While some of you are probably looking over MLB picks today, it’s never too early to talk about the gridiron, too.
Receivers have become some of the most noticeable names in today’s NFL. It’s a must to have an electric wideout who your big-money quarterback can turn to in crucial situations.
Here are a few pass-catchers who are primed for a big campaign this fall.
Miami gave up a large haul of draft picks to take Tyreek Hill off of the Chiefs’ hands. In four of the last five seasons, he’s put up at least 1,100 receiving yards.
Last season, he had the third-most catches (111) and receiving yards (1,239) in the NFL. His new head coach, Mike McDaniel, drew up creative ways to get the ball to Deebo Samuel in San Francisco. It’s likely he does the same for his new speedy weapon.
Patrick Mahomes will miss Hill in Kansas City.
Another wideout who switched uniforms this offseason, Davante Adams leaves behind the blustery winters in Wisconsin for the glitz and glamour of the Las Vegas strip.
Along with the five-year, $141 million pact the Raiders gave him, Adams will also benefit from a reunion with Derek Carr, who he played with at Fresno State.
A first-team All-Pro selection each of the past two years, Adams was targeted at least 120 times every season since 2016. His 18 scores in 2020 were the most in the league.
The pair are tied together for a few years, at least, after Carr recently signed an extension.
En route to a Super Bowl victory this past February, the Rams’ Cooper Kupp produced at a rate that few have been able to. As Matthew Stafford’s primary target, he paced the league in receptions (145), receiving yards (1,947), and receiving touchdowns (40).
It isn’t a sure thing that Odell Beckham Jr. will return to L.A. after injuring his knee in the Super Bowl. I don’t think it would matter, anyway. Kupp will remain Stafford’s go-to guy as the team strives for a repeat.
After opting out of his last season at LSU, Ja’Marr Chase landed in the best spot possible to start his professional career.
Back with college teammate and Heisman winner Joe Burrow for his rookie slate, Chase’s game-breaking presence was a big reason for the Bengals’ surprising playoff run.
He made a name for himself in the regular season, turning in a pair of 200-yard showings, including an 11-catch, 266-yard effort in the penultimate game of the schedule.
The battery of Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs is a sort of connection that hasn’t been seen in upstate New York in some time.
It’s possible that the combo could be even more dangerous after being given extra motivation by their playoff exit in an instant classic in January.
Since arriving in Buffalo, Diggs has turned in 230 catches and 2,760 receiving yards, enough of an inclination for the Bills to give him a four-year, $104 million extension.
With his absence all of last season after an ankle surgery, it’s easy to forget that New Orleans’ Michael Thomas has shown the ability to be among the most productive wideouts.
He led all pass-catchers in receptions in his 2018 and 2019 first-team All-Pro campaigns.
Returning from a season-ending injury of his own, Jameis Winston will be happy to have someone of Thomas’ caliber lining up outside. If Thomas can stay healthy, it’s possible that he gets back to form.
Somewhat quietly, the Steelers’ Diontae Johnson racked up 107 grabs in 2021, the fifth-most in the league.
Mitchell Trubisky should open up Pittsburgh’s options a bit, providing a mobile threat that Ben Roethlisberger hadn’t been able to for a while.
Inline for a new contract, Johnson will be looking to post big numbers and prove he’s deserving of the money he desires.
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