Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) stiff arms Tampa Bay Buccaneers strong safety Mark Barron (23). Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Slot WR: Randall Cobb, GB
Johnson is in a class of his own at wide receiver. Nobody has dominated the position in the NFL like he has the past couple of years. In his seven-year career, Johnson has averaged 82 receptions, 1,332 receiving yards, and 9 TDs per season.
Those are ridiculous numbers, but maybe even more impressive is that he’s averaged 16.3 yards per catch over his career, despite constant double teams and being the focus of every opposing defense.
Marshall would be my second receiver, but he just narrowly beats out Jordy Nelson and teammate Alshon Jeffery. Marshall has been huge for Chicago’s offense, amassing 218 receptions, 2,803 receiving yards, and 23 TDs in just two full seasons. Marshall has some of the strongest hands in the business and would be imposing lined up opposite Johnson on the field.
Cobb has still yet to reach his potential, but I have a hunch 2014 will be his year. Cobb is one of the best slot wideouts in the game, and his dynamic playmaking ability creates all sorts of matchup problems for defenses.
Nelson and Jeffery are rising stars in this league and both offer size and big-play ability. Nelson tied for second with Calvin Johnson last season in receptions of more than 20 yards with 22.
Jeffery finished second in the league in receiving with 1,421 yards in 2013 but has also benefited from playing opposite a guy like Marshall. One thing is for certain, the NFC North has a ton of talent at receiver.