Free agency got an unsuspecting visitor on Friday when the Kansas City Chiefs released wide receiver Jeremy Maclin. Just two years into <a href="http://www.authenticpatriotsstore.com/shop-by-players-laremy-tunsil-jersey-c-1_34.html">http://www.authenticpatriotsstore.com/shop-by-players-laremy-tunsil-jersey-c-1_34.html</a> a five-year contract, Maclin wasn't able to contribute enough last season to justify paying him $12 million in 2017. The loss makes Kansas City's receiving unit extremely weak, but will give another team the opportunity for a significant boost. Maclin may have struggled recently, but in a better passing offense he's proven that he can be a valuable No. 1 option.

So now seems like a good time to rank all 32 NFL receiving units, after the release of Maclin and soon-to-be-next Eric Decker by the Jets. At the top is the team most familiar to being at the top, and not far behind is an NFC South team not named the Falcons. At the bottom, a surprising amount of teams that don't seem to have much talent at the receiver despite their seemingly being an abundance of good receivers in this high-volume passing era.

These are the guys who make most of the biggest highlights every week, as well as the ones who will break your heart. (Asterisks denote 2017 NFL Draft picks.)

1. New England Patriots: Brandin Cooks, Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Chris Hogan, Andrew Hawkins, Malcolm Mitchell

The Saints unloaded him, but Cooks is still a top-20 player at his position:

Three players have recorded 75 receptions, 1,000 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in each of the past two seasons. Cooks is one. The other two are Odell Beckham Jr. and Antonio Brown. Beckham and Brown made the Pro Bowl in <a href="http://www.billsjerseysale.com/shop-by-players-ronald-darby-jersey-c-1_45.html">http://www.billsjerseysale.com/shop-by-players-ronald-darby-jersey-c-1_45.html</a> both seasons. Cooks made it in neither.

He's small (5-foot-10, 189 pounds), and he played in a high-volume passing offense, but Cooks has made the most of his targets. Over the last two seasons, he ranks 13th in catches, eighth in receiving yards, sixth in touchdowns, and 10th in yards per target. In Football Outsiders' plus-minus for receivers (a statistic breaking down how many passes the average WR would have caught for the same team in the same situations), Cooks ranked seventh. The Patriots added him without losing a receiver of note, including Edelman (1,106 yards in 2016), Hogan (18th in plus-minus), and Mitchell, who had six catches for 70 yards in the Super Bowl. Veterans Amendola and Hawkins provide experienced depth as well. And if you want to get technical, they have another receiver who has been to each of the last six Pro Bowls: Special teams beast Matthew Slater. New England is great at a lot of things right now, and the receiving unit is no exception.

2. Green Bay Packers: Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Davante Adams, Jeff Janis, Geronimo Allison, DeAngelo Yancey*, Malachi Dupre*, Trevor Davis

With Nelson healthy, Aaron Rodgers comfortably settled back into being his old self. Nelson caught 97 passes for 1,257 yards and an NFL-high 14 touchdowns after missing all of 2015 with a torn ACL. He was third in DYAR (Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement) and 10th in plus-minus. While Cobb continues to have some struggles, he's a great player to have as your number three receiver now that Adams has established himself as one of the league's best number twos (75 catches, 997 yards, 12 touchdowns). We can't say for sure how good the depth is, but Ted Thompson drafted <a href="http://www.cheapdolphinsonline.com/shop-by-players-matt-moore-jersey-c-1_41.html">Matt Moore Kids Jersey</a> two more receivers (Yancey in the fifth, Dupre in the seventh) as he continues his tradition of constantly trying to get better at wideout.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Chris Godwin*, Adam Humphries, Bernard Reedy, Josh Huff

Evans has gone over 1,000 yards in all three of his seasons, and scored 12 touchdowns for the second time in his career in 2016. He was sixth in DYAR and seems unbeatable at the point of the catch. He might only get better if his targets go down with the addition of Jackson, as there's less pressure on him now to do everything. Jackson is second in the league over the last two seasons in yards per target, and his career average of 17.7 yards per catch is the highest of any active NFL player. They're in the conversation for best 1-2 in football, but Humphries and Godwin have stood out in OTAs per head coach Dirk Koetter:

"The most consistent guys since we've been out here have been Godwin and Adam [Humphries]," Koetter said. "Those two guys have been making plays everyday. Real happy with what Chris is doing, but he could play in(side) or out(side), either one."

4. Pittsburgh Steelers: Antonio Brown, Eli Rogers, Martavis Bryant, Darrius Heyward-Bey, JuJu Smith-Schuster*, Sammie Coates, Justin Hunter, Demarcus Ayers

Brown is as good of a receiver as you could hope for, but then GM Kevin Colbert found another gem in Rogers (594 yards as an undrafted rookie in the slot) and bonus: Bryant returns after he was suspended for all of last season. Bryant caught 14 touchdowns over his first 21 games. The Steelers also drafted Smith-Schuster in the second, high praise from a team that hasn't drafted a receiver that early since Limas Sweed in 2008. Brown, Rogers, Bryant, and Smith-Schuster make a solid top four, but the competition behind them is also deep and relatively talented.

5. Miami Dolphins: Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker, Kenny Stills, Jakeem Grant, Leonte Carroo

Landry is an exceptional player (fourth in receptions since 2015), but Parker could be settling in as the best receiver in Miami. The <a href="http://www.newpatriotssale.com/nfl-new-england-patriots-replica-kyle-van-noy-jersey-53-on-sale.html">Kyle Van Noy Authentic Jersey</a> former 14th overall pick has 1,189 yards and seven touchdowns over his last 21 games, with an excellent 9.22 yards/target. If that wasn't enough, they gave Stills a four-year, $32 million deal to stay in Miami after he had 17.3 yards/catch and nine touchdowns last season.


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By Angel92
Added Jun 9 '17


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