In the NFL the past few seasons, the running game has been abandoned as we saw once legends in Jamaal Charles and Adrian Peterson disappear due to injuries, leading to a resurgence in the receiving department.
What truly makes up a good receiving corps?
To decide if a unit is a good receiving corp, you should be using success rates on short and deep passes, drops, third-down efficiency rates for individual receivers and so on. Anyone who claims to completely separate receivers from quarterbacks and defensive schemes (and offensive lines, opponent strengths, situations and so on) is bluffing. The corps includes stats from the wide receivers and the tight ends, alike.
What teams have the potential to be leaders in the receiving column?
New Orleans Saints –
Last season, this Saints team Finished 2nd in TDs and 1st in Yards, mostly due to Brandin Cooks who they unfortunately will not have this upcoming season. Thankfully enough for them however Michael Thomas may have been the biggest rookie surprise last year as he caught 92 passes for 1,137 yards and nine touchdowns. They also will be relying more on the young Snead who has proven to be productive in the NFL catching 1,879 yards with 7 TDs between his first two NFL seasons. The newly signed Ted Ginn Jr [752yd, 4 TD] last season will add another side to this team as he is known for his deep routes. The Saints are poised to make some noise in 2017, and they’ll do it with the consistent arm of Brees, for a 12th year in a row.
“I feel like we have the best receiving corps in the league.”
Snead told Nola.com
New York Giants –
Just a season after the Giants decided to invest millions into what became arguably the best defense in football, they turned to the other side of the game, offense. The NYG added 11 year veteran star WR Brandon Marshall to their corps who will now be playing with the best quarterback, an underrated SB winning quarterback at that. To bolster their offense more so, they spent their first round draft pick on the Ole Miss TE product, Evan Engram who was seen as the most NFL ready tight end in the draft. The big IF this season comes down to the offensive line, helping out the aging Eli. Last season Eli was forced to release the ball before he would have pleased and the tackles are going to be given one final hoorah before getting cut, they gave up arguably the NFL most pressures on the QB.
What teams will have corps that ‘bust’?
Atlanta Falcons –
Although they have one of the most consistent QB’s in the league in Matt Ryan, the receiver corps have questions. They relied greatly on Julio finding a way to get open the past few seasons, since losing Roddy White to retirement they have been forced to start young players such as Taylor Gabriel and Austin Hooper who haven’t truly made a name for themselves in the league. Not to mention losing arguably the best Offensive Coordinator in the game in Kyle Shanahan will force the offense to adjust to a new play style, messing up some of the teams chemistry coming off a super bowl appearance.
New England Patriots –
After turning the big 4-0, Tom Brady is due to make an abrupt friendship with Father-Time just like many of the great quarterbacks in the past eras have. Peyton Manning for example, in his final season, he passed for roughly 2.5k yard less than the previous season, after being ranked 5th on the NFL top 100. Brady truly runs this offense and gives names to receivers that went undrafted, or were picked off the waivers. Not to mention mix that in with the fact that they lost their star RB in Blount [1161 yds, 18 TD] which is bound to make the team truly one-sided. Opposing defenses will only have to use 5 or 6 man fronts to face this new Patriots team due to the lack of a running game, putting more pressure on the injury prone tight end and aging quarterback to make plays that just aren’t always realistic.
The top-of-the-line corps.
Green Bay Packers –
Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers managed to produce an NFL leading 40 passing TDs this past season. Led by the NFL leading TD receiver, Jordy Nelson who managed 1,257 yards and 14 TDs. That duo is not alone either and are accompanied by not only Davante Adams [997 yds, 12 TDs], but the Super Bowl winning Martellus Bennett who has an enormous frame and is the type of player Rodgers adores, a tight end. The Packers started off the season horrific, but past the halfway point they won out and dominated the league by the O Line allowing Rodgers to continuously air it out on the deep ball.
Pittsburgh Steelers –
Top 10 in the NFL in TD’s, Receptions and Yds/G
Bryant is back from suspension last season due to weed (he is 6’5″)
Eli Rogers and Jesse James played well last season and are only going to fit their roles more-so this season.
Brown has an absurd 481 catches in the last four seasons
Tampa Bay Buccaneers –
The team that nobody expected to be here, the Buccaneers. Last season they were just mediocre without a productive season from Vincent Jackson, and without the new additions. A new Jackson is in town this season, Desean Jackson is the definition of a consistent deep threat throughout his career, last season he put up a respectable [1005 yds, 4 TD]. Last season the average Bucs finished in the top half of the league in most categories [Yds/Reception, Receiving TDs] and with Winston going into his 3rd season holding it down behind center, he is only going to continue to improve. Cameron Brate who had an above average season last year will be joined by OJ Howard, selected in the first round this year during the draft out of Alabama. Then add all of those core pieces with Mike Evans who is a top 5 WR in the league [1,321 yd, 13 TDs] just last season. Jameis Winston will have plenty of options to aire the ball out this upcoming season, making them true offensive contenders.
These are all teams that have figured out the formula this season that may very well lead them to contention, or could crash and burn to a high draft pick or a rebuild.