Today’s NFL is all about passing. To win games in this league you must have at least one wide receiver able to move the ball through the air as the rules give offenses a clear advantage to do so. But what about three? Oftentimes, teams who field the best quarterback and the best group of receivers will win the football game. Just look at the two teams that made the Super Bowl this past year. Both team’s had tremendous quarterbacks in Matthew Stafford and Joe Burrow but also had a robust crop of pass catchers with which to attack a defense.
With so many talented receivers entering the league in recent seasons, the NFL is currently at a surplus of premier pass-catching talent. Nearly every team has a very good lineup of receivers and defenses are at a severe disadvantage. As it’s the dead period of the NFL, it’s fun to look at the league landscape and rank position groups across the league so let’s look at the top five wide receiver trios the league has to offer.
5. Las Vegas Raiders (Davante Adams, Hunter Renfrow, DeMarcus Robinson)
This was the hardest spot on my list. It came down to the Raiders, Eagles and Seahawks but at the end of the day the presence of Adams as the Raiders number one receiver puts them over the top. Adams joins the Raiders receiving corps coming off a year in which he was second in receiving yards and fifth in receiving touchdowns league-wide. He’s long been considered one of the best receivers in the NFL and I believe he still has another three years of dominant football ahead of him – especially as he reunites with his friend and former college quarterback Derek Carr. Renfrow will align in the slot in three receiver sets and is coming off a Pro Bowl season in which he established himself as one of the best slots in the league. The presence of Adams will only help Renfrow thrive. Robinson signed as a free agent this offseason coming from the Chiefs. Robinson is a speed receiver and a guy who can take the top off the defense. His vertical ability will create spacing for Adams and Renfrow to work underneath.
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Russell Gage)
Next on the list is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Even putting them at four still feels low. The team boasts Evans as their number one and he could be the most underappreciated wide receiver in NFL history just for his level of consistency throughout his NFL career. Evans has recorded eight straight 1,000-yard seasons and is showing no signs of slowing down. Godwin is the team’s number two receiver but when healthy there are some who believe that he is actually more talented than Evans. Godwin is an outstanding player who thrives after the catch but is coming off an ACL injury so there is some question to how he will look when he returns. Lastly for the Bucs is the newly acquired Gage, who is coming off a career year with the Falcons where he led all Atlanta receivers in yards and touchdowns. Now that Gage will be the team’s third receiver, look for him to find a ton of success against the team’s third cornerback.
3. Los Angeles Rams (Cooper Kupp, Allen Robinson, Van Jefferson)
The Super Bowl champs come in at number three on our list and depending on how things go this season they can climb even higher. Kupp is the team’s number one receiver and is currently coming off a season that saw him lead the league in every major statistical category. We haven’t seen a more dominant season from a wide receiver since Jerry Rice way back when and there’s reason to believe that Kupp is just getting started. The team has probably lost OBJ in free agency but was able to sign Allen Robinson from the Bears to be their number two receiver opposite of Kupp. Robinson to me is the ultimate wild card. From a talent perspective, there aren’t 10 better receivers than Robinson in the league. He is long, athletic, has good speed and fluidity and is a very good hands catcher. He struggled to find production in Chicago due to horrible quarterback play and nagging injuries but when things are clicking, he is a Pro Bowl player. Now in a much better situation, I expect a huge year for Robinson. Jefferson rounds out this trio and he is a player who I like. He has shown flashes of brilliance, but they are few and far between. If he takes the next step in his development the Rams offense will be even that much harder to defend.
2. Miami Dolphins (Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, Cedrick Wilson)
A lot can change in one offseason as the Miami Dolphins can certainly attest. They went from having an above-average receiver corps to now having my second-best wide receiver trio in the NFL. The Dolphins made a massive move this offseason when they traded for Hil,l who for my money, is a top three receiver in the NFL and the most dangerous offensive player to defend. He can literally change games with his ability to score and his speed and playmaking ability was much needed. Opposite Hill is the 2021 top-10 pick Waddle, who is coming off a great rookie season. While the team’s utilization of Waddle didn’t make much sense as they featured him predominately underneath and on quick timing routes failing to maximize his speed and explosiveness, there is immense potential here for a second-year breakout season. Hill wasn’t the only receiver Miami acquired this offseason as the team also signed free agent Wilson from the Dallas Cowboys. Wilson is a player who consistently caught my eye whenever I watched Dallas and is someone I believe is just only going to get better.
1. Cincinnati Bengals (Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd)
Now for the number one wide receiver trio on my list, the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals lit the league up last year through the air and it was largely since their receiving corps is so loaded. The trio is led by 2021 Offensive Rookie of the Year Ja’Marr Chase, who within just a season cemented himself as a top ten receiver in the NFL. Chase’s blend of speed, quickness, physicality, and competitiveness make him virtually unrecoverable and his chemistry with quarterback Joe Burrow was evident from day one. It wouldn’t shock me at all if after this upcoming season we are talking about Chase as the best receiver in the league.Higgins is a player who many people liked entering the season, but not many realized just how good he is. He has the talent to be a true number one on many other teams and he is only going to get better. He is a big, bodied pass catcher who thrives over the middle of the field and in the end zone. Boyd has been around forever and is just the constant contributor in this offense. He plays from the slot and is an excellent route runner with very good hands. With this trio the Bengals offense will be scary for years to come.
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