Wide receiver is a position that has evolved tremendously over the past few years, with the introduction of wide receiver that have no weakness. It used to be that when evaluating wide receivers that you had two choices, either the big, tall receiver who is physical or the small, shifty receiver. Today in the NFL the best receivers are 6’4″, 225+lbs, with elite speed and quickness.
When evaluating a wide receiver you should look for the following:
Elite NFL WR’s Possess: Size, Strength, Aggression, Speed and Quickness
The best wide receivers in the NFL possess a 6’2″-6’4″ frame and are 210+lbs. Having superior allows these receivers to use their body to shield off and out leap smaller defensive backs. Size also provides a larger target for the quarterback to throw to.
This is what allows smaller receivers to have success even when they aren’t incredibly fast. Strength is often shown in the ability to out muscle a defensive back for the ball and break tackles. Two players that have used strength to dominate in the NFL are Anquan Boldin and Steve Smith.
The ability to go up and attack the football. Just because a receiver is tall doesn’t necessarily mean that they are aggressive. A receiver needs to high point the ball and own it when it is in the air. Dez Bryant does this better than anyone in the NFL.
If you aren’t big, strong or aggressive as a wide receiver you better have speed to burn. There are many receiver who make a living, simply because they can stretch the field as a vertical threat with speed.
The ability to make get a clean release off the line of scrimmage and shake off coverage down the field. Often the quickest receivers make their living in the slot, as it provides them with more field to work with. The quickest receiver in the game right now is Antonio Brown.
A wide receiver doesn’t have to have all of these assets to be elite, but if they don’t have elite burner speed, than they better have size and if they don’t have size than they better be fast or quick. What makes the best wide receivers in the game special is that they combine all of these traits to be freaks of nature and almost un-coverable.
Demaryius Thomas is 6’3″, 229lbs, runs a 4.38s-40 and is nightmare to tackle in the open field. You can see why he is one of the top 5 wide receivers in the game and just received a $70 million payday.