Julio Jones has been named to five straight Pro Bowls and has led the league in receiving twice in that span
When it comes to the top wide receivers in the NFL there hasn't been a changing of the guard entering the 2019 season. But some of the elite guys have changed uniforms.
Both Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham Jr. were traded this offseason with their new teams hoping they will just as much, if not more of an impact, than they had with their former teams. Additionally, Amari Cooper embarks on his first full season with Dallas after joining the Cowboys via a mid-season trade in 2018.
But while some things have changed, others remain the same, such as Julio Jones checking in as Athlon Sports' No. 1 wide receiver. Jones continues to produce at an elite level even though he's entering his ninth season with the Falcons. So if Jones is first and Brown and Beckham follow him with Cooper checking in at No. 10, who makes up the rest of the top 30?
Athlon's player rankings are just one of the features that appear in the 2019 NFL Preview magazine.
2019 NFL Wide Receiver Rankings
1. Julio Jones, Atlanta
Matt Ryan’s reliance on No. 11 is reflected by Jones’ 2018 NFL-high total of third down catches for first downs (24). Led the NFL with 1,677 receiving yards, making Jones the first player in NFL history to record five straight seasons with 1,400-plus receiving yards and 80-plus receptions.
2. Antonio Brown, Oakland
After a disastrous end to the 2018 season in Pittsburgh, “A.B.” got what he wanted this offseason — a fresh start away from Ben Roethlisberger along with a pay raise. Now it’s on Brown to leave the past behind and resume the elite-level play that is producing Hall of Fame-level production.
3. Odell Beckham Jr., Cleveland
The Browns were ecstatic to capitalize upon the dysfunctional relationship between OBJ and the N.Y. Giants that led to his offseason trade. A happy OBJ working with quarterback Baker Mayfield and fellow wideout (and close friend) Jarvis Landry should make opposing cornerbacks miserable.
4. DeAndre Hopkins, Houston
An overwhelming first-team All-Pro selection who has always produced regardless of adverse circumstances such as injuries at QB (Deshaun Watson in 2017) and wide receiver (Will Fuller V in 2018). Played on a higher percentage of offensive snaps (99.09) than any other wide receiver, running back or tight end in 2018.
5. Michael Thomas, New Orleans
The first Saints receiver elected to consecutive Pro Bowls since Joe Horn in 2001-02 — and for good reason. His 321 career catches are the most ever by a player through his first three NFL seasons.
6. Julian Edelman, New England
It’s no coincidence that New England’s passing offense averaged 60.9 yards more per game (281.4) for the final 12 contests last season after Edelman returned from a four-game PED suspension. His 115 postseason receptions rank second all-time behind Jerry Rice (151).
7. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay
Attempting to join Randy Moss in 2019 as the only players ever to open their careers with six consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons. He’s already the leading receiver in Bucs history (6,103 yards).
8. T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis
No opponent knows how good Hilton is more than the Houston Texans. In 15 career games against his AFC South rival, Hilton has caught 81 passes for 1,530 yards and nine touchdowns.
9. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh
His emergence after two NFL seasons made it easier for the Steelers to part ways with discontented Antonio Brown. Voted the Steelers’ 2018 MVP by his teammates after finishing in the top six among all wide receivers in 100-yard games (eight), receiving yards (1,426), catches (111), and receptions for first downs (68).
10. Amari Cooper, Dallas
All the critics who believed the Cowboys overpaid by sending Oakland a 2019 first-round pick for Cooper midway through last season were silenced by the immediate impact he made. He was the NFL’s ninth-leading receiver between Weeks 9 and 17, with an especially big impact on third downs (13 first downs on 17 catches).
11. A.J. Green, Cincinnati
12. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona
13. Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers
14. Adam Thielen, Minnesota
15. Davante Adams, Green Bay
16. Jarvis Landry, Cleveland
17. Emmanuel Sanders, Denver
18. Stefon Diggs, Minnesota
19. Brandin Cooks, Los Angeles Rams
20. Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati
21. Kenny Golladay, Detroit
22. Golden Tate, New York Giants
23. Robby Anderson, New York Jets
24. Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams
25. Adam Humphries, Tennessee
26. Alshon Jeffery, Philadelphia
27. Tyler Lockett, Seattle
28. Will Fuller, Houston
29. Sterling Shepard, New York Giants
30. Allen Robinson, Chicago