“This is not tough,” the Atlanta Falcons official Twitter account quoted after the NFL Gameday account tweeted a picture of the best wide receivers in the league.
But, there can only be one that rises above the rest as the absolute best. Twitter ‘did its thang’ and settled the debate once and for all.
If you thought New Orlean Saints’ Michael Thomas was the best, you had to comment. If it were Atlanta Falcons’ Julio Jones, you would retweet the tweet or favorite the tweet for Arizona Cardinals’ DeAndre Hopkins.
Here are the results almost 24 hours later:
- 548 comments for Michael Thomas
- 10.2K retweets for Julio Jones
- 5.7K favorites for DeAndre Hopkins
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Comparing the Top Three Receivers
All of these players have had remarkable careers while putting up unbelievable numbers and its kind of hard to compare since they all entered the league at different times.
Jones entered the league in 2011.
In his nine NFL seasons, Jones has recorded 797 receptions for 12,125 yards (a 15.2-yard average) and 57 touchdowns. His averages 96.2 receiving yards per game, which is the best in NFL history, and he’s been first-team All-Pro twice. He’s also a seven-time Pro Bowler.
Hopkins entered the league in 2013.
In his career, Hopkins has 632 receptions for 8,602 yards (a 13.6-yard average) and 54 touchdowns. He is a three-time All-Pro and four-time Pro Bowler. Hopkins caught 104 passes for 1,165 yards (an 11.2-yard average) and seven touchdowns in 2019, when he made first-team All-Pro for the third straight season.
Thomas didn’t enter the NFL until 2016.
Since then, Thomas set an NFL single-season record with 149 receptions in 2019, when he had 1,725 receiving yards, an 11.6-yard-per-catch average, and nine touchdowns. In just four seasons in the NFL, Thomas has 470 receptions for 5,512 yards (an 11.7-yard average) and 32 touchdowns. He made first-team All-Pro each of the past two seasons and has three Pro Bowls under his belt.
Julio Is His Own Breed, Just Like Calvin Johnson
Julio is his own breed. The only other player who you will frequently see him compared to is Calvin Johnson and rightfully so. You won’t see expert analysts comparing Hopkins or Thomas with Johnson.
Hopkins is talented, yes, but we have yet to see the kind of numbers from him that we have seen from Jones or Thomas.
Even Thomas hasn’t put up the close numbers to Julio, regardless of having the most receptions. Julio is averaging 15.2 yards per reception while Thomas is at 11.7 and Hopkins averages 13.6.
Bigger Things On the Horizon for Jones?
Jones is entering his 10th NFL season in 2020 and bigger things could still be on the horizon for him.
He’s already accomplished some incredible record-breaking stats like being the fastest to reach 12,000 yards and having six 1,300 yards-plus seasons (only one behind Jerry Rice).
Last season Jones started all 15 games he played in, he caught 99 passes for 1,394 yards (14.1 average) and six touchdowns. The 2019 season marked his sixth season of 1,300 yards plus and the 31-year-old certainly has a lot of play left in him.