Op-Ed: Top ten NFL receivers of 2017

With only two years in the National Football League, Stefon Diggs had made an impression on fans. (Courtesy of Hannah Foslien) 

Punit Motiwala
Connector Staff

National Football League (NFL) receivers are can be some of the most important players on the field. Their ability to catch long passes and score game-winning touchdowns is unprecedented. Some of these players fly under the radar due to their team composition, which causes their underappreciation. When singling the players from their team, their individual strengths and ability to play in the NFL can be examined. Here are the top 10 receivers of 2017:

  1. Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona Cardinals)

Larry Fitzgerald has been in the league for almost 14 years and has played consistently throughout his career. In 2017, Fitzgerald received 109 passes that spanned over 1,156 yards. With only one fumble, number 11 has been the shining light in the cardinal’s mediocre season. Although Fitzgerald exceeded his pre-draft value, he still managed to have less than expected stats some weeks.

  1. Julio Jones (Arizona Cardinals)

Julio Jones is like Fitzgerald; he has played in the NFL for a long time and has had a consistent career. What makes Jones frightening for defenses is his deep threat. Jones’s ability to bolt down the field and make sharp cuts throws off cornerbacks and free safeties. For example, when the Atlanta Falcons played the New England Patriots in the regular season, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan over threw a deep pass. Although Jones didn’t make the catch, he sped down the field and caught up to a ball that was overthrown by almost 15 yards.

  1. Stefon Diggs (Minnesota Vikings)

Diggs has only played in the NFL for two years but has made a huge impact on the Minnesota Vikings’ offense. His most notable play was in the National Football Conference Divisional round against the New Orleans Saints. With less than 10 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Diggs caught a pass, evaded two Saints’ safeties, and scored the touchdown allowing his team to progress to the NFC championship game. Aside from his clutch playoff moves, Diggs caught 64 passes amounting to 849 yards. Stefon Diggs athleticism shows fans and teams his relatively new career will be a game changer.

  1. Danny Amendola (New England Patriots)

The New England Patriots have been known for their consistency, and head coach Bill Belichick’s ability to turn a no-one into a superstar. Amendola was drafted in 2008 by the Dallas Cowboys, and later signed to the St. Louis Rams. After below average runs with both teams, Amendola was signed to the New England Patriots. New England tight end Rob Gronkowski named Amendola “Danny Playoff” after numerous clutch passes. In the 2017 season Amendola had 57 passes for 709 yards averaging 13.4 yards per run.

  1. A.J. Green (Cincinnati Bengals)

A.J. Green is one of the most underrated league receivers due to his team’s relatively short season. During the regular season, the Bengals performed average or below average. They have had some winning seasons, but mainly not. Even with his team’s poor offense, Green managed to catch 75 receptions and eight touchdowns. Green’s performance greatly suffered because of the inconsistencies surrounding his team and their mismanaged players.

  1. Tyreek Hill (Kansas City Chiefs)

Tyreek Hill had a great season due to quarterback Alex Smith. Smith’s numbers we off the charts this year. His 2017 season was the best of his career with a 67 percent completion rate for 4,092 yards. Hill caught 69 receptions but was a controversy among fans. His weekly inconsistencies furthered him from having a better season. Some weeks Hill would perform on another level, and other weeks he would only be thrown to a handful of times. With his team’s great ability, Tyreek Hill’s young career has a promising ending.

  1. Keenan Allen (Los Angeles Charger)

Statistically, Keenan Allen was the number six receiver in the 2017 season. He caught 102 receptions for 1,393 yards. His team is another that’s overall performance strays from individual players. The Los Angeles Chargers have been a mediocre team since in the last decade. For every high scoring and inspirational win they have is followed by another heart-crushing loss. Allen has truly remained consistent being L.A. Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers go-to receiver and raking in yards every game. Many NFL fan are excited to see the future of Allen’s career.

  1. DeAndre Hopkins (Houston Texans)

DeAndre Hopkins’ 2017 season was a great one mainly because of his disappointing 2016 season. In 2016, Hopkins only caught for 96 passes for 1,378 yards. Recently the Houston Texans have had many quarterback changes, which can be detrimental to offenses. Even without consistency and synergy with his quarterbacks, Hopkins managed to have a bounce-back season, and be one of the top three receivers in the league.

  1. Brandin Cooks (New England Patriots)

Brandin Cooks is now one of the most agile receivers in the NFL. His synergy with quarterback Tom Brady has showed through his stats. Cooks averaged 16 yards per reception and caught for 1,082 yards. Cooks has been a recently acquired deep threat for the Patriots. Many of Brady’s deep passes were thrown to Cooks, allowing for the duo to easily slip by opponent defenses. Cooks is only four seasons into his career, and with a spot on the Patriots, this forgotten receiver will surely make history.

  1. Antonio Brown (Pittsburg Steelers)

Antonio Browns is known in the NFL for his toughness and speed. His agile body allows him to either plow down defenders or easily juke them. With quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, Brown has been able to make a name for himself along with the Steelers. This season he topped the league with 101 catches over 1533 yards. There is no doubt Brown will stay with the Steelers and continually top charts as one of the best receivers in the league.

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