Monday, May 10, 2010
How do AFC East receiving corps rate?
Brandon Marshall, Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards, Lee Evans.
That's quite a collection of receiving talent in the AFC East, providing a sense the division contains some of the elite receiving corps in the league.
Not so fast.
Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports composed a reasonable set of rankings for each collection of targets and doesn't have any AFC East team listed in the top third and three of the four ranked no better than the midline.
11. New England Patriots
16. New York Jets
- Cole's take: If Wes Welker was healthy, this group would rank higher. Adding Torry Holt helps, although we'll see how he gets along with Randy Moss.
- My take: The Patriots have some question marks. Age is a concern with Moss and Holt, and they don't have an established tight end. They'll probably need sophomore Julian Edelman to stand in for Welker for a few weeks. That said, Cole's ranking is fair.
19. Miami Dolphins
- Cole's take: If Braylon Edwards returns to Pro Bowl form and Santonio Holmes can get his head straight, this group could be awesome by December. If so, the Jets will be a serious contender.
- My take: The caveats are warranted, but I think Cole rated the Jets too poorly. Once Holmes finishes his four-game suspension, they will field three 1,000-yard receivers and one of the NFL's top young receiving tight ends in Dustin Keller.
25. Buffalo Bills
- Cole's take: The Dolphins finally landed a No. 1 receiver in Brandon Marshall after years of not having one. The question is whether Marshall will be enough.
- My take: Dolfans have taken exception to Cole's rating. I wonder if they're the same ones upset I ranked Mark Sanchez slightly ahead of Chad Henne; the main point of contention is the Dolphins had substandard receivers last year. I'd have the Dolphins a couple of rungs higher than 19th, but Cole's assessment is fair. Their top three wideouts last year were undrafted, undrafted and since released. One star doesn't a receiving corps make.
- Cole's take: Much like good friend and former Wisconsin teammate Chris Chambers, Lee Evans spent a career teasing people with his talent. Sorry, but it's hard to believe he'll ever be truly great.
- My take: After six seasons, Evans' career is shaping up as disappointing. The Bills need third-year receivers James Hardy and Steve Johnson and second-year tight end Shawn Nelson to make an impact this year. Rookie Marcus Easley is intriguing.