Publish Date: 03/01/2022
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis
In the last half of the season, Higgins turned it on, caught the fourth-most passes over 10 yards downfield (37), and produced a top-10 receiving grade on such targets. Higgins isn’t afraid to go over the middle, and he is excellent at catching 50/50 balls.
Renfrow catches everything thrown to him in the slot, and he is tough as nails; if a play needs to be made, Renfrow will make it. Renfrow is great at creating separation in the slot, and he is one of the top route-runners in the league.
Lamb played inside and outside this past season, and he was far and away better on the outside. Lamb’s biggest strength may be his toughness when competing for 50/50 balls. Lamb is robust and tenacious and will only get better.
The Chiefs offense had to be more patient this season because of how teams played defense against them, and Hill adjusted beautifully to that. Hill turned into a complete receiver this season as he hauled in 74 passes less than nine yards downfield, 22 more than in any other season of his career and the sixth-most among wide receivers. Hill’s 75 first downs plus touchdowns tied for the third-most among wide receivers in the regular season.
Diggs is one of the more valuable receivers in the league to his team as quarterback Josh Allen took off as soon as Diggs arrived in Buffalo. His production waned in the second half of the season, which dropped him out of the top five, but Diggs is an elite receiver.
Chase was the rookie of the year and with good reason as he got better and better as the season went on. Questions about his pass-catching ability have been answered, and just like Jefferson, he is set up to be at or near the top of these rankings for the foreseeable future.
Against man-press coverage on the outside, Jefferson generated an NFL-leading 3.29 yards per route run. He was a stud as a rookie, and he was even better in his second season with the Vikings. Jefferson is destined to be in this top 5 for the next decade barring injury.
Samuel has turned into a complete football player and is a threat from anywhere on the field. He makes the 49ers offense explosive and dangerous anytime he is on the field. Samuel ranked third in the NFL in the percentage of targets that result in a 15-plus yard gain. He was an absolute monster in the backfield also.
Adams is the best route-runner in the game, and his ability to dissect defenses is second to none. He is the best at beating man coverage in the game, and he may have the best hands in the entire league. It took a fantastic year by Cooper Kupp to knock Adams off the number one spot.
Kupp had a historic season and capped it off by being named the offensive player of the year and Super Bowl MVP. His 3.12 yards per route run this year not only led the position, but it also tied for the best in a single regular season in the last decade with Julio Jones’ 2016 campaign. Kupp’s 33 explosive receptions of 15 or more yards from the slot were 14 more than any other wide receiver this season. Kupp is a great route-runner and tough as nails going over the middle of the field. He also doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty blocking.
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