Top 5: 2018 Pass Catching Free Agents
Part Four of our series ranking the top Free Agents at every position
When the new league year begins on March 14th, these players are the best available at their positions, plus we give our thoughts on if those players should/will re-sign or test the waters elsewhere. If you missed Part One – Quarterbacks, Part Two – Running Backs, or Part Three – Offensive Lineman get caught up already!
In this edition, the Diva’s get their due. In today’s NFL wide receivers and tight ends are more important than ever, and these are the five most valuable. (Note: Jarvis Landry would have been on this list, but when the Dolphins Franchise Tagged him, Landry then came off the market)
1. Sammy Watkins – Los Angeles Rams
If the Rams have proven anything in the last 14 months, it is that they are ready to win, and win now. After firing Jeff Fisher, hiring Sean McVay, and making moves like trading for Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters, LA is moving full steam ahead. Watkins could be a huge piece in the continued progression of Jared Goff, and is by far the number one target downfield for a team that could use some improvement in the pass catching category. Watkins flourished after the trade from Buffalo hauling in eight touchdowns while averaging over 15 yards per catch.
At just 24 years old, Watkins has proven he can contribute at this level despite only one 1,000 yard season in four years. Would not shock me to see the Rams Franchise Tag Watkins if they can’t come to terms.
2. Jimmy Graham – Seattle Seahawks
Never seemed like Graham fit in the ‘Hawks run heavy offense when traded from New Orleans in 2015, but when Beast Mode moved on, many expected Graham to get more touches that just never came. Teams recognized Graham’s inability to consistently pass block, and were able to anticipate run/pass tendencies when Graham was either on or off the field.
Though his numbers dropped, Graham remains an incredible red zone target. A pass first team could absolutely use the 31 year old star. I fully expect him to move on from Seattle, Baltimore, Denver, Houston, and Tampa Bay could be vying for his services.
3. Allen Robinson – Jacksonville Jaguars
Robinson would probably be higher on this list if not for the ACL injury that cost him most of his 2017 season. Given the Cinderella season the Jags had, it makes you wonder what this offense could have done with a consistent big play wide out. 22 touchdowns in his first three seasons made Robinson a Pro Bowler, and his return to Jacksonville could help the Jags back to the AFC championship game.
You can see the Franchise Tag coming a mile away on this one, but only if the Jags feel he is healthy enough. If he allowed to leave, Robinson immediately becomes the next big money guy.
4. Paul Richardson – Seattle Seahawks
Richardson came out of nowhere in 2017 to be the number two target for Russell Wilson in the Seattle passing game. While not a number one target, Richardson could be a great second option for a lot of teams who have an established stud on the outside.
Atlanta, Los Angeles Rams, Houston, and Arizona would be great landing spots.
5. Literally anyone else.
This years Free Agent crop is not great. Marqise Lee (constant injuries), Jordan Matthews (nagging injuries), Terrelle Pryor (flash in the pan), John Brown (injuries), Kendall Wright (lack of production), Tyler Eifert (constant injuries), and Austin Seferian-Jenkins (as many names as touchdowns in 2017) don’t really do much to make you feel excited about.
Money could be better spent in other locations and pass catchers in the draft are a cheaper alternative.
Part Five – Defensive Lineman will come out Friday