In recent years, the NFC North was the land of long, tall receivers who specialized in making big plays in the form of Alshon Jeffery, current New York Jet Brandon Marshall, Calvin Johnson and the Green Bay Packers’ Jordy Nelson.
But 2016 marks a new beginning of sorts at least for the Detroit Lions, who will no longer be featuring Johnson as their all-world go-to option.
Over the past four seasons, Matthew Stafford has targeted Megatron about 27 percent of the time (or 637 times in 2,370 pass attempts), over a 59-game stretch since 2012.
The 6-5 pass catcher not only commanded the ball on over a quarter of his quarterback’s dropbacks, but he forced opposing teams to game plan around him, as he was constantly double, or sometimes even triple-teamed.
Uncertainty also looms for the Minnesota Vikings, who will be trying to establish rookie Laquon Treadwell as their primary weapon in the passing game. The Bears, on the other hand, have their leading man, but lots of question marks surrounding the aforementioned Jeffery.
As for the Packers, they also have an abundance of youth and promise in their wide receiver corps, but not much in the way of reliable veterans outside of Nelson and Randall Cobb with the former coming back from a season-ending ACL tear.
The upside is tremendous on each one of these squads, but how do they stack up in the here and now?
While the raw talent of each receiver group is a critical factor in determining how they’ll ultimately rank, there are other elements to consider as well.
We invite you to take a look here at one man’s view of the situation …
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