The NFL has become a league that is infatuated with the passing game. This Air Raid Revolution began nearly a decade ago with the Tom Brady-to-Randy Moss Patriots, and has reached a new peak in each of the most recent seasons since then. It's rare to see a game that doesn't feature at least 60-70 passing plays between the two respective teams facing one another.
A lot of this has to do with the arm strength and talent of the quarterbacks who've taken the league by storm like Aaron Rodgers, and Patrick Mahomes, but the men who are just as credible and influential for this peak in the passing game are the people receiving these bullet passes, lobbed fades, and screens: the receivers.
It's widely understood amongst NFL connoisseurs that the greatest wide receiver of all-time is Jerry Rice. Point, blank, period. There are arguments out there for Randy Moss, Michael Irvin, and T.O. from a pure talent level, but overall: Jerry Rice is regarded as the GOAT at the position. But isn't it important to also consider some of the great tight ends who've played the game just as effectively as wide receivers such as Rob Gronkowski, Tony Gonzalez, and Travis Kelce? I personally believe that it is, because a tight end can be just as effective in the passing game as any wideout.
In the modern NFL, it's nearly impossible to decide on a concrete list of the top five or ten wide receivers in the league. Nearly every talking head's list is different today from what it was last week. That's just the way the media naturally reacts. The recency bias is too overwhelming to overcome, and I can't lie to you, I'm just as much a victim of it as Shannon Sharpe is. So, in order to determine who the best wideouts are in the league, I'll be updating my personal list of the Top 10 receivers in the NFL every Wednesday throughout the season. Below is my All-Hands Team.
The All-Hands Team
10. Cooper Kupp
Season Stats: 23 Rec/31 Tgt, 268 Yds, 2 TD, 4 20+ Yd Rec, 74.2 Catch%, Long: 66
Do you ever wonder how the Los Angeles Rams offense is so sneakily effective? Well, the answer is Cooper Kupp (and Sean Mcvay's genius offensive mind).
Kupp has that get-open-instinct that not a lot of other receivers in the league instinctively have. He seems to always find the open spot in the zone, or manages to finesse his defender in man coverage. His footwork is second-to-none, and that's one of the most important attributes to have as a wide receiver (just ask Antonio Brown).
Coop is sneakily athletic, yet his athleticism isn't intimidating enough for defenders to respect it (for some odd reason) which leads to the secondary often underestimating his ability after the catch. Take this play against the New Orleans Saints in Week 2 for example.
If Kupp can continue to make plays at the rate he's been performing for the past two seasons, then he won't be a sleeper for much longer and will finally be recognized as the top tier receiver that he truly is.
9. Davante Adams
Season Stats: 15 Rec./21 Tgt, 198Yds, 0 TD, 3 20+ Yd Rec, 71.4 Catch%, Long: 39