Wed, 12 Aug 2020

CBS Sports ranks NFL's top 10 receivers, Julio Jones isn't No. 1

Atlanta Falcons
08 Jul 2020, 18:57 GMT+10

Whenever an Atlanta Falcons fan sees any sort of list ranking the top receivers in the National Football League, they most likely experience one of two reactions.

After scrolling to the bottom to see if Julio Jones is ranked atop the list, Falcons fans either nod their head with an "I-told-you-so" approval if he's sitting at No. 1 or they're completely flabbergasted because he isn't. Last Thursday, CBSSports.com NFL writer Jared Dubin unveiled his top 10 wide receivers for the 2020 NFL season and, if you're a Falcons fan and haven't read the story yet, well, you're probably already popping some Di-Gel after reading the headline above.

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That's right, Jones finished second to New Orleans Saints wideout Michael Thomas in Dubin's rankings.

The nerve! The audacity!

I know, I know. And, yes, I remember what soon-to-be Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald told Kyler Murray before a Falcons-Cardinals game (below).

I get it, but let's tap the brakes for a second. To be fair here, Dubin writes that it was pretty much a toss-up between Thomas and Jones and wrote, "I wouldn't put up much of an argument if you flipped (Jones) and the guy we have there now (Thomas)."

Dubin points out that Jones "is the yards per route run king," and notes how "insane" it is that Jones ranked first, fourth, first, first, first, first, and fifth over the past seven seasons among receivers with 50-plus targets.

"They should just name the stat after him at some point," Dubin wrote.

So why exactly isn't Jones the No. 1 receiver on this list? Well, Dubin hints that while Jones is "still an excellent downfield threat" and a "massive target at 6-3, 220 pounds," Jones's decline in two areas over the past several years - yards per reception and per target - is why.

Still, Dubin is expecting another big year from Jones in 2020.

"Jones will remain Matt Ryan's No. 1 target, and with Austin Hooper leaving in free agency he could even see his target share expand," Dubin wrote. "Calvin Ridley is a strong No. 2 wideout but not particularly threatening to Jones' status as the top dog in this offense. Atlanta's defense is also likely to remain an issue, so there should be plenty of volume for Jones once again."

Below Thomas and Jones, Dubin ranks (in order) Tyreek Hill, DeAndre Hopkins, Davante Adams, Amari Cooper, Mike Evans, Keenan Allen, Chris Godwin and Odell Beckham Jr. at No. 10.

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