Who are the top five quarterback/wide receiver duos in the NFL? Joined by my fellow writer, Cyrus Toosi, here are our full rankings. We recently broke down our ranking on our very own JCPodcast, which can be found here.
Cyrus Toosi: Russel Wilson and Tyler Lockett
Russel Wilson is the second best quarterback in the NFL and he consistently plays phenomenal. Every week he proves he can evade defenders and make extremely tough throws while doing so. However his primary target Tyler Lockett is criminally looked over. Over the course of one season he put up over 1,000 receiving yards and well as 8 touchdowns. His speed and route running abilities make it very hard to cover Lockett. One play comes to mind when talking about this duo. The footage speaks for itself. Wilson and Lockett come in at number 5 on the list.
Danny Podolsky: Kyler Murray/Deandre Hopkins
I chose to favor the wide receiver talent more than the quarterback play. Therefore, I ultimately went with Kyler Murray and Deandre Hopkins over Russell Wilson and Lockett for the fifth spot. Murray had a very solid rookie season, throwing for 3,722 passing yards, and twenty touchdowns. Hopkins has been one of the best receivers in the game for several years, so it will be interesting to see how this duo performs in 2020.
Toosi: Matt Ryan and Julio Jones
To put it simply, both Matt Ryan and Julio Jones are elite members of their respective positions. Ryan threw for almost 5,000 yards and 26 touchdowns while Jones went for 1,400 yards and 6 touchdowns. Jones is arguably the best receiver in the league and Ryan has been quietly putting up big numbers. In the last nine NFL seasons, Matt Ryan is the only quarterback to have thrown for at least 4,000 yards. The Falcons made some changes to their coaching staff halfway through the season and ended up finishing the final eight games with a 6-2 record.
Podolsky: Aaron Rodgers/Davante Adams
Coming out of the 2018 season, this duo would have ranked much higher. However, Davante Adams had a down year as he only racked up 997 receiving and five touchdowns. Not that those numbers are bad, but they aren’t as good as the other three wideouts on this list. Not having a reliable second receiver hurts this duo, as Adams receives a ton of double coverage. If Adams and Rodgers can stay healthy, they should be a great duo once again in 2020.
Toosi: Drew Brees and Michael Thomas
Drew Brees is one of the oldest starting quarterbacks in the NFL and he still managed to throw 27 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions while missing five games. Thomas broke the NFL reception record this season with 149 receptions in a single season and 9 of those receptions were touchdowns. He also went for 1,725 receiving yards, meaning he is responsible for half of Drew Brees’ 2019-2020 passing yards (2,979).
Podolsky: Patrick Mahomes/ Tyreek Hill
Patrick Mahomes is the best quarterback in the NFL. However, the reason they don’t earn a top-two spot is because of Tyreek Hill. Not to say that Hill is a lousy wideout, but because he isn’t Mahomes’ most reliable option. Hill has incredible speed but isn’t someone who can make tough catches in traffic. On a third and five in need of a first, Mahomes’ top option will be Travis Kelce. Because Julio Jones and Michael Thomas are more versatile, they earn higher spots on this ranking.
Toosi: Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams
Aaron Rodgers threw for 4,000 yards and 26 touchdowns last season, all with very little offensive help. Rodgers proves time and time again he can maintain his status as a top five quarterback in the NFL, even when his top receiver was hurt for four games. Adams suffered turf toe and as a result, only played 12 games. In that 12 game span he fell just three yards short of 1,000 yards for the third time in his career, as well as catching 5 touchdowns. Barring any unforeseen injuries to either of these two players, next season this duo looks to light up opposing defenses.
Podolsky: Matt Ryan/Julio Jones
Matt Ryan may not be an elite quarterback, but he’s still a solid QB. However, Julio Jones is easily a top two, if not the single best wide receiver in the NFL. Jones has had over 1,394 receiving yards in six straight seasons, with 57 touchdowns since 2011. Jones is an elite pass-catcher who can do it all. He can go up in traffic and make tough catches. He has the speed to be a vertical threat. Now on the wrong side of 30, Jones is hoping to stay healthy for 2020.
Toosi: Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill
Patrick Mahomes is the best player in the National Football league. Just recently he signed the biggest contract in the history of the NFL. 10 years for 503 million dollars. An absolutely insane deal. Nothing more needs to be said about the MVP winner and reigning Super Bowl MVP. At times, Tyreek Hill is thrown away as just being extremely fast. However, when you watch his highlights, it’s clear that his route running ability is elite. Hill has proved he’s a top 10 wide receiver. Mahomes and Hill come in at number one on this list.
Podolsky: Drew Brees/Michael Thomas
For me, this was an easy selection. While Drew Brees may no longer be a top-five QB, he’s still a great passer. At age 26, Michael Thomas proved he’s the most reliable pass-catcher in the NFL last season. He recorded a ridiculous 149 catches for 1,725 yards and nine touchdowns. Thomas does run a lot of short routes, but he has excellent hands, rarely dropping passes. With the Saints acquiring Emmanuel Sanders, Thomas should see fewer double teams in 2020 as well.
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