2014 NFL Player Rankings: Wide Receivers

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Calvin Johnson heads up the list of the NFL’s most talented and explosive wideouts

2014 NFL Player Rankings: Wide Receivers

In the 2014 edition of Athlon Sports’ Pro Football preview, we called on Ourlads Scouting Services to rank the NFL’s best at every position on the field. When it comes to determining who is the best quarterback, running back, wide receiver, linebacker, cornerback, etc., who better to make that determination than a company that’s been in the gridiron talent evaluation business for nearly three decades?

 

There’s little debate, if any, that Calvin Johnson is the top wide receiver in the NFL. Besides holding the single-season record for receiving yards (1,964, 2012), the man known as Megatron has averaged 88 yards per game over his seven seasons. That is No. 1 all-time, even better than Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (75.6 ypg), who is considered the greatest of all-time at the position. If anyone has a chance to potentially supplant Rice as the GOAT, it’s Johnson.

 

In fact, the top four in career receiving yards per game can be found in Ourlads’ top 10. After Johnson, this list goes Andre Johnson (82.2 ypg), A.J. Green (81.6) and Julio Jones (80.5). That said, there is only one team in the league that boasts two of the top 10 wide receivers. The Chicago Bears have both Brandon Marshall (No. 4) and Alshon Jeffery (No. 8) to torment opposing defenses. Two explosive pass-catchers (not to mention the No. 6 RB and No. 9 TE) AND a lucrative, seven-year contract? Jay Cutler is a lucky man.

 

Rankings courtesy of Ourlads Scouting Services

 

2014 NFL Player Rankings: Wide Receivers

 

1. Calvin Johnson, Detroit

Shrugged off some injuries and caught 84 balls, racking up 1,492 yards and 12 touchdowns last fall. A rare combination of measurables, athletic ability and intelligence. Can break a tackle or make a defender miss.

 

2. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona

Has been a reliable, sure-handed and consistent playmaker over his career, and 2013 was no different with 82 receptions, 954 yards and 10 touchdowns. A polished route-runner who changes up his speeds well to set up defenders.

 

3. A.J. Green, Cincinnati

An explosive All-Pro talent. Has rare quickness and leaping ability. A consistent and sharp route-runner with a strong and wiry build.

 

4. Brandon Marshall, Chicago

Led the Bears with 100 receptions and was second in yards with 1,295. He is also an uncompromising blocker. A physically strong wide receiver who can beat coverage with quickness or strength.

 

5. Andre Johnson, Houston

Will be 33 this season but hasn't slowed down. Once again, he led the Texans with 100-plus catches and 1,400-plus yards. An imposing physical specimen who is an excellent athlete.

 

6. Demaryius Thomas, Denver

A physically gifted receiver who led the Broncos with 92 receptions and 1,430 yards. A playmaker who will reach and extend for the ball away from his body. Uses his size and strength to dominate between the hash marks.

 

7. Josh Gordon, Cleveland

An exciting and emerging talent for the Browns. Has the speed to get behind secondaries and take the ball away from small defensive backs. Explosive player after the catch.

 

8. Alshon Jeffery, Chicago

Had a breakout year, leading the Bears with 1,421 yards and catching 89 passes. Many of his catches were of the circus-style variety. Makes plays with his big frame and long arms.

 

9. Dez Bryant, Dallas

Is a roller coaster of emotions, but his talent is undisputed as is his production — 93 catches for 1,233 yards and 13 touchdowns last season.

 

10. Julio Jones, Atlanta

Was hurt last year and finished the season on injured reserve. He is a big, physical receiver with rare speed for his size. Will sacrifice his body for the ball.

 

11. Anquan Boldin, San Francisco

12. Percy Harvin, Seattle

13. Jordy Nelson, Green Bay

14. DeSean Jackson, Washington

15. Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay

16. Keenan Allen, San Diego

17. Eric Decker, NY Jets

18. Michael Crabtree, San Francisco

19. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh

20. Golden Tate, Detroit

21. Marques Colston, New Orleans

22. Marvin Jones, Cincinnati

23. Wes Welker, Denver

24. Nate Washington, Tennessee

25. Kendall Wright, Tennessee

26. Pierre Garcon, Washington

27. Michael Floyd, Arizona

28. T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis

29. Julian Edelman, New England

30. Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis

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