Ranking Every NFL Receiving Corps Heading into the 2020 Season

Maurice Moton@@MoeMotonFeatured ColumnistMay 30, 2020

Ranking Every NFL Receiving Corps Heading into the 2020 Season

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    Adam Hunger/Associated Press

    In comparison to the recent past, we saw an uptick in NFL receiving numbers for the 2019 season.

    Twenty-nine pass-catchers surpassed 1,000 yards, which is up from 21 for the 2018 campaign and 15 in 2017. As offenses rack up numbers through the air, tight ends have become more involved in aerial attacks—three of them reached the four-digit mark in yards during the last term.

    Going into the 2020 season, we'll rank each team's receiving corps and find out which units will keep defensive coaches up at night.

    The list focuses on wide receivers and tight ends with an emphasis on recent production, star power (All-Pro and Pro Bowlers), projections for new acquisitions and depth at the two positions.

32. Washington Redskins

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    Washington Redskins wide receiver Terry McLaurin
    Washington Redskins wide receiver Terry McLaurinWill Newton/Getty Images

    Wide Receivers: Terry McLaurin, Antonio Gandy-Golden, Steven Sims Jr., Trey Quinn, Kelvin Harmon, Darvin Kidsy, Jordan Veasy, Cody Latimer, Jester Weah, Johnathon Johnson, Cam Sims, Emanuel Hall, Micah Wright

    Tight Ends: Jeremy Sprinkle, Logan Thomas, Richard Rodgers, Thaddeus Moss, Caleb Wilson, Marcus Baugh, Hale Hentges

    The Washington Redskins' aerial attack will rely heavily on Terry McLaurin, who had an impressive 2019 rookie campaign, accumulating 58 receptions for 919 yards and seven touchdowns. He didn't have much help—none of his fellow wideouts eclipsed 365 yards.

    The Redskins selected Antonio Gandy-Golden in the fourth round of April's draft. Coming out of Liberty, which only joined the FBS in 2018, he's played against lesser competition compared to prospects from Power Five conferences.

    While Gandy-Golden adjusts to the pro-level battles against press coverage and complex schemes, the Redskins need someone to blossom into a playmaker, or else quarterback Dwayne Haskins will spend a lot of time handing off to ball-carriers.

    Rookie third-rounder Antonio Gibson played wideout at Memphis, but he's listed as a running back on the team's official website. The Redskins may use him out wide for a spark through the air if no one fills the void behind McLaurin.

31. New York Jets

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    New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon
    New York Jets tight end Chris HerndonSteven Ryan/Getty Images

    Wide Receivers: Jamison Crowder, Breshad Perriman, Denzel Mims, Vyncint Smith, Josh Malone, George Campbell, Josh Doctson, Jehu Chesson, Braxton Berrios, Lawrence Cager, Jeff Smith, Josh Bellamy, Quincy Enunwa

    Tight Ends: Ryan Griffin, Chris Herndon, Trevon Wesco, Daniel Brown, Ross Travis

    The New York Jets lost wide receiver Robby Anderson in free agency, so they don't have a proven starter out wide to complement Jamison Crowder in the slot.

    Breshad Perriman could build on a strong finish to the last campaign. He recorded 25 receptions for 506 yards and five touchdowns in his last five outings with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Still, the 6'2", 215-pounder hasn't produced with consistency through a full campaign.

    Denzel Mims projects as the potential star in the offense. He used his speed and size to register 186 receptions for 2,925 yards and 28 touchdowns as a collegian at Baylor.

    Like every rookie, Mims will go through an adjustment period. In the meantime, tight ends Chris Herndon and Ryan Griffin have to show up in the passing game.

    Herndon had a solid rookie term in 2018, registering 39 receptions for 502 yards and four touchdowns. He only suited up for one outing last season because of a four-game suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, as well as hamstring and rib injuries. The Jets need a bounce-back year from the Miami product.

30. New England Patriots

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    New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman
    New England Patriots wide receiver Julian EdelmanAdam Glanzman/Getty Images

    Wide Receivers: Julian Edelman, Mohamed Sanu Sr., Marqise Lee, N'Keal Harry, Matthew Slater, Quincy Adeboyejo, Damiere Byrd, Gunner Olszewski, Will Hastings, Jakobi Meyers, Devin Ross, Sean Riley, Isaiah Zuber, Jeff Thomas

    Tight Ends: Matt LaCosse, Devin Asiasi, Dalton Keene, Ryan Izzo, Rashod Berry, Jake Burt

    If you want to understand why quarterback Tom Brady left New England, take a look at the Patriots' receiving corps.

    Julian Edelman just turned 34. Mohamed Sanu Sr. had an abysmal half-season with the club last year, converting 47 targets into 26 receptions for 207 yards and a touchdown. The Patriots don't know what they have in 2019 first-rounder N'Keal Harry, who started the 2019 term on injured reserve with an ankle injury and missed nine contests.

    The Patriots signed Marqise Lee during free agency. He sat out the 2018 campaign while recovering from a torn ACL and recorded just three receptions for 18 yards in 2019.

    New England selected Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene in the third round of April's draft. The latter had a modest showing in the passing game at Virginia Tech, logging 28 or fewer receptions in each of his three terms as a collegian.

    If Edelman's body breaks down and he's out for an extended period, quarterback Jarrett Stidham will struggle in the pocket.

29. Miami Dolphins

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    Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker
    Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante ParkerAdam Glanzman/Getty Images

    Wide Receivers: DeVante Parker, Preston Williams, Allen Hurns, Mack Hollins, Gary Jennings, Jakeem Grant, Albert Wilson, Isaiah Ford, Ricardo Louis, Kirk Merritt, Matt Cole

    Tight Ends: Mike Gesicki, Durham Smythe, Chandler Cox, Michael Roberts, Chris Myarick

    The Miami Dolphins have a few key pass-catchers who trended in the right direction last season.

    DeVante Parker finally broke out for 72 receptions, 1,202 yards and nine touchdowns. Mike Gesicki posted 51 catches for 570 yards and five scores.

    On the flip side, Parker's past inconsistencies raise cause for concern. He didn't blossom until his fifth year, so it's unclear if the wideout can sustain a high level of production.

    After going undrafted out of Colorado State, Preston Williams was on pace for 64 receptions, 856 yards and six touchdowns but tore his ACL eight games into the campaign. According to Adam H. Beasley and Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the wideout is "on schedule" to play in the season opener.

    Even though that's positive news for Williams, players in recovery from significant injuries have to be viewed with some skepticism, especially a torn ACL.

    Parker, Gesicki and Williams could pose threats to defenses, but they all have limited track records in terms of consistency.

28. Green Bay Packers

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    Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams
    Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante AdamsHarry How/Getty Images

    Wide Receivers: Davante Adams, Allen Lazard, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Devin Funchess, Equanimeous St. Brown, Reggie Begelton, Darrell Stewart Jr., Darrius Shepherd, Jake Kumerow, Malik Taylor

    Tight Ends: Jace Sternberger, Josiah Deguara, Marcedes Lewis, Robert Tonyan, James Looney, Evan Baylis

    The Green Bay Packers take the No. 28 spot solely because of Davante Adams' high-level production over the last four seasons. He's logged at least 74 catches and 885 yards each year during that span.

    Other than Adams, the Packers' receiving group features young wideouts with untapped potential. In 2019, Allen Lazard listed second on the team in receiving yards (477). He'll likely battle with Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Devin Funchess for the No. 2 wide receiver position.

    Valdes-Scantling didn't show notable improvement in his second campaign. Funchess suited up for just one game with the Indianapolis Colts during the previous term because of a broken collarbone.

    The Packers released Jimmy Graham, which puts second-year tight end Jace Sternberger in a position to take over the starting role, per Matt Schneidman of The Athletic. He only played 60 offensive snaps as a rookie, though.

    The Packers inexplicably passed on wide receivers during April's draft. They'll pay the consequence for that decision when the aerial attack sputters for long stretches.

27. Tennessee Titans

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    Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown
    Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. BrownSteven Senne/Associated Press

    Wide Receivers: A.J. Brown, Corey Davis, Adam Humphries, Kalif Raymond, Rashard Davis, Nick Westbrook, Cody Hollister, Trevion Thompson, Kristian Wilkerson, Cameron Batson, Kyle Williams, Mason Kinsey

    Tight Ends: Jonnu Smith, Anthony Firkser, MyCole Pruitt, Cole Herdman, Parker Hesse, Tommy Hudson

    The Tennessee Titans don't have a Pro Bowl wideout, but their receiving corps has more foreseeable upside than the Green Bay Packers' group.

    As a rookie, A.J. Brown turned heads. He led all first-year wideouts in yards (1,051). Amid a playoff race, the Ole Miss product recorded at least 114 yards in four of his last six regular-season games.

    Adam Humphries had a relatively quiet 2019 campaign. He battled an ankle injury through December. The sure-handed pass-catcher (71.5 percent catch rate) has a solid track record out of the slot, though.

    With tight end Delanie Walker still on the free-agent market, Jonnu Smith can develop into a reliable target. As a reserve, he's steadily improved his receiving numbers. In preparation for a starting role, the Florida International product has worked on his rapport with quarterback Ryan Tannehill during the offseason.

    Thus far, Corey Davis hasn't played up to his first-round draft pedigree, which hurts this unit's rank. The Titans declined his fifth-year option.

26. Baltimore Ravens

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    Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Marquise Brown
    Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Marquise BrownNick Wass/Associated Press

    Wide Receivers: Marquise Brown, Willie Snead IV, Miles Boykin, Devin Duvernay, James Proche, Michael Dereus, Chris Moore, Jaleel Scott, Jaylon Moore, De'Anthony Thomas, Antoine Wesley

    Tight Ends: Mark Andrews, Nick Boyle, Charles Scarff, Eli Wolf, Jacob Breeland

    The Baltimore Ravens didn't see Marquise Brown at full strength in 2019. Head coach Jon Harbaugh acknowledged the speedy wideout's condition in January, per ESPN's Jamison Hensley.

    "Marquise was really not 100 percent most of the year, and that was pretty obvious, right?" Harbaugh said.

    Brown showed glimpses of his big-play ability while playing just 51 percent of the offensive snaps. He reeled in a reception of at least 24 yards in six outings. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Ravens wideout had a screw removed from his foot this offseason.

    Quarterback Lamar Jackson could have a strong pass-catching combo that features Brown and Pro Bowl tight end Mark Andrews. With that said, Miles Boykin or rookie third-rounder Devin Duvernay has to flash in order to round out a strong receiving group.

    Still, the Ravens duo seems promising, which outweighs the Tennessee Titans' impressive rookie wideout, A.J. Brown.

25. Carolina Panthers

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    Carolina Panthers wide receiver DJ Moore
    Carolina Panthers wide receiver DJ MooreJustin Casterline/Getty Images

    Wide Receivers: DJ Moore, Robby Anderson, Curtis Samuel, Seth Roberts, Brandon Zylstra, DeAndrew White, Keith Kirkwood, Damion Jeanpiere, TreVontae Hights, Pharoh Cooper, Ishmael Hyman, Omar Bayless

    Tight Ends: Ian Thomas, Seth DeValve, Chris Manhertz, Temarrick Hemingway, Colin Thompson, Giovanni Ricci, Cam Sutton

    DJ Moore made notable strides in his second season, recording 87 receptions for 1,175 yards and four touchdowns.

    The Panthers signed Robby Anderson during free agency. He'll reunite with Matt Rhule, who coached the wideout at Temple. The former New York Jet has at least 50 receptions and 752 yards in each of the last three terms.

    Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater can make good use of the speed at wide receiver. Moore and Anderson should rack up a lot of yards after the catch. The former ranked 22nd in YAC (403) in 2019.

    As the wild card in the passing group, Curtis Samuel can line up across the formation and exploit favorable matchups. He logged 54 catches for 627 yards and six touchdowns last season, though a new offensive scheme and Anderson's presence may lead to a regression in his productivity.

    The Panthers released tight end Greg Olsen, which leaves the offense without a proven pass-catching tight end. Ian Thomas remains an unknown as a starter, lining up for 828 offensive snaps in two terms.

24. Minnesota Vikings

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    Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen
    Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam ThielenJonathan Bachman/Getty Images

    Wide Receivers: Adam Thielen, Tajae Sharpe, Bisi Johnson, Alexander Hollins, Bralon Addison, Justin Jefferson, Chad Beebe, Davion Davis, Dan Chisena, K.J. Osborn, Dillon Mitchell, Quartney Davis

    Tight Ends: Kyle Rudolph, Irv Smith Jr., Tyler Conklin, Brandon Dillon, Nakia Griffin-Stewart

    The Minnesota Vikings have a two-time Pro Bowl receiver and tight end along with a high-upside first-round wideout to push their unit to No. 24.

    Adam Thielen dealt with a hamstring injury and missed six contests last season. He should rebound with a strong 2020 campaign following Stefon Diggs' departure to the Buffalo Bills (via trade).

    Rookie first-rounder Justin Jefferson broke out as a slot receiver at LSU, logging 111 receptions for 1,540 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2019.

    Perhaps the Vikings move Thielen and Jefferson around to find out what works best since they're both effective out of the slot. In addition, Minnesota will have Kyle Rudolph and Irv Smith Jr. as pass-catching threats in the middle of the field.

    This group has potential, but that's contingent upon Jefferson's ability to make an immediate impact and Smith's sophomore development.

23. Indianapolis Colts

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    Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton
    Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. HiltonJustin Casterline/Getty Images

    Wide Receivers: T.Y. Hilton, Michael Pittman Jr., Zach Pascal, Daurice Fountain, Malik Henry, Marcus Johnson, Chad Williams, Artavis Scott, Parris Campbell, Dezmon Patmon, Ashton Dulin, Rodney Adams

    Tight Ends: Jack Doyle, Trey Burton, Mo Alie-Cox, Matt Lengel, Xavier Grimble, Ian Bunting, Farrod Green

    With four Pro Bowl nods, Indianapolis Colts lead wide receiver T.Y. Hilton has a stronger resume than Minnesota Vikings No. 1 pass-catcher Adam Thielen.

    The Colts also don't have to worry about where their rookie wide receiver will fit into the offense. Head coach Frank Reich has mapped out his early plan for Michael Pittman Jr.

    "We envision Michael as being the 'X' receiver," Reich told reporters. "We believe he can develop into that pretty quickly. … The X receiver is the guy that you want to put, when you are in a trips right, he’s singled into the boundary and you can throw one-on-one to him."

    Indianapolis may finally have a complement to Hilton in the passing game as Pittman draws targets in isolated situations.

    The Colts could field a decent two-tight end set as well. Jack Doyle is coming off his second Pro Bowl term. If Trey Burton can stay healthy, he's a solid target, specifically near the end zone. The 28-year-old hauled in 11 touchdowns combined in the 2017 and 2018 campaigns with the Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Bears, respectively.

22. Chicago Bears

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    Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson II
    Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson IIRick Osentoski/Associated Press

    Wide Receivers: Allen Robinson II, Anthony Miller, Ted Ginn Jr., Javon Wims, Darnell Mooney, Thomas Ives, Cordarrelle Patterson, Reggie Davis, Alex Wesley, Riley Ridley, Trevor Davis, Ahmad Wagner

    Tight Ends: Jimmy Graham, Cole Kmet, Demetrius Harris, Adam Shaheen, Eric Saubert, Ben Braunecker, Darion Clark, J.P. Holtz, Jesper Horsted

    The Chicago Bears have their go-to target in Allen Robinson II. In 2019, he had his best showing since a 2015 Pro Bowl campaign. The 26-year-old led the team's pass-catching group by nearly 500 receiving yards.

    Anthony Miller hopes to take a big step in 2020, per Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune.

    "I feel like this is going to be my best year yet," Miller said. "I've matured a lot on the field and I've gained a lot of knowledge, especially this offseason. I've been studying up a lot on other players and seeing what they do so I can enhance my game."

    As the No. 2 receiver, Miller registered 52 receptions for 656 yards and two touchdowns during the last term. He underwent offseason shoulder surgery that will keep him out until training camp, per general manager Ryan Pace.

    The Bears could squeeze some production out of Jimmy Graham and develop Cole Kmet into an instant playmaker to match the Colts' tight end group. Miller's potential third-year jump gives Chicago an edge for the No. 22 slot.

21. Denver Broncos

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    Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton
    Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland SuttonMatthew Stockman/Getty Images

    Wide Receivers: Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, DaeSean Hamilton, KJ Hamler, Tyrie Cleveland, Trinity Benson, Tim Patrick, Juwann Winfree, Kelvin McKnight, Diontae Spencer, Fred Brown, Kendall Hinton, Zimari Manning

    Tight Ends: Noah Fant, Troy Fumagalli, Nick Vannett, Jeff Heuerman, Albert Okwuegbunam, Jake Butt, Andrew Beck, Austin Fort

    Courtland Sutton may be one of the most underrated Pro Bowl wide receivers in the NFL. He earned that accolade despite instability at quarterback.

    In 2019, Joe Flacco, Brandon Allen and Drew Lock all logged at least three starts under center for Denver. Regardless of who led the huddle, Sutton emerged as a reliable target, recording 72 receptions for 1,112 yards and six touchdowns.

    Tight end Noah Fant led first-year tight ends in receptions (40) and yards (562).

    Here's what pushes the Broncos' unit into the No. 21 spot: upside. Denver double-dipped at wide receiver, taking Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler in the first and second rounds, respectively.

    With speed and agility, Hamler can extend plays after the catch out of the slot. Jeudy has the potential to develop into a 1A or 1B option alongside Sutton. The Alabama product won the Fred Biletnikoff Award for the 2018 season. He averaged an impressive 17.2 yards per catch as a collegian.

20. Jacksonville Jaguars

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    Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver DJ Chark Jr.
    Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver DJ Chark Jr.Stacy Revere/Getty Images

    Wide Receivers: DJ Chark Jr., Chris Conley, Dede Westbrook, Laviska Shenault Jr., C.J. Board, Josh Hammond, Keelan Cole, Michael Walker, Marvelle Ross, Collin Johnson, Terry Godwin

    Tight Ends: Tyler Eifert, Josh Oliver, James O'Shaughnessy, Tyler Davis, Charles Jones, Ben Ellefson

    The Jacksonville Jaguars had a solid three-wide receiver set, and then they added rookie second-rounder Laviska Shenault Jr.

    Last season, DJ Chark Jr. earned Pro Bowl recognition, logging 73 receptions for 1,008 yards and eight touchdowns. He built a solid rapport with quarterback Gardner Minshew II, which bodes well for his 2020 outlook.

    Quietly, Chris Conley posted career highs in catches (47) and receiving yards (775) during his first term with the Jaguars. He scored three touchdowns combined in Weeks 15 and 16.

    Dede Westbrook has held a steady role in the slot. He holds a 62.8 percent catch rate for his career.

    Tyler Eifert has played 59 out of a possible 112 games as a pro. Unless he's able to stay healthy, the Jaguars will need Josh Oliver to contribute at the tight end position.

    On paper, the Jaguars' top three receivers hold a significant advantage in production over the Denver Broncos' trio, which doesn't have a proven third pass-catcher behind wideout Courtland Sutton and tight end Noah Fant.

19. New York Giants

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    New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard
    New York Giants wide receiver Sterling ShepardSteven Ryan/Getty Images

    Wide Receivers: Golden Tate, Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, Cody Core, Da'Mari Scott, Corey Coleman, David Sills V, Derrick Dillon, Binjimen Victor, Austin Mack, Alex Bachman

    Tight Ends: Evan Engram, Kaden Smith, Levine Toilolo, Garrett Dickerson, Eric Tomlinson, Kyle Markway, Rysen John

    Similar to the Jacksonville Jaguars, the New York Giants have a decent trio of wide receivers, but Big Blue has a dynamic tight end in Evan Engram.

    Engram saw a decline in his receiving numbers after his rookie campaign, partially because of injuries. He's missed 13 outings since 2018. When the 6'3", 240-pounder suits up, smaller safeties may struggle to bring him down, and some linebackers lack the foot speed to keep pace with the athletic playmaker after the catch.

    Both Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard have a sure set of hands. They've hauled in at least 65 percent of their career targets.

    While Shepard (concussion) and Engram (foot) battled injuries in 2019, Darius Slayton emerged in the passing game. He led the team in receiving yards (740) and touchdowns (eight).

    If Big Blue's receiving corps avoids the injury bug, the passing attack could take a huge step forward in its first year under offensive coordinator Jason Garrett.

18. San Francisco 49ers

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    San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle
    San Francisco 49ers tight end George KittleJeff Chiu/Associated Press

    Wide Receivers: Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, Dante Pettis, Kendrick Bourne, Trent Taylor, Travis Benjamin, Shawn Poindexter, Jalen Hurd, Richie James Jr., Chris Thompson, Jauan Jennings, Chris Finke

    Tight Ends: George Kittle, Ross Dwelley, Charlie Woerner, Daniel Helm, Chase Harrell

    The San Francisco 49ers have a budding wideout-tight end combo that elevates this unit over the New York Giants' group.

    In his third year, George Kittle continued to build his resume and rise to stardom. He achieved All-Pro recognition and led the 49ers receiving corps in yards for consecutive seasons.

    Deebo Samuel opened his rookie campaign as a reserve and finished in a starting role, registering 57 grabs for 802 yards and three scores. He converted 70.4 percent of his targets into receptions.

    Recently retired offensive tackle Joe Staley may be a bit biased as a former 49er, but he has offered high praise for Samuel.

    "Basically, he's one of the most talented rookies I've ever seen," Staley told Chris Biderman of the Sacramento Bee (via Josh Schrock of NBC Sports Bay Area).

    Between Samuel's high potential and Kittle's growing stardom, the 49ers have may have one of the better one-two receiving options going into the 2020 campaign, but the unit lacks a reliable third option and quality depth.

17. Houston Texans

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    Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller V
    Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller VJulio Aguilar/Getty Images

    Wide Receivers: Brandin Cooks, Randall Cobb, Will Fuller V, Kenny Stills, Isaiah Coulter, Chad Hansen, DeAndre Carter, Steven Mitchell Jr., Tyler Simmons, Keke Coutee, Isaac Whitney

    Tight Ends: Darren Fells, Jordan Akins, Jordan Thomas, Kahale Warring, Dylan Stapleton

    The Houston Texans have two wideouts with pressing health concerns.

    The team acquired Brandin Cooks, who's suffered five documented concussions. He's also coming off a rough 2019 campaign, logging 42 receptions for 583 yards and two touchdowns. The Texans will roll the dice on him, hoping the speedy receiver goes through a 16-game slate relatively healthy in a bounce-back year.

    Will Fuller V has missed 22 contests through four seasons. He can stretch defenses vertically, but the Notre Dame product's spotty availability makes him an unreliable source of production.

    Randall Cobb and Kenny Stills are more durable than Fuller, though they have just one 1,000-yard campaign between them.

    On a positive note, Jordan Akins has quietly developed into a decent tight end, logging 36 receptions for 418 yards and two touchdowns in 2019.

    We can't penalize the Texans while they're healthy, so their depth propels them above the San Francisco 49ers for the No. 17 slot.

16. Philadelphia Eagles

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    Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson
    Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean JacksonMitchell Leff/Getty Images

    Wide Receivers: DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery, Jalen Reagor, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Marquise Goodwin, John Hightower, Deontay Burnett, Greg Ward Jr., Quez Watkins, Shelton Gibson, Robert Davis, Marcus Green, Manasseh Bailey, Khalil Tate

    Tight Ends: Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, Josh Perkins, Alex Ellis, Noah Togiai

    DeSean Jackson plans to return "stronger than ever" from core-muscle surgery. The Philadelphia Eagles haven't publicly talked about Alshon Jeffery's recovery timetable after he suffered a Lisfranc injury in December. Still, this passing offense features one of the best tight end tandems in the league.

    Three-time Pro Bowler Zach Ertz leads the group with at least 74 receptions and 816 receiving yards for five consecutive terms.

    Dallas Goedert saw an increase in targets because of the injuries at wide receiver during the previous campaign. Among tight ends, he finished ninth in receptions (58) and 10th in yards (607).

    The Eagles selected Jalen Reagor in the first round of the 2020 draft. Though unproven, he has significant upside with explosive traits. Along with a 42-inch vertical at the NFL Scouting Combine, he filmed his own pro day and clocked a sub-4.3-second 40-yard dash. Despite inconsistent quarterback play at TCU, the wideout accumulated 148 receptions for 2,248 yards and 22 touchdowns.

    Assuming Jackson takes the field alongside Ertz and Goedert, the Eagles have a solid trio of pass-catchers with a high-upside rookie to boot.

15. Seattle Seahawks

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    Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett
    Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler LockettStacy Revere/Getty Images

    Wide Receivers: Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, Phillip Dorsett II, David Moore, Penny Hart, Aaron Fuller, John Ursua, Cody Thompson, Freddie Swain, Seth Dawkins, Stephen Sullivan

    Tight Ends: Greg Olsen, Will Dissly, Jacob Hollister, Colby Parkinson, Luke Willson, Tyler Mabry, Dominick Wood-Anderson

    Every year since 2017, Tyler Lockett has improved his receiving numbers in some fashion. Last season, he topped previous marks for catches (82) and yards (1,057). The 27-year-old also adjusted to a high volume of targets (110) as the Seattle Seahawks' lead receiver.

    Across from Lockett, DK Metcalf hauled in 58 receptions for 900 yards, which ranked second and third, respectively, among 2019 rookie wideouts.

    The Seahawks signed Greg Olsen, who's still a solid pass-catcher. The three-time Pro Bowler will join a young tight end group that includes Will Dissly and Jacob Hollister. The former tore his Achilles, but the team expects him to suit up for Week 1, per NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.

    With a solid wide receiver duo that's on the rise, the Seahawks list one spot above the Philadelphia Eagles.

14. Las Vegas Raiders

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    Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller
    Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren WallerDustin Bradford/Getty Images

    Wide Receivers: Henry Ruggs III, Tyrell Williams, Hunter Renfrow, Bryan Edwards, Nelson Agholor, Keelan Doss, Anthony Ratliff-Williams, Rico Gafford, De'Mornay Pierson-El, Zay Jones, Marcell Ateman, Siaosi Mariner

    Tight Ends: Darren Waller, Jason Witten, Foster Moreau, Derek Carrier, Nick Bowers, Paul Butler, Nick O'Leary

    The Las Vegas Raiders' wide receiver group has arguably the most unpredictable 2020 outlook, though this unit has great upside.

    The Silver and Black selected Henry Ruggs III and Bryan Edwards in the first and third rounds of April's draft, respectively.

    While Ruggs offers uncanny speed (4.27-second 40-yard dash), Edwards' size (6'3", 212 lbs) will pose a challenge to smaller defensive backs in one-on-one situations. They'll join Tyrell Williams and Hunter Renfrow for an intriguing four-man wide receiver unit. The former averages 16.1 yards per catch, and the latter had an impressive rookie campaign, hauling in 49 receptions for 605 yards and four scores.

    The Raiders' tight end group tips the scale in their favor over the Seattle Seahawks.

    In 2019, Darren Waller emerged as one of the top pass-catching players at the position, racking up 90 receptions for 1,145 yards and three touchdowns. The team signed Jason Witten, who registered 63 grabs for 529 yards and four scores with the Dallas Cowboys.

13. Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster
    Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-SchusterTom Puskar/Associated Press

    Wide Receivers: JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington, Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, Saeed Blacknall, Quadree Henderson, Ryan Switzer, Amara Darboh, Deon Cain, Anthony Johnson

    Tight Ends: Eric Ebron, Vance McDonald, Zach Gentry, Kevin Rader, Christian Scotland-Williamson

    The Pittsburgh Steelers take the No. 13 spot because of their development at wide receiver despite quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's absence. As well, one of the Las Vegas Raiders' projected starting pass-catchers (Henry Ruggs III) hasn't played an NFL down.

    Last season, Roethlisberger only suited up for two games. Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges split the remaining starts under center. Still, James Washington and then-rookie Diontae Johnson flashed in their age-23 campaigns, listing first and second, respectively, on the team in yards.

    Johnson took on a role out of the slot while Washington stretched the field on the perimeter, averaging 16.7 yards per reception.

    JuJu Smith-Schuster battled toe, head (concussion) and knee injuries through a disappointing 2019 term, but he's still one of the top young wideouts in the league, listing 15th among all pass-catchers in yards (2,895) since 2017.

    Pittsburgh also added some upside and veteran experience to its group, signing Eric Ebron and taking Chase Claypool in the second round of the 2020 draft. The former is only two years removed from a Pro Bowl appearance. At 6'4", 238 pounds, with 4.42-second 40-yard dash speed and soft hands, the latter could be a matchup nightmare.

12. Cincinnati Bengals

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    Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green
    Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. GreenMichael Reaves/Getty Images

    Wide Receivers: A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins, John Ross III, Mike Thomas, Trenton Irwin, Auden Tate, Stanley Morgan, DaMarkus Lodge, Alex Erickson, Damion Willis, Scotty Washington

    Tight Ends: C.J. Uzomah, Drew Sample, Cethan Carter, Mason Schreck, Jordan Franks, Moritz Boehringer, Mitchell Wilcox

    Head coach Zac Taylor has deemed A.J. Green "fully healthy," per ESPN's Ben Baby. If Green plays through the 2020 term without injury, the Bengals' receiving corps group could list top-10 in accumulated yards. Still, he's missed 23 games because of toe and ankle issues since 2018, which leads to skepticism.

    Over the last two campaigns, Tyler Boyd has become the go-to target. He's eclipsed 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons. If he's No. 2 to a healthy Green, quarterback Joe Burrow would have a strong one-two combo.

    The Athletic's Jay Morrison expects rookie second-rounder Tee Higgins to start in three-wide receiver sets. The Clemson product can put pressure on defenses as a big-bodied (6'4", 216 lbs) red-zone threat. He scored 27 touchdowns as a collegian.

    Although John Ross III has underwhelmed as a top-10 pick from the 2017 draft, he averaged 18.1 yards per reception in 2019. The Washington product can provide quality depth with some improvement on his 42.2 percent catch rate.

    Higgins has a better chance to make a more immediate impact than the Pittsburgh Steelers' rookie second-round wideout (Chase Claypool). We'll also take a healthy Green over JuJu Smith-Schuster, which justifies the Bengals' rank at No. 12.

11. Buffalo Bills

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    Buffalo Bills wide receiver John Brown
    Buffalo Bills wide receiver John BrownDuane Burleson/Associated Press

    Wide Receivers: Stefon Diggs, John Brown, Cole Beasley, Isaiah McKenzie, Robert Foster, Ray-Ray McCloud III, Duke Williams, Gabriel Davis, Nick Easley, Andre Roberts, Isaiah Hodgins

    Tight Ends: Dawson Knox, Tyler Kroft, Lee Smith, Tommy Sweeney, Jason Croom, Nate Becker

    At No. 11, the Buffalo Bills received a huge boost from Stefon Diggs' arrival, propelling them over the Cincinnati Bengals.

    Diggs is on the rise while Green trends in the wrong direction because of his recent injuries.

    Furthermore, Cole Beasley deserves consideration as one of the top slot receivers in the league, registering 386 receptions for 4,049 yards and 29 touchdowns through eight seasons as a tertiary pass-catching option for most of his career.

    With Diggs in the fold, John Brown, who registered career highs in receptions (72) and yards (1,060) during the previous term, projects as a solid No. 2 option.

    Tight end Dawson Knox had a decent rookie campaign, snagging 28 grabs for 388 yards and two scores. The unit also has some depth with Tyler Kroft if he's fully recovered from a broken foot and low ankle sprain that limited his workload to 244 offensive snaps in 2019.

    Compared to the Bengals, the Bills have fewer question marks within the pass-catching group with two of their top three wideouts coming off career bests in receiving yards.

10. Detroit Lions

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    Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay
    Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny GolladayDustin Bradford/Getty Images

    Wide Receivers: Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr., Danny Amendola, Geronimo Allison, Marvin Hall, Quintez Cephus, Chris Lacy, Travis Fulgham, Jamal Agnew, Victor Bolden, Geremy Davis, Tom Kennedy

    Tight Ends: T.J. Hockenson, Jesse James, Isaac Nauta, Hunter Bryant, Matt Sokol

    As we go into the top 10, you'll see more receiving corps with a higher level of star power, stronger three-wide receiver sets and groups that feature a productive or high-upside tight end.

    Even though quarterback Matthew Stafford missed eight games because of hip and back injuries last season, Kenny Golladay led the league in receiving touchdowns (11). He's an emerging playmaker who made his first Pro Bowl in 2019.

    Behind Golladay, the Lions have two established veterans in Marvin Jones Jr. and Danny Amendola. The former eclipsed 1,100 yards in 2017.

    T.J. Hockenson had a modest start to his pro career, accumulating 32 receptions for 367 yards and two scores. Yet he flashed his potential with six catches for 131 yards and a touchdown in the 2019 season opener.

    The Lions edged the Bills because of Golladay's third-year leap. Jones has been a solid No. 2 option longer than Brown, whose catch rate fluctuates, dipping below 50 percent in three terms. Hockenson could see a significant sophomore jump if Stafford avoids injury.

9. Los Angeles Chargers

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    Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen
    Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan AllenKelvin Kuo/Associated Press

    Wide Receivers: Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Joe Reed, KJ Hill, Jeff Cotton, Jason Moore, Jalen Guyton, Dalton Schoen, Andre Patton, Darius Jennings, Tyron Johnson

    Tight Ends: Hunter Henry, Virgil Green, Stephen Anderson, Andrew Vollert, Donald Parham, Jared Rice

    In 2019, the Los Angeles Chargers' aerial attack featured a pair of 1,000-yard wide receivers, Keenan Allen and Mike Williams.

    Allen overcame injuries early in his career. Since 2017, he's suited up for every game and made three consecutive Pro Bowls.

    As the No. 2 wideout, Williams still has room to grow as a volume receiver. He's yet to catch 50 passes in a season but offers big-play ability, averaging 20.4 yards per reception last year.

    The Chargers franchise-tagged Hunter Henry, who bounced back last year from tearing his ACL in 2018, though he missed four games with a tibia plateau fracture. When healthy, the 6'5", 250-pound tight end provides notable impact, recording 98 first downs and 17 touchdowns through 41 outings.

    With Henry's proven production at tight end, Los Angeles slips ahead of the Detroit Lions, who saw young tight end T.J. Hockenson only scratch the surface of his potential.

8. Atlanta Falcons

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    Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones
    Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio JonesRoss D. Franklin/Associated Press

    Wide Receivers: Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Russell Gage, Laquon Treadwell, Christian Blake, Chris Rowland, Olamide Zaccheaus, Brandon Powell, Juwan Green, Devin Gray, Jalen McCleskey

    Tight Ends: Hayden Hurst, Khari Lee, Jaeden Graham, Carson Meier, Jared Pinkney, Caleb Repp

    Here's where star power factors heavily into the rankings.

    Julio Jones is one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. Since his 2011 rookie term, he tops the receiving yards list (12,125) with seven Pro Bowls and two All-Pro nods on his resume.

    Jones' production and accolades outweigh what Keenan Allen and Mike Williams have accomplished with the Los Angeles Chargers.

    Calvin Ridley has been a consistent playmaker. Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter thinks the young wideout would have put together a more impressive second year if not for a late-season abdomen injury.

    "I think he would have got a thousand-yard season had he not had to miss those last couple games," Koetter told reporters of Ridley's potential. "I think Calvin is just going to continue to grow and grow and grow."

    Hayden Hurst will likely take on a bigger role after he served as a backup to tight end Mark Andrews in Baltimore. He's the pass-catcher who may experience exponential growth in the Falcons offense with more opportunities.

7. Dallas Cowboys

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    Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper
    Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari CooperRon Jenkins/Associated Press

    Wide Receivers: Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, CeeDee Lamb, Cedrick Wilson, Noah Brown, Ventell Bryant, Aaron Parker, Tevin Jones, Devin Smith, Kendrick Rogers, Jon'Vea Johnson

    Tight Ends: Blake Jarwin, Dalton Schultz, Blake Bell, Cole Hikutini, Sean McKeon

    The Dallas Cowboys are the second of five teams listed that fielded a pair of wide receivers who logged 1,000-plus yards apiece last season. Amari Cooper maintained his Pro Bowl form, and Michael Gallup took a giant step as a second-year pro, logging 66 receptions for 1,107 yards and six touchdowns.

    Cooper may disappear in some road games, but safeties have to respect his speed over the top, which opens the field for other receivers. The four-time Pro Bowler can explode for a big game in any given week.

    With Cooper's demand for coverage over the top and Gallup's progression, rookie first-rounder CeeDee Lamb should have opportunities to produce against the opposing team's third cornerback.

    Lamb racked up 173 catches for 3,292 yards and 32 touchdowns with a new starting quarterback (Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray and Jalen Hurts) under center for each of his three terms at Oklahoma, which illustrates the wideout's consistency.

    Despite the Atlanta Falcons' star power (Julio Jones), the Cowboys have the potential to field the top wide receiver trio in the upcoming campaign. If Dallas hits on Lamb, watch out.

6. Arizona Cardinals

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    Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald
    Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry FitzgeraldStephen Brashear/Getty Images

    Wide Receivers: DeAndre Hopkins, Christian Kirk, Larry Fitzgerald, Andy Isabella, Trent Sherfield, Shane Leatherbury, KeeSean Johnson, Johnnie Dixon, Devin Phelps, Hakeem Butler, A.J. Richardson, JoJo Ward, Jermiah Braswell, Rashad Medaris

    Tight Ends: Maxx Williams, Dan Arnold, Darrell Daniels, Ryan Becker, Parker Houston

    The Arizona Cardinals list one spot above the Dallas Cowboys because of the pro production from all three of their top wide receivers on the depth chart.

    DeAndre Hopkins has achieved All-Pro status in each of the previous three campaigns as one of the top wide receivers leaguewide, which places a check next to star power.

    Fitzgerald goes into his 17th season with 11 Pro Bowls and an All-Pro year. He's still productive and durable. The future Hall of Famer has recorded at least 734 receiving yards each term and suited up for every game since 2015.

    Kirk made moderate strides during his second campaign. He's a versatile outside-inside receiver who may benefit from playing alongside two of the biggest names in the business.

    The Cardinals don't have a high-end pass-catching tight end, which keeps them out of the top five.

5. Los Angeles Rams

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    Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp
    Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper KuppLachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

    Wide Receivers: Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, Josh Reynolds, Van Jefferson, Earnest Edwards, Brandon Polk, Nsimba Webster, Trishton Jackson, Easop Winston Jr. Greg Dortch, J.J. Koski

    Tight Ends: Tyler Higbee, Gerald Everett, Brycen Hopkins, Johnny Mundt, Ethan Wolf, Kendall Blanton

    Cooper Kupp bounced back from a shortened 2018 campaign cut short because of a torn ACL. He led the Los Angeles Rams in receiving yards (1,161) and scored 10 touchdowns. Within a deep group, coming off a significant injury, the 2017 third-rounder proved his standing as the team's top pass-catcher.

    Robert Woods isn't a flashy wide receiver with great size (6'0", 195 lbs) or blazing speed, but he's consistent. The seven-year veteran has eclipsed 1,100 receiving yards in each of the last two campaigns.

    Los Angeles has a question mark at the No. 3 wide receiver spot. Josh Reynolds will have a shot to lock down the position, though the front office selected Van Jefferson in the second round of April's draft. The two youngsters will likely battle to join Kupp and Woods in 11 personnel alignments.

    Tyler Higbee's breakout 2019 term propels the Rams into the No. 5 spot. He looked dominant in December, leading the league in receiving yards (522). Gerald Everett provides solid depth at the position with 86 catches, 972 receiving yards and seven scores in three seasons.

4. New Orleans Saints

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    New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas
    New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael ThomasSean Gardner/Getty Images

    Wide Receivers: Michael Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Tre'Quan Smith, Austin Carr, Tommylee Lewis, Deonte Harris, Lil'Jordan Humphrey, Emmanuel Butler, Krishawn Hogan, Maurice Harris, Marquez Callaway, Jawuan Johnson, Taquan Mizzell

    Tight Ends: Jared Cook, Josh Hill, Adam Trautman, Garrett Griffin, Jason Vander Laan, Cole Wick

    Once again, star power overcomes depth when splitting hairs between the Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints.

    We can make the argument that Michael Thomas has been the top wide receiver over the last two seasons—both All-Pro campaigns as the league leader in receptions.

    Even more impressive, Thomas has the most receptions (470) and yards (5,512) through the first four years of any pass-catcher's NFL career. Clearly, defenders can't guard Mike.

    The Saints signed Emmanuel Sanders, who will become a solid No. 2 target. The two-time Pro Bowler's 1,000-yard seasons may be behind him, though he's efficient, hauling in at least 68 percent of his targets in each of the last two campaigns.

    Tre'Quan Smith isn't a reliable No. 3 receiver yet. With that said, quarterback Drew Brees built a solid rapport with tight end Jared Cook, who averaged 16.4 yards per catch and scored nine touchdowns, both career highs, in 2019.

    Between Tyler Higbee and Cook at tight end, the latter has over a decade of receiving production compared to one year for the former, which is another reason the Saints take the No. 4 slot over the Rams.

3. Cleveland Browns

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    Cleveland Brown wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
    Cleveland Brown wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    Wide Receivers: Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins, Taywan Taylor, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Damion Ratley, J'Mon Moore, KhaDarel Hodge, JoJo Natson, Ja'Marcus Bradley, D.J. Montgomery, Tony Brown

    Tight Ends: Austin Hooper, David Njoku, Harrison Bryant, Pharaoh Brown, Stephen Carlson, Nate Wieting

    Despite the Cleveland Browns' struggle in the passing game (ranked 22nd), both Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards in 2019. The former achieved Pro Bowl honors for the fifth time.

    While recovering from a sports hernia, Beckham has high hopes for his 2020 outlook.

    "I would honestly say this is probably going to be one of my best seasons," he said. "Bigger, stronger, faster—this is my time."

    We could see the 2014-16 version of Beckham—a stretch when he surpassed 1,300 receiving yards in each term.

    The Browns signed Austin Hooper, who's coming off back-to-back Pro Bowl years. He upped his receiving numbers in each of his seasons with the Atlanta Falcons.

    In addition to three Pro Bowl-caliber pass-catchers, the Browns have David Njoku. He only played in four games in 2019 because of wrist and knee injuries, though we saw him record 56 receptions for 639 yards and four touchdowns in 2018. The Browns could have a strong pair at tight end.

    Cleveland has star power, ascending talent and upside within its receiving corps. With three Pro Bowlers under 28 years old, the Browns come in at No. 3.

2. Kansas City Chiefs

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    Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce
    Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis KelceSteven Senne/Associated Press

    Wide Receivers: Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, Mecole Hardman, Demarcus Robinson, Jody Fortson, Andre Baccellia, Byron Pringle, Gehrig Dieter, Maurice Ffrench, Felton Davis III, Kalija Lipscomb, Aleva Hifo, Justice Shelton-Mosley, Cody White

    Tight Ends: Travis Kelce, Ricky Seals-Jones, Deon Yelder, John Lovett

    The Kansas City Chiefs have All-Pro-caliber playmakers atop the wide receiver and tight end positions, which elevates this unit over the Cleveland Browns for the No. 2 spot.

    The Chiefs are only one of two teams (Arizona Cardinals) with a pair of players who earned All-Pro honors on offense. Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce accomplished the feat in 2018—the latter has done it twice in his career.

    Since his 2013 rookie term, Kelce leads the league in receiving yards (6,465) and ranks second in receptions (507) and touchdowns (37) among tight ends. Keep in mind, he didn't play an offensive down as a first-year pro because of a knee injury.

    Along with two marquee playmakers in their primes, the Chiefs have decent depth at wide receiver behind Hill. Sammy Watkins, Demarcus Robinson and Mecole Hardman all logged at least 449 receiving yards last season.

    Hardman has the most upside among the secondary targets at wideout. In addition to six touchdown grabs, he averaged 20.7 yards per reception in 2019.

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mike Evans
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mike EvansButch Dill/Associated Press

    Wide Receivers: Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Scotty Miller, Tyler Johnson, Cyril Grayson, Spencer Schnell, Justin Watson, Jaydon Mickens, Travis Jonsen, John Franklin, Bryant Mitchell, John Hurst, Josh Pearson

    Tight Ends: Rob Gronkowski, O.J. Howard, Cameron Brate, Antony Auclair, Jordan Leggett, Tanner Hudson, Codey McElroy

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiving unit could extend quarterback Tom Brady's career. He's set to take over an offense that's loaded with weapons at wide receiver and tight end.

    Although wideouts Chris Godwin and Mike Evans missed five combined games because of hamstring injuries, they totaled the most yards (2,490) and touchdowns (17) among receiver duos with at least 1,000 yards apiece.

    Rob Gronkowski came out of retirement to join a solid tight end tandem. O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate combined for 70 catches, 770 yards and five touchdowns in 2019.

    After a year away from football, Gronkowski, the WWE 24/7 champion, had time to heal any lingering injuries or wear and tear from nine pro seasons. He doesn't have to take on a lead role with Howard and Brate on the roster. As a red-zone threat, the 6'6", 268-pounder rounds out the best tight end group in the NFL.

    The Buccaneers' dynamic wide receiver duo and unique ability to field three viable pass-catching tight ends separate them from every team in the rankings. They have an All-Pro talent, two Pro Bowlers (26 years or younger) on the rise and excellent depth.

                      


    Rookie measurements courtesy of Pro Football Reference.