Last week I ranked just the starting quarterbacks in the NFC South, but moving through the position groups from here on out, the rankings will be by unit. So in other words, we’re ranking the four wide receivers groups in the NFC South by team, not by individual. But because I’m such a swell guy, I’ll add individual rankings at the end due to the compelling nature of this position group.

4. Carolina Panthers

D.J. Moore
Robby Anderson
Curtis Samuel
Seth Roberts
Pharoh Cooper

WR DJ Moore Photo by: Getty Images

Tough luck for the Panthers, as their wide receiver group is probably the best and deepest unit on their roster, but still finishes fourth next to the rest of the ridiculously stacked NFC South WR rooms. Moore could be a budding star, and Anderson became much more of a well-rounded receiver last season in New York, although his best attribute is still his ability to win deep.

The same could be said for Samuel, who hasn’t lived up to his second round expectations after three seasons, but struggled to link up down the field with the revolving door of quarterbacks in Carolina last season. How he and Anderson, both of whom are intriguing vertical threats, gel with a quarterback who isn’t aggressive down the field in Teddy Bridgewater will be very interesting to see.

3. New Orleans Saints

Michael Thomas
Emmanuel Sanders
Tre’Quan Smith
Deonte Harris
Austin Carr

Saints WR Michael Thomas
Saints WR Michael Thomas – Photo by: Getty Images

It seems bizarre to have the Saints in the third spot in the NFC South when they have one of the best wide receivers in the game and an extremely high-end No. 2 wide receiver in Emmanuel Sanders. There is no doubt about what those two bring to the table as route runners, technicians and finishers on the football, but neither are burners down the field, which is a role the Saints haven’t really filled with Ted Ginn departing for the Bears.

New Orleans’ depth is still a big question mark, with Smith likely seeing No. 3 receiver duties for the third year in a row despite a startling lack of production in 2019 after a promising rookie season. The Saints have Jared Cook, Adam Trautman and Josh Hill, so a strong No. 3 receiver isn’t a necessity, but it does remain more of a question mark on their team than some others.

2. Atlanta Falcons

Julio Jones
Calvin Ridley
Russell Gage
Laquon Treadwell
Olamide Zaccheaus
Christian Blake

Falcons WR Julio Jones –
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

An argument could be made for the Falcons to occupy the top spot given that they have the best receiver in the league on their roster, but my rationale is that Chris Godwin and Mike Evans are closer to Julio Jones than Calvin Ridley is to either of them. And I say that as an avid Ridley fan who believes he is currently one of the more underrated wide receivers in the league.

But he’s not top 10, there are four receivers in the South who are and the Bucs have two of them. That’ll usually get you the top spot. Atlanta still has one of the best receiving rooms in the league, especially if Russell Gage can continue to progress after a solid second season in 2019. The Falcons roster has a lot of issues, but their wide receiver unit isn’t one of them.

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Chris Godwin
Mike Evans
Tyler Johnson
Justin Watson
Scotty Miller

Bucs WR Chris Godwin
Bucs WR Chris Godwin – Photo by: Getty Images

If you have two of the top ten wide receivers in the NFL on your roster, chances are pretty good you’ll have the best wide receiver room in your division, if not the entire league. The Bucs might have both, especially if Tyler Johnson can make an impact as a rookie. One of the more high-profile fifth round picks in memory, Johnson produced at insane rates in college, and could find a nice role as an ancillary option in the Bucs passing game if he can beat out Watson and Miller.

But even if it’s just Evans and Godwin, the Bucs are still a difficult unit to top. With Godwin’s ability to dice teams from the slot, win contested catches and make plays after the catch as well, he’s become the perfect running mate for the vertical-prowess of Evans on the outside. I Can’t wait to see how Tom Brady meshes with the two dynamic pass-catchers.

Individual NFC South Top 10 WR Rankings

1. Julio Jones
2. Michael Thomas
3. Chris Godwin
4. Mike Evans
5. D.J. Moore
6. Emmanuel Sanders
7. Calvin Ridley
8. Robby Anderson
9. Curtis Samuel
10. Russell Gage

Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
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DerLutz

Arguably RB is the best Panthers position unit, because CMC alone is that good, but I get the point.

I agree with your Team List and with the Players List, except one point because Evans should be in front of Godwin

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Spitfire

Godwin over Evans? That’s tough man. Evans was easily over Godwin on the outside, Godwin did do Amazing as expected in the Slot. Godwin has the edge on speed and has proven to have Amazing hands, just don’t think I’d pick him over Evans if I had to choose. I wouldn’t really wanna have to chose, but Evans has just had too many ultra reliable years and is the best receiver we’ve ever had.

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Captain Sly

I know I know!!!
Everybody is entitled to their own opinions but lets just stick to the facts Please.. All Bucs fans were excited watching Chris Godwin in his Breakout season last year, But to rank him ahead of Mike Evans Best receiver in franchise history is ridiculous. Statistically Godwin was our #2 Last season so what metric are you using to even base your opinion on?

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Dave

Statistically Godwin was our #2 last year? Umm in what stat. Let’s see. Catches, yards, TD’s, yac, yac/rec, catch %, yards/target, blocking efficiency, and PFF grade. Did I miss anything? Lol Godwin was unanimously better across the board, in every single statistic. Only stat I can think of he was better in was yards/rec. If that’s your argument, it’s a really bad one, because Godwin was better in every way shape and form last year

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toofamiliar17

I agree that Evans is above Godwin right now, but to say that it’s “ridiculous” to put Godwin ahead of him is hyperbolic to the extreme. As Dave laid out, Godwin was more productive than Evans in every way last season. Even with Godwin catching relatively shorter passes (15.5 Y/R to Mike’s 17.3 Y/R), he still outdid him on a per target basis (a 4th in the league best 11.0 to Mike’s good but not great 9.8) due to his far superior catch percentage (in that metric, every season of Godwin’s career has been better than all but Mike’s best… Read more »

Dave

Exactly man. They’re both studs. The only thing that stopped Godwin from starting off his career with multiple 1000 yard seasons like Evans, was he wasn’t a top 10 pick, and he had Evans and Jackson in front of him. In the limited time he got his 1st year he was solid. Year 2 he broke out. Last year he broke out into elite status. But it’s personal preference with them. Just be thankful they’re both on our team. But it really Doesn’t matter who’s ranked higher. I love em both, and you can’t go wrong with either Rate this… Read more »

bucballer

Mike Evans is clearly the #1 WR! He’s only 27 and he has had a thousand receiving yards in EVERY season he has played! That’s 6 consecutive thousand yard seasons! Tied with Randy Moss for most consecutive thousand yard seasons in NFL history. Barring injury, he should set the NFL record with his 7th consecutive 1000 yard season! He is the greatest WR the Bucs have ever had! Period! Now Godwin is a beast too! But he has to maintain his level of play for a couple of years before we put him in Evan’s company. I think Godwin will… Read more »

toofamiliar17

That is a lot of exclamation points.

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bucballer

Because what Evans has/is done/doing is that incredible!!! Tell me someone who’s been better in his first 6 seasons? I’ll wait…

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Dave

I think people are taking this a little too far. Nobody is saying Evans sucks. Not one person is saying anything bad in any way about him. When you have 2 pro bowl receivers, it’s personal preference. Seriously, who cares who ranks who higher. Why in any way does it matter when they’re both on our team. Lol. Just enjoy them both while we have them both

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toofamiliar17

I love Mike, but there are plenty of receivers who have been better than Mike in their first six seasons. Here are Mike’s basic numbers through those 6 seasons: 462 catches @ 55.3% catch rate, 7,260 yards, 48 TDs. Randy Moss put up 525 receptions @ 58.1% catch rate, 8,375 yards, and 77 TDs. Calvin Johnson put up 488 receptions @ 55.6% catch rate, 7,836 yards, and 54 TDs. Julio Jones had 497 receptions @ 64% catch rate, 7,610 yards, and 40 TDs. Antonio Brown put up 526 receptions @ 66.6% catch rate, 7,093 yards, and 38 TDs. Jerry Rice… Read more »

IDGABuc

Dude, you just named 5 first ballot HOF WR’s off the bat to prove Mike Evans isn’t one of the best WR’s? Or not THE best?? I feel like the beginning of your post made other peoples point more than your own.. Which was what again?? Idk. I stopped reading at “Jerry Rice”..

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Dave

Look, I totally understand the people that put Evans ahead of Godwin. The overall body of work and year to year consistency from day 1 would put Evans first. And in no way would I call someone wrong for picking Evans. But I’m with Leynard, I’d take Godwin over Evans too. I just think Godwin is the complete package, and the next AB without the baggage. I think fast forward 5 years from now, we’ll be talking about Godwin as hands down the best WR in the league. He can do it all. Elite hands, elite route runner, elite run… Read more »

bucballer

Potential…in 5 years or so… is great. Lot of players had tons of potential. They never reached their potential. Point is, yes, Godwin is a beast with tons of potential. Let’s just wait a bit to make him the best WR in the NFL until he’s done it 2-3-4 years in a row like Mike. Godwin just might be great… one day. Mike Evans is great now! His first six seasons of thousand yards in each proves it.

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Dave

Wi 5 yearth Godwin it isn’t he has potential. It’s he already has it. He’s a stud. The entire football world knows he’s a stud. He broke out year 2 even with Evans and Jackson in front of him. The way people are taking this, youd think he plays for a division rival. They’re both studs. Consider them 1A and 1B. He had almost 900 yards and 7 TD’s year 2, and then 86 rec for 1300 yards and 10 TD’s year 3. He’s already proven. it’s not “he has potential“ anymore. He’s unanimously considered a top 10 WR in… Read more »

BigSombrero

I’m a huge fan of the Bucs WRs, but if I’m being objective, Atlanta should be #1 in 2020. I think the Bucs and Saints are arguably 2nd. I have relatives in Nawlins and they point out the Saints are clearly deeper and the have the #1 WR in the NFL.

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Dman

Pretty amazing WR talent in our division. I like the Evans, Godwin debate and think it’s more about how you use either in your offense, but hard to argue these two are among the top in the league. Tyler Johnson may put us over the top as our WR3. Shocked we were able to draft him in RD5. I’m higher on Scotty Miller than Watson. Watson played scared last season and I think took a step back. No idea what was going on, but just what I saw.

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bucballer

Scotty Miller has to stay healthy enough to make the final roster.

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alexex90

Why are the Saints in the third spot in the NFC South? Daily soccer predictions

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