Snubbed? Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Vincent Jackson not named top-10 in the NFL Vincent with his wife Lindsey Vandeweghe Jackson and their two dogsTop 10 in 2014: The best wide receivers in the NFL todayJune 6, 2014 8:43 pmTypically speaking, sports fans tend to worry about two things – the past and the future. They’ll debate who was the greatest player of all-time, while also spending hours discussing whether or not a rookie is going to be develop into an All-Pro.Both are fun exercises, things that keep fans engaged and the beer flowing at the local tavern. But they miss out on what is most important – the present.Forget about yesterday. Never mind tomorrow. Let’s talk about today.Who are the best players in the NFL right now? Who can help a team win the Super Bowl this season? Who is writing a legacy with each passing week?Those are the questions the editors at cover32 seek to answer in this series, “Top 10 in 2014.” In the coming weeks, every positions – as well as head coach, general manager and other off-field areas – will be graded, evaluated and ranked.The series continues with a position that is deeper than any other in the NFL – wide receiver. As teams pass the ball more and more, they are stacking their rosters with more and more people to catch the pigskin; it results in an abundance of great wideouts. Narrowing it down to the top 10 was a tricky proposition.Let the debate begin!10. Antonio BrownBrown put up monster numbers in relative anonymityFew people would guess that the Steelers wide receiver finished second in the NFL last year in both receptions and receiving yards, an impressive feat for any pass catcher. Given the fact that Brown toils in Pittsburgh, a place typically associated more with defense and running the football than aerial attacks, he tends to slip under the radar a bit. But entering his fifth season, the 5-foot-10, 185-pounds wideout is one of the game’s best pass catchers.9. T.Y. HiltonT.Y. and Luck have formed a dynamic duoIn a world all-too-often dominated by fantasy stats, which tend to over-inflate the value of some players while diminishing others, Hilton isn’t typically considered an upper-echelon receiver. That’s what comes with only scoring five touchdowns in 2013. But as Andrew Luck gets more and more comfortable at the pro level, it’s becoming obvious that Hilton is his go-to wideout. Last year, with Reggie Wayne injured, he stepped up and proved he was a No. 1 guy.8. Victor CruzCruz is still among the game’s most-explosive receiversFollowing the 2011 campaign, a season that saw Cruz explode for 1,536 yards and nine touchdowns, the Giants wide receiver was a star on the rise. The past two years, however, his numbers have fallen, as opposing defenses have paid more attention to him. But that’s more of an indictment on the lack of talent around him than it is on Cruz’s abilities. Because he’s still amongst the game’s most-electrifying players.7. Larry FitzgeraldFitz is an all-around great receiverThis may seem like somewhat of a lifetime achievement award, given that Fitzgerald is no longer the weekly highlight reel that he was earlier in his career. But that would be unfair to the veteran wide receiver, who remains one of the game’s best pass catchers. He runs impeccable routes, has great hands and still possesses the burst necessary to run away from defensive backs when he has to; there’s nothing wrong with this veteran wideout.6. Demaryius ThomasAfter the catch, few are better than ThomasAs with most players on Denver’s offense, Thomas gets a little bit of a bad rap because people think his numbers are inflated due to the fact that he catches passes from Peyton Manning. But a great QB doesn’t help a receiver once the ball is already in his hands, which is where Thomas excels. In 2013, he recorded 704 yards after the catch, the highest total in the league. That’s not because of Manning; it’s because DT has special talent.5. Brandon MarshallB-Marsh moves the chains and gets in the end zoneSome would argue that Marshall isn’t even the best receiver on his team, giving the nod instead to Bears wideout Alshon Jeffery. But Chicago gave the veteran a $30 million contract this offseason for a reason; he makes big plays. That was evident in 2013 when he reached the end zone 12 times, but even more prominent when it came time to move the chains. By season’s end, Marshall had caught 70 passes that resulted in a first down, tops in the league.4. A.J. GreenSince getting Green, the Bengals have been a contenderThe Bengals have made the playoffs in each of the past three seasons, an unprecedented run of success for the franchise that most people attribute to quarterback Andy Dalton. But it’s no coincidence that these seasons have all come since Cincinnati took Green with the fourth overall pick in 2011. He’s transformed their offense, giving them a big-play talent that stretches the defense and gives Dalton a primary target in all tough spots.3. Julio JonesWithout Jones, the Falcons fell apart in 2013If there was any doubt about how much the Falcons relied on this young receiver, it became evident in 2013 when Jones was limited to only five games. Without their main playmaker, Atlanta sputtered and struggled on offense, part of the reason why their season that went off the rails. It’s just impossible to replace the production of an 80-catch, 1,200-yard, 10-touchdown wide receiver; he changes the dynamic of the offense.2. Dez BryantDez is almost always the best player on the fieldTony Romo said it best, when he called Bryant the best player on the field during an in-huddle pep talk last season. In almost every game he plays, the wideout has more talent than anybody else out there, regardless of team or position. He’s simply that good, able to make spectacular plays that others only dream about. Does he have some maturity issues? Sure. But most of them stem from a desire to win, which isn’t exactly the biggest sin in the world.1. Calvin JohnsonMegatron is in a class by himselfA season ago, Johnson caught 84 passes, for 1,492 yards and 12 touchdowns. And he did it in only 14 games, as injuries plagued him throughout the year. When completely healthy, the Lions wideout is on another level, living up his superhero nickname. Megatron’s 2012 season, when he caught 122 passes for a staggering 1,964 yards, was one for the ages, a sign of the video-game numbers he can post when given the opportunity.link
VJax is a great guy. But as a player, he’s a post up receiver. He’s not comfortable catching a pass if he’s not facing the QB. His best years when it comes to YAC were the last two in Tampa.He's not too far off that top 10. Garcon should be on the list.
Not even close, but you have to take into account that defenses were focused on him and him alone. There was nothing to fear other than him. He was still productive and you’ve got to love a guy who never complains and never quits. VJax is a great team player. The effort was always there. He had crappy coaching/schemes and then had to deal with Freeman and a 3rd round rookie at QB, and yet you never heard a negative word come out of his mouth. He just did his job. No WR can be in the top 10 when he’s handicapped like that.I can't wait to see what he does with professional coaching and an experienced QB. Defenses won't be able to focus on him anymore. In fact he might not be the most dangerous weapon on this offense. This team has size and speed they've ever had before........ever. Even with a questionable OL and an OC new to the league, this offense is going to strike fear in the DCs on our schedule. VJax has to be chomping at the bit. I know I haven't felt this great about the Bucs since Gruden arrived. For the record I was just as happy to see Gruden fired as I was to see him hired. He could not build, or even maintain, a competitive team. I believe Lovie can, and I believe VJax will be a huge part of it in the next few years.
Megatron was not a superhero. He was a supervillain.Also, two of those guys they have placed too high, TY being one, and the other being cruz.That's still not saying vj should be a top ten though. Close at least, imo. Work ethic, good attitude, works with the rooks, height, ok hands, leaps, etc. The only takeaway from vj would be his speed (which is actually just average), and because he has to fight for jump balls, some dropped passes.However, if we consider what he's had to work with, like they did with a couple of guys on this list, maybe vj should be on it? Freeman and a rookie..with injured players and backup rb's surrounding, with a dash of coaching stupidity.
Right now? No. IF you base his performance on last season.Put Evans on the other side of him, and IF (admittedly a big 'if') Evans doesn't go all Michael Clayton on us - then watch the pro bowl season unfold before your eyes.Especially if we get decent production from the TE spot.A lot of iffy speculation, but - I see huge things coming from the Bucs this year. HUGE.
+1, WRs need a little height to be true #1 tagets imo.Few more points, I question how much Demaryius Thomas is a product of Manning being his QB. Josh Gordon would be on this list, ahead of VJ also, without the impending suspension. Arguments to be made for pretty much any guy who is seen as a legit #1 go to wideout. Also Dez Bryant is definitely not the 2nd best WR in the game, give me AJ Green or a healthy Julio Jones no question and maybe some others also. Cowboys are almost as overrated as white boys (see Keuchly, Luke). SMH
I think he is still top 10. Something like the 7-8-9-10 range. Its amazing he had as good a season as he did last year, considering who was throwing to him. And him being the only real threat out there, after Mike Wil got bounced, is quite an achievement. With McCown pitching, and Evans making the defense pay attention to him, Vincent could really light it up this season.
Is VJax a top 10 talent at WR? Absolutely. Give him any one of the QBs those guys on the list have throwing to them and he puts up monster numbers.
Funny how he didn't put up better numbers when he was in San Diego, tho'...
I wouldnt exactly put Phillip Rivers on the same list of QBs as those guys. Plus, if you recall, San Diego had LT running and catching along with Gates to throw too. Simply saying if you gave VJax to those QBs, there would be no question about him being in the top 10.Gordon not being on that list is a travesty, he did it with an even worse QB situation than ours.
As for Gordon, I think the list is limited to WR who are in the league now. Rivers... gotta put him in the top10 QB.
Gotta? Ummm...no, I dont. He isnt a top 10 QB. He was progressively worse every year since 2008 until this last season. I dont tend to put a downward trending player in the top 10.
True. He was headed downhill, and Mike McCoy got him back on track. One of the better QB coaches in the league. He was the guy who had Tebow looking halfway decent in Denver. I was hoping Freeman ended up there, but that might have been too much to ask, even for the best QB guru in the game right now. A well deserved promotion to a HC gig for him. I wish him well.
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