Top wide receivers in NFL currently

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It probably wouldn’t be too hard to come up with a list a mile long of players worth being considered among the best wide receivers in 2023.

It’s one of those football positions that’s loaded with depth right now. In fact, there are a few wide receivers in the league right now who could be considered among the greatest wide receivers in NFL history. It makes ranking the top wide receivers in the NFL a grueling task.

Ranking the 25 best wide receivers in 2023

Narrowing down a list of the best NFL wide receivers currently wasn’t easy. Even cutting off the list at 25 players forced us to leave some talented players out. But we had to draw the line somewhere, so here is our list of the 25 best wide receivers in 2023.

25. Michael Thomas

It has been three long, injury-plagued seasons for Michael Thomas. But it’s still not time to write him off completely.

The last time he stayed healthy for a full season, Thomas set an NFL record with 149 receptions and led the league in receiving yards. If he can just stay healthy, there’s no reason why he can’t at least come close to being that type of player again. If he can quickly develop some chemistry with Derek Carr, Thomas could have a bounce-back year in 2023.

24. Chris Olave

As a rookie, Chris Olave made the Saints feel good about drafting him 11th overall. Even with an unstable quarterback situation in New Orleans, Olave had 72 catches for over 1,000 yards.

Presumably, the best is yet to come, especially if he can get on the same page quickly with Derek Carr. The talent is surely there for Olave to become a top-flight NFL wide receiver.

23. Chris Godwin

After his breakout season in 2019, Chris Godwin is yet to reach that same level, even with Tom Brady at quarterback over the last three seasons. Of course, Godwin is still no slouch, posting back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons.

He’s still 27 and shows plenty of flashes of how good he can be. With Baker Mayfield playing quarterback in Tampa this year, Godwin will have to adjust to someone new throwing him the ball. But he’s too young and too talented to leave off a list of the best wide receivers in the NFL right now.

22. D.J. Moore

There is no question that D.J. Moore has the talent to be one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. But after falling short of 1,000 receiving yards last season and then being traded to the Bears, there are some questions he has to answer heading into the 2023 campaign.

Obviously, the Bears have high hopes for a receiver who averaged more than 1,100 receiving yards per year between 2019 and 2021. But how quickly he gets acclimated to Justin Fields and the Chicago offense will determine how good of a season he has in 2023.

21. Brandon Aiyuk

Even with three different starting quarterbacks in San Francisco last year, Brandon Aiyuk managed to have a breakout season. He eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards for the first time in his career while setting a career-high with eight touchdown catches.

Aiyuk is far from the biggest or the fastest wide receiver in the NFL. But he finds ways to get open and makes the most of his targets, which should lead to continued success in 2023 and beyond.

20. DeAndre Hopkins

The Cardinals may not want him, but that doesn’t mean DeAndre Hopkins isn’t worth mentioning among the top wide receivers in the NFL.

His problem is that injuries and a suspension have limited him to just 19 games over the past two seasons. Prior to that, Hopkins had a stretch of six 1,000-yard seasons in seven years. At age 31, it’s unclear if Hopkins can still perform at a Pro Bowl level. But he should still be more than capable of being a 1,000-yard receiver and making an impact this season.

19. Amari Cooper

Unfortunately for Amari Cooper, he’s had trouble matching the career year he had in 2019. But despite being traded from Dallas to Cleveland last year, he continued to be a legitimate no. 1 receiver and one of the NFL’s most consistent receivers.

Over the last four seasons, Cooper has topped 1,100 receiving yards three times and had at least eight touchdowns in three of four seasons. Now that he’s had a little time to gel with Deshaun Watson, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see an uptick in Cooper’s production this year.

18. Amon-Ra St. Brown

When the Lions drafted him in the fourth round a couple of years ago, few expected Amon-Ra St. Brown to become a Pro Bowler. But that’s exactly what happened last season when St. Brown caught 106 passes for over 1,100 yards and six touchdowns.

He’s become Detroit’s no. 1 wide receiver heading into the 2023 season, and at age 23, St. Brown could be even better this year than he was last season.

17. Terry McLaurin

During his four seasons in the NFL, Terry McLaurin has played with 10 different starting quarterbacks in Washington. But that instability at quarterback didn’t stop him from getting his first Pro Bowl invitation in 2022.

It also didn’t prevent him from amassing over 1,000 receiving yards for the third straight season. No matter who is throwing the ball, McLaurin catches it. That’s why there’s no reason to question whether he can have another productive season in 2023 regardless of what the Commanders do at quarterback.

16. Mike Evans

There are concerns about how the Buccaneers will fare this season without Tom Brady. But there shouldn’t be questions like that about Mike Evans.

Obviously, he did fine with Brady at quarterback, but Evans has also amassed over 1,000 receiving yards in each of his first nine seasons in the league. Granted, he may not be among the best of the best right now. But Evans is still a four-time Pro Bowler and a virtual lock to expand his NFL record for consecutive 1,000-yard seasons.

15. Tee Higgins

On most teams, Tee Higgins would be the no. 1 receiver. Of course, on the Bengals, he’s merely the second target behind Ja’Marr Chase.

Nevertheless, three years into his career, Higgins is averaging over 1,000 receiving yards per season and 14.1 yards per catch. He has the size and hands to give opposing defenses trouble, especially with everybody’s best corner watching Chase. With Joe Burrow delivering the ball, there’s a good chance Higgins has another 1,000-yard season this year.

14. Jaylen Waddle

In just two seasons, Jaylen Waddle has gone from being a college superstar to one of the most dynamic wide receivers in the NFL. Remember that he set the NFL’s all-time rookie record with 104 receptions in 2021.

He followed that up by leading the league in yards per catch last season, gaining 18.1 yards per reception. Despite only catching 75 passes, Waddle still racked up over 1,300 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. If he and Tua Tagovailoa can spend a full season together, there’s no telling how much better Waddle can be in 2023.

13. DK Metcalf

Somehow, DK Metcalf has become a little forgotten among top-flight wide receivers in the NFL. He hasn’t been selected to the Pro Bowl in the last two years despite impressive numbers and explosive ability. Keep in mind that Metcalf has to share targets with Tyler Lockett, so he’s not always going to put up eye-catching numbers.

Nevertheless, Metcalf caught 90 passes from Geno Smith last year, giving him over 300 catches and 35 touchdowns over the first four years of his career. He’s still only 25, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him have one of his best seasons in 2023.

12. DeVonta Smith

Heading into his third NFL season, big things are expected from DeVonta Smith. Oddly enough, the former Heisman Trophy winner is still the second-best receiver on his team. But despite being second to A.J. Brown on the Eagles, Smith still had close to 1,200 receiving yards last season.

Questions about his slight frame holding him back in the NFL appear to have been answered, as Smith is yet to miss a game. If he can show a little more game-to-game consistency, Smith could potentially become a top-10 receiver.

11. CeeDee Lamb

With the Cowboys needing him to produce like a no. 1 receiver last year, CeeDee Lamb stepped up and did just that. In 2022, Lamb had 107 catches for over 1,300 yards and nine touchdowns.

The big plays weren’t always there, but the consistency was. As a result, Lamb went to the Pro Bowl for the second straight year and even earned Second-team All-Pro honors. He and Dak Prescott appear to have good chemistry, which should allow Lamb to have another big year in 2023, especially since he’s only 24 and still has room to get even better.

10. Tyler Lockett

Somehow, Tyler Lockett has just one Pro Bowl selection during his career. He also hasn’t made an All-Pro Team since 2017. Yet, Lockett has had four straight seasons with over 1,000 receiving yards and has five straight seasons with at least eight touchdown catches.

He also remains one of the biggest deep threats in the NFL. Lockett has proven to be both consistent and durable, and with no fewer questions about quarterback Geno Smith than at this time last year, Lockett should have no problem having another productive year in 2023.

9. Deebo Samuel

Given his versatility, Deebo Samuel is no doubt poised to be one of the best wide receivers in 2023 if he can stay healthy. While there are lingering questions about who his quarterback will be with the 49ers, that shouldn’t have a huge impact on Samuel.

He’s just one year removed from leading the league in yards per catch, showcasing how dynamic he can be. Samuel also has 11 rushing touchdowns over the last two seasons and figures to get at least 40-50 carries as a rusher. Few other receivers have that kind of versatility, which is just another reason why Samuel stands out from the pack.

8. Garrett Wilson

While we’ve only seen Garrett Wilson for one season, it looks like he could be among the best wide receivers in the NFL for a long time.

He had 83 catches and over 1,100 yards last season while winning Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. Keep in mind that the Jets were an absolute mess at quarterback last season and Wilson still managed to put up those numbers. In 2023, he’ll have Aaron Rodgers throwing the ball to him. If those two can get on the same page, Wilson could be even better this season.

7. Cooper Kupp

Unfortunately for Cooper Kupp, an injury-plagued 2022 season dropped him down a few spots in the wide receiver rankings ahead of the season. But let’s not forget that two years ago, Cupp won the Triple Crown with 145 catches, more than 1,900 receiving yards, and 16 touchdown catches.

He was also Super Bowl MVP, just for good measure. If he and Matthew Stafford can both stay healthy, there’s no reason to think that Kupp can’t get back on track. If nothing else, he should be capable of catching 90 passes and surpassing 1,000 receiving yards, which is no small feat.

6. Stefon Diggs

The 2022 season didn’t exactly have a happy ending for Stefon Diggs. But he seems to have worked out any differences with quarterback Josh Allen, putting him in a position to have another great season in 2023.

Diggs has a streak of five straight 1,000-yard seasons and had a career-high 11 touchdowns last season while going to his third straight Pro Bowl. Diggs may not be the same big-play threat that the other elite receivers in the league are. However, he’s arguably the most reliable wide receiver in the NFL right now.

5. Davante Adams

Even without Aaron Rodgers throwing him the ball, Davante Adams proved in 2022 that he’s one of the elite wide receivers in football. He led the league in receiving touchdowns for the second time in the last three seasons while also collecting over 100 catches for the fourth time in five years.

Adams has now had back-to-back 1,500-yard seasons with two different quarterbacks. The challenge for him in 2023 is trying to do that with a third different quarterback. But at this point, it’d be foolish to bet against Adams doing that in 2023.

4. Ja’Marr Chase

Opposing teams quickly figured out that Ja’Marr Chase is a force to be reckoned with during his rookie season in 2021. Even with teams focusing their attention on him and Chase only playing 12 games, he still had more catches last season than he did as a rookie while amassing over 1,000 receiving yards and nine touchdowns.

Despite falling well short in total yards, that wouldn’t have happened if Chase had played a full season. In fact, he still made the Pro Bowl despite playing in only 12 games. He’s still Joe Burrow’s top target and should have another big season for the Bengals.

3. Tyreek Hill

Any questions about whether Tyreek Hill could survive without Patrick Mahomes were answered last year. Even with Tua Tagovailoa out of the lineup for a big chunk of the season, Hill put together the best season of his career, racking up career highs with 119 catches and over 1,700 receiving yards.

Last season, Hill went to his seventh consecutive Pro Bowl and was named a First-Team All-Pro for the fourth time. Even at age 29, there is no sign that Hill is losing the speed that makes him such an electric player, which means the Dolphins can expect big things from him again this year.

2. A.J. Brown

Going to a new team in 2022 didn’t seem to bother A.J. Brown at all. He received All-Pro honors for the first time last season while helping to elevate the play of quarterback Jalen Hurts and take the Eagles to the Super Bowl.

In fact, Brown matched or set career highs in all of the major categories last season, falling just short of 1,500 receiving yards. Somehow, he’s only four years into his career, which means he should be very much in his prime right now, leaving no doubt he’ll be one of the top wide receivers in the NFL this season.

1. Justin Jefferson

While there is room for debate when it comes to the top spot, it’s hard not to put Justin Jefferson atop the list of the best wide receivers in 2023. Since he came into the league, he’s been a force of nature. Last year, he became the youngest player in NFL history to lead the league in receptions and receiving yards, earning himself Offensive Player of the Year honors.

Jefferson was exceptional as a rookie but has continued to get better in each of the last two years. It’ll be hard for him to surpass the 128 receptions and 1,809 receiving yards he had in 2022. But if he comes anywhere close to matching those numbers, there’s no doubt he’ll be the best receiver in the league yet again in 2023.

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