The NFL seems to be moving towards being a more pass dominant league as each year passes. As this progression continues, the wide receiver position becomes more and more valuable. Having a reliable receiving core is almost mandatory to have in order to be offensively successful. Here are the top four receiving duos in NFL going into the 2019 season.
4. Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons receiving core always seems to be in good standing. The main reason behind this is none other than Julio Jones.
Jones has proven to be in the “best receiver in the league” conversation year in and year out. His 10,731 receiving yards, since entering the league in 2011, is second only to Antonio Brown in that time span. In 2018, Jones led the NFL in receiving yards with 1,677 on 113 receptions. To top it off, the Pro-Bowl receiver caught eight touchdowns.
The second piece to the Atlanta duo is Alabama alumni Calvin Ridley. In his first season, Ridley caught 64 passes for 821 yards. In addition, the rookie led the team in receiving touchdowns with ten.
Ridley’s role with the team will only grow as time continues, making him a crucial part of the Falcons receiving core.
3. Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams
Brandin Cooks is the first player in NFL history to have put up three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons with a different team each year. This accomplishment not only showed Cooks’ skill, but proved that he did not need much time to fit into the Rams’ scheme after being traded to them last offseason. The wide receiver caught 80 passes for 1,204 yards and five touchdowns in 2018.
Cooks is paired with Robert Woods, who arguably can be considered the WR1 in Los Angeles. In only his second year, Woods compiled 1,219 yards on 86 receptions. In addition, the wideout pulled in six touchdown grabs.
With two 1,000-yard receivers on the team, the Rams pack a nice one-two punch on the perimeter. Also, with Cooper Kupp coming back from an ACL injury, the receiving core is set to be loaded.
2. Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, Cleveland Browns
After the blockbuster trade that sent Odell Beckham Jr to Cleveland took place, the Browns quickly became the favorite to win the AFC North. Not only does this show how talented of a player OBJ is, but it also displays how he completes the offense.
In 2018, Odell pulled in 77 receptions for 1,052 yards and six touchdowns. That makes for his fourth 1,000-yard season in a span of five years. The consistency of Beckham Jr. is phenomenal, which is what makes him such a productive player.
OBJ is now reunited with his former Louisiana State University teammate Jarvis Landry. Over the years, Landry has proven himself to have some of the best hands in the league.
In 2018, Landry was the cornerstone of the Browns’ receiving core as he was targeted for a team-high 149 times. The receiver compiled 976 yards on 81 receptions and caught 4 touchdowns in the process.
The Browns receiving tandem is going to be exciting to watch as Beckham Jr. and Landry already have chemistry from being college teammate.
1. Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings
The receiving duo in Minnesota made history for the franchise in 2018. For the first time since 2000, the Vikings have two receivers who each put up 1000-yard seasons.
Last season, Adam Thielen caught 113 passes for 1,373 yards and nine touchdowns. Thielen hit the ground running for the 2018 campaign as he became the first player in NFL history to amass eight consecutive games of 100-plus receiving yards to start a season. He totaled nine such games to set a franchise record.
Meanwhile, Thielen’s counter-part to the receiving duo was creating records of his own. Stefon Diggs matched the franchise record of games with eight-plus receptions, tying Cris Carter with eight. Diggs finished the season with 102 receptions for 1,021 yards and nine touchdowns.
What makes the Vikings duo so dangerous is the fact that 2018 was their first year with Kirk Cousins at quarterback. Now that chemistry has been established, the receiving core of the Vikings is set to be the best in the NFL.
Featured Image Credit: The Athletic