By Sean Simara @Sean_FootyMad @TLE_Sport
As we head into the Christmas period in the NFL, we’re starting to see who the potential Super Bowl candidates are. But who have had breakout years? Who’s been disappointing this season? It’s now time to get down to the nitty-gritty and take a look at some of the NFL’s star names.
We know this is a quarterback league, but the next most talked about position is the ones who catch the ball – the receivers. So who exactly is the best in the NFL? Who would you want on your side in the final 2 minutes in the 4th quarter of a tight game?
I have ranked my top 6 in the NFL today:
- Odell Beckham Jr – New York Giants
Yes he made THAT catch (v Dallas); in fact he made a ‘version 2’ of it this year with a diving one-handed catch against the Washington Redskins. The Giants did lose both of these games though which doesn’t get mentioned much. However, Beckham is something unique. He’s consistent, he does the unthinkable and he’s also the face of the game ‘Madden 16.’ At the minute he can do no wrong. The New York Giants find themselves in the horror division of the NFC East; should they get out, ‘Eli to Odell’ is the way to go. Beckham is consistently getting over 100 yards receiving each game and has racked up 12 touchdowns so far this year, so for that alone he’s my number one.
- Antonio Brown – Pittsburgh Steelers
Brown is very similar to Beckham – just with not as many ‘OMG’ moments. The talent is there without a doubt and with Big Ben lobbing him passes he will find the end zone many more times this year. Brown is extremely difficult to cover and any corner-back knows they’re in for a tough game against him. The Steelers’ offence is a force to be reckoned with and with Brown at the helm, it is arguably the best in the league.
- AJ Green – Cincinnati Bengals
My number three, and someone who I think is very underrated, is AJ Green. This could be because the market of Cincinnati Ohio is not as big as New York or Dallas and he gets overlooked. I think he is one of the more reliable receivers in the game – it’s his 5th season in the NFL and the Bengals look play-off bound so he will get the chance to shine on the big stage. When he’s on form, he’s difficult to stop. He will need QB Andy Dalton back soon who has broken his thumb. He should be back for the play-offs to deal with some unfinished business.
- Dez Bryant – Dallas Cowboys
You can’t have a best receivers list and not mention Dez. Now this year Dallas have been rubbish, but in true soap-opera style, whatever Dallas do or don’t do still generates plenty of interest. Bryant and QB Tony Romo were injured at the start of the year, so there was very little to cheer about. However, in his mind Bryant thinks he’s the best – he sure does get paid as such. I think if he was fit all year Dallas would have done a lot better. He is their star wide receiver and his passion and charisma is always fun to watch. It’s all set for Dez next season when everyone returns fit: a couple of good trades and a reasonable position in the draft for Dallas could potentially throw up a wining combination. For me at least, Bryant is definitely up there.
- Doug Baldwin – Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks are known for their defence, who are just about starting to wake up again, and their star QB Russell Wilson who is playing exceptional football of late. We forget though that they have a wide receiver who is on quite a hot streak and at the right time. Wilson is throwing darts and Doug Baldwin always seems to be at the end of them. The ball is rolling now in Seattle and they will want to avenge that Super Bowl mistake last year – if they do, Baldwin will be key.
- Julio Jones – Atlanta Falcons
Double J Started the season really well but then the Atlanta Falcons crumbled, and crumbled quickly. Jones, though, still leads the way in receptions and yards in the NFL. If he had a better QB behind him the Falcons could well be a little more relevant. However, I’m taking nothing away from Jones; he is one of the elite in the game and makes my top 6.
Honourable shout-outs go to Sammy Watkins, who may have gone a little under the radar at the Buffalo Bills and Brandon Marshall (New York Jets) who has found a new lease of life since his move away from Jay Cutler in Chicago. So who do you think is the best receiver in the NFL? Have I missed anyone out, do you agree with my list? Let me know here or on Twitter @Sean_FootyMad
Enjoy the NFL over the festive period!