In the eyes of many, Calvin Johnson now is the NFL's best wide receiver.
It's difficult to argue. The Detroit Lions star is coming off a season in which he finished with 1,600 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns. For defensive backs, this is frightening, change-your-shorts type of production.
At first glance, Green sticks out, considering his lack of experience, though Cosell builds a case around Green's ceiling as an evolutionary Randy Moss. Arguments can be made for guys like Brandon Marshall, Victor Cruz, Wes Welker, Kenny Britt, Vincent Jackson, Greg Jennings and Roddy White.
As for the No. 1 spot, Cosell says a 2011 hamstring injury -- and the relative low profile that comes with playing for the Houston Texans -- makes it easy to forget how special Andre Johnson is. Cosell calls the difference between Andre Johnson and Calvin Johnson "microscopic," but says the Texans' Johnson is "more purely athletic and explosive."
"When you watch him on film, you see the quickness, lateral agility and short-area burst of a much smaller man," Cosell wrote. "... Talk to many receivers and defensive backs in the league, and they will tell you that his combination of size, speed and sheer athleticism is off the charts. They have never seen another receiver like him."
For our money, Calvin Johnson now is El Hombre when you factor in his resume, age and durability. But Cosell is right not to sleep on the other Johnson.