Torrey Smith and the NFL's 4 Best Quick-Strike Scoring Options
Torrey Smith of the Baltimore Ravens lit up the Cincinnati Bengals for 165 yards and a touchdown off of just six receptions.
This is just one of the big play performances that receivers like Torrey Smith have put together this year. While they aren't the most consistent players in the league, they are players that can torch a defense at any given point for a huge play.
The make up for these players usually consists of two traits: explosiveness and pure speed.
There are some players in the NFL that need to be accounted for on every single play because if they get behind your defense, you may as well start your trot to the sidelines. These players are just limited to wide receivers, but the wide out position has always had a home for guys with great 40-yard times.
Big play ability can be a hard trait to measure, but Torrey Smith and these four players have it for sure.
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Torrey Smith is certainly making an impact in his rookie season with the Baltimore Ravens.
He has some impressive season totals with 29 receptions for 590 yards and five touchdowns. Although, once again showing his big play ability, three of those five touchdowns came in one game.
Smith's inconsistency comes in large part to his quarterback's play and just the nature of his style. Smith caught a season high six passes this weekend against the Bengals. This doubled his season average of about 2.9 per game.
Smith will likely never be a 10 receptions every game kind of receiver. However, his ability to change the game in one play will always make him valuable.
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It doesn't get much more dangerous and quick than Devin Hester.
Hester has already established himself as one of the greatest punt and kick returners of all time. His ability to bob and weave through opposing team's special teams units is unmatched. It makes you wonder why teams even bother kicking to him at this point.
Hester has yet to really make an impact anywhere else. He started as a cornerback, but was converted to a wide receiver a few years ago. Hester only has 22 receptions for 320 yards and one touchdown on the season.
However, his special teams ability makes up for it.
Hester holds eight NFL records involving special teams and already has another three special teams touchdowns this season.
Unfortunately for Hester, his speed and agility won't last forever. So let's enjoy the highlight reel returns until that day comes.
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Another big play receiver with incredible speed, DeSean Jackson is easily one of the most dangerous weapons in the NFL today.
Jackson doubles as the No. 1 target on offense for the Philadelphia Eagles as well as their punt returner. He has shown the ability to take advantage of Michael Vick's big arm and put together some huge plays down the field. We have also seen, as the New York Giants know well, his ability to make something out of nothing on a punt return.
He has battled some injuries and off-the-field issues this year that have limited his numbers compared to 2010 and 2009. However, those years can't go unnoticed when commenting on Jackson's quick-strike ability.
Over the course of 38 games over the past three years, Jackson has caught 49 passes for over 20 yards and 21 passes that have gone for over 40 yards.
There is no doubt that you have to have eyes on DeSean Jackson every time he steps on the field.
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Mike Wallace is only in his third season with the Pittsburgh Steelers, but it feels as if he has been tearing up defenses with Ben Roethlisberger for years.
Wallace made an instant impact as a rookie in 2009 and then continued his progression taking over the No. 1 receiver role from veteran Hines Ward in 2010. He amassed 1,257 yards receiving and caught 10 touchdowns in 2010.
Wallace shows his big play ability week in and week out with 26 plays over 20 yards last year and he already has 13 plays over 20 yards this year.
There is no doubt that Wallace thrives on Big Ben's ability to extend plays. He has the ability to shake defenders and give Roethlisberger an open target to hit down field.
His career is off to a fantastic start and there is no doubt that he is already one of the best quick strike options in the league.
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Calvin Johnson doesn't exactly fit the mold of the other players on this list.
So far on this list we have had several players who would be described as small and shifty. Those are two words that would never be used in the same sentence as Calvin Johnson.
Johnson is a 6'5", 235 lbs monster that runs like a track star and can jump through the roof. He has become Lions' quarterback Matthew Stafford's favorite target and it is no doubt because Johnson can turn any play in to a big play.
"Megatron" can make a play at any point of the field. He constantly has to be monitored and it is foolish to leave any less than two defenders on him at any point.
Over his four and a half seasons in the NFL, Johnson has amassed 79 catches for over 20 yards and 21 plays over 40 yards. He currently leads the league in plays over 40 yards with six.
Keep in mind that this year is the first time Johnson has had a solid quarterback throwing to him his entire career.
Unfortunately for NFL defenses, Johnson is still only 26. He will be terrorizing secondaries for years to come.