Chargers Position Groups vs AFC West: Volume 5 – Wide Receivers
The AFC West is one of the most exciting divisions in the NFL. A key reason why is because they have a deep crop of wide receivers. While their quarterbacks are legends in the making, their receivers are the ones who have put up outstanding numbers. Players such as Keenan Allen, Tyreek Hill and Antonio Brown make the division must see entertainment week after week.
Read Volume 1 – Offensive Line HERE!
Read Volume 2 – Quarterbacks HERE!
Read Volume 3 – Running Backs HERE!
Read Volume 4 – Linebackers HERE!
4. Denver Broncos
Courtland Sutton – 6’4” 218 lbs
Emmanuel Sanders – 5’11” 180 lbs
DaeSean Hamilton – 6’1″ 203 lbs
The Broncos have a weak yet talented receiver group. Courtland Sutton recorded 42 receptions for 704 yards and four touchdowns in his rookie season last year.
Sanders has more experience in the NFL, having been drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2010 Draft. His best season was in 2014, his first year in Denver, when he recorded 1,404 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. He won a Super Bowl with the Broncos the following year and has been invited to two Pro Bowls. Last year, he recorded 71 receptions for 868 yards and four touchdowns. He is the clear leader of an inexperienced group of receivers.
DaeSean Hamilton came on to the scene late in the year and saw his production increase when Sanders when down with an injury. He finished the season with 30 receptions, 243 yards, and two touchdowns. He may actually have the most upside out of the group as he is a very gifted route runner and has sure hands.
The biggest unknown is how all three receivers will play with new quarterback Joe Flacco. Talented group, but it may take a few weeks to see what they truly are.
3. Oakland Raiders
Antonio Brown – 5’10” 181 lbs
Tyrell Williams – 6’4” 205 lbs
JJ Nelson – 5’10” 160 lbs
The NFL offseason was filled with rumors as to where Antonio Brown would sign after a falling out in Pittsburgh. He shocked the NFL by signing with the Raiders and seems poised to dominate the NFL with quarterback Derek Carr. There are so many great years of his to discuss but to date, the best year would have to be 2015 when he recorded a phenomenal 136 receptions for 1,834 yards and 10 touchdowns. He set a personal record last year with 15 touchdown receptions to go along with his 1,297 yards.
Tyrell Williams has played his entire career with the Chargers. He signed with the Raiders this past offseason. His best year was 2016 when he recorded 69 receptions for 1,059 yards and seven touchdowns.
JJ Nelson has had limited success since being drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in 2015. He only had seven receptions in an injury-marred 2018 campaign. His best season was 2016 when he had 568 yards and scored six touchdowns. His limited success in the NFL displays the vast difference between Brown’s greatness and the general mediocrity of the rest of the Raiders receivers.
2. Kansas City Chiefs
Sammy Watkins – 6’1” 211 lbs
Tyreek Hill – 5’10” 185 lbs
Demarcus Robinson – 6’1” 203 lbs
The Chiefs are an interesting group. With the league announcing that there will be no suspension handed down to Tyreek Hill, let’s focus on the onfield talent and potential. Hill is their best receiver as he recorded 1,479 yards and 12 touchdowns last year. He has been invited to the Pro Bowl three times.
Sammy Watkins has the talent but he did not put up impressive numbers last year during his first year in Kansas City. He only recorded 40 receptions for 519 yards and three touchdowns while adjusting to the NFL’s best passing attack last year. His best year was in 2015 with the Buffalo Bills when he recorded 60 receptions for 1,047 yards and nine touchdowns. He has never been to a Pro Bowl.
Demarcus Robinson has not been to a Pro Bowl either but he has never been the go-to receiver in Kansas City’s arsenal. He recorded 22 receptions for 288 yards and four touchdowns last year. His numbers should increase this year as he will be a more integral part of the offense.
1. Los Angeles Chargers
Keenan Allen – 6’2” 211 lbs
Mike Williams – 6’4” 220 lbs
Travis Benjamin – 5’10” 175 lbs
The Chargers have an experienced group of receivers who are primed for a championship run. Allen is the most talented of the bunch having been invited to two Pro Bowls. His best year was 2017 when he recorded a career-high 102 receptions for 1,393 yards and six touchdowns. He kept up the pace last year with 97 receptions, 1,196 yards, and six touchdowns.
Williams has so far failed to live up to his billing as a first-round talent. After a forgettable rookie season, he recorded 43 receptions, 664 yards and 10 touchdowns last year. If he keeps it up he should be able to prove the doubters wrong and may even become one of the NFL’s best receivers.
Travis Benjamin is a true burner as he can blow the top off in the deep game. He had a major drop-off in production last season, but will look to get back on track this year as he adds a special demension to the Chargers offense.
The AFC West has been full of turmoil and change during this offseason. From the possible suspension of Tyreek Hill to the signing of Antonio Brown, the balance of power appears to have shifted in the division. No one knows how Brown and Raiders quarterback Derek Carr will connect in Oakland. They have the potential of being the NFL’s next great quarterback-receiver combo but they also have the potential of being a major flop.
What is known is what has not changed in the AFC West. The Chargers did not make any major changes to their receiver group nor did the Broncos. Due to what is known compared to what is not known, the Chargers have the division’s best receiving group. Allen has proven to be reliable in all phases of the game and Williams is clearly on an up-hill trajectory with his career. Due to the unknown, this ranking may prove to be completely wrong but upon this writing this is the most logical order in the AFC West.