NFL's Top Quarterback and Wide Receiver Duos for 2020

Matt Miller@nfldraftscoutNFL Draft Lead WriterMay 14, 2020

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 12: Amari Cooper #19 of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates a 29 yard touchdown pass from Dak Prescott #4 in the first quarter against the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on January 12, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Who are the top quarterback and wide receiver duos in the NFL? Glad you asked.

Using a composite ranking of the top quarterback and his No. 1 wide receiver, we've determined how the top 32 tandems stack up heading into the season. These grades will and should change as players improve and regress. One year ago, no one would have thought Ryan Tannehill would make this list or envisioned the rise of Lamar Jackson to the levels he reached. This is merely a baseline assessment of where each team's best receiver and starting quarterback stand today.

What's a composite score? The number grade assigned to each player is a combination of Pro Football Focus and Football Outsiders data, my own evaluation and conversations with NFL scouts. Some of it is also forecasting—like Kyler Murray will make a big jump in Year 2 or Tom Brady won't see a major drop-off without Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels.

Starting at the top, here are the NFL's top duos for 2020.

Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

1. Kansas City Chiefs
QB: Patrick Mahomes (99)
WR: Tyreek Hill (96)
Total: 195

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You had to know who would be sitting at the top. The Kansas City Chiefs have the NFL's best quarterback and a dynamic wide receiver who ranks as the fastest player in the league. The combination is deadly with 19 touchdowns together in two seasons (including playoffs).

There's no reason to think Mahomes or Hill will see a drop-off at ages 24 and 26, respectively, this season. The NFL's best duo will only be more dangerous with defenses focusing on what should be an improved Mecole Hardman and the addition of first-rounder Clyde Edwards-Helaire at running back.

In an offense perfectly suited to their talents, the Chiefs playmakers are a given as the top duo in the league.

Mark Zaleski/Associated Press

2. New Orleans Saints
QB: Drew Brees (94)
WR: Michael Thomas (99)
Total: 193

One more season of Drew Brees in the NFL before he's off to NBC to likely call Notre Dame football games, and this season has a chance to be even more special than the 2019 campaign that saw Michael Thomas set the record for receptions in a season with 149 grabs.

The chemistry Brees and Thomas have built is special and perfectly fits where Brees' game is at as he enters his 20th season—a lot of slant routes and fades that are beautifully timed with the soft touch and arc that No. 9 can spin it with.

You can't forget about the scheme, either. Sean Payton is one of the best offensive minds in the league and does a great job getting Thomas looks despite the fact that, until 2020, he's been the only wide receiver who threatens defenses on the Saints roster. The addition of Emmanuel Sanders, plus a healthy Alvin Kamara, might cut into Thomas' record-setting numbers, but as a duo there's none better in the NFC.

Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

3. Atlanta Falcons
QB: Matt Ryan (87)
WR: Julio Jones (97)
Total: 184

If Mahomes-Hill and Brees-Thomas are the obvious top duos, call this the sleeper duo.

Matt Ryan is the most underrated quarterback of the last decade. Too often, critics credit Kyle Shanahan for his success or blame Ryan for the 28-3 Super Bowl debacle (I didn't see him missing any tackles…) instead of appreciating the efficiency and playmaking he brings to the table.

Paired with Ryan is a talented cast, but none more talented than Julio Jones. A healthy Julio is in the conversation for best wide receiver in the league with speed, size and athleticism that can't be stopped. When these two are cooking, few defenses can slow them down.

As Brees enters his last season, Ryan-Jones should be the NFC's best in 2021.

Alex Gallardo/Associated Press

4. Seattle Seahawks
QB: Russell Wilson (97)
WR: Tyler Lockett (86)
Total: 183

Russell Wilson is one of a handful of great quarterbacks in the NFL right now with a playmaking ability that has led his Seattle Seahawks to a winning season every year he's been in the league. And while Wilson hasn't always been supported by a great receiving corps, he has talent around him now that puts Seattle in the top five.

You might be wondering why Tyler Lockett is ranked here instead of DK Metcalf, but at least for now it's still Lockett who is the better all-around receiver on the roster. The potential is absolutely here for Metcalf to overcome Lockett, but not yet.

Lockett's deep speed meshes perfectly with the deep-ball ability and accuracy of Wilson, making them a nightmare for NFC West defenses and one of the best matchups in the game.

CARSON, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 03:  Davante Adams #17 congratulates Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers after scoring a two-point conversion during the second half of a game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Dignity Health Sports Park on November
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

5. Green Bay Packers
QB: Aaron Rodgers (91)
WR: Davante Adams (92)
Total: 183

Jordan Love hasn't taken Aaron Rodgers' job just yet, and for now, the Green Bay Packers duo of Rodgers and Davante Adams is still one of the best in the game.

Rodgers' arm strength, athleticism and vision are legendary—to a point that he doesn't even need first-rounders around him at wide receiver. But he does have a star in Davante Adams as one of the NFL's most reliable receivers and best route-runners. Adams doesn't wow with the size or speed of Julio Jones and DK Metcalf, but his agility and awareness are top-tier.

There could be an eventual changing of the guard in Green Bay, but the combination of 12 and 17 is still tough to top in terms of the best duos.

     

6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
QB: Tom Brady (91)
WR: Mike Evans (92)
Total: 183

7. Arizona Cardinals
QB: Kyler Murray (77)
WR: DeAndre Hopkins (98)
Total: 183

8. Minnesota Vikings
QB: Kirk Cousins (84)
WR: Adam Thielen (91)
Total: 175

9. Houston Texans
QB: Deshaun Watson (88)
WR: Brandin Cooks (85)
Total: 173

10. Baltimore Ravens
QB: Lamar Jackson (92)
WR: Marquise Brown (80)
Total: 172

11. Dallas Cowboys
QB: Dak Prescott (81)
WR: Amari Cooper (91)
Total: 172

12. Indianapolis Colts
QB: Philip Rivers (83)
WR: T.Y. Hilton (88)
Total: 171

13. Buffalo Bills
QB: Josh Allen (77)
WR: Stefon Diggs (93)
Total: 170

14. Pittsburgh Steelers
QB: Ben Roethlisberger (84)
WR: JuJu Smith-Schuster (86)
Total: 170


15. Detroit Lions
QB: Matthew Stafford (82)
WR: Kenny Golladay (86)
Total: 168

16. Philadelphia Eagles
QB: Carson Wentz (83)
WR: Alshon Jeffery (85)
Total: 168

17. Cleveland Browns
QB: Baker Mayfield (76)
WR: Odell Beckham Jr. (90)
Total: 166

18. Cincinnati Bengals
QB: Joe Burrow (76)
WR: A.J. Green (90)
Total: 166

19. Los Angeles Rams
QB: Jared Goff (79)
WR: Cooper Kupp (87)
Overall: 166

20. Los Angeles Chargers
QB: Justin Herbert (73)
WR: Keenan Allen (92)
Overall: 165

21. Chicago Bears
QB: Mitchell Trubisky (73)
WR: Allen Robinson (89)
Total: 162

22. Las Vegas Raiders
QB: Derek Carr (80)
WR: Henry Ruggs III (82)
Total: 162

23. Carolina Panthers
QB: Teddy Bridgewater (77)
WR: DJ Moore (85)
Total: 162

24. San Francisco 49ers
QB: Jimmy Garoppolo (80)
WR: Deebo Samuel (80)
Total: 160

25. New England Patriots
QB: Jarrett Stidham (73)
WR: Julian Edelman (87)
Total: 160

26. Tennessee Titans
QB: Ryan Tannehill (80)
WR: A.J. Brown (80)
Total: 160

27. Denver Broncos
QB: Drew Lock (76)
WR: Courtland Sutton (84)
Total: 160

28. Miami Dolphins
QB: Tua Tagovailoa (74)
WR: DeVante Parker (84)
Total: 158

29. New York Giants
QB: Daniel Jones (70)
WR: Golden Tate (83)
Total: 153

30. New York Jets
QB: Sam Darnold (74)
WR: Denzel Mims (77)
Total: 151

31. Washington Redskins
QB: Dwayne Haskins (70)
WR: Terry McLaurin (81)
Total: 151

32. Jacksonville Jaguars
QB: Gardner Minshew II (69)
WR: DJ Chark (81)
Total: 150

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