I’ve already revealed my Top 15 WR (which you can view by clicking here), so let’s take a look at the next ten on my list:
16. Vincent Jackson – San Diego Chargers – Being the top receiver for the team with one of the best QBs in the league surely has its advantages. He has gotten better each year in the league going from 59 yards to 453 yards to 623 yards to last season’s 1,098 yards. I know the team is going to run plenty (with LaDanian Tomlinson & Darren Sproles), and despite aging, Antonio Gates is going to be the prime target in the red zone. Still, it’s likely he takes the next step and becomes a major force in the Chargers offense.
17. T.J. Houshmandzadeh – Seattle Seahawks - He leaves Cincinnati to become the top option for steady QB in Matt Hasselbeck. He’s had over 90 catches in each of the past three seasons and 900 yards or more in each of the past five. He didn’t find the end zone very often last season (just 4 TD), but that was partly due to not having a strong QB throwing him the ball. I’d expect him to score at least 8 TD this season, if not more.
18. Santonio Holmes – Pittsburgh Steelers - The reigning Super Bowl MVP needs to turn it up in the regular seasons. He seems primed to do so, having reportedly added muscle this off-season (you have to love these clichés, no?). Last season he managed just 821 yards and 5 TDs, only twice having 90 yards receiving in a game. The difference is that he’s likely going to be the #1 receiver this year, over an aging Hines Ward, which should allow him to significantly improve on those numbers. He’s a risk, but then again, any receiver at this point in the draft are going to have question marks hanging over their head. He has tremendous upside and is worth the gamble.
19. Anthony Gonzalez – Indianapolis Colts - I’ve already spent time discussing him (click here for the article). The fact of the matter is that he is now the #2 receiver (thanks to the departure of Marvin Harrison) on a team that features one of the top three QBs in the league. He’s certainly ready to take the next step.
20. Jericho Cotchery – New York Jets - He’s the #1 receiver in New York, but his value now lay in the hands of a young QB, whether it be Mark Sanchez or Kellen Clemens. That’s certainly going to have a major impact on his potential this season. He actually took a step backward last season, with just 858 yards. As Brett Favre faded, so did Cotchery, with just two games of 80+ yards of the seasons final two months. Over that time he also had just 2 TD. He’s going to make some plays, but if the QB is struggling, his numbers are once again going to go with it.
21. DeSean Jackson – Philadelphia Eagles – A rookie last season, he showed the Eagles what he was capable of doing by picking up 912 yards and playing in all 16 games (15 starts). Granted, he managed just 2 TD, but with more maturity and experience playing with Donovan McNabb, that number can only go up. Look for him to really emerge in his sophomore campaign making him worth using as a #2 receiver in all formats.
22. Bernard Berrian – Minnesota Vikings -The question of Brett Favre has been answered, and could it be a blessing in disguise? As the Jets saw last season, just because Favre is there doesn’t mean the passing game is going to be explosive all year long. He only had 48 catches last season, but he set a career high with 964 yards and 7 TD. Look for him to continue to build on those numbers.
23. Braylon Edwards – Cleveland Browns – Mr. Drops, as he’s come to be known, was nearly shipped away to New York during the off-season and enters 2009 in desperate need of re-establishing his value. After scoring 16 TD on 80 catches in 2007, he managed to find the end zone just 3 times last season on 55 catches. You can blame the QB all you want, but he simply needs to step it up and make plays. He has the potential to return to being a Top 10-12 wide receiver this season, certainly making him worth the gamble.
24. Lee Evans – Buffalo Bills – He posted a 1,000 yard season for the second time in his career in 2008. With Terrell Owens in place and Trent Edwards potentially ready to bust out, Evans could be in line for a monster season. No longer the focus of the opposing defense, he should have the ability to post solid numbers.
25. Eddie Royal – Denver Broncos - He emerged as a rookie last season (91 catches, 980 yards), but that was with Jay Cutler at the helm. Can he repeat those numbers with Kyle Orton running the offense? Time will tell.
What do you think? Who got left out of the Top 25 that you feel should be included? Who should be removed from the list?
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