Randy Moss. Antonio Brown. Odell Beckham. While QBs will always hold the spotlight as the biggest names in the NFL, wide receivers often come in right behind them, as the best wideouts often exude both talent and personality. But what about their sidekicks? A great receiver (perhaps with the exception of Calvin Johnson) can only do so much, and that’s why a dynamic receiver duo often opens the door for a truly explosive offense.
It’s important to recognize greatness in its midst. And, as we live in arguably the most gifted generation of receiver talent ever, let’s take a look at the top 10 wide receiver duos entering the upcoming season:
10. Will Fuller V and Devante Parker – Miami Dolphins
Though each of Will Fuller and Devante Parker have been consistently been hampered by injuries throughout their careers, there’s no denying the bevy of talent these two bring to the gridiron. The only 1,000+ yard season between either of them was Parker’s 72 catch, 1202 yard campaign in 2019, but with Parker, Mike Gesicki, and the newly acquired Fuller, it’s hard to argue that there’s many more exciting receiving corps in the NFL than the Miami Dolphins. If healthy, Fuller and Parker could definitely climb up this list.
9. Keenan Allen and Mike Williams – Los Angeles Chargers
Despite working within Anthony Lynn’s run-centric offense the last few seasons, Allen has notched at least 992 receiving yards and 97+ catches in every season since 2017. As the pinnacle of modern-day route running in the NFL, there is perhaps no more reliable and consistent wideout out there.
As for Williams, it was only two seasons ago when he had a 1,000+ yard season en route to leading the league in yards per reception, with 20.4. With a 6’4 frame, 4.54 40 yard dash, and some of the best ball skills in the league, Williams can stretch the field on downfield shot plays with the best of ’em. With record-breaking QB Justin Herbert ready to take the leap to stardom, expect big numbers from this duo.
8. Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins – Cincinatti Bengals
It might be surprising to see Boyd and a second-year player ahead of more exciting names like Keenan Allen and Will Fuller, but the relative lack of popularity for Boyd and Higgins is surely neither of their faults.
Boyd has posted 2 1,000+ yard seasons in the last three years on a 66.9% catch rate, and almost surely would have been 3 for 3 had Joe Burrow not gone down with an ACL tear late in 2020. Higgins, the 33rd overall pick in the 2020 draft, superseded expectations in his rookie seasons and will only improve from here, as he posted 908 receiving yards on the year despite being buried behind A.J. Green on the depth chart to start the year. He’s clearly shown that he’s ready to take on the No. 1 receiver role on the team in 2021.
7. Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry – Cleveland Browns
While the common notion of OBJ and Jarvis Landry is that of two aging receivers whose best days are behind them, a look into the numbers shows a duo that still remains elite. Beckham has still yet to finish with less than 1,000 receiving yards in a season he’s played more than 7 games in, while Landry has averaged 996 yards per season in his 3 seasons with Cleveland, while maintaining a PFF receiving grade above 80 in each of the past two campaigns.
After the Browns experienced the failed Freddie Kitchens experiment and dealt with a myriad of skill-position injuries in 2020, don’t be surprised if OBJ and Landry finally have a year where their chemistry and performance come together for big-time production.
6. Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods – Los Angeles Rams
Despite the lack of hardware between Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods (no Pro Bowls!), the two have been as reliable of a receiving duo as it gets over the last three seasons. Even while playing with a relative inexplosive Jared Goff at quarterback, the two each amassed over 1,100 yards in 2019.
Now that former Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford is in town, the two should be able to take their games and their numbers to new heights, as Stafford has been able to facilitate huge passing numbers throughout the course of his career.
Kupp and Woods are simply two guys who every team could use – hard-nosed, rugged gamers who excel in both run-blocking and pass-catching.