Marshall, Welker not among my top 10 WRs

March, 8, 2011
3/08/11
1:00
PM ET
I'm pretty sure I have some explaining to do.

ESPN.com's blog network began its series of positional power rankings Tuesday with wide receivers. I included only one AFC East target on my ballot, omitting some big names readers will disagree with.

Although Brandon Marshall earned enough votes to crack the top 10, he didn't appear on my list. Neither did Wes Welker, Steve Johnson or Braylon Edwards.

My ballot:
  1. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals
  2. Andre Johnson, Houston Texans
  3. Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions
  4. Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons
  5. Greg Jennings, Green Bay Packers
  6. Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs
  7. Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts
  8. DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles
  9. Brandon Lloyd, Denver Broncos
  10. Santonio Holmes, New York Jets

Nine of my 10 nominees comprised the consensus top 10. The lone discrepancy was the last slot.

I almost didn't vote for Holmes. I originally had Pittsburgh Steelers burner Mike Wallace on the list, but I couldn't deny the direct impact Holmes had in closing out colossal victories for the Jets.

Holmes' stats weren't staggering, but he started the season with a four-game suspension that kept him out of the lineup and off the practice field. Once the NFL activated Holmes, it took him a couple weeks to get back into the offense. Then he was sensational. He had eight touchdowns in his last 11 games, including two out of three postseason games.

I couldn't bring myself to include Marshall. He had a nice reception total, but he scored only three touchdowns (one by December) and averaged the fewest yards per catch of any wide receiver with at least 850 yards. The Miami Dolphins had one of the NFL's weakest red-zone offenses, and a top 10 receiver should be able to help in that regard.

Welker didn't make the cut because he had a terrible season when it came to drops. ESPN Stats & Information charted a league-leading 11 drops. Welker averaged fewer yards than Marshall despite nearly half of his total (848 yards) coming after the catch (410 yards). That's a lot of long handoffs.

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