Ranking top NFL wide receiving corps following big trades

Sep 10, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp (18) and wide receiver Robert Woods (17) celebrates Kupp’s second quarter touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The big news during the opening salvo of NFL free agency was that two of the NFL’s top receivers moved to new teams in trades. Odell Beckham Jr. was traded to the Cleveland Browns, and Antonio Brown was traded to the Oakland Raiders.

These two trades created big waves around the league and have the potential to shift the balance of power. They also got us thinking about which NFL wide receiving corps rank atop the league. So, without further ado, take a gander at our updated rankings.

10. New Orleans Saints

By virtue of featuring Michael Thomas, the Saints are an automatic top-10 team in the league when it comes to wide receiving corps. He’s arguably the best volume receiver the NFL has today and gobbles up an insane percentage of throws that come his way. Second-year receiver Tre’Quan Smith is a very solid complementary player, and Ted Ginn gives Drew Brees a viable deep threat. Also, if Dez Bryant does return, he’ll give the Saints quite a hefty red-zone threat.

9. Cincinnati Bengals

The two-headed monster of Tyler Boyd and A.J. Green is something to behold. When both players are healthy, and when Andy Dalton is on his game, Cincinnati’s offense is spectacularly explosive. If the speedster John Ross can ever truly live up to his potential, then the Bengals will really be dynamic. Of course, bringing in an upgrade at the quarterback position would also do wonders for this offense.

8. Kansas City Chiefs

Tyreek Hill alone gives Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs one of the most dangerous receiving corps in the league. He’s a one-man wrecking crew at times, as his blazing speed and quickness lead to huge plays, and scores. If the high-priced Sammy Watkins can stay healthy, he gives Mahomes a tremendous No. 2 option on the outside. And, while we’re not counting tight ends here, having Travis Kelce in the lineup opens up opportunities for whomever is the third receiver on the field at any given time.

7. Philadelphia Eagles

Philly just landed DeSean Jackson in a trade with Tampa Bay. Adding him to the current group of receivers gives the Eagles quite a loaded group of skilled playmakers. He joins Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor, and Mack Hollins to give the offense a diverse group of pass catchers. On paper, the Eagles might be better than I’m giving them credit for. Yet until we see how it all comes together I’m hedging a bit.

6. Houston Texans

DeAndre Hopkins is arguably the best all-around receiver in the NFL today and has been insanely productive even playing with bad quarterbacks. At the least, he’s the most exciting to watch when the ball is in the air. Will Fuller is one of the most dangerous deep threats the league has to offer, too. If Fuller and Keke Coutee could stay healthy, the Texans would be higher up in these rankings.

5. Oakland Raiders

Obviously, landing Antonio Brown vaulted Oakland way up on this list. He’s been the most productive receiver in the league the past six years — a stretch that is truly legendary by historic NFL standards. On top of the trade for Brown, the Raiders paid former Los Angeles Chargers deep threat Tyrell Williams big money to come to Norther California. And though Jordy Nelson isn’t the same guy he used to be, he rounds out the group nicely.

4. Minnesota Vikings

The past two years, Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs have emerged as one of the league’s best 1-2 punches. They’ve combined for 370 receptions, 4,519 yards, and 30 touchdowns since 2017. That’s a heck of a lot of production, and they can still improve being young players. If the Vikings can find a reliable No. 3 guy, they’ll be darn-near unstoppable through the air.

3. Atlanta Falcons

No receiver in the NFL compares to Jones when it comes to racking up yardage. The past five years, he’s averaged 1,598 yards per season. That’s insane. Now that the Falcons have Calvin Ridley — the touchdown machine — to pair with Jones, they have one of the best duos in the league today. Add the versatile Mohamed Sanu and you have quite a trio for Matt Ryan to play with on a weekly basis.

2. Los Angeles Rams

The Rams are really loaded. They have four receivers that could potentially be a No. 1 or No. 2 receiver on other teams. Brandin Cooks is electric. Cooper Kupp is incredibly reliable. Robert Woods can do it all. And Josh Reynolds has been phenomenal when he has needed to step up. If Jared Goff can take yet another positive step in his development, this group of receivers should explode in 2019.

1. Cleveland Browns

No wide receiver corps can compare to what Cleveland now has at its disposal. The Beckham trade gave the Browns an unbelievable quartet: Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, Antonio Callaway, and Rashard Higgins. The best part about this group is that all four players are young (26 or under). With Baker Mayfield leading the charge, the Browns have an offense that will be must-see television on a weekly basis going forward.