AFC East – Wide Receivers
With the offseason still in denial about ending, what better way to move it along then a series about ranking each unit of the AFC East? To start it off, we have the wide receiver position.
4) New York Jets
The Jets’ receiving corp last year was dreadful; so dreadful that Stephen Hill was their #1. To improve, they lured big name free agent Eric Decker and drafted three wide receivers. However, Decker is nothing but a #2, and they only used Day 3 picks for the receiving corp. While the position did get better (it couldn’t get worse), they still lack a true #1 and unless Decker shows that Peyton Manning was holding him back, the #1 WR is yet against Stephen Hill, or Jeremy Kerley, or future HOFer David Nelson. But this is okay as Rex runs the No Passing Offense and all he cares about is run blocking.
3) New England Patriots
The Patriots are next and last year suffered massive turnover as Wes Welker jumped ship and joined the Unclutch Peyton Manning (hey they have something in common!), and Brandon Lloyd took up acting. This left the Patriots relying on a couple of young guys and some injured dudes, which caused some struggles in the passing game. The good news is the young guys have another year of experience and should be getting better. This young pack is led by Aaron Dobson, who has the benefit of being the only Patriots receiver over 4’5″ and being legit. Him being healthy and finally getting it is why the Patriots’ offense will be even better than last year. However, they still don’t have enough to be ranked higher than 3rd.
2) Buffalo Bills
The Bills have the most upside of all the AFCE receiving corps. However, they also have a very young receiving corp which will have lots and lots of ups and downs. Leading the charge is 1st round pick Sammy Watkins, who so far during offseason camps is catching almost everything thrown his way. Also coming in is Mike Williams, who, when not getting stabbed, is a pretty solid #2 and gives the Bills a physical WR who can go up and get it. Rounding out the top three is Robert Woods, who last year was E.J. Manuel’s go-to guy and with Stevie Johnson gone will now be able to line up in the slot where he can do the most damage. What really gives the Bills the edge over the Pats is Marquise Goodwin, who is is a legit deep threat and is wicked fast. The Bills have an extremely talented receiving corp; however, youth and inexperience keep them from getting the #1 spot.
1) Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins have a really good possession guy in Brian Hartline, who has been Ryan Tannehill’s go to guy. They also have Mike Wallace, who is really good at running in a straight line. Round that out with Brandon Gibson, and that is a pretty good starting three. What gives them the #1 spot is the depth guys in Jarvis Landry and Matt Hazel, both drafted this year. Landry is an Anquan Boldin-like WR who is very physical and has legit hands. Hazel is a small school guy who – on tape – is deadly in the slot. While the Dolphins don’t have the WR corp with the most upside, they do have the corp most ready to have a big impact right away, which is why they are #1.