Where do the Falcons receivers stack up against the rest of the NFL?


We began this series ranking the best secondaries NFL. Now, we turn to the other side of the football to focus on the receivers. This is another area where the Falcons have excelled and only improved this offseason when they drafted Calvin Ridley in the first-round.

Ridley will serve as another deadly weapon that can operate out of the slot. With receivers like Mohammed Sanu and Julio Jones occupying the same field as him, he should have a ton of room to play with in the middle of the field. That is a scary proposition for opposing defenses. And if week two of the preseason was a sign of things to come for Ridley, this receiving core just might be as unstoppable as it seems on paper.

*This list does include tight-ends as receivers. 

The God Awful

Dallas Cowboys

Buffalo Bills

Miami Dolphins

Seattle Seahawks

Baltimore Ravens

Indianapolis Colts

New York Jets

Tennessee Titans

Ezekiel Elliot better be a superstar because it is hard seeing Dak Prescott continue to take steps forward with the kind of receiving talent put around him. The Bills receivers are most known for coming into training camp forty pounds overweight and a viral video of a naked Zay Jones literally losing his mind. Hopefully, the Dolphins do not think Danny Amendola is their savior now that Jarvis Landry is in Cleveland. Seattle has Doug Baldwin and nobody else. The Ravens have not successfully drafted a wide receiver since Vietnam. The Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall days are no more in New York. However, Robby Anderson is a sleeper wide receiver in the NFL. Shoutout to Corey Davis, who I expect to have a much better season this year, but the rest of the Titans receiving core is lackluster.

Receiving Cores with Hope

Arizona Cardinals

Washington Redskins

San Francisco 49ers

Carolina Panthers

Jacksonville Jaguars

Yeah, you might think Larry Fitzgerald is on his way out of the league but he continues to put up solid season after solid season. I am done counting him out. The Redskins end up on this list primarily because of Jordan Reed. He is a top talent at the tight end position, but injuries have prevented him from becoming a star. Hopefully, he can stay healthy for the majority of next season. The Panthers added DJ Moore, and while I do not think he will be as good as Ridley, he improves the group by a lot. Curtis Samuel also returns healthy after only playing in two games last season. The Jaguars lost both Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns in free agency. However, Marqise Lee is back after a career year, and I firmly believe D.J. Chark, a second-round pick out of LSU will be a difference maker in the NFL.

The Middle of the Road

Green Bay Packers

Cincinnati Bengals

Oakland Raiders

Denver Broncos 

Chicago Bears

Houston Texans

Detroit Lions

New Orleans Saints 

Jimmy Graham was the Packers biggest addition to their receiving core. He is a spectacular target, but Rodgers has been known for under-utilizing his tight-ends. That is going to be an intriguing situation to monitor throughout the season. The Bengals once had A.J Green, Marvin Jones Jr., and Mohamed Sanu all on their team. Why is Andy Dalton still an NFL QB and Marvin Lewis a head coach? Jordy Nelson is not going to be a savior for the Oakland Raiders. The Bears have a lot of reasons for optimism with Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel and a healthy Kevin White heading into 2018. The Texans and Saints both feature premier number one wide receivers, but have little else after that.

The Good but not Great

11) San Diego Chargers

10) Philadelphia Eagles

9) Los Angeles Rams

8) Minnesota Vikings

7) New England Patriots

6)  Cleveland Browns

The Chargers receiving core is one of the best in the NFL. Unfortunately, health has been a major concern with this unit. If this is the year they finally all stay healthy, they could be a Super Bowl contender. The Eagles barely make this group in large part due to Zach Ertz who has become an elite tight end. The Rams inked Brandin Cooks to a long-term contract. He should be a nice upgrade over Sammy Watkins. The Vikings tandem of Stefan Diggs and Adam Thielen really came into their own last season. Kyle Rudolph at the tight end spot also adds some nice balance to their core. The Patriots are reeling with the loss of Danny Amendola, Brandin Cooks and now a Julian Edelman suspension, but Rob Gronkowski is enough to earn them a spot in the top ten. The Browns receiving core underwent the best transformation. They get Josh Gordon back, who looks to be in absolutely fantastic shape. They signed Jarvis Landry to a long-term deal, and I even like rookie wide receiver Antonio Callaway out of Florida and second-year tight end David Njoku. This a receiving core that will be one of the best in the NFL, people just have a hard time fathoming any aspect of the Browns organization being successful.

The Cream of the Crop

5) Kansas City Chiefs

4) New York Giants

3) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2) Pittsburgh Steelers

1) Atlanta Falcons

Argue about the order, just do not argue about the teams. Or argue about both, because I really have no idea what I am talking about. The Chiefs bring in Sammy Watkins to pair with Tyreek Hill. As Patrick Mahomes takes over at quarterback, expect a lot of home-run balls in Kansas City. The Bucs may not have a lot to be excited about heading into 2018, but Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Adam Humphries and Chris Godwin provide Winston with a host of weapons to chose from. Combine that with a budding tight-end in O.J. Howard and the Bucs have one of the nastiest groups of pass-catchers in the NFL. The Steelers come in at number two not only because of Antonio Brown, who is arguably the best receiver in the league, but also because of the emergence of JuJu Smith-Schuster.

And coming in at the number one spot is none other than the Atlanta Falcons. Argue about anything else on this list, but this spot is set in stone. Call me a homer, call me an idiot, call me whatever, but the Falcons have far an away the best receiving core in the league. Julio Jones is at worst a top-three receiver in the NFL. His counterpart, Mohamed Sanu, has emerged as one of the most steady #2 receivers in the league and the perfect compliment to Jones. Now, Atlanta brings in Calvin Ridley. Ridley is going to be a stud, and nobody should be surprised if he has a similar season to JuJu Smith’s rookie campaign. Add into that, Austin Hooper is a progressing tight-end heading into his third season and Justin Hardy is another quality receiving option for Matt Ryan. This is a recipe for disaster for opposing secondaries. The Falcons have the best receiving core in the NFL, and frankly, it is not even close.


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