The current NFL compilation of talent may be the greatest we have ever seen. More particular at the receiver position, greats like Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, and AJ Green roam the sidelines looking to snag every ball from defenders at all times. We are in the league of elite receivers and it seems as if every team has one wideout to be feared and circled on chalkboard.
Out of the 194 receivers to record a catch last season, who is the best going into the 2019 NFL season?
1. DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans
Hopkins has become one of the league's best wide receivers in his six years in the NFL. He has never had a great quarterback before DeShaun Watson came to the Texans, but despite the lack of star power at the position, Hopkins still was able to total four 1000-yard seasons and had 115 catches without a drop last season. Hopkins will look to compile his fifth 1000-yard season in his seventh year while adding a third consecutive Pro Bowl and All-Pro team.
2. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
Julio Jones is arguably the number one receiver with five straight seasons of over 1000 years along with averaging 15.4 yards for his career. His 2018 was just as special with eight touchdowns, 113 receptions including a league-leading 1,677 total yards. A dreadful 7-9 season for the Falcons overshadowed Jones' dominate season, but he still stood out among the league's best despite playing for an average team.
3. Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints
Thomas has proven himself to one of the top game-changers in the NFL in his two seasons as he has combined for 3,787 yards. After a stellar 2018 by leading the league with 125 catches added onto his nine touchdowns, the Saints have given the young receiver a $100 million contract extension. The Saints will look to bounce back after the 'Pass Interference No-Call Heard Around the World' and hope to maintain the record-breaking pace Thomas finds himself on in regards to receptions.
4. Antonio Brown, Oakland Raiders
Brown, when not coming into Raiders training camp in a hot air balloon, fussing over a helmet or cryogenically burning his feet, is one of the league's best receivers. Posting a league-leading 15 touchdowns last season, Brown looks to bring that same energy to Oakland.
Now with new quarterback Derrick Carr after years after catching throws from Ben Roethlisberger, Brown brings some excitement to Raiders fans as they finally have a superstar at a key position who can go up and get it against any defender.
5. DaVante Adams, Green Bay Packers
Adams had a breakout season in 2018 for the Packers posting 13 touchdowns with 1,386 yards. Adams has posted total 35 touchdowns in three seasons, but he does his damage in the red zone with 50 receptions and 30 touchdowns. Adams and Packers' fans hope the combo of Adams and a healthy Aaron Rogers can produce a playoff run in a stacked NFC conference.
6. Odell Beckham Jr., Cleveland Browns
Beckham brings his electric catching ability to Cleveland after being traded this offseason by the Giants. Although Beckham posted only six touchdowns last season, throwing for two of them, he caught 62 percent of the passes thrown his way.
Look for Beckham to produce more touchdowns this season with star in the making Baker Mayfield as his quarterback and more room to maneuver due to less double teams with Jarvis Landry on the opposite side of the field.
7. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Mike Evans, one of the biggest receivers in the NFL and favorite target of Jameis Winston, is a top-tier deep threat. Although Tampa Bay was a subpar 5-11, Evans was the fourth-best receiver with 1,524 total yards and eight touchdowns last season.
Evans has only been in the league for five seasons and has posted over 1,000 yards in each season, something only Randy Moss has done. With new head coach Bruce Arians leading the charge, Evans should see another uptick in stats making him a shoo-in for another Pro Bowl selection.
8. Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs
Hill this season was part of some personal offseason drama but was lucky enough not to get a suspension from it. Apart from his off the field legal issues, Hill's on the field play was one to watch every week. Hill had 12 touchdowns and 1,479 yards last season but where he succeeded most was his ability to extend plays with 27 catches for 20 or more yards. Help certainly came from star players like Travis Kelce, Kareem Hunt and even Sammy Watkins, but Hill's strength is his speed, which is what separates him from the rest.
The fastest player in the NFL, Hill can run by anybody and can make any defender miss making touchdowns more possible.
9. Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings
Thielen had a historical 2018 season for the Vikings. He had eight straight games for 100 yards, which tied an NFL record with 113 receptions and nine touchdowns. The Vikings missed the playoffs with a record of 8-7-1 with Thielen as the number one receiver. While the NFC North will be even tougher next season with the Bears and Packers reloaded, expect Thielen to put up a similar season but take a dip with a healthy Dalvin Cook returning the backfield.
10. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers
Schuster is now the new number one receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers with Antonio Brown shipped to Oakland. Schuster had 111 catches, eight games for over 100 yards and had the longest catch of the year with a 97-yard catch. Smith-Schuster looks to take the next step into becoming a superstar and help bring the Steelers back atop the AFC as it is now a big three of Schuster, running back James Conner, and Ben Roethlisberger.
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