right offense, you have Rookie of the Year potential. Now, imagine the following two scenarios.

    In the first you're drafted by a team with a brilliant head coach, a staff of bright offensive minds, a stellar quarterback and an established group of receivers who will help you stay open by demanding more coverage.

    In the second you're taken by a team with a head coach and offensive staff who rely on isolation routes and have a playbook that hasn't changed since 1973. Your quarterback is in the bottom quarter of the league and is getting sacked all the time because the offensive line stinks. The receivers around you are so bad, you're getting double-teams from day one.

    It's easy to understand how, beyond raw talent, certain receivers succeed and others don't. The same player in a different situation can lead to an entirely different career arc. Each of the NFL's best receivers can amplify and at times transcend their offenses. But you can also argue that if you switched, say, Antonio Brown and DeAndre Hopkins halfway through the season—when Brown was benefiting from an improving Ben Roethlisberger and Hopkins was somehow dominating despite quarterbacks who were turning 50/50 balls into catches that favored the defense—Hopkins might be considered the NFL's best receiver.

    NFL1000 scouts Marcus Mosher and Joe Goodberry have been watching every NFL wideout through the season, and in deference to the league's changing schemes, they split those players into outside and slot receivers based on the percentage of snaps played. If a player lined up more than 50 percent of the time in the slot, he'll be on that list, which will go live January 16.

    For outside receivers, in addition to gauging and adjusting for a player's personnel circumstances, Joe and Marcus based their grades on the following criteria:

    Route Running: 30 points. Does this receiver run a full route tree? Can he beat cornerbacks on everything from angular routes in the slot to straight vertical routes up the boundary? How well does he fake and juke his way out of tight coverage? Does he make things easier for his quarterback by breaking to the ball at a friendly angle, or is he a step late? How well does he coordinate with his quarterback on option routes?

    Hands: 25 points. Can this player make things easier for his quarterback by expanding his catch radius and bringing in badly thrown balls? Does he catch the ball away from his body and turn quickly to run, or does he bring it into his body and exhibit subpar technique? How well does he rip the ball away from defenders on contested catches?

    YAC: 20 points. Once he makes a reception, how well can a player run out of coverage to gain yards after the catch? Regardless of his size, is he both agile and physical enough to get away from tacklers?

    Blocking: 15 points. On both running and passing plays, how well does the player block for his teammates? Is he intent on making every play work, or does he tend to disappear if he's not the target?

    Position Value: 8 points. This takes into account positional importance when comparing scores to other spots on the gridiron. Wide receivers are given 8/10 points across the board, leaving them with a maximum score of 98/100.

    Note: In the case of a tie among players, NFL1000 scouts Joe Goodberry and Marcus Mosher ranked players by personal preference.

    Make sure to check out all of the NFL1000 rankings from the 2017 season.



Notable Omissions

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    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    The following star receivers had the snaps to make this list, but since they played over 50 percent of their snaps in the slot, they have been moved to that list: 

    • Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks
    • Golden Tate, Detroit Lions
    • Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals
    • Jarvis Landry, Miami Dolphins
    • Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers
    • Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings
    • JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers
    • Nelson Agholor, Philadelphia Eagles
    • Mohamed Sanu, Atlanta Falcons
    • Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams
    • Jamison Crowder, Washington Redskins

    These receivers didn't make the list because they didn't participate in at least 10 percent of their teams' snaps.

    • Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars
    • Darrius Heyward-Bey, Pittsburgh Steelers
    • Kevin White, Chicago Bears
    • Jeff Janis, Green Bay Packers
    • Ryan Switzer, Dallas Cowboys

Nos. 108-101

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    108. Tanner McEvoy, Seattle Seahawks

    Route Running: 10/30
    Hands: 
    9/25
    YAC: 
    9/20
    Blocking: 
    7/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    43/100

    McEvoy is a big-bodied receiver at 6'6", 230 pounds and found a role as a No. 4 wideout this year. The Seahawks used him as a big-play receiver who rotated between the outside and the slot. The two-year vet is a former college quarterback and is still learning the fine details of playing the position, but he might still be too raw to be on the field as much as he was in 2017.

    Despite his size, which is his best attribute, he's not a good blocker and struggles to create separation. He also doesn't consistently finish through contact. McEvoy has a long way to before he can be considered average.

                    

    107. Kendrick Bourne, San Francisco 49ers

    Route Running: 8/30
    Hands: 
    10/25
    YAC: 
    9/20
    Blocking: 
    9/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    44/100

    Bourne is a below-average athlete who wins by trying to outmuscle smaller defensive backs. The 6'1", 205-pounder was the 49ers' No. 5 receiver this season when everyone was healthy. He's a bottom-of-the-roster type who will only stick in the NFL by playing special teams. He is an adequate blocker but doesn't have many redeeming receiving traits.

                  

    106. Joshua Bellamy, Chicago Bears

    Route Running: 8/30
    Hands: 
    7/25
    YAC: 
    9/20
    Blocking: 
    12/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    44/100

    For the past few seasons, injuries have allowed Bellamy to get end-of-year snaps. 2017 was no different, as most of his production came in the final four weeks. He's an above-average blocker with decent size (6'0", 208 lbs) who struggles at nearly every part of the receiving game. The 28-year-old has some of the most inconsistent hands in the NFL and is a poor route-runner. He is only on the roster due to his special teams ability and the Bears' lack of depth.

    105. Tanner Gentry, Chicago Bears

    Route Running: 7/30
    Hands: 11/25
    YAC: 9/20
    Blocking: 10/15
    Position Value: 8/10
    Overall Grade: 45/100

    Gentry started three games for the Bears before he was waived midway through his rookie season. When he was on the field, he was a surprisingly good blocker, but he struggled in all aspects of the receiving game. The 6'1", 210-pounder possessed decent size and good movement skills, but was he so raw as a route-runner that it eventually forced him off the roster. Gentry has talent, but he needs to develop on a team's practice squad for the next few years before he is ready to see the field on Sundays.

                    

    104. Amara Darboh, Seattle Seahawks

    Route Running: 12/30
    Hands: 
    8/25
    YAC: 
    8/20
    Blocking: 
    10/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    46/100

    Darboh was buried on the Seahawks' depth chart as a rookie and only caught eight passes in 2017. But when he was on the field, he showed he's still raw. He needs to work on his hand technique this offseason as he relies too much on his body to catch simple passes. At 6'2", 219 pounds, Darboh has size and is a decent route-runner for a third-rounder, but he is still a few years away from being a reliable contributor.

    103. Chester Rogers, Indianapolis Colts

    Route Running: 11/30
    Hands: 
    10/25
    YAC: 
    10/20
    Blocking: 
    8/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    47/100

    Rogers was the fourth receiver on a team without good weapons at the position. He returned punts and showed some ability to gain yards after the catch. He second-year man made a couple of nice grabs but dropped a bunch of balls also. He needs to work on getting off press coverage to evolve as a route-runner.

                    

    102. Johnny Holton, Oakland Raiders

    Route Running: 10/30
    Hands: 
    10/25
    YAC: 
    10/20
    Blocking: 
    9/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    47/100

    Mostly a special teamer, Holton gets the occasional opportunity to run a route. He's 6'1" and made a nice pluck and toe-tap catch against the New York Giants, but he also dropped a handful of easy targets. Holton can be used as a deep threat who'll make a random nice grab.

                      

    101. Michael Floyd, Minnesota Vikings

    Route Running: 11/30
    Hands: 9/25
    YAC: 10/20
    Blocking: 9/15
    Position Value: 8/10
    Overall Grade: 47/100

    Floyd exhibited some skills in Bruce Arians' vertical passing offense with the Cardinals a few years back, putting up a 1,000-yard season in 2013. But his effect has diminished greatly since then—with the Cardinals, with the Patriots in 2016 (when he was a healthy scratch for Super Bowl LI), and with the Vikings in 2017. Floyd underwent a four-game suspension to start the season for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, and he struggled to make an impact even when Stefon Diggs was injured. Sadly, he's one of the league's most obvious examples of raw talent surrounded by a lack of field intelligence and advancement of technique.

Nos. 100-96

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    Robert Reiners/Getty Images

    100. Aldrick Robinson, San Francisco 49ers

    Route Running: 11/30
    Hands: 
    9/25
    YAC: 
    13/20
    Blocking: 
    6/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    47/100

    Robinson is no more than a No. 4 or 5 receiver who can run deep. In five seasons, he has failed to record more than 400 receiving yards in any year. There are few routes he can run well, so he's forced to run go routes and slants. He doesn't catch outside the framework of his 5'10", 187-pound body well, and his lack of size hurts him as a blocker. Robinson was a disappointment in his first year in San Francisco.

                     

    99. Torrey Smith, Philadelphia Eagles

    Route Running: 11/30
    Hands: 
    9/25
    YAC: 
    12/20
    Blocking: 
    7/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    47/100

    While Alshon Jeffery's signing was a major hit in Philadelphia, Smith's was a flop. He played a ton but accumulated 430 yards and two touchdowns. The 28-year-old, who was known for his ability to make downfield plays throughout his career, caught six passes that went further than 15 yards this season. Smith struggled with drops, and his blocking in the run game was pitiful at times. He might be one-and-done with the Eagles.

                     

    98. Roger Lewis, New York Giants 

    Route Running: 11/30
    Hands: 
    11/25
    YAC: 
    8/20
    Blocking: 
    9/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    47/100

    Lewis was thrust into a starting role once Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall were lost for the season to ankle injuries. He doesn't have many desirable traits, but he is an adequate blocker who has decent size at 6'0" and 203 pounds. The 24-year-old is an end-of-the-roster type.

                   

    97. Ricardo Louis, Cleveland Browns

    Route Running: 10/30
    Hands: 
    12/25
    YAC: 
    8/20
    Blocking: 
    9/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    47/100

    Louis doesn't offer many redeeming qualities. He's slow and lumbers when asked to change direction. Coming out of his breaks, he's slow to react and locate the ball, which results in missed opportunities. If he does catch it, his feet are often not ready to run or they land out of bounds.

                    

    96. Breshad Perriman, Baltimore Ravens

    Route Running: 11/30
    Hands: 
    12/25
    YAC: 
    9/20
    Blocking: 
    7/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    47/100

    Injuries have taken their toll on Perriman as he's a shell of his former self. His deep speed and burst are average now, and he hasn't had the time to develop into a good route-runner. Baltimore tried to get the ball to him on some designed deep shots, but the 24-year-old didn't have the second gear and couldn't get on top of the corner to accelerate and track the ball. His underneath routes are poor, starting with his release and ending with slow breaks at the top of his routes. The clock is ticking for the 2015 first-round pick.

Nos. 95-91

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    Gary Landers/Associated Press

    95. Josh Malone, Cincinnati Bengals

    Route Running: 11/30
    Hands: 
    13/25
    YAC: 
    7/20
    Blocking: 
    8/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    47/100

    The 6'2", 208-pound Malone has a big body and can run, but he's young. That showed in the 21-year-old's route running. His release and adjustments against the blitz and different coverages need to be fixed before the Bengals can count on him. He'll have to learn some hand work from teammate A.J. Green before he'll consistently separate on the top of his routes.

                               

    94. Geronimo Allison, Green Bay Packers

    Route Running: 12/30
    Hands: 
    8/25
    YAC: 
    12/20
    Blocking: 
    8/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    48/100

    The 6'3", 202-pound Allison is big and athletic and is at his best when he can make downfield plays. But without the injured Aaron Rodgers, his game suffered. Allison has poor hand technique that leads to far too many drops. He improved as a route-runner in 2017 but needs to do so much more, as he rounds off too many routes. If Jordy Nelson or Randall Cobb is released or traded, Allison could become the No. 3 receiver in his third season with the Packers. He's best as a No. 4 or 5 option, though.

                

    93. Kamar Aiken, Indianapolis Colts

    Route Running: 12/30
    Hands: 
    11/25
    YAC: 
    9/20
    Blocking: 
    9/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    49/100

    Aiken played all three spots for the Colts, as they tried to move around their more important receivers. He didn't get many opportunities in seven starts, but he also didn't help himself by dropping a good portion of his chances. He's a depth player on most teams.

                    

    92. Mack Hollins, Philadelphia Eagles

    Route Running: 11/30
    Hands: 
    13/25
    YAC: 
    10/20
    Blocking: 
    7/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    49/100

    Buried on the depth chart, Hollins started his rookie season slowly. But midway through, he started to steal snaps from veteran Torrey Smith. The 6'4", 221-pounder wins by overwhelming defenders with his power and sheer size, but that doesn't translate as a blocker. He can be stiff getting in and out of his breaks, but he is good enough when the ball is in the air that it doesn't often matter. The 24-year-old has a chance to be the Eagles' second outside receiver as soon as 2018.

                   

    91. Terrelle Pryor Sr., Washington Redskins

    Route Running: 12/30
    Hands: 
    12/25
    YAC: 
    10/20
    Blocking: 
    7/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    49/100

    After committing to playing wide receiver in 2016 with the Cleveland Browns, Pryor, a former quarterback, took a one-year "prove-it" deal with the Washington Redskins. He struggled as a full-time outside receiver as he recorded 240 yards and one touchdown in 2017. He couldn't grasp the Redskins offense, and his lack of comfort as an X-receiver was clear. Pryor will turn 29 this offseason and is running out of time to make the transition work.

Nos. 90-86

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    Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

    90. Markus Wheaton, Chicago Bears

    Route Running: 14/30
    Hands: 
    10/25
    YAC: 
    10/20
    Blocking: 
    7/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    49/100

    The Bears signed Wheaton to help shore up their 2017 receiving corps, but he was a colossal disappointment with just three catches and 51 yards. The 26-year-old is a decent route-runner but struggles to push through contract. He's not dynamic after the catch and has struggled as a blocker. He does have the flexibility to play multiple positions, but he doesn't play any of them well. Wheaton is a strong candidate to be released.

                 

    89. Tavarres King, New York Giants

    Route Running: 12/30
    Hands: 
    12/25
    YAC: 
    11/20
    Blocking: 
    8/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    51/100

    King was one of a number of receivers forced into the Giants lineup after multiple injuries to starters. King played mostly in the season's second half, racking up 240 yards and three touchdowns. The 6'1", 192-pounder has good size and plenty of athleticism, but he's an inconsistent route-runner who often struggles to make catches. He has shown the ability to create big plays when given chances, but his lack of consistency buries him on depth charts. However, King showed enough to warrant another chance in 2018.

                    

    88. Brandon Tate, Buffalo Bills

    Route Running: 10/30
    Hands: 
    13/25
    YAC: 
    12/20
    Blocking: 
    8/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    51/100

    Mostly used as a return man, Tate can help as a depth receiver. His 12-yard touchdown vs. Cincinnati is an example of his sporadic career flashes—a vertical seam route where he kept both feet in and made a nice grab away from his body. He's had some nice catches in his nine pro seasons, but they've been few and far between. 

                       

    87. Leonte Carroo, Miami Dolphins

    Route Running: 13/30
    Hands: 
    15/25
    YAC: 
    8/20
    Blocking: 
    8/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    52/100

    Carroo showed potential to be a solid possession receiver. He's displayed flashes of good route running and tough, contested grabs. He's never going to be a burner or get many yards after a catch, but he could be a solid contributor. in the slot and outside

                  

    86. Eli Rogers, Pittsburgh Steelers

    Route Running: 13/30
    Hands: 
    13/25
    YAC: 
    12/20
    Blocking: 
    6/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    52/100

    Rogers has been relegated to backup duty due to his inconsistent route depth and hands, in addition to his communication errors. At one point, he looked like a poor man's Antonio Brown, but we've seen that's not the case as the Steelers have added better receivers.

Nos. 85-81

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    Bob Leverone/Associated Press

    85. Jarius Wright, Minnesota Vikings

    Route Running: 14/30
    Hands: 
    12/25
    YAC: 
    10/20
    Blocking: 
    8/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    52/100

    Wright was the Vikings' fourth wideout in 2017, and most of his snaps came in four-receiver sets. He's a six-year veteran who knows how to make plays on third downs, but he doesn't offer much more. The 28-year-old is a reliable end-of-the-roster type.

                   

    84. ArDarius Stewart, New York Jets

    Route Running: 10/30
    Hands: 
    13/25
    YAC: 
    13/20
    Blocking: 
    9/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    53/100

    The Jets used Stewart as expected: a gadget player who saw reverses, sweeps and handoffs that let him run with the ball. The only problem is it didn't seem like he broke a tackle all season. New York did give him some deep shots, and he caught a 46-yarder at the end of the year against New England.

                   

    83. Phillip Dorsett, New England Patriots

    Route Running: 13/30
    Hands: 
    13/25
    YAC: 
    12/20
    Blocking: 
    7/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    53/100

    Dorsett can still run, and that makes him dangerous, but many of his targets end up as failed opportunities. He'd frequently receive off-coverage, which is a sign defenses respect his speed. With that, he'd often catch a short route and find himself unable to make things happen afterward or fall while making a reception, which would result in a failed opportunity. Dorsett is not the weapon he should be even though he has the speed to threaten defenses. He still doesn't run deceptive routes and doesn't deal well with physical defenders. He'd prefer to catch with his body than to extend for the ball. The 25-year-old is a role player.

                    

    82. Demarcus Robinson, Kansas City Chiefs

    Route Running: 14/30
    Hands: 
    13/25
    YAC: 
    9/20
    Blocking: 
    9/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    53/100

    The 6'1", 203-pound Robinson is developing nicely as the only receiver with size and long speed on the Chiefs. His route running is becoming a strength. He had issues catching at times, and until he cleans that up, the 23-year-old shouldn't be considered anything more than a situational player.

                 

    81. Brandon Marshall, New York Giants

    Route Running: 12/30
    Hands: 
    13/25
    YAC: 
    7/20
    Blocking: 
    13/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    53/100

    Marshall played poorly in five games for the Giants. The 12-year vet struggled to create separation as an outside receiver and look disinterested at times. He has strong hands, but that doesn't exclude him from dropping routine passes. He might not have the quickness to win on the outside anymore and could be another candidate to move to the slot to help prolong his career. He is still an excellent blocker and can win with his route running and body control, but he's declining. Marshall will turn 34 this offseason and is a No. 3 or No. 4 option.

Nos. 80-76

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    Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

    80. Willie Snead, New Orleans Saints

    Route Running: 13/30
    Hands: 
    13/25
    YAC: 
    11/20
    Blocking: 
    8/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    53/100

    After back-to-back seasons as the Saints' primary slot receiver, Snead rotated between the slot and the outside in 2017. Brandon Coleman stole some of his snaps due to Snead's suspension and hamstring injury. The 25-year-old never looked healthy as he caught just eight passes for 92 yards. When he's at full strength, he is a reliable, important part of the passing attack. But he's limited as to what he can provide in this offense due size (5'11", 195 lbs) and straight-line speed issues. Snead will likely compete for snaps with Coleman again next season as the two battle to be the team's third receiver.

                      

    79. Laquon Treadwell, Minnesota Vikings

    Route Running: 13/30
    Hands: 
    13/25
    YAC: 
    10/20
    Blocking: 
    9/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    53/100

    Treadwell's career hasn't started off as well as the Vikings hoped, but he developed into the team's third receiver in 2017. The second-year man still needs to work on his route running, as he's sluggish coming out of his breaks, but he has shown he can make catches outside the framework of his body in contested areas. Treadwell is only 22 years old, but he needs to be more productive in 2018.

                   

    78. Tavon Austin, Los Angeles Rams

    Route Running: 11/30
    Hands: 
    11/25
    YAC: 
    15/20
    Blocking: 
    8/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    53/100

    Head coach Sean McVay has gotten the most out of almost every offensive player—except Austin. Cooper Kupp took over the slot role, and Austin was basically nonexistent in the passing game. He also lost return duties to Pharoh Cooper. Austin finished the season with 59 carries and just 22 targets, and his NFL future might be at running back. He's still an explosive player who can score anytime he touches the ball, but he's not a fit for receiver in the Rams offense.

                  

    77. Noah Brown, Dallas Cowboys

    Route Running: 11/30
    Hands: 
    13/25
    YAC: 
    9/20
    Blocking: 
    12/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    53/100

    The 6'2", 225-pound Brown is a big, physical receiver who's raw as a route-runner. However, he gets onto the field because of his blocking ability and fearlessness. The 22-year-old might never have the speed to be an outside receiver, but he'll stick around because of his size and ability to play on special teams. He's an interesting player at the bottom of the Cowboys roster.

                      

    76. Brice Butler, Dallas Cowboys

    Route Running: 13/30
    Hands: 
    13/25
    YAC: 
    11/20
    Blocking: 
    8/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    53/100

    Despite a few splash plays early in the season, Butler still hasn't equalled the sum of his parts. He's a highly athletic receiver who doesn't do enough of the little things to ever warrant starter snaps. He's best as a No. 4 option who can stretch the field in spread formations. Butler will turn 28 in January and is running out of time to record his first 400-yard receiving season since high school. 

Nos. 75-71

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    Jason Miller/Getty Images

    75. Kasen Williams, Cleveland Browns

    Route Running: 12/30
    Hands: 
    15/25
    YAC: 
    10/20
    Blocking: 
    8/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    53/100

    Lacking a top gear to get deep and quickness to gain separation, the 6'1", 219-pound Williams has decent size and the hands to make contested grabs. Almost all of his catches came against off-coverage where he ran comeback routes.

                  

    74. Curtis Samuel, Carolina Panthers

    Route Running: 11/30
    Hands: 
    12/25
    YAC: 
    12/20
    Blocking: 
    10/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    53/100

    The Panthers drafted Samuel in the second round hoping they could turn the uber-athletic Ohio State running back into a dynamic slot receiver. However, he was further behind the learning curve than expected. The 21-year-old needs a lot of work developing his route tree and is a long way from being a full-time slot player. He's more of a gadget type than a true receiver. His best position might be as a change-of-pace running back on a pass-heavy team.

                   

    73. Andre Holmes, Buffalo Bills

    Route Running: 12/30
    Hands: 
    13/25
    YAC: 
    11/20
    Blocking: 
    9/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    53/100

    The 6'4", 210-pound Holmes looks more fit to play the position than he does, but that doesn't mean he's a bad player. He's big with solid speed and a good physique. Holmes can help in the red zone and on special teams when healthy. He's a depth player.

                 

    72. J.J. Nelson, Arizona Cardinals

    Route Running: 13/30
    Hands: 
    10/25
    YAC: 
    14/20
    Blocking: 
    8/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    53/100

    At 5'10", 160 pounds, Nelson does one thing well: run fast. He's a deep threat who can occasionally beat defenders downfield. However, he has some of the worst hands in the league, and that often leads to devastating drops. He is a major liability as a blocker and can't run a full route tree. But he has enough speed to push safeties back and terrify defensive coordinators.

                 

    71. Taywan Taylor, Tennessee Titans

    Route Running: 13/30
    Hands: 
    13/25
    YAC: 
    13/20
    Blocking: 
    7/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    54/100

    Taylor is the quickest of the Titans receivers but the one with the most to learn. His route-running experience is limited and lacks variety as the team prefers him in the slot running drags and slants. He missed some opportunities on hot routes and against zone coverage where he drifted too close to the defender in 2017. However, the rookie's upside is intriguing in an offense that features his strengths.

Nos. 70-66

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    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    70. Josh Reynolds, Los Angeles Rams

    Route Running: 13/30
    Hands: 
    13/25
    YAC: 
    10/20
    Blocking: 
    10/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    54/100

    As a rookie in 2017, Reynolds filled in for the injured Robert Woods in the middle part of the season and was more than competent. The 6'3", 192-pound Reynolds is a big, athletic receiver who does his best work down the field. He'll need time to learn the NFL route tree and work on beating press coverage, but his future is bright as a team's second outside receiver. He's already an adequate blocker and catches with his hands as opposed to his body. He just needs more snaps to continue his development.

                

    69. Alex Erickson, Cincinnati Bengals

    Route Running: 12/30
    Hands: 
    15/25
    YAC: 
    11/20
    Blocking: 
    8/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    54/100

    Primarily a return man, Erickson got more wide receiver snaps this season both in the slot and on the outside. Without great long speed, the 25-year-old still finds ways to win in his routes and after the catch. The scheme often helps him, but Erickson can be an offensive contributor.

               

    68. Dontrelle Inman, Chicago Bears

    Route Running: 14/30
    Hands: 
    9/25
    YAC: 
    9/20
    Blocking: 
    14/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    54/100

    After Kendall Wright, Inman has emerged as the Bears' second-best receiver. He has fantastic size at 6'3", 205 pounds and uses it to dominate as a blocker. However, his inconsistent hands and shaky route running will likely cause the Bears to replace him this offseason. He's been an adequate target for Mitchell Trubisky, though, and deserves to be on the field because of his blocking ability alone.

                   

    67. Deonte Thompson, Buffalo Bills

    Route Running: 12/30
    Hands: 
    13/25
    YAC: 
    12/20
    Blocking: 
    9/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    54/100

    Thompson signed with the Bills in mid-October and quickly became their only speed threat at the position.  Though he got deep with decent success, his other routes didn't provide much to win with. The 28-year-old needs to come back and attack the ball when facing it.

                   

    66. Justin Hardy, Atlanta Falcons

    Route Running: 14/30
    Hands: 
    12/25
    YAC: 
    9/20
    Blocking: 
    11/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    54/100

    In his third season in the NFL, Hardy failed to become anything more than a complementary receiver. He's more than adequate as a blocker and has experience playing both on the outside and in the slot. But he hasn't been able to contribute much as a wideout. Hardy's best performances come from the slot, but Mohamed Sanu dominated that role. Hardy might need to find a new home if he wants to carve out a bigger place in an offense.

Nos. 65-61

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    Harry How/Getty Images

    65. Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers

    Route Running: 13/30
    Hands: 
    17/25
    YAC: 
    8/20
    Blocking: 
    9/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    55/100

    Williams didn't have a dynamic rookie year as he dealt with back and knee injuries and fell behind a solid Chargers receiving corps. The 6'3", 220-pounder showed off his big body and hands on a few occasions. But he also displayed his lumbering stride and failed to threaten deep. It'll be interesting to see what he can become, but the 23-year-old may have to be a great route-runner to consistently get open.

                 

    64. Cordarrelle Patterson, Oakland Raiders

    Route Running: 10/30
    Hands: 
    11/25
    YAC: 
    18/20
    Blocking: 
    8/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    55/100

    I can't explain why Patterson can't get open. He's fast, strong, athletic and a five-year veteran. But the 26-year-old didn't seem to run routes at the right depth, with the correct timing or as crisply as you'd like. Oakland schemed him open and got the ball into his hands, though, after which he was a dynamic runner.

                    

    63. Jordan Taylor, Denver Broncos

    Route Running: 14/30
    Hands: 
    14/25
    YAC: 
    10/20
    Blocking: 
    9/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    55/100

    Taylor was mostly used on special teams, but he showed strong hands as a receiver and an ability to add yards after the catch. His upside is still uncertain, but he showed he can help an offense.

                            

    62. Taylor Gabriel, Atlanta Falcons

    Route Running: 12/30
    Hands: 
    12/25
    YAC: 
    14/20
    Blocking: 
    9/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    55/100

    In Kyle Shanahan's offense, Gabriel presented mismatches and scored seven touchdowns in 2016. But in 2017, he wasn't nearly as effective. The 5'8", 165-pounder is an undersized receiver who has improved as a route-runner, but his game is still based off creating big plays after the catch. The 26-year-old isn't an every-down starter, but he can create one or two splash plays a game.

                

    61. Chad Hansen, New York Jets

    Route Running: 13/30
    Hands: 
    16/25
    YAC: 
    9/20
    Blocking: 
    9/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    55/100

    The 6'1", 202-pound Hansen provided a few flashes as a big-bodied vertical threat in his rookie year. Stiffness and lack of burst limited his routes, but he made contested grabs and tracked the ball well. He saw a few slot targets, and his awareness and route running from that spot were impressive.

Nos. 60-56

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    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    60. Ryan Grant, Washington Redskins

    Route Running: 14/30
    Hands: 
    13/25
    YAC: 
    13/20
    Blocking: 
    8/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    56/100

    After three seasons as a reserve, Grant carved out a nice role as a versatile receiver who can play either outside spot and in the slot in 2017. The 27-year-old wins with quickness, but he lacks speed to be a downfield threat. He's an ideal No. 4 receiver, considering all of the jobs he can handle.

                 

    59. Terrance Williams, Dallas Cowboys

    Route Running: 15/30
    Hands: 
    11/25
    YAC: 
    11/20
    Blocking: 
    11/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    56/100

    The Cowboys receiving corps struggled this season in part because they didn't get enough production out of Williams. He is primarily a blocking wide receiver who often gets left alone with the team's second- or third-best cornerback without any safety help. He doesn't scare defenses or make enough big plays, considering the amount of snaps he gets. The 28-year-old isn't anything more than a third or fourth wide receiver.

                

    58. Chris Moore, Baltimore Ravens

    Route Running: 12/30
    Hands: 
    13/25
    YAC: 
    13/20
    Blocking: 
    10/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    56/100

    Moore has slowly developed from a prospect who ran mostly go routes to a more complete player. He's still learning, and consistency is an issue because of it, but the 24-year-old flashes upside. He shows deep speed, ball tracking and the ability to run with the ball. Add in his special teams value and toughness as a blocker and Moore is a solid fourth receiver who can provide help.

                 

    57. Jaron Brown, Arizona Cardinals

    Route Running: 12/30
    Hands: 
    13/25
    YAC: 
    11/20
    Blocking: 
    12/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    56/100

    Brown can get lost in the shuffle at times in the Arizona Cardinals receiving corps, but he's a useful player in that offense. Most of his best work comes as a blocker, but he has the ability to make downfield plays as an outside receiver. However, he doesn't do anything well enough as a pass-catcher to warrant starter snaps. He's an average No. 3 or 4 receiver.

                         

    56. John Brown, Arizona Cardinals

    Route Running: 15/30
    Hands: 
    12/25
    YAC: 
    14/20
    Blocking: 
    7/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    56/100

    After a breakout 2015 season, injuries have stunted Brown's growth as a player. When healthy, he's a dynamic receiver who can win outside or in the slot. The Pittsburg State product can make downfield plays and is an underrated route-runner. However, he struggles to make plays on the ball outside his body's framework. The 5'11", 179-pound Brown will turn 28 this offseason and unfortunately, we may have already have seen his peak.

Nos. 55-51

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    Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

    55. Keelan Cole, Jacksonville Jaguars

    Route Running: 16/30
    Hands: 
    15/25
    YAC: 
    11/20
    Blocking: 
    7/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    57/100

    Cole had some nice plays for the Jaguars and added speed to their receiving unit as a rookie. Recently, there were miscommunications and passes that missed him badly, which resulted in turnovers. His best route may have been the post for a touchdown against the Texans where he sold it to the outside before splitting the safeties.

                 

    54. T.J. Jones, Detroit Lions

    Route Running: 16/30
    Hands: 
    13/25
    YAC: 
    11/20
    Blocking: 
    9/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    57/100

    Jones split time with rookie Kenny Golladay as the Lions' No. 3 receiver in 2017. He didn't play a ton, but he was productive when on the field. He's a crisp route-runner who can win outside against man or zone coverage. The 25-year-old isn't a big-play threat but is tough to bring down after the catch. Jones is a restricted free agent this offseason and should find a home somewhere as a third receiver.

               

    53. Donte Moncrief, Indianapolis Colts

    Route Running: 15/30
    Hands: 
    16/25
    YAC: 
    11/20
    Blocking: 
    8/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    58/100

    He's big and athletic, but that only takes 6'2", 216-pound Moncrief so far. He still doesn't run great routes to gain separation. If it's not a comeback route, the Mississippi product will have a defensive back on his hip. While he makes some nice catches with full extension, he'll often make grabs harder by turning his hands the wrong way or facing the ball instead of letting it fall over his shoulder. He's a powerful runner who doesn't make defenders miss. The 24-year-old is a big-play No. 3 receiver.

                          

    52. Zay Jones, Buffalo Bills

    Route Running: 17/30
    Hands: 
    14/25
    YAC: 
    11/20
    Blocking: 
    8/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    58/100

    Jones flashed his potential in almost every game this season while also showing his inexperience. At East Carolina, Jones mostly ran short routes from the slot. In the NFL, Buffalo needed the rookie to be more of a deep threat. This is where he worried me, as he often misjudged the ball in flight and fought his feet while running downfield. However, he still shows solid upside.

                  

    51. Cody Latimer, Denver Broncos

    Route Running: 15/30
    Hands: 
    17/25
    YAC: 
    10/20
    Blocking: 
    8/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    58/100

    Latimer finally showed flashes of his upside in 2017 while contesting jump balls. He didn't get the same separation teammates Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders got, but he came down with a bunch of deep passes on which he had to make impressive grabs. 

Nos. 50-46

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    Abbie Parr/Getty Images

    50. Chris Hogan, New England Patriots

    Route Running: 14/30
    Hands: 
    17/25
    YAC: 
    10/20
    Blocking: 
    9/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    58/100

    The Patriots once again used Hogan as a deep option on a good portion of his targets. The 29-year-old can run and track the ball, but in contested situations, he won't high-point it or outmuscle a defender for a tough catch. He's a fine role player but can't be counted on as more.

                  

    49. Chris Conley, Kansas City Chiefs

    Route Running: 17/30
    Hands: 
    14/25
    YAC: 
    11/20
    Blocking: 
    9/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    59/100

    Before rupturing his Achilles in Week 5, the 6'3", 205-pound Conley added size and speed to the Chiefs offense on the boundary. He's developed as a route-runner after being a raw prospect a few years ago. The 25-year-old routinely won on deeper routes on which he used double moves to gain separation.

                 

    48. Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions

    Route Running: 16/30
    Hands: 
    15/25
    YAC: 
    13/20
    Blocking: 
    7/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    59/100

    Golladay had an up-and-down rookie season, but he flashed elite upside. He's a big, athletic receiver at 6'4", 213 pounds and is a perfect fit in the Lions' vertical offense. Golladay can stretch the field and separate from even the best cornerbacks downfield. He needs to be more precise in his route running and has to catch the ball with his hands as opposed to his body more consistently. He also needs to be on the field more, as he can beat teams deep. The 24-year-old should only improve as his career progresses.

                         

    47. DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins

    Route Running: 16/30
    Hands: 
    18/25
    YAC: 
    9/20
    Blocking: 
    8/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    59/100

    Parker's potential as a No. 1 receiver hasn't shown up as much as the Dolphins would like, but with how dysfunctional the Miami passing game was this season, it's no surprise Parker didn't shine more. He's still a big body (6'3", 212 lbs) with long arms, and he'll make an acrobatic catch once in a while, but the 24-year-old hasn't developed into a top route-runner, and it's limiting his game.

                  

    46. Josh Doctson, Washington Redskins

    Route Running: 13/30
    Hands: 
    19/25
    YAC: 
    12/20
    Blocking: 
    8/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    60/100

    After doing next to nothing in his rookie season, Doctson emerged as a big-play threat for the Redskins in 2017. He's still raw as a route-runner, but his ability to win when the ball is in the air is breathtaking. He can make spectacular catches look routine, and his body control in the air is amazing. He still has a ways to go before he can become a true No. 1 option on the outside, but all the talent is there. He was significantly better in the second half of the season, and the 25-year-old's arrow is pointing up.

Nos. 45-41

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    45. Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    Route Running: 16/30
    Hands: 
    17/25
    YAC: 
    12/20
    Blocking: 
    7/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    60/100

    After being a non-factor for the first half of his rookie season, Godwin improved nearly every week in the second half of 2017. The 6'1", 209-pounder is an athletic marvel who is still learning the NFL route tree. But his ability to win downfield and when the ball is in the air allowed him to produce as a rookie. He still needs to improve as a blocker and add more routes to his arsenal, but he's an exciting young player. The 21-year-old has the potential to be the team's No. 2 receiver opposite Mike Evans in the near future.

                

    44. Corey Coleman, Cleveland Browns

    Route Running: 18/30
    Hands: 
    13/25
    YAC: 
    14/20
    Blocking: 
    7/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    60/100

    Still developing as a route-runner, Coleman uses his raw ability to win with quickness and acceleration. He has high upside in this area. More comfortable as a body-catcher, the 23-year-old drops passes when he's forced to use his hands or when he experiences lapses in concentration. The Baylor product has a solid ability to gain yards after receptions but hasn't had the chances in Cleveland's offense.

              

    43. Kenny Britt, New England Patriots

    Route Running: 16/30
    Hands: 
    15/25
    YAC: 
    13/20
    Blocking: 
    8/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    60/100

    Drops and mental lapses have spoiled Britt's reputation, but the 6'3", 223-pounder is a big-bodied wide receiver who has a good combination of speed and athleticism. His hands may be questionable, but the 29-year-old adjusts to poor throws and has the body control to make hard catches look routine.

                

    42. Will Fuller, Houston Texans

    Route Running: 19/30
    Hands: 
    13/25
    YAC: 
    13/20
    Blocking: 
    8/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    61/100

    Fuller's name makes people think about his raw speed, but the 23-year-old runs crisp vertical routes and can track the deep ball with the best of them. Because the 6'0", 185-pound Fuller's speed is so respected, he gets an extra cushion for comeback routes, deep posts and slants. If he had a bigger frame, better hands and more power after the catch, he would be a more complete receiver. Still, he's one of the most dangerous deep threats in the league.

                 

    41. Martavis Bryant, Pittsburgh Steelers

    Route Running: 17/30
    Hands: 
    16/25
    YAC: 
    12/20
    Blocking: 
    8/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    61/100

    The 6'4", 211-pound Bryant is an athletic anomaly. For his size and length, he shouldn't be this fast, agile and good after the catch. Bryant is fast, long and runs well with the ball, but he isn't creating separation due to route running, hand usage and situational awareness. He's still raw. However, he could be a No. 1 receiver once he gets focused and refines everything else required to be a consistent threat.

Nos. 40-36

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    Dylan Buell/Getty Images

    40. Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers

    Route Running: 18/30
    Hands: 
    18/25
    YAC: 
    8/20
    Blocking: 
    9/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    61/100

    Nelson started the season well, catching six touchdowns in his first four games, but he quickly faded once Aaron Rodgers went down with an injury. Nelson averaged a career-worst 9.1 yards per reception in 2017, and it is clear that his injuries are starting to catch up with him. He failed to reach 80 receiving yards in a single game this season and finished with only 482 receiving yards in 14 games. He just doesn't have the quickness to explode out of his breaks, and defensive backs are afraid of his speed. Nelson turns 33 this offseason, and it wouldn't be surprising if the Packers decide to move on from him. Nelson might have to transition to the slot if he wants to continue his career.

          

    39. Dede Westbrook, Jacksonville Jaguars

    Route Running: 16/30
    Hands: 
    15/25
    YAC: 
    15/20
    Blocking: 
    7/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    61/100

    Westbrook is a big play waiting to happen. He can run, track the deep ball and make defenders miss after the catch. He's never going to be the most physical receiver and doesn't catch well in tight areas, but that's not his role in the NFL.

          

    38. Mike Wallace, Baltimore Ravens

    Route Running: 17/30
    Hands: 
    14/25
    YAC: 
    13/20
    Blocking: 
    10/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    62/100

    Wallace has been the same guy for much of his career, as he wins with his athleticism and straight-line speed. That threat allows for extra room for underneath routes, and Wallace has become a better hands-catcher and secured some tough catches in traffic. Wallace still struggles to track the deep ball at times, and that's odd for a speed receiver, but with his athleticism after the catch, Wallace generally churns out good YAC production. He's a solid No. 2 receiver.

         

    37. Kenny Stills, Miami Dolphins

    Route Running: 19/30
    Hands: 
    16/25
    YAC: 
    12/20
    Blocking: 
    8/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    63/100

    Stills is an elite deep threat, but his stats have suffered because Jay Cutler misses opportunities to get him the ball. Stills has blazing vertical speed, but he can also plant and cut on a dime to change directions. The chemistry never took hold with Jay Cutler, who threw several interceptions when targeting Stills. 

         

    36. Ted Ginn Jr., New Orleans Saints

    Route Running: 16/30
    Hands: 
    17/25
    YAC: 
    14/20
    Blocking: 
    8/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    63/100

    After a rocky start to his career, Ginn has found a role (and a team) that suits him well. At this point, we know what Ginn is as a receiver. He's not a complete receiver and still struggles with drops from time to time, but he is an electric player who is one of the best deep threats in the NFL. Ginn is at his best when he is no higher than third in the pecking order in targets, but he's developed into a solid starter who can generate big plays with ease.

Nos. 35-31

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    35. Devin Funchess, Carolina Panthers

    Route Running: 18/30
    Hands: 
    18/25
    YAC: 
    11/20
    Blocking: 
    9/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    64/100

    After doing next to nothing in his first two seasons in the NFL, Funchess made a massive leap in 2017. He quickly became the team's No. 1 receiver, and that allowed the Carolina Panthers to move on from Kelvin Benjamin. Funchess is a big, athletic receiver who can win when the ball is above his head. But his route running is what has allowed him to enjoy a successful 2017 season. Funchess still needs to work on the details of his craft, but he is starting to live up to his potential. Expect him to take another big step in 2018.

          

    34. Marquise Goodwin, San Francisco 49ers

    Route Running: 17/30
    Hands: 
    12/25
    YAC: 
    17/20
    Blocking: 
    11/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    65/100

    Before 2017, Goodwin had just 780 career receiving yards in four seasons with the Buffalo Bills. But in his first season as a 49er, Goodwin just missed his first career 1,000-yard season as he fell 38 yards short. Goodwin was miscast as just a deep threat with the Bills, and he transformed into a starting-caliber receiver over the second half of the season with San Francisco. Goodwin has elite speed and is a better-than-average blocker, but he has a small catch radius and too often tries to use his body to catch passes. He will probably always struggle with drops, but his speed and ability to make plays after the catch make him a dangerous No. 2 or No. 3 receiver. If Pierre Garcon can return to full strength in 2018, Goodwin should thrive as the 49ers' second receiver.

          

    33. Allen Hurns, Jacksonville Jaguars

    Route Running: 18/30
    Hands: 
    21/25
    YAC: 
    9/20
    Blocking: 
    9/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    65/100

    As the Jags' possession receiver, Hurns is used often over the middle, against zone coverage and on third downs. He's a trustworthy route-runner who catches mostly everything within his reach. He's not going to get deep, but he's a solid contested-catch receiver outside and a physical asset in the slot, especially in the red zone.

          

    32. Michael Crabtree, Oakland Raiders

    Route Running: 16/30
    Hands: 
    21/25
    YAC: 
    10/20
    Blocking: 
    11/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    66/100

    Crabtree is still a very good receiver in terms of contested situations, jump balls and in the red zone. This is good because he's not winning in other ways anymore. He's slower and stiffer than ever before and isn't a threat on every route. He'll still play tough and is trusted by Derek Carr.

          

    31. Jermaine Kearse, New York Jets

    Route Running: 18/30
    Hands: 
    18/25
    YAC: 
    13/20
    Blocking: 
    9/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    66/100

    Kearse came over from the Seahawks in a trade before the season and hit the ground running with the Jets. He's a big body with decent speed and good hands. He saw a good chunk of his targets from the slot where Kearse was able to sit in voids in zone coverages and run hot routes against the blitz. He's not a consistent YAC threat, but Kearse did rip off some nice runs this year.

Nos. 30-26

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    Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

    30. Paul Richardson, Seattle Seahawks

    Route Running: 17/30
    Hands: 
    18/25
    YAC: 
    15/20
    Blocking: 
    8/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    66/100

    Richardson broke out in his fourth season as he set career highs in receptions (44), yards (703) and touchdowns (six). He developed into the Seahawks' best downfield playmaker and made a bunch of money as he heads toward free agency this offseason. The 25-year-old is still raw as a route-runner, but he's lightning-quick in and out of his breaks. The Colorado product has a knack for making acrobatic downfield catches, and his speed is hard to match for any defensive back. Richardson isn't a No. 1 receiver and might not be a No. 2 yet, but he is peaking at the right time.

                     

    29. Rishard Matthews, Tennessee Titans

    Route Running: 19/30
    Hands: 
    17/25
    YAC: 
    13/20
    Blocking: 
    9/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    66/100

    Matthews is a solid receiver for the Titans. He can play inside and out because he's a good route-runner with decent enough speed to get deep on the boundary. His ability to get yards after a catch is his best asset. The 28-year-old's a tough runner who fights for every yard.

               

    28. Kelvin Benjamin, Buffalo Bills

    Route Running: 18/30
    Hands: 
    20/25
    YAC: 
    10/20
    Blocking: 
    10/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    66/100

    The 6'5", 245-pound Benjamin has a big body and a large catch radius. He'll never be the quickest receiver, which limits his routes and separation, but the 26-year-old will have the size advantage over every corner that covers him. You'd like crisper, more accurate routes, but he does his job. He's a top No. 2 receiver and red-zone weapon.

                 

    27. Eric Decker, Tennessee Titans

    Route Running: 24/30
    Hands: 
    15/25
    YAC: 
    9/20
    Blocking: 
    10/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    66/100

    Though underused in the Titans offense (54 catches on 83 targets), Decker gets help from their designs. He's not as good on the boundary, as he lacks top-end speed, but in the slot and lined up in tight near the formation, the 30-year-old is a great weapon. He's an excellent route-runner who understands leverage and body positioning. However, 2017 saw more drops than normal for Decker.

                 

    26. Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans

    Route Running: 18/30
    Hands: 
    19/25
    YAC: 
    13/20
    Blocking: 
    9/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    67/100

    Davis consistently flashed his upside this past season. He showed the ability to gain yards after a reception, grabbed big catches on the sidelines and displayed physicality in his routes. He'll need to clean things up and play faster, but we're looking at a future No. 1 receiver.

Nos. 25-21

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    Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

    25. Sammy Watkins, Los Angeles Rams

    Route Running: 19/30
    Hands: 
    16/25
    YAC: 
    12/20
    Blocking: 
    13/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    68/100

    Despite playing in the highest-scoring offense in the NFL this season, Watkins wasn't the same explosive playmaker we've seen in the past. He finished with 593 receiving yards and only 39 receptions despite playing 15 games. The 24-year-old exceeded 90 receiving yards just once this year, but he scored eight times as he was the Rams' best red-zone option. He's an elite blocker and has the talent to become a much better player then we saw in the past two seasons, but it's fair to wonder if the lower-body injuries are taking their toll. 

                                 

    24. Marqise Lee, Jacksonville Jaguars

    Route Running: 20/30
    Hands: 
    20/25
    YAC: 
    12/20
    Blocking: 
    8/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    68/100

    Lee became the Jaguars' go-to receiver when they lost Allen Robinson for the year to a torn ACL in Week 1. They moved Lee around a bunch, and he thrived over the middle and on inside-breaking routes. He didn't get deep, but the 26-year-old found ways to win with speed underneath and after the catch. He had some drops, but he went through a stretch of games where he caught everything and saw contested balls at a high rate due Blake Bortles' ball placement.

                   

    23. Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs

    Route Running: 19/30
    Hands: 
    16/25
    YAC: 
    19/20
    Blocking: 
    7/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    69/100

    Hill is a threat to score at any time, and the Chiefs design short and deep plays for him. With unmatched speed and elusiveness, he runs past any cornerback and can make any defender miss. He's not a complete receiver in traditional ways, but he's one of the most dangerous players in the league. Hill is a bomb who can go off for a 70-yard touchdown at any moment. But he's also small, prefers to catch with his body, gets extra cushion from defensive backs because of his speed, and the Chiefs don't ask him to run the routes of a No. 1 wideout. He's a gadget guy in a great offensive design. 

                     

    22. T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts

    Route Running: 25/30
    Hands: 
    16/25
    YAC: 
    13/20
    Blocking: 
    7/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    69/100

    Hilton is one of the most dangerous receivers in the NFL due to his incredible speed and deep-ball tracking. Not only does he run by defenders, but he also tracks the ball so well and makes such good, slight course corrections that poor passes appear accurate. Using his speed to back off defenders, Hilton runs his routes with more space than most but has gained experience in the area. The 28-year-old would rather body-catch than extend, but most of the time he has that luxury to catch and fall without being hit. This affects his opportunities for yards after the catch, but when he gets the chance, he's an elusive runner. However, he can be brought down once a hand is on him.

                        

    21. Amari Cooper, Oakland Raiders

    Route Running: 25/30
    Hands: 
    15/25
    YAC: 
    12/20
    Blocking: 
    10/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    70/100

    Cooper had a strange year. His production was inconsistent, but his tape was good. His routes were crisp and effective, but the ball wasn't always accurate, and he had issues with drops and missed opportunities while tracking the ball deep. Then, as he had a few big moments, he dealt with injuries. Cooper can still be a No. 1 receiver, but he needs to maximize every opportunity despite inconsistent quarterback play.

Nos. 20-16

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    Winslow Townson/Associated Press

    20. Robby Anderson, New York Jets

    Route Running: 20/30
    Hands: 
    21/25
    YAC: 
    12/20
    Blocking: 
    9/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    70/100

    The 6'3", 190-pound Anderson is a lanky, fast, twitchy receiver who's turning into a complete player. His routes are crisp and decisive. He also cuts them off when he sees an opening and uses his arms to disengage at the top. The 24-year-old uses long arms to make his receptions and can catch it in traffic with ease. After the catch, despite his slight frame, he has the burst and toughness to gain yardage consistently.

                 

    19. Josh Gordon, Cleveland Browns

    Route Running: 20/30
    Hands: 
    20/25
    YAC: 
    14/20
    Blocking: 
    8/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    70/100

    The 6'3", 225-pound Gordon is a true No. 1 receiver. He can run every route with speed, precision and power and then make catches few can. After the reception, Gordon's size and speed stand out, and he drags tacklers and drops others with stiff arms. When he's on the field, he's a difference-maker. Unfortunately, due to off-field issues, he's missed significant time in his career. If he proves that he can be trusted to stay on the straight and narrow, he has the athletic potential to be a game-changing receiver, no matter how dusfunctional the offense around him may be

                 

    18. Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys

    Route Running: 21/30
    Hands: 
    16/25
    YAC: 
    14/20
    Blocking: 
    11/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    70/100

    Bryant is no longer the dominant receiver we saw from 2012 to 2014. Knee and foot injuries have limited him, but he's still one of the best red-zone options in the league. However, drops plagued him in 2017, and he struggled to sync up with quarterback Dak Prescott. While no longer an elite No. 1 receiver, Bryant needs to be accounted for on every play.

                 

    17. DeSean Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    Route Running: 23/30
    Hands: 
    18/25
    YAC: 
    15/20
    Blocking: 
    7/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    71/100

    Jackson couldn't create as many big downfield plays as fans are accustomed to, but he developed into a more complete receiver in his 10th season. He still requires safety help over the top and is a threat to score any time he touches the ball, but at age 31, he's a complementary player. The 5'10", 175-pounder still struggles as a blocker due to his limited size, and he uses his body rather than his hands a little too frequently, but he's still valuable. Jackson even cleaned up his drops, but his chemistry with Jameis Winston wasn't there for most of the season. He was a much better player in 2017 than what his stats indicated (50 catches, 668 yards, 3 TDs), though.

                

    16. Brandin Cooks, New England Patriots

    Route Running: 21/30
    Hands: 
    20/25
    YAC: 
    15/20
    Blocking: 
    8/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    72/100

    Cooks' first year in New England was a success. He's the Patriots' most athletic, fastest receiver, and they used him accordingly. He got plenty of opportunities to run deep, carry the ball and run after the catch. The 5'10", 189-pound Cooks can do anything that doesn't require him to have great size.

Nos. 15-11

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    Kelvin Kuo/Associated Press

    15. Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams

    Route Running: 20/30
    Hands: 
    18/25
    YAC: 
    13/20
    Blocking: 
    13/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    72/100

    One of the more surprising things that happened this season was the breakout of Woods in Los Angeles. After leaving Buffalo in free agency to join the Rams, Woods averaged more than 65 receiving yards per game and was an outstanding fit as one of the league's top No.2 receivers. Woods is a tremendous blocker who wins with quickness in his routes. He doesn't have the long speed to scare teams deep, but he can create enough separation in his routes to win against both man and zone coverage. Woods is a perfect fit in Sean McVay's high-powered offense.

          

    14. Marvin Jones Jr., Detroit Lions

    Route Running: 24/30
    Hands: 
    19/25
    YAC: 
    13/20
    Blocking: 
    9/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    73/100

    In his second year in Detroit, Jones improved on all of his 2016 numbers across the board. But that shouldn't be that surprising considering he has increased his yardage total every year of his career. Jones was fantastic in 2017 as the Lions' primary vertical threat and is at his best when he is forced to make acrobatic catches downfield. But this year, he developed into so much more than a deep threat. He was the team's best red-zone receiver and consistently made the "clutch" catches throughout games. Jones needs to clean up some of his drop issues and become a more reliable blocker, but he is a well-rounded receiver who is a superb complement to Golden Tate.

          

    13. Alshon Jeffery, Philadelphia Eagles

    Route Running: 22/30
    Hands: 
    22/25
    YAC: 
    12/20
    Blocking: 
    10/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    74/100

    In his first season with the Philadelphia Eagles, Jeffery did not disappoint. He instantly became the Eagles' No.1 receiver and gave them a reliable and consistent weapon on the outside. Jeffery isn't the world's best route-runner, but he gets himself into the right situations more often than not. He is still one of the best receivers in the league at the catch point, and the Eagles took advantage of his big frame on third down and in the red zone. Jeffery isn't as dynamic as some of the other No.1 receivers in the NFL, but he is exactly what Carson Wentz and the Eagles' West Coast offense needed.

          

    12. Emmanuel Sanders, Denver Broncos

    Route Running: 26/30
    Hands: 
    20/25
    YAC: 
    12/20
    Blocking: 
    8/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    74/100

    Sanders is an accurate and precise route-runner due to his footwork and balance. He can cut and accelerate quickly to gain separation. Sanders prefers to body-catch but can pluck the ball as needed. His YAC opportunities have been hurt by inaccurate passes in his direction, and his production has suffered as a result.

          

    11. Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers

    Route Running: 25/30
    Hands: 
    19/25
    YAC: 
    12/20
    Blocking: 
    11/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    75/100

    After a rough two years to start his career, Adams has become the Packers' most reliable receiver over the past two seasons. Having struggled with drops and creating consistent separation, Adams played some of his best football in the second half of 2017 without Aaron Rodgers. He has become a confident receiver who can win in contested areas and at the catch point. Adams is at his best in the red zone, and that is evident in his touchdown production—he has scored 22 times in the past two seasons. He's not the most explosive receiver in the league, and that will likely prevent him from ever reaching the top of this list. Adams just turned 25 years old, and his play has earned him a massive new contract as the Packers' No. 1 receiver for the next several seasons.

10. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals

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    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    Route Running: 26/30
    Hands: 
    21/25
    YAC: 
    13/20
    Blocking: 
    8/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    76/100

    Still the Bengals' go-to receiver, A.J. Green wasn't able to consistently get open in their struggling offense. Without speed on the other side, Green was the only focus of opposing defenses and it limited his impact on many games. He's still a great player, but you can see his frustration mounting and it may have started to affect his game.

    —NFL1000 WR scout Joe Goodberry

         

    Only Julio Jones had a higher percentage of his team's Air Yards (yards a pass is thrown before the receiver catches the ball) than Green's 43.4 percent, per NFL Next Gen Stats, but that has more to do with Green's status as the Bengals' only credible deep receiver in 2017, and Andy Dalton's safe throws and game plans, than anything else. Green still has downfield speed and an impressive catch radius, but he's caught in a minimized passing game led by a quarterback with obvious limitations.

    —NFL1000 lead scout Doug Farrar

9. Pierre Garcon, San Francisco 49ers

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    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    Route Running: 26/30
    Hands: 
    20/25
    YAC: 
    10/20
    Blocking: 
    12/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    76/100

    Before a neck injury landed him on injured reserve in November, Pierre Garcon was one of the most impressive receivers in the NFL. Playing with well-below-average quarterbacks, Garcon was thriving as Kyle Shanahan's No.1 receiver. Each week, Garcon displayed excellent route running and unbelievable hands in an offense that consistently struggled. With Jimmy Garoppolo now behind center, Garcon's production could dramatically rise in 2018, assuming he is healthy. Garcon remains one of the most undervalued receivers in the league and one of the few players at the position without any major holes in his game.

    —NFL1000 WR scout Marcus Mosher

         

    It was a real shame that Garcon wasn't on the field for Jimmy Garoppolo's ascent as the 49ers' franchise quarterback, because he did so much so well catching passes from fundamentally limited quarterbacks before he was hurt. Garcon is an outstanding long strider who has the speed to get past defensive backs and the route awareness to fool them while staying at top speed. The 10-year veteran has the skills to be a No. 1 receiver in the right offense with the right quarterback, and he could be walking right into the perfect situation in 2018.

    —NFL1000 lead scout Doug Farrar

8. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    B51/Mark Brown/Getty Images

    Route Running: 23/30
    Hands: 
    22/25
    YAC: 
    11/20
    Blocking: 
    13/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    77/100

    Mike Evans wasn't nearly as bad this season as the stats may suggest. He is still a mismatch nightmare and one of the premier deep threats in the NFL. He has also significantly improved his blocking since being drafted, and that has helped him become a more well-rounded receiver. At just the age of 24, we still haven't seen him at his best.

    —NFL1000 WR scout Marcus Mosher

         

    Evans will let his temperament get the best of him at times, and he's prone to drops and penalties, but he also has a rare combination of speed, agility and the physicality to make any contested catch an unpleasant experience for the guy covering him. Tampa Bay's offense didn't take off the way it was expected to with the draft selection of tight end O.J. Howard and the free-agency signing of receiver DeSean Jackson, but Evans still achieved the impressive feat of racking up 1,000-yard seasons in each of his four years in the NFL. He has the potential to be a generational talent if he can keep his head in the game at all times.

    —NFL1000 lead scout Doug Farrar

7. Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings

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    Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

    Route Running: 24/30
    Hands: 
    20/25
    YAC: 
    13/20
    Blocking: 
    12/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    77/100

    Stefon Diggs doesn't see the volume that some of the other elite receivers in the league receive, but he's one of the more dynamic receivers in the NFL. Diggs wins with incredible quickness, crisp route running and strong hands. He is a lesser version of Odell Beckham Jr. who still hasn't reached his ceiling. Diggs is one of the more underrated receivers in the league, especially when considering how strong of a blocker he is at his size. He is among the best No.2 wide receivers in the NFL.

    —NFL1000 WR scout Marcus Mosher

         

    In a field of elite receivers, there are those players who have rare skill sets that still set them apart. Diggs is such a player. He has the speed and route-running ability you'd want in any top target, but it's his ability to separate at the top of a route, contort his body in unfathomable ways to get open at the right time and jump higher than just about any cornerback that makes him a player with truly explosive potential. 

    —NFL1000 lead scout Doug Farrar

6. Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos

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    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    Route Running: 25/30
    Hands: 
    23/25
    YAC: 
    12/20
    Blocking: 
    10/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    78/100

    Genuinely surprised at how good of a route-runner Demaryius Thomas has become. He's not as fast as he used to be, but his understanding of leverage and how it creates separation in routes gets him open. He still has good, big hands as he catches away from his body and powers through tacklers. Poor QB play hurt Thomas' production in 2017.

    —NFL1000 WR scout Joe Goodberry

         

    No receivers found themselves more handicapped by execrable quarterback play than Denver's, and that's something the franchise really needs to fix in the offseason. Both Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders saw their productivity wane as Denver's coaches threw a round robin of mediocre quarterbacks at the problem, but Thomas still showed improved route running, smooth speed and impressive physicality—as well as the catch radius required to snag passes consistently from the likes of Trevor Siemian, Brock Osweiler and Paxton Lynch.

    —NFL1000 lead scout Doug Farrar

5. Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints

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    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Route Running: 28/30
    Hands: 
    24/25
    YAC: 
    14/20
    Blocking: 
    6/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    80/100

    After a dominant rookie season, Michael Thomas improved as he was thrust into the No.1 role with the trade of Brandin Cooks. Thomas isn't the most explosive player before or after the catch, and he struggles as a blocker, but there are very few other flaws in his game. He is already one of the best route-runners in the NFL, as he knows how to change speeds to get cornerbacks off balance. He has some of the most reliable hands in the NFL and is one of the league's best at finishing through contact. Thomas' skill set pairs perfectly with Drew Brees, and it is a big reason why he's had so much success early in his career. It wouldn't be shocking if Thomas tops this list in the next few seasons.

    —NFL1000 WR scout Marcus Mosher

         

    Impressively, the Saints' second-round pick in 2016 has the most receptions in NFL history through his first two seasons with 196. Thomas also has the ninth-most receiving yards in that span, which tells you he's far more than a possession receiver. He's become Drew Brees' go-to guy in one of the league's most complex and multifaceted offenses. Thomas has impressive acceleration through intermediate and deep routes, and he also displays outstanding route integrity when running underneath and the toughness to catch in traffic. As long as Brees stays with the Saints in 2018 and beyond, there's no telling what Thomas' ceiling might be.

    —NFL1000 lead scout Doug Farrar

4. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons

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    Sean Gardner/Getty Images

    Route Running: 27/30
    Hands: 
    19/25
    YAC: 
    18/20
    Blocking: 
    8/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    80/100

    The loss of Kyle Shanahan has proved to be a massive detriment to the Atlanta Falcons as most anticipated. But one of the biggest changes in the offense is usage of Julio Jones. He's targeted at the same ratio he was in previous years, but there are fewer opportunities for eplosive plays in Steve Sarkisian's passing game. However, Jones is still one of the best receivers in the NFL and maybe the most terrifying one-on-one matchup the league has seen in some time. Make no mistake about it, Jones is still in the conversation for the best wideout in the league.

    —NFL1000 WR scout Marcus Mosher

         

    Jones was limited in several ways by Steve Sarkisian's offense. Sark's inability to scheme receivers open as Kyle Shanahan did meant that defenses didn't need to game-plan as much for Atlanta's other receivers and could correspondingly focus more on Jones. In addition, Jones had just three receiving touchdowns, as Matt Ryan saw his red-zone vision regress with a new set of schemes. When he's given half a chance with his playbook, Jones is still as talented as he's ever been, but the 2017 season has been an extreme example of how a bad offensive coordinator can erase talent just as surely as the best defender.

    —NFL1000 lead scout Doug Farrar

3.Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants

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    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    Route Running: 27/30
    Hands: 
    22/25
    YAC: 
    18/20
    Blocking: 
    7/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    82/100

    When healthy, Odell Beckham Jr. is the most dynamic receiver in the NFL. He's nearly impossible to cover in one-on-one situations, as he's one of the more explosive players at the position. He is one of the best red-zone receivers in football and can use his quickness to win or his ability to make ridiculous catches outside the framework of his body. Beckham Jr. has no holes in his game and should top this list in 2018 once he returns to full health.

    —NFL1000 WR scout Marcus Mosher

         

    Limited as he was in 2017 by injuries and the simple passing concepts employed by the Giants' former coaching staff, Beckham continued to show flashes of the attributes that make him, play-for-play, the NFL's most dangerous receiver and the most frustrating receiver to cover. Beckham has the best body control in the business, exceptional speed and a next-level quickness that allows him to put an afterburn on any cornerback trying to keep up with him. Beckham is also a better route-runner than he's generally given credit for. The Giants offense is in flux right now, but Beckham's talent is undeniable.

    —NFL1000 lead scout Doug Farrar

2. DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans

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    Michael Wyke/Associated Press

    Route Running: 28/30
    Hands: 
    24/25
    YAC: 
    12/20
    Blocking: 
    11/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    83/100

    DeAndre Hopkins continues to play better than anyone would expect. He's an accurate route-runner with fantastic hands, body control and toughness. Even with poor quarterback play for half of the season, Hopkins couldn't be stopped. He's the type of receiver that demands the ball even when he's covered.

    —NFL1000 WR scout Joe Goodberry

         

    Nobody is going to throw shade at you if you claim Antonio Brown is the NFL's best receiver—and most people would claim just that—but in my opinion, ranking Hopkins under Brown on our list is more a "1" and "1a" proposition. When Deshaun Watson suffered a torn ACL in Week 8, Houston's passing offense was just getting going. With Tom Savage and T.J. Yates as Watson's replacements, Hopkins didn't miss a beat, catching 96 passes on an unfathomable 174 targets for 1,378 yards and 13 touchdowns. The mind reels at what he'll do in a season with Watson healthy for the duration. Hopkins is the NFL's best contested-catch receiver, he's got every possible attribute you'd want and he's got a hidden talent as a great blocker. Next year, he might very well be the top guy on this list—and many others.  

    —NFL1000 lead scout Doug Farrar

1. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

    Route Running: 29/30
    Hands: 
    23/25
    YAC: 
    18/20
    Blocking: 
    6/15
    Position Value: 
    8/10
    Overall Grade: 
    84/100

    Antonio Brown might legitimately be the best offensive player in the NFL. Lightning-quick with light feet, Brown runs sharp, crisp routes that gain him as much separation as anybody in the league. While he may body-catch at times, Brown's hands are perfectly fine, as he rarely drops a pass. His only limitation would be his size, but it doesn't affect him as much as you'd expect.

    —NFL1000 WR scout Joe Goodberry

         

    Brown led the NFL in receiving yards in 2017 with 1,533 in just 14 games before he suffered a partial calf tear against the Patriots in Week 15. The Steelers now have a group of young receivers with vertical-threat potential, but Brown makes things go. No other receiver brings his combination of straight-line speed and top-level route running to the game—he's been the NFL's best route-runner for a number of years. That he can present the threat he does to every defense that faces him at just 5'10" and 180 pounds indicates just how exemplary his technique has become.

    —NFL1000 lead scout Doug Farrar