The Tennessee Titans ended the national #JulioWatch on Sunday via a blockbuster trade with the Atlanta Falcons, bringing seven-time Pro Bowl WR Julio Jones to Music City to join forces with A.J. Brown and the Titans’ evolving wide receiver corps. With the NFL offseason currently in the awkward stage between the draft and training camp, there is no better way to bring fans together than by ranking the NFL’s best receiver duos.
Surely everyone will agree, right? Let’s get started:
5. Odell Beckham Jr. & Jarvis Landry, Cleveland Browns
Formerly teammates in college at LSU, the Browns’ tandem has had consistency issues since arriving in Cleveland in 2019. Despite having eight Pro Bowls between the two, OBJ and Landry have failed to produce at an elite level with Baker Mayfield under center.
However, the duo displayed flashes of what could be one of the NFL’s best offenses in 2021 by each recording over 1,00 yards receiving in that 2019 season. With Beckham Jr.’s elite hands and Landry’s ability to find holes in the defense, the sky is the limit. These two have the capabilities to catapult the Browns to becoming one of the best offenses in football, but that all depends on how Beckham Jr. responds after tearing his ACL in 2020.
OBJ & Juice
— Jarvis Juice Landry (@God_Son80) June 7, 2021
4. Adam Thielen & Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings
If not for Justin Herbert, Justin Jefferson runs away with the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year award. Jefferson broke the all-time rookie receiving record with 1,400 receiving yards to go along with seven touchdowns in 2020. Jefferson finished eighth in the NFL among wide receivers with 455 yards after catch (YAC). Jefferson joins the likes of A.J. Brown and D.K. Metcalf in the conversation for the best young wide receiver in the NFL.
Thielen is no slouch, either. The two-time Pro Bowler finished his 2020 campaign with 74 receptions for 925 yards and finished third in the NFL with 14 touchdowns. After dealing with nagging hamstring issues in 2019, Thielen responded with another big season last year. A fully healthy Adam Thielen paired alongside Jefferson could prove problematic for secondaries in 2021.
3. D.K. Metcalf & Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks
Without question, D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett are the best deep-ball duo in football. They both eclipsed the 1,000-yard receiving mark in 2020, with Metcalf ending the season at 1,303 and Lockett finishing with 1,054. Couple that with 10 touchdowns apiece and you have one of the best receiving duos in the NFL.
Metcalf’s 1,303 receiving yards ranked seventh in the NFL last season, but the second-year pass catcher was really slowed down late in the year, averaging just 52.8 YPG in his last five games. With a 17th game in the 2021 season, this is a tandem that could go for 1,200+ yards each, provided Russell Wilson’s offensive line protects him better than they did in the 2020 season.
2. A.J. Brown & Julio Jones, Tennessee Titans
By trading for Julio Jones, the Titans now lay claim to the most balanced offense in the NFL. While Jones (32) is on the wrong side of 30, the best receiver of the last decade certainly has some big-play ability left in the tank. Jones’ streak of six consecutive seasons with at least 1,000 yards was snapped last year due to nagging hamstring injuries, but he still managed to accumulate 771 yards on 58 catches in just nine games.
With back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, A.J. Brown has established himself as one of the best young wide receivers in the game. Brown battled through knee issues in 2020 en route to 70 receptions for 1,075 yards and 11 touchdowns last year. Brown can get it done at all three levels – short, intermediate, and deep – and is a monster after the catch. After finishing second in the NFL in YPC in his rookie season, Brown ranked 12th in the category last year (15.4). Ryan Tannehill, the floor is yours.
Julio Jones and AJ Brown are both top-eight WRs in the NFL right now, easily the league's best tandem.
— Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) June 6, 2021
1. Mike Evans & Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Since arriving to the NFL in 2014, Mike Evans has posted seven straight 1,000 yard seasons with Tampa Bay. In Evans’ first season with Tom Brady at QB, the 6-foot-5 receiver reeled in 70 receptions for 1,006 yards and 13 touchdowns. Arguably the best red zone wideout in the NFL, Evans could flirt with 15 touchdowns in 2021 with the second-best passing offense in the league last season trailing only the Kansas City Chiefs.
MIKE. EVANS. CAN'T. BE. STOPPED. 😤
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 24, 2020
After totaling 86 catches for 1,333 yards and nine touchdowns in 2019, Godwin’s production took a dip after a series of injuries sidelined him for a total of four games. The 25-year-old finished with 840 yards on 65 receptions with seven touchdowns in 12 games last season. The Buccaneers had to clear numerous salary cap hurdles to retain Godwin on a one-year $15,983,000 deal in the offseason. If Godwin can play the full 17-game slate, there is no doubt he will be near the tops of the NFL in all major receiving categories in 2021.
Cover image: Dale Zanine and Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports