NFL positional pecking order: Ranking all 32 receiving corps from worst to best
With NFL training camps on the horizon, theScore’s football editors rank all 32 teams by their total talent at each major position group. Depth charts are projections of teams’ post-training camp rosters.
Next up are the receiving corps.
Position Group Rankings
QB | REC | RB (June 29)
OL (July 5) | FRONT 7 (July 6) | DB (July 7)
32. Tennessee Titans
The Titans are set to field one of the most inexperienced pass-catching groups in the NFL next season. Treylon Burks, the club’s 2022 first-round pick, should see plenty of looks, given the lack of proven difference-makers out wide. Chigoziem Okonkwo and Josh Whyle form an interesting tight end tandem with plenty of upside.
31. Green Bay Packers
The Packers were aggressive in adding pass-catchers for Jordan Love in this year’s draft, including wide receiver Jayden Reed and tight ends Luke Musgrave and Tucker Kraft. Returning wideouts Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs will also look to take the next step in their development as the likely top targets for Love. Despite the potential this group has, we need to see them put it all together before they’re ranked any higher.
30. Houston Texans
Nathaniel “Tank” Dell
John Metchie III
Outside of 10-year veteran Robert Woods, the Texans are lacking in experience. Nico Collins has 70 career receptions, while Tank Dell, John Metchie, and Xavier Hutchinson have a combined zero. Dalton Schultz, who joined the team in free agency, leads a young tight end room that C.J. Stroud will look to in the intermediate areas of the field.
29. Carolina Panthers
Terrace Marshall Jr.
Laviska Shenault Jr.
Carolina’s options aren’t bad, but they’re also not great. Young options like rookie Jonathan Mingo and Terrace Marshall could blossom into impactful weapons, but veterans Adam Thielen, DJ Chark, and Hayden Hurst are likely to be Bryce Young’s go-to targets early in the coming campaign. Laviska Shenault, who the team acquired via trade in Aug. 2022, could be the ultimate wild card in this group.
28. New York Giants
New York’s receivers are expected to be more explosive than last year’s group, but there are still plenty of question marks when it comes to who’ll lead the way at wideout. Veteran Sterling Shepard is returning from injury and could contribute alongside the others listed above. New addition Darren Waller should get plenty of work whether he’s lined up in-line or as a slot receiver, but he’ll need to stay healthy to elevate this group. The 30-year-old hasn’t played a full season or eclipsed 700 yards since 2020.
27. Indianapolis Colts
Justin Casterline / Getty Images Sport / Getty
Michael Pittman Jr.
The Colts are just on the outskirts of the next tier, but a big year from one or more of their receiving options could easily see them move up. Michael Pittman has put up 900-plus yards in back-to-back years, Jelani Woods is a size and athleticism mismatch, and Alec Pierce and Josh Downs could develop into excellent complementary pieces in Shane Steichen’s offense.
26. New England Patriots
None of the Patriots’ pass-catchers are exceptionally threatening, but they have plenty of options to pick from on any given play. JuJu Smith-Schuster’s 2018 season (111/1426/7) feels like an eternity ago, but he can still threaten to put up 1,000 yards as a possession receiver if he’s peppered with targets. Tyquan Thornton is the potential breakout star from this group thanks to his blazing speed and good size. Expect plenty of two tight end sets after the team spent to bring in Mike Gesicki via free agency.
25. Arizona Cardinals
Losing DeAndre Hopkins didn’t do Arizona any favors in this series. Marquise Brown, Rondale Moore, Zach Ertz, and Trey McBride are a solid quartet of weapons, but the options behind them will need to prove they can contribute. Brown will need to improve upon his 709 yards and three touchdowns from last season now that he’s taking over the WR1 mantle in the desert.
24. Detroit Lions
Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty
Amon-Ra St. Brown
Marvin Jones Jr.
The weapons in the Motor City haven’t changed a whole lot from last year outside of the additions of veteran receiver Marvin Jones and rookie tight end Sam LaPorta. Jones has put up at least 46 receptions, 508 yards, and three touchdowns every healthy season dating back to 2013. He should get plenty of snaps opposite Amon-Ra St. Brown, who’s coming off consecutive campaigns with 90-plus receptions and 900-plus yards. Jameson Williams will serve a six-game suspension to begin the season, but he’ll provide an explosive element upon his return.
23. Atlanta Falcons
Drake London eclipsed 800 yards as a rookie despite mediocre quarterback play and should easily be Atlanta’s top target out wide. Kyle Pitts is returning from injury, and the club has to hope that’ll also mean a return to form. The Florida product put up the second-most yards by a rookie tight end in NFL history (1,026) before struggling to replicate that success a year ago. The depth behind those two is tricky to sort, but the variety of skill sets provides intriguing options.
22. Chicago Bears
Equanimeous St. Brown
Chicago’s big pre-draft move netted them a true WR1 in D.J. Moore. Pairing Moore with Darnell Mooney gives Justin Fields two athletic, quick options to target. Chase Claypool struggled to make an impact after the Bears traded for his services last year, but it was just two years ago that he scored 11 touchdowns as a rookie. Tight ends Cole Kmet and Robert Tonyan round out a receiving group that’s better than last year’s but still has room for improvement.
21. Washington Commanders
Just one spot away from the next tier, Washington features standout Terry McLaurin and a handful of young wideouts with plenty of potential. McLaurin is sure to see plenty of targets coming off three consecutive seasons with 1,000 yards or more and his first career Pro Bowl nod. The Commanders’ tight end room is among the league’s shallowest and could use an infusion of talent in the coming years to help elevate this group as a whole.
20. New Orleans Saints
Michael Thomas might just be the ultimate wild card on this list. He’s expected to be healthy and ready for training camp, but he’s only played in 10 contests over the last three seasons. Should Thomas remain on the field, he and second-year wide receiver Chris Olave should be among the league’s most exciting duos. The tight end room features Juwan Johnson and Foster Moreau, with both coming off career highs in receiving yards.
19. Kansas City Chiefs
Jamie Squire / Getty Images Sport / Getty
The reigning Super Bowl champions’ receiving options are somewhat average beyond superstar tight end Travis Kelce. Kadarius Toney has immense potential but has struggled to stay healthy, Marquez-Valdes Scantling is a solid second or third option at best, and Skyy Moore didn’t contribute much as a rookie. Newcomer Rashee Rice offers a nice blend of size and speed and could push the others for snaps early on. Despite the lack of a bona fide star receiver, Kelce is fresh off a 110/1,338/12 season.
18. Denver Broncos
Marvin Mims Jr.
There’s no shortage of talent among Denver’s receivers, but health and consistency have been issues for the team’s pass-catchers the last few seasons. New coach Sean Payton will likely improve the offense’s all-around efficiency and open up opportunities for Courtland Sutton and Co. Jerry Jeudy, still just 24 years old, set career highs in receptions (67), yards (972), and touchdowns (six) last season despite missing a pair of games.
17. Los Angeles Rams
After Cooper Kupp and Tyler Higbee, there’s a lot of projection required for this offense’s receivers. Kupp took home the receiving Triple Crown in 2021 and was averaging 90.2 yards per game before going down with injury in 2022. Meanwhile, Higbee has posted at least 500 yards and three touchdowns in each of the last three campaigns. The young options behind Kupp have plenty of promise, but someone will need to step up as the team’s second option at wide receiver.
16. Cleveland Browns
Cleveland’s weapons are highlighted by Amari Cooper, who scored a career-high nine touchdowns last season, but there are plenty of other reasons to be excited about the Browns’ receiving options. The trio of Donovan Peoples-Jones, Elijah Moore, and Cedric Tillman is young and explosive and should benefit from a full offseason with Deshaun Watson. They’re all complemented by one of the NFL’s most athletic tight ends in David Njoku, who set career highs in receptions and yards per game in 2022.
15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Douglas P. DeFelice / Getty Images Sport / Getty
Tampa Bay owns one of the NFL’s best wide receiver duos in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, but the pair will likely be shouldering the majority of the weight in the first post-Tom Brady year. There’s hope for some of the other pieces to grow into bigger roles, however. Russell Gage had back-to-back seasons with 770-plus yards before joining the Bucs, and Cade Otton, a fourth-round pick in the 2022 draft, showed promise in his rookie campaign with 42 receptions, 391 yards, and a pair of scores.
14. New York Jets
Mecole Hardman Jr.
Reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson headlines Aaron Rodgers’ new but familiar toys. Former Green Bay Packers Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb provide some familiarity for the gunslinger, while Mecole Hardman offers a ton of speed and can score from anywhere on the field. In addition, Tyler Conklin and C.J. Uzomah could be one of the league’s most productive tight end tandems by the end of the season.
13. Jacksonville Jaguars
If everything goes to plan, the Jaguars could have one of the NFL’s most impressive pass-catching trios next year. Calvin Ridley’s last full season saw him haul in 90 passes for 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns, Christian Kirk had 1,108 yards and eight scores on 84 grabs last year, and Evan Engram’s 766 yards were fourth among all tight ends in 2022.
12. Pittsburgh Steelers
Calvin Austin III
Despite George Pickens’ rookie season being deemed a failure by his position coach and Diontae Johnson’s lack of touchdowns in 2022, we’re high on the Steelers’ receiving options entering 2023. Johnson’s zero touchdowns on 147 targets is a statistical anomaly that we may never see again, Pickens posted 801 yards after being selected 52nd overall, and Allen Robinson is a fine No. 3 option at this point in his career. Tight ends Pat Freiermuth and Darnell Washington can contribute plenty as blockers and in the underneath game, too.
11. Baltimore Ravens
Odell Beckham Jr.
This isn’t a typo: The Ravens are one spot away from entering the great tier when we look at their receiving options. Signing Odell Beckham Jr. and drafting Zay Flowers was huge for Charm City. Rashod Bateman is on his way back from injury, and superstar tight end Mark Andrews can take over a game on any given week. Even depth options like Devin Duvernay and Isaiah Likely have shown big-play ability in the past.
10. Dallas Cowboys
Wesley Hitt / Getty Images Sport / Getty
Despite the lack of proven playmakers at tight end, the Cowboys kick off the great tier thanks to the trio of CeeDee Lamb, Brandin Cooks, and Michael Gallup. Lamb made the second-team All-Pro team last season after catching 107 balls for 1,359 yards and nine touchdowns, and he should only get better with new addition Cooks earning defenses’ attention this year. Gallup struggled a bit after returning from an ACL tear, but that injury is firmly in the past now.
9. Buffalo Bills
Stefon Diggs is easily the top dog in Buffalo, but the other weapons around him shouldn’t be slept on. Gabe Davis is coming off a career year that saw him produce 836 yards and seven touchdowns, Dawson Knox hit 500-plus yards for the second year in a row, and Dalton Kincaid joins the team as a first-round pick with excellent receiving chops. The competition for snaps behind those four should be fierce as the backups vie for usage in what’s sure to be an explosive passing offense.
8. Las Vegas Raiders
Davante Adams proved he didn’t need Aaron Rodgers last season. The three-time first-team All-Pro wideout led the league in receiving scores and eclipsed the 1,500-yard mark for the second consecutive campaign. Jakobi Meyers and Hunter Renfrow pair well with Adams as they can take advantage of single coverage with size and route running, respectively. The tight end tandem of Austin Hooper and Michael Mayer provides signal-caller Jimmy Garoppolo with two strong options to look to if his wideouts are covered.
7. Los Angeles Chargers
Katelyn Mulcahy / Getty Images Sport / Getty
Donald Parham Jr.
Health will be the biggest question mark for the Chargers’ receivers after Keenan Allen and Mike Williams missed 11 combined games a season ago. Despite the missed time, both eclipsed 750 receiving yards and 60 receptions. Adding exceptionally athletic first-rounder Quentin Johnston should only help, and tight end Gerald Everett had a career-best stat line of 58/555/4 in 2022.
6. Miami Dolphins
If the Dolphins had a proven weapon at tight end or a more dangerous third wide receiver, they’d have pushed for top-five honors. They still kick off the elite tier thanks to the insanely fast and productive duo of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. The latter cleared 1,300 yards and led the league with 18.1 yards per reception, while Hill posted 1,710 yards and seven touchdowns on 119 receptions. Their combined 3,066 receiving yards were more than the total passing yards for the entire Chicago Bears (2,598) and Atlanta Falcons (2,927).
5. Seattle Seahawks
DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett alone would’ve ranked well had they been the only major weapons Seattle was set to field, but the team added Jaxon-Smith Njigba and returns Noah Fant and Will Dissly. Both Metcalf and Lockett had 1,000-yard campaigns last season, while the tight end tandem of Fant and Dissly combined for over 800 yards and seven touchdowns a year ago. Smith-Njigba may not be the fastest receiver in the league, but he’s got the necessary route-running chops and hands to push for 1,000 yards as a rookie.
4. San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco’s weapons are some of the most physical in the league. Deebo Samuel seems to routinely bounce off tackles, Brandon Aiyuk is one of the best receivers when it comes to creating separation, and George Kittle lives for contact. Even with Samuel missing four contests and Kittle missing two, that trio combined for 2,412 yards and 24 total touchdowns last season. The 49ers leveraged their depth to account for some of those missed snaps, with Jauan Jennings and Ray-Ray McCloud putting up more than 350 yards each in 2022.
3. Minnesota Vikings
David Berding / Getty Images Sport / Getty
We could rank these top three receiving groups in just about any order. Justin Jefferson is quite possibly the best non-quarterback in the league right now. The 24-year-old is on a historic pace after hitting 1,400 yards or more in each of his first three seasons, including a league-best 1,809 on an also league-leading 128 receptions a year ago. T.J. Hockenson is among the game’s best tight ends, and rookie Jordan Addison offers excellent short-area quickness that should get him open more often than not.
2. Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles’ primary pass-catching trio can go toe-to-toe with any other club’s. A.J. Brown cemented himself as a top-10 wide receiver in 2022, catching 88 passes for 1,496 yards and 11 touchdowns in his first season with Philly. DeVonta Smith would be a WR1 on plenty of rosters, and he finished just shy of 1,200 yards with another seven scores. The team also features arguably a top-five tight end in Dallas Goedert, who had 55 receptions and 702 yards despite only playing in 12 games.
1. Cincinnati Bengals
Dylan Buell / Getty Images Sport / Getty
Irv Smith Jr.
Cincinnati’s wide receiver corps was unanimously named the league’s best thanks to its trio of weapons. Injuries limited Ja’Marr Chase to just 12 games in 2022, but the 23-year-old still broke the 1,000-yard threshold and scored nine times in the follow-up campaign to his record-setting rookie season. Chase’s primary running mate, Tee Higgins, also hit 1,000 yards for the second consecutive season, and Tyler Boyd went for 762 as the team’s third option. Staying healthy has been difficult for Irv Smith Jr. in the past, but the athletic tight end has a chance to thrive as a complementary piece if he can stay on the field.
Copyright © 2023 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.