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ESPN preseason ranking of AFC East WR's

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  1. evans555

    evans555 Rookie

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    A preseason ranking of AFC East receivers

    May 21, 2009 4:18 PM

    Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

    No position has generated more offseason buzz in the AFC East than wide receiver.

    Whether they signed new receivers or not, all four clubs had significant decisions to make.

    With organized team activities in full swing, let's rank the division's receiver corps. This list will factor in the entire band of receivers. We'll factor in pass-catching tight ends, but we're not counting running backs.

    And we're not considering quarterbacks, either.

    1. Buffalo Bills: If citizens of Patriot Nation haven't immediately scrolled to the bottom of this post to leave a comment, they can read why I put Buffalo atop the list.

    The Bills' depth chart is gifted from top to bottom.

    The Bills feature one of the most dangerous 1-2 tandems in the NFL. Terrell Owens and Lee Evans combined for 132 catches for 2,069 yards and 13 touchdowns last year.

    Those numbers should go up now that they're together. Evans always faced double coverage, and Owens drew just as much attention. The next-busiest Dallas Cowboys receiver had only 39 receptions last year.

    But what puts Buffalo ahead of New England is the depth beyond the top two guys. They have two terrific slot receivers in Josh Reed (56 receptions) and Roscoe Parrish (24 receptions).

    The Bills have been high on the long-term future of 2008 seventh-round draft choice Steve Johnson since they saw him in training camp. They also have last year's second-round pick, the 6-foot-5 James Hardy, recovering from a knee injury.

    Tight end is a question mark for them. They lopped Robert Royal's butterfingers from the roster and drafted Shawn Nelson from Southern Miss. Draft analysts lauded the pick, but draft analysts say a lot of things that never come to pass.

    2. New England Patriots: If we were ranking the stats of any two receivers from a given team, then the Patriots would rate higher than the Bills.

    Randy Moss and Wes Welker are indisputably sensational. But while the Patriots' offense helps Welker roll up huge reception totals from the slot, their other combined stats are just a smidge better than what Evans and Owens registered separately.

    Moss and Welker scored one more touchdown and teamed up for only 6.5 yards more per game than Evans and Owens in double coverage.

    Yes, that was with Matt Cassel throwing the ball and not Tom Brady. But I'd like to see what kind of numbers a healthy Brady would post with Owens, Evans and Parrish. Those 2007 records would be threatened.

    The Patriots lost Jabar Gaffney to free agency. They signed the injury-plagued Joey Galloway (13 catches in nine games last year) and traded for Greg Lewis (averaging 18.7 catches over the past three years).

    At tight end, the Patriots are in flux. They appear on the verge of moving past Benjamin Watson, signing Chris Baker and trading for Alex Smith. This position is a huge X-factor.

    If either Galloway or Lewis step up for a big year and a tight end emerges, then maybe their receivers will surpass the Bills'.



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  2. billdog3484

    billdog3484 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    haha, thats laughable. i agree owens and evans are very good, but give me a break. just because you have two big name receivers doesnt mean they will work well together. i think what separates our WR corp the most is how each player complements eachother. Moss and Galloway on the outside and Welker in the inside....thats tough to beat. if im not mistaken, our guys had better numbers last year....WITHOUT brady. so graham should get his brain checked
  3. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    TO is over the hill. But this is espn, what do you expect a coherent analysis??
  4. Gunnails

    Gunnails Rookie

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    These ESPN guys are clueless The Jets behind Buff, cmon.:rolleyes:
  5. Deus Irae

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    I see his point. The 'backup' receivers for Buffalo had much better season than the Patriots 'backups' last year. As he notes, he'd look at this again if Galloway or Lewis were to play well. He seems to have been taking a very negative approach to Galloway and letting T.O.'s production drop slide, and Buffalo was trying to trade Parrish, so his response to that should be something that the author mentioned as a possible issue. Choosing what to highlight is his choice as the man making the 'rankings'. I think he's wrong, and I expect the Patriots to show that over the course of the season.
  6. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Is there a worse receiving corps in the league than the one the Jets currently have?
  7. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    While I'm not going to say that Graham is delusional in his assessment that Owens and Evans comprise a formidable tandem at WR, it's difficult if not impossible to assess them in a vacuum. Specifically, the play at WR is also affected by the offensive line and quarterback, among other things. As far as the TE position goes, it hasn't needed to be an important part of the passing game because of the three and four receiver sets the pats use; the same cannot be said with the Bills. Time will tell, but I believe he is vastly under estimating the impact Galloway will have on the 2009 offense. Galloway's numbers were more due to finding himself in Jon Gruden's doghouse and the emergence of Antonio Bryant in Tampa Bay than being 'injury-plagued'.
  8. BradyFTW!

    BradyFTW! PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey

    Graham is an idiot.
  9. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    I don't know if I agree with his assessment of Buffalo overtaking NE's receiver's but the Bills do have a decent WR core now. Evans and Owens on the outside, Reed in the slot, and 2nd rd pick Hardy looks promising. Not saying I'm in love with these guys, just agreeing with the fact that they are improving their receiving core to some degree.

    Also in Miami, you now have Ginn and 6'5" Patrick Turner on the outside, with Camarillo and Devone Bess in the slot. Couple that with Pat White, and their receivers look improved too.

    As far as the NYJ go, I'm glad they got rid of Coles, but Cotchery is still there, and if they end up getting their hands on either Boldin, B.Edwards, or Burress, they'd be decent too on the outside. Couple that with burners Brad Smith, Chansi Stuckey, and David Clowney and they don't look too bad either.

    I tend to think the East will give us a bit more problems though than others here, as I'd be happy going 4 out of 6 in the division. I hope Galloway still can play, and wouldn't mind keeping Watson for one last yr--as his blocking has improved, and he seemed to lack some chemistry with Cassel that should be improved with Tom back.

    I hope I'm wrong and we end up going 5-1 rather than 4-2 in the division, but I just don't see 6-0 this yr. I know the homers here will surely disagree, but I think the East has improved. That's just one opinion though, and hopefully we'll just flat out dominate.
    Last edited: May 21, 2009
  10. patsox23

    patsox23 Rookie

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    I completely agree with his take re: the Bills over the Patriots.
  11. stinkypete

    stinkypete Rookie

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    #24 Jersey

    Feh, the Bills are still a last place team.

    Rice, Harrison, Moss and Owens together in their primes can't win ballgames if they play on teams with a crappy QB, a crappy OL and no real defense to sepak of.

    6-10
  12. patriots pam

    patriots pam Rookie

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    Last edited: May 21, 2009
  13. ALP

    ALP Rookie

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    hmm, that really is all tha needs to be said here
  14. Dirk3601215

    Dirk3601215 Rookie

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    don't really have a problem with it even though i think graham is loony. brady could make most of the posters on this board into future hall of famers. dude is that good.
  15. Sivy

    Sivy Rookie

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    dont you actually have to play together first to be considered great togethe?
  16. Sivy

    Sivy Rookie

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    you are probably right actually. sounds like a good idea for a new reality show.
  17. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

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    I don't have a huge problem with them considering Owens, Evans and Reed ahead of Moss, Welker and Galloway collectively.

    If anyone wants to give that advantage to the Patriots they could as well -it's all academic... I'd prefer to see these guys view themselves as underdogs compared to the Buffalo WRs at this point anyway... give them something drive them.

    The point about the Pats at TE is well taken.

    Ultimately the only thing that matters is what happens on the field... not these predictions.
    Last edited: May 21, 2009
  18. PatriotYankee

    PatriotYankee Rookie

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    Graham forgot to take TO's yearly emotional outburst, that consequently kills the chemistry of his team, into account.
  19. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

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    Unlike you, I think the Patriots have a vastly improved Offense and that includes the WRs and TEs,and better than 2007. Galloway is older than dirt, but he WAS the fastest guy in the NFL. If he has lost a step, maybe he is only among the top ten. Randy Moss has Galloway's speed and something else, size and body control. These two were/are both #1 receivers at the minimum. And that was not true of Jabbar, nor his predecessor in 2007. Welker is the number one slot in the league. Buffalo's pair might approach his numbers but that is a maybe. At TE, Buffalo may have a drafted a good ROOKIE, but to compare him to a roster with 4 starter quality TEs is ridiculous.

    Just as important as catching the ball, who throws it is important too. I'll take Brady instead of Trent, sorry. ;)
    Last edited: May 21, 2009
  20. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Are you typing on the back of a motorcycle by chance?;)

    I think I understand what you're trying to say, however I'm not positive:confused:

    I agree with NE being better than Buffalo, as I said in my first sentence. I do, however, think that there may be more improvement in the division than others may give credit for--but, like I said, that's just my personal opinion. And to be honest, I actually very much hope I'm wrong.

    Also, FWIW--I don't remember saying our offense isn't improved??? (at all) I just pointed out our divisional rivals' improvements.
    Last edited: May 21, 2009
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