The NFL's Best Receivers
Julio Jones

Antonio Brown

Acquired by Oakland from Pittsburgh during the offseason, wide receiver Antonio Brown totaled 104 receptions for 1,297 yards and an NFL-best 15 touchdown receptions in 2018.

Antonio Brown became the fifth player since 1970 to record at least eight touchdown catches in six consecutive seasons, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers JERRY RICE (11 seasons from 1986-96), MARVIN HARRISON (eight from 1999-2006) and CRIS CARTER (six from 1995-2000), and ANTONIO GATES (seven from 2004-10).

During his nine-year career, Brown has 837 receptions for 11,207 yards and 74 touchdowns. With 91 receptions in 2019, Brown can surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer MARVIN HARRISON (927 receptions) for the most catches by a player in his first 10 seasons in NFL history.

With 793 receiving yards this season, Brown can become the fifth player in league history to reach 12,000 receiving yards in his first 10 seasons.

Antonio Brown is the only player in NFL history to record six consecutive seasons with at least 100 receptions. With 100 catches in 2019, it would mark his seventh career season to accomplish the feat, breaking a tie with BRANDON MARSHALL (six) for the most career seasons with at least 100 receptions.

Since 2013, Brown has totaled 686 catches, the most receptions by a player over any six-year span in NFL history. He also has 9,145 receiving yards since 2013, the most receiving yards over any six-year span.

Julio Jones

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver JULIO JONES led the league with 1,677 receiving yards last year and became the fifth player in NFL history to record at least three career seasons with 1,500 receiving yards, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers JERRY RICE (four seasons) and MARVIN HARRISON (three), as well as ANTONIO BROWN (three) and ANDRE JOHNSON (three).

Jones, who also had 113 receptions in 2018, joined Harrison (three), Brown (three) and Johnson (three) as the only players in NFL history with at least 100 catches and 1,500 receiving yards in three career seasons.

He has recorded at least 1,400 receiving yards in each of the past five seasons and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer MARVIN HARRISON (four seasons) for the longest streak of consecutive seasons with at least 1,400 receiving yards.

Last season, Julio Jones, who has 10,731 career receiving yards, reached 10,000 receiving yards in his 104th career game and surpassed CALVIN JOHNSON (115 games) for the fewest games in NFL history to reach the milestone.

Julio Jones, who has appeared in 111 career games, has 49 games with at least 100 receiving yards, the most by a player in his first eight seasons in NFL history. Among players who have appeared in at least 100 career games, Jones is the league's all-time leader with an average of 96.7 receiving yards per game.

Michael Thomas

New Orleans Saints wide receiver MICHAEL THOMAS led the NFL with 125 receptions and broke his own franchise record set in 2017 (104). Thomas also set a Saints record for most receiving yards in a single season (1,405), surpassing JOE HORN (1,399 in 2004).

Thomas joined Pro Football Hall of Famer RANDY MOSS and ODELL BECKHAM JR. as the only players to record at least 1,100 receiving yards in each of their first three seasons in NFL history. Thomas and Beckham are also the only players in NFL history to notch at least 90 receptions in each of their first three seasons.

Since entering the league in 2016, Thomas has 321 receptions, surpassing ODELL BECKHAM JR. (288) and JARVIS LANDRY (288) for the most receptions by a player in his first three seasons in NFL history.

In 2018, Thomas became the first player in NFL history to record at least 10 receptions in each of his team's first three games and surpassed JULIO JONES (34 in 2015) for the most receptions by a player through his team's first three games of a season in NFL history.

The third-year receiver out of Ohio State set a franchise record for the most receptions in a single game with 16 in Week 1. Thomas also set the single-game franchise record with 211 receiving yards in Week 9.

DeAndre Hopkins

Houston Texans wide receiver DeANDRE HOPKINS ranked second in the NFL in receiving yards (1,572) and third in receptions (115), tying ANDRE JOHNSON (2008) for the most receptions in a single season in Texans history. Hopkins is the only player to record multiple seasons with at least 100 receptions, 1,500 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns since he entered the NFL in 2013, and joined Pro Football Hall of Famers MARVIN HARRISON and JERRY RICE, as well as BRANDON MARSHALL, as the only players to accomplish the feat at least twice in NFL history.

Since entering the league in 2013, Hopkins is one of three players (ANTONIO BROWN and DEMARYIUS THOMAS) with at least 500 receptions (528), 7,000 receiving yards (7,437) and 40 touchdown receptions (47). His 528 receptions are the most by a player in his first six seasons in NFL history.

Last season, DeAndre Hopkins became the second-youngest player to reach 7,000 career receiving yards, and the second-youngest player to reach 500 career receptions in NFL history, trailing only Arizona wide receiver LARRY FITZGERALD in both categories.

Over the past two seasons, Hopkins is the only wide receiver to rank in the top two in targets (337), receptions (211), receiving yards (2,950), receiving touchdowns (24), receiving first downs (150) and receptions of 25-or-more yards (31). The 2013 first-round selection is tied with Green Bay wide receiver DAVANTE ADAMS for the most games with at least one touchdown reception (17) since the start of the 2017 season and has tallied at least 1,000 yards receiving in four of the past five seasons.

Tight End Trio

The 2018 season saw three tight ends -- Kansas City's TRAVIS KELCE, Philadelphia's ZACH ERTZ and San Francisco's GEORGE KITTLE -- rewrite the individual record books for the position.

Kittle had 1,377 receiving yards, the most in a single season by a tight end in NFL history. Kelce, who totaled 1,336 receiving yards last season, also surpassed the previous record set by ROB GRONKOWSKI (1,327 receiving yards in 2011) and ranks second behind Kittle for the most receiving yards in a single season by a tight end in NFL history.

Ertz had a franchise-record 116 catches in 2018 and surpassed JASON WITTEN (110 receptions in 2012) for the most receptions by a tight end in a single season in NFL history. Kelce had 103 catches last season and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer TONY GONZALEZ (102 receptions in 2004) for the third-most in a single season by a tight end in league history.

Additionally, Ertz and Kelce joined DALLAS CLARK (2009), Pro Football Hall of Famer TONY GONZALEZ (2004) and JASON WITTEN (2012) as the only tight ends in NFL history to record at least 100 receptions and 1,000 receiving yards in the same season.

In Week 14, Kittle had 210 receiving yards, the third-most by a tight end in a single game in NFL history, trailing only Pro Football Hall of Famers SHANNON SHARPE (214 receiving yards on October 20, 2002) and JACKIE SMITH (212 on October 13, 1963).

Kittle, who has 1,892 receiving yards in his first two NFL seasons, needs 883 receiving yards in 2019 to surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer MIKE DITKA (2,774 receiving yards) for the most receiving yards by a tight end in his first three seasons in NFL history.

Kelce, with 103 catches and 1,336 receiving yards in 2018, became the first tight end in NFL history with at least 80 receptions and 1,000 receiving yards in three consecutive seasons. In 2019, Kelce can become the first tight end in NFL history to record four consecutive 1000-yard seasons, breaking a tie with GREG OLSEN (2014-16). He can also become the fourth tight end in league annals to record four total seasons with at least 1,000 receiving yards.

    "[Travis Kelce] knows how to find the spots in the zones to do what he has to do to get the ball. Great ball skills. He's a willing blocker … he'll get nasty if he has to be and he's definitely a leader on that team." - Packers tight end Marcedes Lewis

Ertz, who has 437 catches since entering the league in 2013, and Kelce, who has 410 receptions since 2013, joined JIMMY GRAHAM (434 catches), JASON WITTEN (429), and ANTONIO GATES (400) as the only tight ends in NFL history with at least 400 catches in their first six seasons. In 2019, Ertz and Kelce can join Witten (523 catches) as the only tight ends with at least 500 receptions in their first seven seasons.

Ertz and Kelce have both recorded at least 70 receptions in each of the past four seasons and can become the third and fourth tight ends in NFL history to register at least 70 receptions in five consecutive seasons, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer TONY GONZALEZ (11 seasons) and JASON WITTEN (seven).

Ertz has recorded at least 10 receptions in 10 career games, including five such games during the 2018 season, and is one of four players to record 10 or more games with at least 10 receptions since 2013.

Among tight ends, only Pro Football Hall of Famer TONY GONZALEZ (15 games) and JASON WITTEN (11) have more career games with at least 10 receptions in NFL history.

On Target Receivers

Elite wide receivers gain attention from opposing team defensive backs, but still earn plenty of it from their quarterbacks, too.

Last season, Atlanta wide receiver JULIO JONES was targeted 170 times, the most in the NFL.

    "He's been so consistent for us. A major focus for our offense is finding ways to get him involved and get him the ball because he's so explosive." -- Atlanta Falcons quarterback MATT RYAN on Jones

Green Bay wide receiver DAVANTE ADAMS set career highs in targets (169), receptions (111), receiving yards (1,386) and receiving touchdowns (13) last season and joined Oakland wide receiver ANTONIO BROWN as the only players to record multiple seasons with at least 12 receiving touchdowns since 2016. Adams is the only player in the NFL to register at least 70 receptions and 10 touchdowns in each of the past three seasons.

    "I'd like to throw to Davante more. He's that open. We've got to keep finding ways to get him the ball." -- Packers quarterback AARON RODGERS on Adams

In 2018, New Orleans wide receiver MICHAEL THOMAS became the first wide receiver to record at least 100 receptions and catch at least 80 percent of passes thrown his way. Thomas hauled in a Saints franchise-record 125 receptions on 147 targets last season.

Receivers That Move the Chains

A precise route can be the difference between a game-changing play and an appearance by the punt team. It's a skill for a receiver to know exactly where he needs to go in order to move the chains and keep a drive going.

Of his 80 first-down receptions, Atlanta wide receiver JULIO JONES led the NFL with 24 first-down receptions on third down, his third career season with at least 20 first-down receptions on third down.

The 2018 season saw Houston wide receiver DEANDRE HOPKINS (81 first-down receptions) and Atlanta wide receiver JULIO JONES (80) each record at least 80 first-down receptions, which marked the second time since 1996 that at least two wide receivers accomplished the feat in the same season (2015).

Cincinnati's TYLER BOYD finished the 2018 campaign with 22 first-down receptions on third down, tied for the secondmost in the league with Houston's DEANDRE HOPKINS and New Orleans' MICHAEL THOMAS.

Boyd's 22 first-down receptions on third down were a career high and marked the most by a Bengals player since T.J. HOUSHMANDZADEH (26 in 2008).

    "He's so good. He understands running routes. He's versatile. You can move him around. He's had a lot of production in the slot as well." -- Bengals quarterback ANDY DALTON on Boyd

 

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