Wide receivers, tight ends, and running backs are extremely vital to an offense’s ability to score in today’s NFL. Having an elite quarterback is helpful, but without any surrounding talent, that quarterback has a tough time producing regardless.
As such, having a good group of skill position players goes a long way in the modern NFL. Some teams have even prioritized creating the offense around the quarterback before plugging in the quarterback later. With that being said, here are the top ten skill position groups in the NFL today.
There are a lot of really good skill position groups that won’t cut because the talent in the NFL is so good nowadays.
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers possess the best tight end in football (no, Travis Kelce isn’t better, though it is really close), a solid wideout in Deebo Samuel, and one of the best running games in the league. That’s probably more of a testament to Kyle Shanahan than it is to Raheem Mostert and co., but don’t forget about them either.
Having a top-five wide receiver will get you on this list. The lack of other weapons, besides a decent number two in Cole Beasley, and a lack of a strong tight end hurts. The running back room of Zack Moss and Devin Singletary is solid, but neither are can’t miss players.
If Curtis Samuel was still on the roster, this group would be a lot higher. As it stands, DJ Moore and Robby Anderson make up a strong duo out wide and Christian McCaffrey is one of, if not the, best running backs in the entire league. They’ve gotta figure out the tight end spot, because Dan Arnold and Ian Thomas may not be it.
Green Bay Packers
Same logic with the Bills, except Davante Adams, isn’t the only great-skill position player on the roster. Aaron Jones is a top-flight running back, but the glaring hole behind Adams and at the tight end position prohibits them from charting.
10. New Orleans Saints
The Saints, despite losing Drew Brees, figure to be competitive again on the strength of their offensive supporting cast. Michael Thomas, despite being overrated (he’s not and never was the best receiver in the league), is still quite good. Alvin Kamara is at worst the fourth-best running back in the league, and many consider him to be the best. No real tight ends (Taysom Hill is not special at all) and a lack of wide receiver depth keep them at number ten.
9. Arizona Cardinals
There aren’t a lot of wide receiver rooms deeper and more talented than in Arizona. DeAndre Hopkins, Christian Kirk, Rondale Moore, Larry Fitzgerald and AJ Green (both of whom are on their last legs, but are still good) is hard to top. Chase Edmonds is decent if not spectacular and losing Dan Arnold hurts the tight end position a little bit, too.
8. Denver Broncos
Speaking of wide receiver rooms, Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, and Tim Patrick is a really good trio. Combine that with Noah Fant and Melvin Gordon and you have a really strong skill position group. Don’t forget about Javonte Williams, the rookie, who might challenge for that starting spot.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The defending champs find themselves at number seven. I’m not sure where the notion came from that Brady did it all by himself because they have elite surrounding talent (and an elite defense, but that’s for another time). Chris Godwin and Mike Evans are a top-flight wide receiver duo and Antonio Brown is no scrub, either. Rob Gronkowski is old and OJ Howard’s health is in question and they don’t have great running backs, but the rest of them are top-notch.
6. Cleveland Browns
The NFL world may have forgotten, but Odell Beckham, Jr. was a top-five receiver in New York. With a better quarterback and better teammates, he should be able to thrive once again if he can stay healthy after tearing an ACL. Jarvis Landry is a strong second option and no other team boasts the running back depth they do: Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt would both be starters on a lot of teams. Oh, and Austin Hooper is pretty good, too.
5. Los Angeles Rams
The Rams have one of the best duos in football with Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods. Combine that with Desean Jackson, Van Jefferson, and tight end Tyler Higbee and that is one good offense. They haven’t quite figured out the running back situation, though Cam Akers looked really strong down the stretch. Sean McVay has ample weapons at his disposal and Matthew Stafford’s new life should be really easy for him.
4. Minnesota Vikings
There aren’t many wide receiver duos better than Justin Jefferson (even as a rookie) and Adam Thielen. Can you imagine adding a third guy, someone like Stefon Diggs? Crazy. There also aren’t many running backs better than Dalvin Cook (maybe four or five at most).
3. Dallas Cowboys
Say what you want about the Cowboys, but they have an offense. The trio of Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and CeeDee Lamb is incredible. Not sure there’s a wide receiver trio that’s better in the entire league. Ezekiel Elliott is definitely overrated, but he’s still a solid running back.
2. Tennessee Titans
Trading for the best wide receiver in football (arguably) to pair him with another top ten receivers and the best running back in football (arguably) will get you pretty high on the list. AJ Brown and Julio Jones are the best wide receiver duo in football and they have Derrick Henry to take all kinds of attention away. The loss of Jonnu Smith hurts but not in comparison to adding Julio Jones.
1. Kansas City Chiefs
Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce get the chiefs here. They’re both not the best at their positions in my opinion, but many people consider them to be. Plus, Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Mecole Hardman are pretty solid, too. The mind-boggling Super Bowl performance aside, this skill-position group is extremely good.