Green Bay Packers Rumors: Injured Jordy Nelson Heads List Of NFL's Top-5 White Wide Receivers [VIDEO]
Hall of Fame wide receiver Cris Carter went on ESPN’s “Mike and Mike” radio show this morning and commented on an issue of race equality in sports. Carter spoke about the lack of respect white wide receivers receive from fans and media, and how racial stereotypes drive the perception of certain athletes.
“I just don’t think they give them credit. They make excuses, they say it’s the system, they say it’s the quarterback. But a guy has a certain skill set and that means if he plays outside, plays inside, to me they are very, very good athletes,” Carter said.
Carter praised Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson for his route running ability, his talent after the catch, and his explosiveness, the latter of which is not typically said about white wide receivers. He went on to compare the perception to analysis of women’s tennis star Serena Williams.
“People would talk about how powerful she was, and how her serve was so great. They never talked about her intellect or strategy, which now has taken her game to another level.”
He may be on to something. Here is a list of the five top white wide receivers in football, and they stack up well.
5. Cole Beasley, Cowboys
Beasley has been shrugged off many times in his career, but with Dez Bryant out for most of this season Beasley was a reliable option for QBs Brandon Weeden and Matt Cassel. He ripped off a 112-yard game with two scores in Week 9, and caught at least four passes in each of the first five games of the season.
4. Danny Amendola, Patriots
Amendola is one of the most obvious victims of biased perception in the league. His stats won’t jump out because he’s behind another talented receiver we’ll get to in a bit, but Amendola originally signed in New England with the intent of being their go-to option. Last week he caught 10 passes for 89 yards, and he has produced in a big way whenever he receives heavy targets.
Amendola is one of the finest underneath receivers in football, with a knack for getting open in tight spaces and hanging on to the ball. If not for injuries, he’d be a far bigger name.
Eric Decker, Jets
Decker is not “deceptively” fast, he’s just fast. On top of that, he’s every bit as physical as any of his peers. From 2012-2013 when Decker caught 24 touchdown passes in Denver, he was derided as a product of Peyton Manning, even though Emmanuel Sanders’ production has spiked since he replaced Decker, but didn’t face the same criticism.
Last season Decker dealt with Geno Smith and Michael Vick as his quarterbacks and still recorded 952 yards and five touchdowns. In 2015, he has already scored seven times, six of them coming in the red zone. If that doesn’t show superior athleticism, then what does?
Julian Edelman, Patriots
The main reason, besides health, that Amendola isn’t one of the NFL’s top receivers is that Edelman has been better. He is still pegged as a poor man’s Wes Welker, but Edelman has become much more than that. His quickness is truly elite, and he has been able to impact games from anywhere on the field, not just the slot.
Just six feet tall and 198 pounds, he has scored five of his seven touchdowns inside the red zone. He also struck from 59 yards out in a game vs. the Cowboys, so he should not be pigeonholed as a pure route-runner, move-the-chains sort that can make plays in the short game. Edelman is capable of taking the top off a defense, or even throwing touchdown passes. He is a pure athlete, and simply one of the NFL’s best receivers.
1. Jordy Nelson, Packers
Most of the things said about Edelman apply to Nelson, except that he has a big size advantage. The way the Packers’ passing game has crumbled in his absence is shocking, and shows that for as good as QB Aaron Rodgers is, he has benefitted from Nelson’s stellar play. It’s much more of a team effort than many believed, and Randall Cobb, the highly touted receiver who plays opposite Nelson, has had a rough go as the No. 1 receiver.