Assuming the 2020 NFL Season is going to happen, here is a look into the best wide receivers heading into the season.
1. Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints
Although Michael Thomas may be known as a receiver that mostly catches slants from a Hall of Fame quarterback in Drew Brees, but there is no denying the major production Thomas has brought to the Saints since 2016. Having 1,000 plus yards in each season he has been in the league, Thomas has amassed over 5,500 receiving yards in his career. He is coming off an epic 2019 season where he led the league in receiving yards with 1,725 and nine touchdowns, and an NFL record 149 receptions. He also became the first wide receiver to win AP Offensive Player of the Year since 1993 when Jerry Rice won it.
Thomas is only 27 years old and is essentially in his prime and shows no sign of slowing down, so expect the near same production in the 2020 season.
2. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
Julio Jones has been a polarizing, generational talent at the wide receiver position ever since entering the league with the Falcons in 2011. His size and speed are nothing we have ever seen from the wide receiver position (except Calvin Johnson) and it is safe to say Jones has already put himself in the discussion as one of the best receivers of all time. Jones has had a 1,300 plus receiving yard season every year since 2013 and has an NFL record 96.2 receiving yards average per game. Even though the Falcons struggled this past season, Jones still showed out having 1,394 receiving yards with six touchdowns. He is a model of consistency at the position, and anything less shouldn’t be expected from such a generational talent next season.
3. DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals
After the Texans traded away DeAndre Hopkins for virtually a bag of chips and a bottle of Gatorade to the Arizona Cardinals, many called this trade one of the worst trades of all time. This is because Hopkins has shown how valuable he is to a team. Even though Hopkins only had 1,165 receiving yards and 11.2 average yards per catch last season, Hopkins is still a deadly weapon to any offense. Hopkins was very instrumental in the 10 wins the Texans were able to get this season and showed out in the playoffs where he recorded 208 yards in two games.
Hopkins is ready to show his worth with up and coming star quarterback Kyler Murray and the Cardinals, and having Larry Fitzgerald, even at his age to draw defenders away from him, should work in his favor.
4. Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers
Davante Adams is one of the most underrated receivers in the league. A lot of people tend to exclude him in a top-five wide receiver discussion. But exclude no more as Adams comes in at number four. Adams really broke out in 2018 when he had 1,386 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns. He continued his monster production in the 2019 season where he had 5 games recording 100 plus receiving yards, only playing in 12 of them due to a toe injury.
But it was the playoffs where Adams showed his true worth. In the Divisional Round against the Seattle Seahawks, Adams caught eight passes for a postseason franchise record 160 yards and two touchdowns in a 28–23 victory. In the NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers, Adams had nine catches for 138 yards. Adams became the only Packer with two 100+ receiving yard games in a single postseason.
5. Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Chris Godwin enjoyed himself a breakout season with the Buccaneers in 2019, where he recorded 89 receptions with 1,333 yards and nine touchdowns in 14 games. Godwin set career highs in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns. He was also rewarded with a Pro Bowl nod and a second-team All-Pro selection. Godwin was still able to put up these amazing numbers even with another elite wide receiver alongside him in Mike Evans, and an up and down quarterback in Jameis Winston.
Now that Godwin has a future Hall of Famer and one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time in Tom Brady, one should expect even better numbers from Godwin this coming season. Or Brady will be exposed as a system quarterback and that it was all Belichick winning those six rings, but that is an article for a different time.
Odell Beckham Jr., Cleveland Browns
It was very hard to leave Beckham off the top 5, but he really had a down year in 2019, barely getting to 1,000 yards and only four touchdowns. Yet, he still remains one of the most talented wide receivers in the league, with his ability to route run and making jaw-dropping catches. With nagging injuries and poor play by his quarterback Baker Mayfield, his down year is not all on him. But he has to prove that he is the guy he was with the Giants to potentially make his way back into top five consideration and he has all the talent in the world to do so.
Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs
Hill may not be an all that talented wideout, as he mainly uses his blazing speed to get by defenders, but just like Michael Thomas, his production can’t be overlooked. Hill has already amassed over 4,000 receiving yards and 32 touchdowns in his first four years in the league. In 2019, Hill had 860 receiving yards and seven touchdowns in only 12 games. Hill has also had the luxury to play with the great Patrick Mahomes, so his numbers are bound to look good as long as he plays with him throughout his career.
Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Mike Evans has been a model of a consistent pro bowl wideout ever since his rookie season. He has surpassed 1,000 plus yards every year he has been in the league. Chris Godwin might have taken some of the shine away from him, but Evans is as a reliable receiver as they come. In 2019 he had 1,157 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in only 13 games.