Top Preseason Grades: Wide Receivers
We don’t know about you, but we’ve had some with preseason. It’s not the best way of seeing who will succeed when win-loss records start to matter, but it has given us a first look at some players and really gives second- and third-stringers a chance to prove their worth.
So with three weeks of action in the bag we’re going to be looking across all the positions to let you know who have earned the grades in the Top 5 at each position.
Now of course there’s a lot more than five players at each position we’ve graded. We’ve run every player to play a single snap on offense or defense through the grading process so if you want to see how they’ve fared this preseason, and get access to seven seasons worth of historical grades and access for 365 days which will include the entire 2014 season (and postseason) then you’ll need a PFF Premium Package. At only $26.99 you won’t get better value.
1. Brian Tyms, NE: +5.5
Breakdown: Showed a lot in the opener with a +3.7 receiving grade and is tied atop the list with three preseason deep-ball catches on four catchable balls, two of which went for scores. Making a case for regular-season playing time once he returns from suspension.
Signature Play: Got position and hauled in a leaping grab over CB Curtis Marsh before getting his feet down in the back corner of the end zone (against Philadelphia, 3Q 5:20) for his second touchdown of the year.
2. A.J. Green, CIN: +4.0
Breakdown: Grading in the ‘green’ all three times out this preseason, Green seems to be in stride well before Week 1 gets here. Leading receivers with a 5.11 Yards Per Route Run figure.
Signature Stat: Green has gone 10-for-10 on catchable balls his way.
3. Corey Washington, NYG: +3.7
Breakdown: With an extra preseason game under his belt thanks to taking part in the HOF Game, Washington has found the end zone in four straight weeks and could be forcing himself into the Giants’ plans for multi-WR sets.
Signature Stat: 4.11 Yards per Route Run leads 113 receivers who’ve spent at least 20 snaps running routes.
4. Antonio Brown, PIT: +3.6
Breakdown: Finished 2013 with PFF’s top receiving grade and has carried over his strong work to the 2014 preseason with 24.7 yards per catch and a pair of missed tackles forced (and two more on a play wiped out by penalty).
Signature Stat: Going 4-for-4 and 74 yards on targets beyond 10 yards Brown has added 82 yards after the catch on shorter routes.
5. Brice Butler, OAK: +3.4
Breakdown: Showing up big in the fourth quarter, Butler has nabbed three touchdowns this preseason while getting some attention in an Oakland receiving corps that has long been waiting for contributors to step forward.
Signature Stat: His preseason receiving line (11 catches on 12 targets, 178 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT) produces a perfect 158.3 rating on passes his way.
Follow Rick on Twitter: @PFF_Rick