This is the time of year where every person who has a minute interest in football seems to want to give the world their opinion on who has the best quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, etc.
Everyone from ESPN to the NFL Network to the everyday Joe on Twitter has an opinion. Everyone wants to give you their rankings from top to bottom.
Many of these rankings are downright blasphemous. Most of the rankings are determined by how many fantasy points you will get from a specific player. Not what they contribute to their team.
A perfect example would be that many have Tom Brady ranked anywhere from number five to number ten on their list of quarterback rankings.
Pat Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray, and Dak Prescott are ranked higher than Tom Brady. Yet all Brady does is win.
What is the combined playoff record of Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray, and Dak Prescott?
I am excluding Mahomes from my example because he has proven he can win in a big spot.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are constantly disrespected and put anywhere from three to five in the group-wide receiver rankings.
This borders on blasphemy.
There is no wide receiver group in the NFL that is better than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Not the Tennessee Titans, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Cleveland Browns with Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. Not one team in the NFL has a better wide receiver group than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Future Hall of Famer Mike Evans is pound for pound the best receiver in the game. PERIOD. If any NFL team had a chance to pick up Mike Evans, he would walk into that locker room on day one and immediately be the number one receiver on that team.
Many of the receivers rated higher than Mike Evans put up better fantasy numbers. But they haven’t put up the consistent numbers that Mike Evans has for seven years.
Since 2014, Evans has had seven seasons of over 1,000 yards receiving. He has caught 56 percent of the ball thrown his way throughout his career. He is averaging 76 catches a season.
Evans is also a great leader inside the Bucs locker room. He recently said that this Bucs receiver room in his seventh NFL season is the best receiver room he has ever been around.
Evans is also enjoying this camp as he has been able now to be more of a mentor to the young receivers trying to make their mark in the NFL. “I’m having a blast trying to help these young guys get their foot in the game.”
The Bucs number two receiver is Chris Godwin. Another receiver that many teams would love to have and would immediately be their number one.
Godwin is due for a contract extension and a massive pay raise. It will not surprise me if Godwin becomes the highest-paid receiver in the NFL when he signs his new deal.
In his fifth NFL season, Godwin has averaged 76 catches the last two seasons and close to 1100 yards. Again not great fantasy numbers, but catching close to 69 percent of the balls thrown to him.
Then there is Antonio Brown. Like him or hate him, Brown is one of the great receivers of our generation and is a borderline Hall of Famer.
Before his legal troubles, Brown was a sure first-ballot Hall of Famer and had the potential to go down as one of the greatest receivers in NFL History.
In his first nine seasons in the league, Brown averaged 93 catches a year with 79 touchdowns.
Brown had 45 catches in eight games for the Bucs last season, and that would have put him close to his average if he had played the entire season.
Many teams would love to have Brown as an option at wide receiver. Brown would be a number one on many teams and at the very least a number two receiver.
Brown is just 33 and still has a few good years left in him. Many at Bucs camp have come away impressed with Brown and his work ethic and have said that he is the best wide receiver in camp.
Those are just the starters. This could mean trouble for the opposition, especially when you have Scotty Miller, Tyler Johnson, and the rookie Jaelon Darden to spell your top three receivers.
Oh, by the way, we haven’t even mentioned the receiving options at the tight end position, which includes Rob Gronkowski, Cameron Brate, and OJ Howard.
The Bucs receivers’ room is still relatively young. And they should continue to be the best receiving group in the league for quite some time.