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.
Follow Cat Crave on Twitter, @THECatCrave.