With the 2020 NFL regular season now on the doorstep, we’re breaking down the top position groups in key areas. Now that starting rosters are pretty much set, here are the league’s top 10 pass-catching groups (including tight ends) entering Week 1.
10. Seattle Seahawks: This isn’t a deep unit, but it’s a two-headed monster with the extremely efficient and reliable Tyler Lockett and the athletically enticing DK Metcalf. The former ranked fourth among receivers in DYAR at Football Outsiders last year, while the latter caught 17 of the 26 passes thrown his way for 300 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the final three weeks of his rookie campaign.
9. Detroit Lions: We’re projecting a bit here, but Kenny Golladay appears to be on an All-Pro trajectory after a massive third campaign, No. 2 option Marvin Jones scored nine touchdowns in 2019, and tight end T.J. Hockenson has a superstar-level ceiling. Throw in veteran security blanket Danny Amendola. and this is a pretty damn strong unit.
8. Cincinnati Bengals: A lot depends on A.J. Green’s health, but there’s no denying he’s one of the top receivers in the league when he’s out there. Beyond that, Tyler Boyd is coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns, John Ross is one of the fastest players in the league, and rookie Tee Higgins has star potential. Joe Burrow can’t complain.
7. Buffalo Bills: New Bills acquisition Stefon Diggs is one of the best route-runners in the league, John Brown is one of the best deep burners in football. and Cole Beasley is one of the top slot safety valves around. Throw in the ceilings attached to tight ends Dawson Knox and Tyler Kroft, and this is a potential top five arsenal.
6. Arizona Cardinals: DeAndre Hopkins is an All-Pro receiver in his prime, Larry Fitzgerald is a Hall of Fame receiver with something left in the tank, and there’s plenty of high-upside depth with Christian Kirk, KeeSean Johnson, Andy Isabella, and Hakeem Butler all hanging out on the receiver depth chart. Congratulations to Kyler Murray.
5. New Orleans Saints: Michael Thomas is off to by far the best start for a receiver in NFL history, veteran addition Emmanuel Sanders is a perfect No. 2 option, and tight end Jared Cook was a machine in 2019. What more could Drew Brees ask for?
4. Kansas City Chiefs: Nobody in football has a three-pass-catcher trio quite like the tantalizing Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, and Sammy Watkins. Throw in Mecole Hardman’s sky-high potential and the Chiefs are automatically in the top five here.
3. Cleveland Browns: Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry are a truly perfect 1-2 punch at wide receiver, as are Austin Hooper and David Njoku at tight end. But Rashard Higgins is also a strong third wideout. Baker Mayfield hasn’t been shortchanged. Let’s see if they all come together under Kevin Stefanski.
2. Dallas Cowboys: Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup both went over 1,000 yards last year and are in their primes, and now first-rounder CeeDee Lamb has been added to the fray. Dallas isn’t as strong at tight end, but Blake Jarwin has room to grow, and that wide receiver trio could be unmatched in 2020.
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: This isn’t an overly deep unit, but Mike Evans and Chris Godwin were two of only four qualified receivers to average more than 85 yards per game last year. Both are already stars, tight end O.J. Howard has that potential, Rob Gronkowski has reached those heights, and Cameron Brate, Justin Watson, and Scotty Millerm provide gravy for Tom Brady.