Where Do the Carolina Panthers’ Receivers Rank in the NFL?

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 20: Percy Harvin #12 of the Minnesota Vikings against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on December 20, 2009 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

I strongly dislike rankings lists. I dislike pre-season power rankings, since they are quite biased and are in fact without much logic considering some teams could be missing pieces that aren’t there anymore, or like most pre- pre-season rankings, they can be way off, because you’ve yet to see a team take the field, and really have nothing solid to base your opinion on. I’m of the opinion that you can’t really rank a team’s power or where it should be ranked among other teams, until Week Five. By the fifth week of the regular season, you have a pretty good idea of how teams are faring. But I must say, I was quite impressed with the most recent wide receiver power rankings (by team) released by USA Today.

So which team currently has the best core of wideouts in the league? Read on to find out.

Your number one receiver core according to USA Today, play for the Indianapolis Colts.

1. Indianapolis Colts: WR Reggie Wayne and TE Dallas Clark both caught 100 balls in 2009, but the Colts’ depth really illustrates their potency. Former first-round WR Anthony Gonzalez will be hard-pressed to rise above No. 4 on a depth chart that includes Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie. RB Joseph Addai has averaged nearly 40 catches over his four-year career, and understudy Donald Brown promises to be just as good.

Now we’ll take a look at where the rest of the NFC South placed, and of course whre Carolina falls into the mix.

The No. 1 ranked receiving core (fifth overall) in the division belongs to the New Orleans Saints.

5. New Orleans Saints: Individually, they don’t seem particularly foreboding. But collectively, they’re terrifying. The Saints became the second team to sport seven players with at least 35 receptions in 2009. That array of options is largely responsible for the team’s No. 1 offensive ranking three times in the past four years.

Not to mention, the Saints have one of the top quarterbacks in the league getting the ball to the receivers.

No. 2 in the division belongs to the Atlanta Falcons (10th overall).

10. Atlanta Falcons: Despite playing with a hodgepodge of quarterbacks in 2007 and rookie Matt Ryan in 2008, Roddy White has quietly posted back-to-back-to-back 1,100-yard seasons. He’s supported by Tony Gonzalez, arguably the best tight end of all time. Jerious Norwood could be a wild card out of the backfield.

The Falcons should find their way into the endzone this week.

The third-ranked receiving core within the division belongs to the Carolina Panthers (22nd overall). Only one name separates this team from semi-relevance to obscurity…

22. Carolina Panthers: Fiery Steve Smith is truly great, always producing despite years of uneven quarterback play and the team’s inability to develop his wingman.

Look there, I’m not the only one who says it…”Steve Smith is truly great.”

Finally, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers round out the division (27th overall).

27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: It was the Kellen Winslow II show in 2009. But promising rookies Mike Williams and Arrelious Benn should eventually assume co-starring roles, though Williams has the look of being the leading man one day.

See where the rest of the NFL ranks!

Follow Cat Crave on Twitter, @THECatCrave.

Tags: Atlanta Falcons Carolina Panthers Indianapolis Colts New Orleans Saints NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers USA Today Wide Receiver Power Rankings

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention Where Do the Carolina Panthers’ Receivers Rank in the NFL? | Cat Crave | A Carolina Panthers blog -- Topsy.com

  • jay

    we should rank last on this list. if i had to rank the panther wide reciver on a scale from 1 to 10. ill give smith a 9 and the rest would would get a 0.6. lets be real here they suck. i feel like the panthers coaching staff dont know how to teach rookies.

    • http://www.blogtalkradio.com/blitzradio Eric Quackenbush

      Hard to disagree with you, really. Especially with the receivers behind Smith…Maybe Gettis shows us something Sunday, if he’s activated?

  • jay

    One good reason why the panthers are not good at the WR is due to the “just run the ball” mindset of the coaches. Yes we are a running team but it doesn’t hurt to pass. They should mix it up. is it just me or I can see the panthers formation and already tell what they going to do, even know what side they going to run it in. matt Moore is a good QB but he’s being limited due to the coaches. If we winning by just three points early 1st half we tend to just shut down and just waste clock and not try to extend the lead.

    • http://www.blogtalkradio.com/blitzradio Eric Quackenbush

      Unfortunately, it’s not just you…I was able to call about 95% of the plays from a bar stool 250 miles away. I’ve never been a fan of the conservative get ahead a little and maintain the close lead kind of play. That’s just two risky. At a minimum, you get up by two possessions, then you can lay back some.

      I would really like to see this team get better at the receiver position — I’ll still give LaFell time, and we’ve yet to really see Edwards develop or Gettis. Moore’s a good QB, when the offensive line shows up, and he is limited to the playcalling drawn up by the coaches.

      This team needs to become more well-rounded on offense. It has the solid running game in place, and I thought they were going to be really serious and active in either drafting a solid receiver or acquiring a younger, proven veteran in free agency or trade…So far, they’ve passed up on Bolden, Houshmandzadeh, and Crayton. All could have made a difference, and all would have upgraded the position at No. 2.

      • John

        The real killer there is Housh went dirt cheap so it wasn’t a money thing.

        I too was not happy with the lack of pursuit of a veteran number 2. With that said we have some guys here who just might do something. Still as a guy who has played FF for over 15 years and done the studies you just don’t get consistent and high level performance out of the average receiver until he has been in the league 3 years. So it is all about development. Our wide receiver coach has developed talent in other places. I think he is the right man for the job but I don’t think we have that rare Pro ready from day one rookie receiver on our roster. Knowing that is what makes me mad about the lack of pursuit of a vet.

  • bigG

    Jay said “One good reason why the panthers are not good at the WR is due to the “just run the ball” mindset of the coaches”. I too understand we are a run first team, but the last time I checked it is the NFL. Professional. I will use a statement all players use.” It is just the business side of it”. ” just business” Shoot, the last time I worked and droped the ball for my company. I couldn’t just say “It’s just Business”. I love the Panthers. I just want improvements. 4 preseason games and 1 game equals NO improvements at WR.

  • Mark

    Why has Carolina had such a hard time getting a decent 2 guy so all the heat isn’t on Steve? With the exception of Moose we have had a bunch of average wideouts,and Steve has had to fight for everything he gets. You would think that management would want to get him some help.

    As for a grade, I would give 89 a 9.5 out of 10….. everyone else gets a 2,for right now.