No position dominates the NFL like the wide receivers. So which names will fight to the top five in 2014 for bragging rights?
#5 – Jordy Nelson – Green Bay Packers
Hopes and expectations are that Aaron Rodgers will make it through a full season for the Green Bay Packers in 2014, which is great news for Jordy Nelson. The soft spoken receiver remains their most reliable target and managed over 1,300 yards last season despite not having Rodgers for seven games. At age 29 he is reaching a career peak. A full season with A-Rod could catapult him into the top five.
#4 – Calvin Johnson – Detroit Lions
The arrivals of Golden Tate and Eric Ebron will certainly help in the Detroit Lions off-season goal, which was to draw attention away from Calvin Johnson. Megatron got his yards last season but the constant weight of the Lions passing game sitting on his shoulders has taken a toll on his body, as emphasized by him missing two games last season. Tate and Ebron should take some catches away from him, but Johnson will find a way to post his typical NFL numbers.
#3 – A.J. Green – Cincinnati Bengals
While the offensive roster of the Cincinnati Bengals has deepened in terms of talent, nothing has changed at the top. A.J. Green is still the best in the locker room and one of the best in the NFL. His quarterback, Andy Dalton, is maturing as well and for the time being remains the starter. That means Green is going to see a lot of balls thrown his way because Dalton simply knows what he can do, which is almost anything.
#2 – Demaryius Thomas – Denver Broncos
How will the Super Bowl hangover affect the Denver Broncos? It’s a good question. Another one is how the loss of Eric Decker will impact the passing game. One thing is for sure. Peyton Manning may feel the need to lean a little more heavily on Demaryius Thomas, especially in the early part of the season as recent additions like Emmanuel Sanders and Cody Latimer get acquainted with the playbook. Such a strategy can mean 50/50 on wins, but also a huge stats surge for Thomas.
#1 – Dez Bryant – Dallas Cowboys
Despite his somewhat explosive personality and outspoken nature, there is no denying the Dallas Cowboys have a star in Dez Bryant. His 2013 NFL campaign was just another reminder. Tony Romo is due back from back surgery and will have what many perceive will be an improved offensive line in front of him. Better protection will mean more chances for Romo to find Bryant down the field. Throw in the lingering problems on defense, that means Dallas might have to play from behind a lot, which in turn will mean throwing the football. That only means good things for Bryant.