Detroit Lions wide receivers haven’t received a ton of respect from the national media as of late. They were left off NFL.com’s top five list and weren’t among The Ringers top 10 pass-catching units list.
An argument could certainly be made that the Lions don’t belong at the top of the NFL, but where do they rank in their own division? Here’s a look at our rankings for the NFC North wide receiver units.
(For brevity sake, I’m only listing each team’s top five wide receivers)
1. Detroit Lions (Marvin Jones Jr., Golden Tate, Kenny Golladay, TJ Jones, Jace Billingsley)
Some will claim homerism, but the Detroit Lions had one of the best receiver duos in the league in 2017, and their depth promises to be even better this year. Marvin Jones and Golden Tate were the only wide receiver teammates to each reach 1,000 yards receiving last year, and now with Kenny Golladay entering his second season fully healthy, there’s reason to believe this set of receivers will contend with the NFL’s best.
Even TJ Jones proved he can be a valuable asset as a depth player should the Lions face an injury problem this year.
2. Minnesota Vikings (Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, Kendall Wright, Laquon Treadwell, Stacy Coley)
If the Vikings are indeed second in the division, they aren’t very far behind the Lions. Diggs and Thielen proved to be just as lethal of a duo as Jones and Tate. Here’s a look at their stats side-by-side.
Jones/Tate: 153 catches, 2,104 yards, 14 TDs
Diggs/Thielen: 155 catches, 2,125, 12 TDs
This year, the Vikings added Kendall Wright to help round out their corps and there’s still a lot of expectations for 2016 first-round pick Laquon Treadwell. However, right now I’m a little higher on Golladay than I am Treadwell, so that’s why I gave the nod to the Lions, but it is very close.
3. Chicago Bears (Allen Robinson, Anthony Miller, Taylor Gabriel, Kevin White, Bennie Fowler)
File this under NFC North Hot Takes, but the Bears may have the best receiver in the division with Allen Robinson. It was only three years ago that Robinson pulled in 80 catches for 1,400 yards and a league-leading 14 touchdowns. The questions are how will Robinson respond after tearing his ACL on the Jaguars’ opening drive of 2017, and how will he mesh with the Bears’ offense?
Elsewhere, the Bears’ depth isn’t all that impressive. They’re still waiting on former first-round pick Kevin White to stay healthy and reach his potential. But as insurance, they drafted Memphis receiver Anthony MIller in the second round of this year’s draft. Miller is going to see a lot of looks this year, and promises to make Mitchell Trubisky’s job a lot easier than it was with last year’s poor receiving corps.
4. Green Bay Packers (Davante Adams, Randall Cobb, Geronimo Allison, J’Mon Moore, Equanimeous St. Brown)
Aaron Rodgers has made a career out of making his wide receivers look good. He’ll have his work cut out for him again this year. While his top two wide receivers, Adams and Cobb, are an above-average duo in the NFL, everyone else on that roster is raw and unproven.
That’s why Green Bay went out and drafted three receivers in this year’s draft. J’Mon Moore and Equanimeous St. Brown have promise (and great Name Bracket potential), but until they prove something on the professional football field, it’s all just in theory.