Ranking the Best WR-Duos in the NFL
With the Titans trading for star receiver Julio Jones, they have created a formidable receiver duo with Jones and AJ Brown. However, they are not the only team in the league with two great receivers. There are many teams out there that boast incredible duos. So, let us now take a look at which teams have the best pair of receivers.
#5. Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb
The Dallas Cowboys drafted Lamb with the 18th overall pick last season, to pair him up with Cooper and Michael Gallup. Cooper has been one of the best in the league since he entered as a rookie in 105. In five of his first six seasons, he has eclipsed the 1000 yard mark, and in his two full seasons with the Cowboys, he has had over 1100 yards each year. He did this in 2020 despite quarterback Dak Prescott getting injured in week five, and having three quarterbacks start games the rest of the season. Cooper has been one of the more consistently good receivers in the league the last couple of seasons and only just turned 27 today.
Lamb was expected to be the third receiver his rookie season behind Cooper and Gallup, but by the end of his rookie season, he had cemented himself as the number two guy on the team. He out-targeted, had more receptions, and had more yards than Gallup, who was just coming off a career year himself. Lamb was considered by many to be the best receiver in the draft last season and showed his talent off during his rookie season. He is only going to get better during his career, and when he does, the Cowboys could find themselves ranked even higher on this list. Expect more catches like this as Lamb continues to grow as a receiver.
#4. Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf
The Seattle Seahawks are next on this list, with their partnership of Lockett and Metcalf. Lockett has been one of the more underrated receivers over the last couple of seasons, finishing 2020 with 100 catches for 1054 yards. That makes this his second 1000 yard season, and second 100 target season, both of which have come over the last two seasons. Lockett is in the prime of his career right now at 28 years old and continues to make incredible catches, using the magic that only he and Russell Wilson can create.
Metcalf has only been in the league for two seasons, but he has established himself as one of the top deep threats in the league, and a rising star among receivers. This past season he finished with 83 catches for 1303 yards and 10 touchdowns and was one of the main reasons the Seahawks offense was cooking early in the season. His yards per reception for his career have been 15.6, which has entrenched him into the conversation for being one of the best deep ball specialists in the league. At 23 years old, he is only going to get better and continue to be a problem for opposing defenses.
#3. Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson
The Minnesota Vikings were supposed to take a step back after trading Stefon Diggs last March, but Jefferson matched his value for this offense as a rookie. Thielen, on the other hand, continues to be one of the best receivers in the game. While he hasn’t been putting up the yardage numbers he did in 2017 and 18, he has evolved into one of the best redzone threats in the league. In 2019 he had six touchdowns in his first seven games before a hamstring injury against the Lions limited his production the rest of the season. In 2020, he continued that pace, finishing with 14 touchdowns in 15 games, which was good enough for third among wide receivers. Recently, he also made a name for himself with one-handed touchdowns such as this one.
On the other hand, Jefferson broke the Superbowl Era record for most receiving yards in a season for a rookie, with 1400. He did this through some of the best route running in the league, and his yards after catch ability. He also put up these numbers without starting the first two games of the season. Having just turned 22 a few days back, Jefferson is only getting better as well. While Thielen is on the older side now, at 31 years of age, as long as he keeps on producing at a high level, the Vikings will remain one of the top duos in the league.
#2. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have one of the most loaded receiving rooms in the league. Along with Evans and Godwin, Scotty Miller, Antonio Brown, and Rob Gronkowski make up a deep room of pass catchers. However, Evans and Godwin still headline the group and remain one of the premier pass-catching pairs in the league. Evans has now crossed 1000 receiving yards in each of his first seven seasons, a feat accomplished by no other player in league history. In 2020, he was also Tom Brady’s favorite redzone threat, finishing with 13 touchdowns, a career-high. Evans will continue to be one of the most consistent players in the league, and will only turn 28 in August. Evans continues to be a physical freak, which allows him to make plays such as this one.
Godwin, on the other hand, is a still-emerging receiver. While he only finished with 840 yards and seven touchdowns, he was injured throughout the season, and only played in 12 games. However, if we look at his 2019 season, he finished with 1333 yards and nine touchdowns in 14 games. When healthy, Godwin has been one of the best receivers in the game and only just turned 25 in February. Godwin and Evans make up an incredible pair of receivers and are one of the reasons this Bucs team won the Super Bowl in February. With them returning and all of the receiving talents behind them, the Bucs offense will continue to be a nightmare for defenses.
#1. Julio Jones and AJ Brown
While Jones and Brown are yet to play a game together, this is already the best duo in the league on talent alone. Jones was arguably the best receiver over the last decade, and Brown is an emerging star, going into his third season. Brown has gone over 1000 yards in each of his first two seasons and did so in 2020 playing injured. He’s one of the best in the league for yards after the catch, with 897 yards after the catch in just his first two seasons. Fully healthy in 2021, he should emerge as one of the best in the game, and possibly the leader of the next generation of star receivers.
Jones, on the other hand, has been at the top of the league for a decade. From 2014-19, he posted 1394 yards or more each season. He made it to the Hall of Fame’s 2010s All-Decade team and is a surefire Hall of Famer at this point. After an injury-riddled 2020, however, he was traded to the Titans where he should receive a fresh start. For the first time in his career, he isn’t the clear number one target on his team, which should greatly benefit him. He was one of the best receivers in the league when he was on the field last season and now gets to play with Brown opposite him. Defenses will lose sleep trying to defend both Jones and Brown, especially when they remember that the Titans also have Derrick Henry at running back.