8 Best Vertical Receiving Threats in the NFL
The NFL now has more weapons through the air than the US Air Force, as evidenced by the staggering amount of success in the passing game of most NFL teams.
Any fan will tell you though that a legitimate, deep, vertical threat is a key for that success.
This season, especially, there are some players emerging as the top threat of their respective teams, but some wily veterans are still the standard bearers for the league.
Here are the lucky seven.
AJ Green, Cincinnati Bengals
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Both Andy Dalton and Marvin Lewis will tell you that a lot of the Bengals' success this season is thanks to the athletic ability of AJ Green.
The rookie wideout's speed and agility allow him to either find separation or win the jump ball battle from Andy Dalton.
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals
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Larry Fitzgerald might be the most technically complete receiver in the league; he has the tools to do everything, and do it all very well.
Fitzgerald can be a possession receiver, a precise route runner, or a deep threat. Whatever the situation calls for, he is ready to deliver.
DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles
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Lining up against DeSean Jackson is like getting into the starting blocks of the 100 meter dash. And more often than not, the defensive back is not going to win that battle.
Jackson is one guy that will literally beat almost anybody to a spot, and if the ball is delivered in stride, he is uncatchable.
Mike Wallace, Pittsburgh Steelers
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As if Ben Roethlisberger alone was not dangerous enough, he now has Mike Wallace to wreak havoc with on offense.
The toughest thing to defend against Pittsburgh is Big Ben's ability to keep a play alive, and now with Wallace, he has a receiver who can get behind almost anyone, and be alone in the end zone on a moment's notice.
Greg Jennings, Green Bay Packers
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The scary part is that with Aaron Rodgers at QB, almost anyone who lines up at receiver for Green Bay is a deep threat. Still, Greg Jennings is the gold standard and the one who started it all.
He can be seen regularly streaking down the sideline, awaiting a perfectly placed ball almost 50 yards down field.
Andre Johnson, Houston Texans
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Just because he has been out of sight with injury for a while does not mean that Andre Johnson is out of mind. Johnson, continues to be one of the premier deep threats in the NFL for Houston.
In fact, assuming he comes back 100 percent for the Texans, he might make an already scary playoff-bound offense significantly more dangerous in the postseason.
Vincent Jackson, San Diego Chargers
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Despite the frustratingly inconsistent performance of the San Diego Chargers this season, Vincent Jackson is the last guy that defenses want to see getting behind them.
In fact, Jackson might be the most dangerous, because he usually doesn't strike just once in a game, but instead can find the end zone up to three times on some occasions.
Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions
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Megatron is simply the most dominant player at his position in the NFL right now—there is not a defensive back in the league that he doesn't have an advantage over.
His jump ball prowess and freakish athleticism makes almost any deep ball his way a guaranteed success.
He will be a cornerstone for the Lions offense for years and years to come.