NFL Position Power Rankings: Who Is the Best Wide Receiver in the NFL?
Who is the best receiver in the NFL?
Who has the best hands, does the most for his quarterback and gives his team the best chance to win?
There is one thing that all of these listed players have in common, and that is the fact that they are all terrific receivers in the NFL.
But what separates player No. 10 from player No. 1?
This is in no particular order.
Miles Austin (Dallas)
Wes Welker (New England)
Terrell Owens (Cincinnati)
Vincent Jackson (San Diego)
Anquan Boldin (Baltimore)
Sidney Rice (Minnesota)
Chad Ochocinco (Cincinnati)
Mike Wallace (Pittsburgh)
Hakeem Nicks (New York Giants)
Santonio Holmes (New York Jets)
Santana Moss (Washington)
All of these players above are still great. Some will crack the top 10 after a few more years in the league, and some are slightly past their primes.
Whichever it is, these players can still produce at a high level in the NFL.
Now, on to player No. 10.
10. Brandon Lloyd: Denver Broncos
Brandon Lloyd came out of nowhere. He was a journeyman receiver his entire career, and Denver was the fourth team he played for in eight seasons.
A big part of Lloyd's success came because of Kyle Orton's willingness to get him the ball.
Early on during the 2010 season, Orton became very fond of targeting Lloyd, and teams just couldn't stop the combo from hooking up.
Lloyd had easily the best season of his career and also led the NFL in receiving yards.
He would be higher on this list if he made this a habit from season to season, but it was his first career 1,000-yard season.
9. Brandon Marshall: Miami Dolphins
Brandon Marshall is a dominant receiver in this league. He proved that by having three consecutive 100-reception seasons, followed by an 86-reception season during his first year in Miami.
Marshall also posted his fourth consecutive 1,000-yard season in a struggling Miami offense.
Despite Marshall's off-field issues, he has kept his play on the field consistent throughout his career so far.
This current offseason was the first healthy one for Marshall—until he was stabbed by his wife and had surgery.
Marshall should have an even better season in 2011.
8. DeSean Jackson: Philadelphia Eagles
DeSean Jackson is the most electrifying player on this list. He averaged over 20 yards per reception last season and was a reliable target for Michael Vick.
He is also a superb punt returner. Just ask the New York Giants.
Jackson isn't a guy that is going to get a ton of receptions every year, but he is going to make the most out of every touch he has.
It is extremely difficult to try to find another player that has more big-play potential than Jackson. He has the ability to take it to the house every time he touches the ball.
I have a hard time putting Jackson this low, but this is where he should rank on this list.
7. Reggie Wayne: Indianapolis Colts
Reggie Wayne has been Mr. Reliable for Peyton Manning. He has had seven 1,000-yard seasons, and three of the past four years he has had over 100 receptions.
Reggie makes everything look so easy. He isn't the best in any category, but he is very good at doing everything.
He can make a clutch reception on a crucial third down, he can stretch the field, he can gain yards after the catch and he consistently scores touchdowns.
Again, it is hard to put a player like Reggie Wayne at No. 7. This top-10 group is extremely close.
6. Dwayne Bowe: Kansas City Chiefs
Dwayne Bowe is moving up as an NFL receiver. In an offense that didn't pass the ball with any regularity, he still managed to gain over 1,000 yards and 15 touchdowns.
To put that into perspective, 15 of Matt Cassel's 27 touchdowns were thrown to Bowe, while a third of his yards were from Bowe.
Here are the career highs Bowe posted in 2010: receiving yards, touchdowns, yards after catch, longest play and average yards per reception.
Cassel needs to thank his organization for getting him a guy like Dwayne Bowe.
5. Roddy White: Atlanta Falcons
The Matt Ryan and Roddy White combo may be one of the best in the NFL. Both players had terrific seasons last year, and White's 115 receptions and 1,389 yards were career highs.
White is such an asset to the Falcons offense. With his ability to stretch the field and catch a ton of passes, he opens up the offense for everybody.
Not only does Ryan benefit from having a dominant receiver, it also helps the running attack.
One of the reasons for Atlanta's 13-3 record last season was the success between Ryan and White.
Roddy White narrowly cracks the top five.
4. Greg Jennings: Green Bay Packers
Due to some language, I won't post the video on here, but if you go to YouTube.com and type in "Greg Jennings (broken leg) scores on the Saints," you will see a pretty entertaining clip of Jennings on the Madden video game. Again, the video does contain some harsh language.
Greg Jennings is a special player. He has been the favorite target of Aaron Rodgers in a pass-happy Packers offense. Jennings has an incredible set of hands and makes clutch plays when his team needs him the most.
Jennings was a big part of the Packers' run to the Super Bowl, especially after the team was decimated by injuries.
3. Calvin Johnson: Detroit Lions
Calvin Johnson's numbers to this point don't really reflect how good of a receiver he is. He has put up some pretty good numbers, but he has also dealt with an inconsistent lineup at quarterback.
Matthew Stafford has been injured during much of his time in Detroit, and the Lions have had the likes of Drew Stanton and Shaun Hill playing quarterback.
If Stafford can stay healthy during the 2011 season, not only will Calvin Johnson have his best season, but the Lions will be a pretty decent football team as well.
2. Larry Fitzgerald: Arizona Cardinals
Fitzgerald is easily the best player on the Cardinals team, especially after they cleaned house when Warner retired.
Max Hall and Derek Anderson haven't been able to get it done, and Fitz's numbers have suffered.
He is still the second-best receiver in the NFL, no matter how many people have overlooked him due to the team's offensive inconsistency.
1. Andre Johnson: Houston Texans
Andre Johnson is the best receiver in the NFL. He is truly one in his own. If you have seen him play, there aren't any defensive backs in the NFL that can cover him one-on-one.
He still managed to amass over 1,200 yards after missing three games and playing through several games with an injured ankle.
Matt Schaub and Johnson have formed a formidable duo. Johnson and Schaub make the Texans one of the most explosive offensive teams in the NFL.