NFL Receiving Corps Rankings: Bengals #1 with Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins

While the 2023-2024 NFL receiving corps rankings didn’t see quite the shakeup it did this past offseason, there has still been plenty of movement league-wide after free agency and the draft. Pass-catching is one of the most important aspects of any team’s success in the NFL, and this article will focus on the best groups of wide receivers and tight ends in the league today. Running backs are not included in the overall rankings, although a nod was given to the teams that will rely heavily on the position in their passing game.

*Advanced metrics are from Pro Football Focus (PFF), Football Outsiders, and ESPN

Cincinnati Bengals

#1: Cincinnati Bengals

Starters: WR Ja’Marr Chase, WR Tee Higgins, WR Tyler Boyd, TE Irv Smith Jr., TE Devin Asiasi

Ranking Before 2022 Season: #1

Key Additions: WR Charlie Jones, TE Irv Smith Jr.

Key Departures: TE Hayden Hurst

The Bengals were #1 in these rankings prior to the 2022 season and they remain #1 as we enter 2023. Cincinnati was one of two teams with three wide receivers to each have 700+ receiving yards in Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd. Chase and Higgins both had over 1,000 yards and combined for 16 touchdowns.

Chase has completely lived up to the billing as one of the best wide receiver prospects in NFL history with over 2,500 yards and 22 touchdowns through his first two seasons. Still, the Bengals weren’t satisfied – they added Charlie Jones, a fourth-round pick out of Purdue whose 22 contested catches led all FBS receivers last season.

Cincinnati also got more athletic at tight end, which is exciting. Hayden Hurst was a solid presence for the team, but Irv Smith Jr. introduces more of an ability to stretch the defense vertically. Still just 24 years old, he has untapped potential that could be unearthed amidst so much talent on his new team.

Philadelphia Eagles

#2: Philadelphia Eagles

Starters: WR A.J. Brown, WR DeVonta Smith, WR Quez Watkins, TE Dallas Goedert, TE Jack Stoll

Ranking Before 2022 Season: #6

Key Additions: WR Olamide Zaccheaus

Key Departures: WR Zach Pascal

The Eagles made a blockbuster trade for A.J. Brown during last year’s draft, and it’s hard to imagine his first season going any better – he finished with 88 catches for 1,496 yards and 11 touchdowns. Brown was also sixth in PFF grade and third in yards per route run.

DeVonta Smith was excellent in his own right, finishing with 95 catches for 1,196 yards and seven touchdowns. Dallas Goedert rounds out arguably the best pass-catching trio in the NFL – he was fourth among qualified tight ends in both yards per route run and PFF grade, finishing with 702 yards and three touchdowns in 12 games.

The receiving corps is one area where the Eagles don’t have overwhelming depth, and I was a bit surprised to see Philly not add a pass-catcher in the draft. Olamide Zaccheaus is a solid free agency pickup to supplement Quez Watkins in the slot and 2022 sixth-round pick Grant Calcaterra has the upside for a more prominent role at tight end.

San Francisco 49ers

#3: San Francisco 49ers

Starters: WR Deebo Samuel, WR Brandon Aiyuk, WR Jauan Jennings, TE George Kittle, TE Cameron Latu

Ranking Before 2022 Season: #2

Key Additions: TE Cameron Latu

Key Departures:

We still aren’t sure who will be starting at quarterback for the 49ers this season, but whoever it is will be throwing to some fantastic weapons. The group is headlined by Deebo Samuel, a monster in the open field who once again led the league in YAC per reception in 2022. Samuel didn’t replicate 2021’s elite campaign, but it was still a strong all around season.

Brandon Aiyuk is one of the most underrated receivers in the NFL, and he’s coming off a third-year breakout with 78 catches for 1,015 yards and eight touchdowns – those are career-highs across the board. George Kittle rounds out the elite trio, and he’s coming off a career-high 11-touchdown season that included a whopping seven touchdowns in his final four regular season games.

The 49ers drafted Cameron Latu in the third round this year to add a stout blocking presence and fluid route runner. At wide receiver, Jauan Jennings is the primary slot receiver, but rookies Ronnie Bell and Isaiah Winstead could also factor in.

Miami Dolphins

#4: Miami Dolphins

Starters: WR Tyreek Hill, WR Jaylen Waddle, WR Cedrick Wilson Jr., TE Durham Smythe, TE Eric Saubert

Ranking Before 2022 Season: #4

Key Additions: WR Braxton Berrios, TE Eric Saubert

Key Departures: WR Trent Sherfield, TE Mike Gesicki

It’s tough to imagine a better first season for Tyreek Hill in Miami. He finished with 119 catches for 1,710 yards, both the second-most in the NFL, and seven touchdowns. Hill also ranked first with a 92.1 PFF grade and 3.20 yards per route run – the second-closest player had 2.62. That’s with Tua Tagovailoa missing four games.

Hill’s presence in the offense also did wonders for Jaylen Waddle’s efficiency as he finished with 75 catches for 1,356 yards and eight touchdowns while ranking third among qualified receivers with 2.59 yards per route run. Hill and Waddle are arguably the best wide receiver tandem in the NFL.

The rest of the receiving corps leaves a bit to be desired, especially after losing Trent Sherfield and Mike Gesicki, who were third and fourth on the team in receiving yards. Cedrick Wilson and Braxton Berrios will compete for WR3 snaps while Durham Smythe and Eric Saubert fill in at tight end.

Seattle Seahawks

#5: Seattle Seahawks

Starters: WR DK Metcalf, WR Tyler Lockett, WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, TE Noah Fant, TE Will Dissly

Ranking Before 2022 Season: #11

Key Additions: WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba

Key Departures: WR Marquise Goodwin

The Seahawks didn’t need a wide receiver in this draft, but when Jaxon Smith-Njigba, the consensus top player at the position, fell to the 20th pick, they did what any savvy team does and snatched him up. JSN will be an immediate contributor with route running and technical prowess well beyond his years.

That’s not to take anything away from D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, both of whom had over 1,000 yards last season. Metcalf is a true X receiver with contested catch prowess while Tyler Lockett is elite at stretching the field vertically. The complementary skill sets at play here are fantastic.

At tight end, Noah Fant had a strong debut season with the Seahawks with 50 catches for 486 yards and four touchdowns. He’ll split time with Will Dissly, who is coming off a knee injury but is expected to be ready for training camp. Seattle has surrounded Geno Smith with plenty of pass-catching talent.

Los Angeles Chargers

#6: Los Angeles Chargers

Starters: WR Mike Williams, WR Keenan Allen, WR Quentin Johnston, TE Gerald Everett, TE Donald Parham Jr.

Ranking Before 2022 Season: #8

Key Additions: WR Quentin Johnston

Key Departures: WR Deandre Carter

The Chargers have a talented pass-catching corps with Justin Herbert, but they needed to add depth at wide receiver. In 2022, Keenan Allen missed seven games and Mike WIlliams missed four. They took TCU wide receiver Quentin Johnston in the first round, and he brings tantalizing upside with his massive frame and explosive YAC ability.

Johnston fits in nicely with the receivers already in place. Williams is one of the best contested-catch receivers in the NFL and Allen is one of the best route runners – they can both teach Johnston in their respective areas of expertise. Josh Palmer will also play a major role once again after 72 catches for 768 yards and three touchdowns last year.

Gerald Everett has one year left on his contract, and he had 58 catches for 555 yards and four touchdowns last year. Austin Ekeler is also a huge part of this team’s passing game, but he’s away from the team during the offseason amidst a trade request.

Minnesota Vikings

#7: Minnesota Vikings

Starters: WR Justin Jefferson, WR Jordan Addison, WR K.J. Osborn, TE T.J. Hockenson, TE Josh Oliver

Ranking Before 2022 Season: #9

Key Additions: WR Jordan Addison, TE Josh Oliver

Key Departures: WR Adam Thielen, TE Irv Smith Jr.

At a certain point, you run out of superlatives to describe a player like Justin Jefferson. Still just 23 years old, the LSU product is coming off a career high 135 catches for 1,857 yards in his first year with head coach Kevin O’Connell. Jefferson also had more touchdowns (8) than drops (7) last year and was second in the NFL with 2.55 yards per route run.

The Vikings bid farewell to Adam Thielen this offseason, leaving them with a need at wide receiver. Jordan Addison, a rookie first rounder out of USC, will step in and be an immediate contributor with his polished route running and smooth open-field running. K.J. Osborn offers sure hands and high upside as an ascending talent.

Minnesota traded for T.J. Hockenson last season, and he ranked second in the NFL with 1,043 receiving yards last year. He fills an important role as a reliable outlet option for Kirk Cousins. Free agency signing Josh Oliver offers the team flexibility if they want to play 12 personnel this season.

Dallas Cowboys

#8: Dallas Cowboys

Starters: WR CeeDee Lamb, WR Brandin Cooks, WR Michael Gallup, TE Jake Ferguson, TE Luke Schoonmaker

Ranking Before 2022 Season: #12

Key Additions: WR Brandin Cooks, TE Luke Schoonmaker

Key Departures: WR Noah Brown, TE Dalton Schultz

CeeDee Lamb had another masterful season for the Cowboys, registering 1,359 receiving yards and nine touchdowns while ranking top ten in PFF grade and yards per route run. However, the Cowboys didn’t have enough consistent help around him – T.Y. Hilton, a free agent claimed midseason, played a major role in the team’s two playoff games.

Brandin Cooks helps elevate their WR2 spot in a significant way, and he has over 1,000 yards in six of his nine seasons despite playing for four different teams and catching passes from a number of different quarterbacks. Michael Gallup should also make more of an impact as he’s further removed from his January 2022 ACL tear.

At tight end, the Cowboys will be taking a “Moneyball” approach after losing Dalton Schultz in free agency. Three Big Ten products – 2022 fourth-rounder Jake Ferguson (Ohio State), 2022 UDFA Peyton Hendershot (Indiana), and 2023 second-rounder Luke Schoonmaker (Michigan) will get opportunities to play.

Oakland Raiders

#9: Las Vegas Raiders

Starters: WR Davante Adams, WR Jakobi Meyers, WR Hunter Renfrow, TE Austin Hooper, TE Michael Mayer

Ranking Before 2022 Season: #3

Key Additions: WR Jakobi Meyers, TE Michael Mayer, TE Austin Hooper

Key Departures: WR Mack Hollins, TE Darren Waller

In Davante Adams’s first season in Las Vegas, he registered 100 catches for 1,516 yards and a league-leading 14 touchdowns. He was also top five in both yards per route run and overall PFF grade among qualified receivers. His connection with former college teammate Derek Carr only lasted a year, but Adams remains a top five wide receiver.

The Raiders added Jakobi Meyers in free agency, which was a questionable fit given both he and Hunter Renfrow play a majority of their snaps in the slot. Renfrow’s 1,000-yard 2021 was followed by a struggle with injuries in 2022, and he’s been linked to trade rumors this offseason.

With Darren Waller out the door, the Raiders will have a new look at tight end as well. Michael Mayer was seen as a surefire first-rounder by some and Vegas grabbed him in the second round. Austin Hooper provides a steadying veteran presence at the position. While this offense doesn’t stack up with the 49ers, Jimmy Garoppolo has plenty of weapons to throw to in Vegas.

Buffalo Bills

#10: Buffalo Bills

Starters: WR Stefon Diggs, WR Gabe Davis, WR Khalil Shakir, TE Dawson Knox, TE Dalton Kincaid

Ranking Before 2022 Season: #7

Key Additions: WR Deonte Harty, WR Trent Sherfield, TE Dalton Kincaid

Key Departures: WR Jamison Crowder, WR Isaiah McKenzie

Stefon Diggs had another monstrous All Pro season, coming down with 108 catches for 1,429 yards and a career-high 11 touchdowns. He did it while playing 34.1% of his snaps from the slot, his highest since his sophomore season per PFF. Line him up anywhere – he’ll steal the soul of opposing cornerbacks.

The rest of the receiving corps is somewhat underwhelming, but Bills fans should be excited about the first round selection of Dalton Kincaid. The Utah product isn’t your typical tight end – he looks like a receiver who happens to play tight end with his agility, smooth route-running, and ball skills.

Khalil Shakir could be in for a breakout season in his second year – I loved his film coming out of Boise State. Gabe Davis hasn’t broken out the way many had hoped, but he’s an adept deep threat, and Dawson Knox had a stretch last season with a touchdown in five straight games.

Baltimore Ravens

#11: Baltimore Ravens

Starters: WR Odell Beckham Jr., WR Rashod Bateman, WR Zay Flowers, TE Mark Andrews, TE Isaiah Likely

Ranking Before 2022 Season: #28

Key Additions: WR Zay Flowers, WR Odell Beckham Jr., WR Nelson Agholor

Key Departures: TE Josh Oliver

The Ravens’ offense is going to look pretty different in 2023 as former Georgia play caller Todd Monken takes over as offensive coordinator. Monken will bring much more balance than Greg Roman did as a run first and second coordinator. Making it easier will be likely the best receiving corps Lamar Jackson has ever had in Baltimore.

Zay Flowers was a highly intriguing first-round pick with electric YAC ability and big play potential. He’ll help stretch the defense vertically along with Rashod Bateman, a third-year pro and fellow first-rounder. Odell Beckham Jr., who hasn’t seen the field since the 2021 Super Bowl, is a wild card in terms of what he’ll bring to the table.

At tight end, Mark Andrews returns as one of the best in the business – he was a First Team All Pro player in 2021. Isaiah Likely also showed plenty of promise in his rookie season, and he had eight catches for 103 yards in a January game without Andrews in the lineup.

Chicago Bears

#12: Chicago Bears

Starters: WR D.J. Moore, WR Chase Claypool, WR Darnell Mooney, TE Cole Kmet, TE Robert Tonyan Jr.

Ranking Before 2022 Season: #26

Key Additions: WR D.J. Moore, TE Robert Tonyan Jr.

Key Departures:

The Bears’ receiving corps was well below average in 2022, but immediate improvement should be expected. The headliner is the trade for D.J. Moore, a player who has the fifth-most receiving yards before turning 26 years old in NFL history. That’s despite having some of the worst quarterback play in the NFL over the last few years.

Moore will be the WR1, but Chase Claypool should also make a big impact with a full offseason to learn the offense. He was limited to 14 catches for 140 yards in seven games after being traded from the Steelers in the middle of last season. Darnell Mooney might be the team’s WR3 at this point, and he’s a former 1,000-yard receiver with elite 4.38 speed.

Cole Kmet is back at tight end after a seven-touchdown year, but he has competition in the form of Robert Tonyan Jr. who signed in free agency from the Packers. The Bears have done an awesome job of acquiring receiving weapons for Justin Fields.

Jacksonville Jaguars

#13: Jacksonville Jaguars

Starters: WR Calvin Ridley, WR Zay Jones, WR Christian Kirk, TE Evan Engram, TE Brenton Strange

Ranking Before 2022 Season: #25

Key Additions: WR Calvin Ridley, TE Brenton Strange

Key Departures: WR Marvin Jones, TE Chris Manhertz

The Jaguars will be excited to welcome Calvin Ridley to the fold this season after he was suspended for all of last season, and the former Falcon has something to prove. Ridley will look to infiltrate a passing offense that was already very efficient in 2022 with Trevor Lawrence under center.

Christian Kirk was panned for the massive four-year, $72 million contract Jacksonville gave him, but he was excellent with 1,108 yards and eight touchdowns in his first year with the team. Zay Jones was also highly productive with 823 yards and five scores. Marvin Jones Jr. left in free agency, but the top trio of wide receivers is strong in Jacksonville.

Jacksonville gave tight end Evan Engram a franchise tag after a career best season with 890 yards and five touchdowns, but it’s unclear if he factors into the team’s long term plans after the Jaguars took Brenton Strange, a Penn State product with impressive athletic traits, in the second round.

Kansas City Chiefs

#14: Kansas City Chiefs

Starters: WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR Kadarius Toney, WR Skyy Moore, TE Travis Kelce, TE Noah Gray

Ranking Before 2022 Season: #19

Key Additions: WR Rashee Rice, WR Richie James

Key Departures: WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR Mecole Hardman

Travis Kelce will turn 34 years old during the upcoming season, but he’s shown virtually no signs of slowing down to this point – he had 110 catches for 1,338 yards and 12 touchdowns last season. He also saved his best for last, scoring four touchdowns and coming up with 27 catches for 258 yards during the team’s Super Bowl run.

At wide receiver, the Chiefs did well in moving on from Tyreek Hill, and they got well rounded production across the board. However, JuJu Smith-Schuster had over 1,000 yards last year in the regular and postseason, and he’ll leave behind a big gap. The Chiefs added Richie James in free agency and Rashee Rice in the draft to help replace him.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling averaged 16.5 yards per reception, the seventh-most in the NFL last year, and he’ll resume his deep ball role. Skyy Moore has second year breakout potential while Kadarius Toney should be more productive in his second year in the offense. There’s plenty of talent in this receiving corps for Mahomes to continue his torrid production.

los angeles rams

#15: Los Angeles Rams

Starters: WR Cooper Kupp, WR Ben Skowronek, WR Van Jefferson, TE Tyler Higbee, TE Brycen Hopkins

Ranking Before 2022 Season: #5

Key Additions: WR Puka Nacua

Key Departures: WR Odell Beckham Jr., WR Brandon Powell, WR Allen Robinson

Not much went right for the Rams in 2022, but there’s some talent to lean on in this receiving corps. Cooper Kupp only played nine games last year before an ankle injury, and he’ll hope to come closer to his historic 2021 campaign this year. Kupp had 145 catches for 1,947 yards and 16 touchdowns, leading the NFL in all three in a triple crown season.

Supporting Kupp will be Van Jefferson and Ben Skowronek, both of whom are recent draft picks by the Rams. Keep an eye out for Puka Nacua, as well. The fifth-round rookie out of BYU brings physical prowess that he utilizes in his ball skills and YAC generation. With Odell Beckham Jr. and Allen Robinson out the door, Nacua will have an opportunity right away.

Tyler Higbee returns as the top tight end, and he has 500+ yards in four straight seasons. He was fifth in the NFL with 72 catches last year. The Rams have lost some star power from their receiving corps, but with Kupp and the ancillary pieces, there’s enough here for Matthew Stafford to be highly productive.

Detroit Lions

#16: Detroit Lions

Starters: WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR Marvin Jones Jr., WR Josh Reynolds, TE Sam LaPorta, TE Brock Wright

Ranking Before 2022 Season: #22

Key Additions: WR Marvin Jones Jr.

Key Departures: WR D.J. Chark

You’re probably still too low on Amon-Ra St. Brown. The former 2021 fourth-round pick has far exceeded any expectations of his career, and he’s coming off a career best 106 catches for 1,161 yards and six scores. He was third among qualified receivers in PFF grade and tied for seventh in yards per route run.

The beginning of Jameson Williams’s career has been slow as he spent most of last year recovering from an ACL injury and will now face a six-game suspension for gambling. The Lions will rely on veterans Marvin Jones Jr. and Josh Reynolds to round out the receiving corps in the meantime.

Detroit selected Sam LaPorta in the second round, and he brings a ton of upside to what was a lackluster tight end room after the T.J. Hockenson trade last season. First-round rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs will also be a huge part of the Lions’ passing game.

Atlanta Falcons

#17: Atlanta Falcons

Starters: WR Drake London, WR Mack Hollins, WR Scott Miller, TE Kyle Pitts, TE Jonnu Smith

Ranking Before 2022 Season: #24

Key Additions: WR Scott Miller, WR Mack Hollins

Key Departures: WR Damiere Byrd, WR Olamide Zaccheaus

The Falcons likely won’t be doing a ton of passing this season after spending their first two picks in the draft on running back Bijan Robinson and guard Matthew Bergeron – they were second in the NFL in run play frequency last year. However, there’s enticing young talent here with Drake London and Kyle Pitts leading the way.

London had a strong rookie season, coming down with 72 catches for 866 yards and four touchdowns, leading a loaded rookie receiving class with an 83.2 PFF grade in the process. Pitts struggled in his sophomore season after a historic rookie campaign, but his talent is undeniable with his massive frame and high-end athletic traits.

With limited passing volume, it’s hard to imagine anyone outside of London and Pitts being particularly productive. However, Mack Hollins and Scott Miller were solid free agency signings to round out the receiver room and Jonnu Smith should be a high-impact second tight end as a receiver and blocker.

Denver Broncos

#18: Denver Broncos

Starters: WR Jerry Jeudy, WR Courtland Sutton, WR Tim Patrick, TE Greg Dulcich, TE Chris Manhertz

Ranking Before 2022 Season: #13

Key Additions: WR Marvin Mims, WR Marquez Callaway, TE Chris Manhertz, TE Adam Trautman

Key Departures: TE Eric Saubert, TE Eric Tomlinson

Denver’s offense wasn’t great last year, but Jerry Jeudy quietly had an excellent season with Russell Wilson, ranking 12th in yards per route run among qualified receivers per PFF and finishing with 987 yards and six touchdowns. Courtland Sutton wasn’t quite as effective as Jeudy, but he’s a strong fit for the new offense.

Jeudy and Sutton were linked in trade rumors this offseason, but Denver held off as they didn’t get the return they wanted. Tim Patrick returns from an ACL tear to round out the first-team trio while second-round rookie Marvin Mims and veteran Marquez Callaway, who played under Payton with the Saints, round out the depth.

Tight end Greg Dulcich stood out as a rookie with 33 catches for 411 yards and two scores, and he’s a high-upside player moving forward. Chris Manhertz and Adam Trautman help add depth. The Broncos are suddenly staring down a deep pass-catching corps as they enter the first season with Sean Payton as the head coach.

New York Jets

#19: New York Jets

Starters: WR Garrett Wilson, WR Allen Lazard, WR Mecole Hardman, TE Tyler Conklin, TE C.J. Uzomah

Ranking Before 2022 Season: #21

Key Additions: WR Allen Lazard, WR Mecole Hardman, WR Randall Cobb

Key Departures: WR Braxton Berrios, WR Elijah Moore

Despite catching passes from three different subpar quarterbacks last season, Garrett Wilson finished his rookie year with 83 catches for 1,103 yards and four touchdowns. Now with Aaron Rodgers under center, Wilson should blossom into one of the best young wide receivers in the NFL.

The Jets added veterans Allen Lazard, Mecole Hardman, and Randall Cobb to round out the wide receiver room. That was important after Elijah Moore was traded to the Browns and Braxton Berrios left in free agency. Corey Davis is a steadying presence, and he caught 32 balls for 536 yards and two scores last year.

Tyler Conklin caught 58 passes for 552 yards and three touchdowns in his first year with the Jets after coming over in free agency, and he could be even more productive with Rodgers. C.J. Uzomah is another veteran option while Jeremy Ruckert and rookie Zack Kuntz could factor in.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

#20: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Starters: WR Mike Evans, WR Chris Godwin, WR Russell Gage, TE Cade Otton, TE Ko Kieft

Ranking Before 2022 Season: #10

Key Additions: WR Trey Palmer

Key Departures: WR Scotty Miller, WR Julio Jones

The Buccaneers said goodbye to Tom Brady for the second time this offseason, and this time it seems more real. Unfortunately for this pass-catching corps, their lives are about to get much more difficult. There’s still strong talent in this group, though. Mike Evans is the headliner on the heels of his ninth straight 1,000-yard season, and he’s a potential future Hall of Famer.

Chris Godwin also had a 1,000-yard season, his third in the last four seasons, and he’s still a long-term building block for this team at 27 years old. Russell Gage rounds out the wide receiver trio, but with Scotty Miller and Julio Jones out the door, there’s an opportunity for rookie Trey Palmer to see immediate snaps as a deep threat.

The Bucs have two young tight ends in Cade Otton and Ko Kieft who are solid options, but both are better blockers than they are receivers. This is a position the team will likely look to upgrade in the future with a more dynamic pass-catcher.

Arizona Cardinals

#21: Arizona Cardinals

Starters: WR DeAndre Hopkins, WR Marquise Brown, WR Rondale Moore, TE Zach Ertz, TE Trey McBride

Ranking Before 2022 Season: #14

Key Additions: WR Michael Wilson, WR Zach Pascal

Key Departures: WR Chosen Anderson

While the Cardinals have a lot of roster issues to sort out, pass-catching depth is one area where they’re in good shape. DeAndre Hopkins was heavily rumored to be a trade candidate, but it now seems that the five-time All Pro wideout will remain in Arizona. He and Marquise Brown both topped 700 receiving yards for the Cardinals last season.

Rondale Moore, a 2021 second-rounder, hasn’t broken out the way people had hoped just yet, but he’s a reliable short-area receiver in the offense. Greg Dortch has a similar production profile, and he brings great depth as the team’s WR4. Michael Wilson is an intriguing third-round pick out of Stanford with plenty of size at 6’2”, 209 lbs.

At tight end, the Cardinals bring back Zach Ertz, who will turn 33 years old during the upcoming season. The team will be hoping he passes the torch to Trey McBride, a 2022 second-round pick, as the future of the tight end position.

Cleveland Browns

#22: Cleveland Browns

Starters: WR Amari Cooper, WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR Elijah Moore, TE David Njoku, TE Jordan Akins

Ranking Before 2022 Season: #20

Key Additions: WR Cedric Tillman, WR Elijah Moore, WR Marquise Goodwin, TE Jordan Akins

Key Departures:

Amari Cooper headlines this group as the WR1 and one of the most underrated receivers in football – he has over 1,000 yards in six of his eight seasons, and should be expected to get back to that threshold this year. The Browns also traded for Elijah Moore, a smart buy-low move for a 2021 second-round receiver, and signed Marquise Brown.

Donovan Peoples-Jones is coming off a career-high 839 receiving yards, but the Browns drafted his potential replacement Cedric Tillman in the third round. Tillman will have a learning curve after playing in a gimmicky Tennessee offense, but his contested catch ability and build-up speed will play in the NFL.

David Njoku has reportedly added weight over the offseason and is up to 270 lbs of muscle – his massive frame and unique athleticism make him a mismatch threat for defenses. Deshaun Watson’s first season in Cleveland was rocky, but the pieces are there for a second-year bounceback.


#23: Washington Commanders

Starters: WR Terry McLaurin, WR Jahan Dotson, WR Curtis Samuel, TE Logan Thomas, TE John Bates

Ranking Before 2022 Season: #16

Key Additions:

Key Departures: WR Cam Sims

The Commanders are rolling with 2022 fifth-round pick Sam Howell under center this year, and they’ve supported him with a strong set of pass-catching talent. Terry McLaurin returns after his third straight 1,000-yard season, last year going for a career-high 1,191 yards and five touchdowns. He was also top 15 in yards per route run and PFF grade.

Jahan Dotson might be the WR1 of the future for Washington, however, after a strong debut season as a rookie first-round pick. Dotson finished with 523 yards and seven touchdowns. Curtis Samuel is coming off his first fully healthy season with the Commanders, and he’s a solid option in the slot.

Tight end Logan Thomas struggled to regain his footing after returning from an ACL tear, and the team could look to get younger at the position in the near future. John Bates is a decent backup option as a 2021 fourth rounder.

Pittsburgh Steelers

#24: Pittsburgh Steelers

Starters: WR George Pickens, WR Diontae Johnson, WR Allen Robinson, TE Pat Freiermuth, TE Darnell Washington

Ranking Before 2022 Season: #17

Key Additions: WR Allen Robinson, TE Darnell Washington

Key Departures: WR Steven Sims Jr.

Steelers fans should be excited about the overall direction of the offense, and that applies to the receiving corps. George Pickens had a strong rookie season with 52 catches for 801 yards and four touchdowns, and he shined on downfield targets – he was third among qualified receivers in contested catch rate and had the sixth-most yards on deep receptions.

Diontae Johnson occupies a role closer to the line of scrimmage and was a reliable outlet with 86 receptions for 882 yards but no touchdowns. Allen Robinson was acquired in an incredible cheap trade – a seventh-round pick swap – and while his stock has cratered lately, it’s a solid buy-low for Pittsburgh.

Pat Freiermuth had 63 catches for 732 yards and two touchdowns last year, and he was a top ten tight end in PFF grade and yards per route run. If third-round pick Darnell Washington can stay healthy, he’ll be an excellent complement with his elite blocking, massive frame, and impressive mobility for his size.

New Orleans Saints

#25: New Orleans Saints

Starters: WR Chris Olave, WR Michael Thomas, WR Rashid Shaheed, TE Juwan Johnson, TE Taysom Hill

Ranking Before 2022 Season: #15

Key Additions: WR A.T. Perry

Key Departures: WR Deonte Harty, WR Marquez Callaway, TE Adam Trautman

Saints fans should be thrilled about Chris Olave’s rookie season. Despite catching balls from three different passers, Olave finished with over 1,000 yards and was sixth in the NFL with 2.42 yards per route run per PFF. That was higher than guys like Cooper Kupp, Stefon Diggs, and CeeDee Lamb.

New Orleans also might have found something in Rashid Shaheed, a 2022 UDFA whose 2.59 yards per route run would have been second among qualified receivers. He had no drops on 34 targets and an elite 82.4% catch rate despite an aDOT of 11.6 yards. He might become the team’s WR2 if Michael Thomas again struggles to stay healthy.

Juwan Johnson had 508 yards and seven touchdowns last year, and he’ll be on the field even more with Adam Trautman traded to the Broncos. With Derek Carr offering stability and upside at the quarterback position, look for Olave to further break out as the leader of an otherwise shaky receiving corps.

Indianpolis Colts

#26: Indianapolis Colts

Starters: WR Michael Pittman Jr., WR Alec Pierce, WR Isaiah McKenzie, TE Jelani Woods, TE Mo Alie-Cox

Ranking Before 2022 Season: #29

Key Additions: WR Josh Downs, WR Isaiah McKenzie, TE Pharaoh Brown

Key Departures: WR Parris Campbell

The Colts took Anthony Richardson with the fourth pick, and they have a strong receiving corps in place for him to produce right away. Michael Pittman Jr. had 99 receptions last year, the 12th-most in the NFL, for 925 yards and four touchdowns. He’s joined by Alec Pierce, a second-year pro who flashed potential in a difficult situation last season.

Isaiah McKenzie came over in free agency to replace Parris Campbell in the slot, but Josh Downs will also get an opportunity for snaps right away. The UNC product was considered a steal in the third round by some, and he’s already developing chemistry with Richardson as a clip surfaced of them connecting on passes in a hotel parking lot.

The Colts will be hoping for a second-year leap from Jelani Woods, a tight end who ranked 12th at the position with 1.51 yards per route run last year. The passing volume might not be high given Richardson’s relative lack of polish and strength as a runner, but the receiving talent is solid.

Green Bay Packers

#27: Green Bay Packers

Starters: WR Christian Watson, WR Romeo Doubs, WR Jayden Reed, TE Luke Musgrave, TE Tucker Kraft

Ranking Before 2022 Season: #23

Key Additions: WR Jayden Reed, WR Dontayvion Wicks, TE Luke Musgrave, TE Tucker Kraft

Key Departures: WR Allen Lazard, WR Randall Cobb, TE Robert Tonyan Jr.

With Aaron Rodgers out the door, the Packers are going through some transition. Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb followed him to New York, so the Packers will turn to younger wide receivers to support new starting quarterback Jordan Love.

It starts with Christian Watson on the heels of a standout rookie season with 41 catches for 611 yards and seven touchdowns. He ranked 11th among qualified receivers with 2.26 yards per route run per PFF. Romeo Doubs caught 42 passes for 425 yards and three touchdowns. Jayden Reed, a second-rounder out of Michigan State, will likely see a ton of work this year as well.

The Packers’ tight end room got a lot younger with rookies Luke Musgrave and Tucker Kraft as the top two. Both have plenty of athletic upside, but expecting high-level production right away is tough. This is a strong developmental group but has to be lower ranked for now.

New York Giants

#28: New York Giants

Starters: WR Isaiah Hodgins, WR Darius Slayton, WR Parris Campbell, TE Darren Waller, TE Daniel Bellinger

Ranking Before 2022 Season: #31

Key Additions: WR Jalin Hyatt, WR Parris Campbell, WR Jamison Crowder, TE Darren Waller

Key Departures: WR Richie James

What the Giants lack in top-end talent in the receiving corps, they make up for with an absurd amount of depth. Isaiah Hodgins, a midseason addition from the Bills’ practice squad, led the team’s wide receivers in passer rating when targeted. He and Darius Slayton, who had 724 yards and two touchdowns, are the two starters on the outside.

Free agency addition Parris Campbell is the slot starter for now, but 2022 second-rounder Wan’Dale Robinson, rookie third-rounder Jalin Hyatt, and free agency addition Jamison Crowder will all vie for playing time there. Hyatt is unique on this team with his elite downfield speed and ball tracking.

Darren Waller was an important trade acquisition this offseason, but the former Pro Bowler has struggled to stay on the field – he’s played in just 20 games over the last two seasons. Daniel Bellinger will also factor in after a solid rookie season.

Tennessee Titans

#29: Tennessee Titans

Starters: WR Treylon Burks, WR Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, WR Kyle Phillips, TE Chigoziem Okonkwo, TE Josh Whyle

Ranking Before 2022 Season: #32

Key Additions: TE Josh Whyle

Key Departures: WR Robert Woods, TE Austin Hooper

After the Titans traded away A.J. Brown last year, they drafted Treylon Burks in the first round as his replacement. Burks had an up and down rookie season with just 444 yards and two touchdowns, but a 21.3% target rate and 1.75 yards per route run are strong indicators of his potential.

Fans should also be excited about second-year tight end Chigoziem Okonkwo. Among 43 tight ends with 30+ targets last year, Okonkwo ranked first in yards per route run (2.61), second in PFF receiving grade (84.6), first in yards per reception (14), and first in YAC per reception (7.8). A breakout sophomore campaign should be coming.

The rest of the receiving corps in Tennessee is somewhat underwhelming, and it’s difficult to rank this team much higher for the time being. However, there’s a strong potential for second-year breakouts by both Burks and Okonkwo, and that’s exciting for Titans fans.

Houston Texans

#30: Houston Texans

Starters: WR Robert Woods, WR Nico Collins, WR John Metchie III, TE Dalton Schultz, TE Eric Tomlinson

Ranking Before 2022 Season: #30

Key Additions: WR Robert Woods, WR Noah Brown, WR Tank Dell, WR Xavier Hutchinson, TE Dalton Schultz, TE Eric Tomlinson

Key Departures: WR Brandin Cooks, WR Chris Moore, WR Phillip Dorsett, TE Jordan Akins, TE O.J. Howard

The Texans worked hard to overhaul their receiving corps in free agency and the draft in anticipation of handing over the keys to the franchise to a rookie passer, and they did a solid job. Losing Brandin Cooks is unfortunate, but if Robert Woods can stay healthy, he’ll provide some veteran presence.

John Metchie III is thankfully participating in the team’s offseason program after missing his first season with a torn ACL and leukemia diagnosis. He could become the team’s WR1 sooner than later. Tank Dell also has a ton of upside as a YAC demon with elite explosiveness. Xavier Hutchinson is another rookie with potential.

The tight end room will take on a different look, as well, with Dalton Schultz signing on a one-year deal from the Cowboys. Schultz finished with 69 catches for 699 yards and eight touchdowns in Dallas last year.

New England Patriots

#31: New England Patriots

Starters: WR DeVante Parker, WR Tyquan Thornton, WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, TE Hunter Henry, TE Mike Gesicki

Ranking Before 2022 Season: #18

Key Additions: WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR Kayshon Boutte, TE Mike Gesicki

Key Departures: WR Jakobi Meyers, WR Nelson Agholor, TE Jonnu Smith

The Patriots haven’t had a 1,000-yard receiver since Julian Edelman did it with Tom Brady in 2019. Now, they have one in JuJu Smith-Schuster who had 88 catches for 1,022 yards with the Chiefs last season through the regular and postseason. He’ll likely play a lot of snaps in the slot as Jakobi Meyers vacates that role as a free agency departure.

New England is excited about the possibilities of a second-year breakout for Tyquan Thornton after he flashed some upside last season. DeVante Parker remains a reliable if uninspiring X receiver across from him. Keep an eye on Kayshon Boutte, a sixth-round pick whose off-field issues tanked his stock after at one point being the potential WR1 in this class.

The Mike Gesicki signing was a bit odd for the Patriots as he simply feels redundant next to Hunter Henry, but they got great value for him on a one-year deal. This receiving corps is lacking overall and might not be enough to support a Mac Jones bounceback.

Carolina Panthers

#32: Carolina Panthers

Starters: WR Adam Thielen, WR D.J. Chark, WR Terrace Marshall Jr., TE Hayden Hurst, TE Ian Thomas

Ranking Before 2022 Season: #27

Key Additions: WR Adam Thielen, WR D.J. Chark, WR Jonathan Mingo, TE Hayden Hurst

Key Departures: WR D.J. Moore

The Panthers handed over the keys to the franchise to Bryce Young, who they traded up to select first overall, but they aren’t exactly supporting him with a great receiving corps right off the bat. D.J. Moore, their WR1, was involved in that trade, leaving the cupboard pretty bare in Carolina.

Adam Thielen turns 33 years old before the upcoming season, D.J. Chark is on just a one-year deal, and Terrace Marshall Jr. has never lived up to the hype he had as a 2021 second-round pick. Hayden Hurst brings stability to what was perhaps the worst tight end room in the league last year.

Without much proven production, the door is wide open for second-round pick Jonathan Mingo to make an immediate impact. Mingo’s production never reached elite levels at Ole Miss, but he’s a size-speed demon who this new regime will give every opportunity to become the team’s future WR1.

Super Bowl Odds

To cash in on some of these great pass-catching units, individuals over the age of 21 in legal betting states can place Super Bowl futures for each of the aforementioned teams. For updated odds, you can consult the table below.

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I've been a huge sports fan for as long as I can remember and I've always loved writing. In 2020, I joined the Lineups team, and I've been producing written and video content on football and basketball ever since. In May 2021, I graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in sport management. My goal is to tell enthralling stories and provide meaningful insight on the sports I write about while helping you cash some bets along the way.

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