The Top 100 Players of 2014 countdown reached the top 30 on Wednesday with the unveiling of Nos. 21-30.
Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant was revealed on the show, along with Texans wideout Andre Johnson and Steelers pass-catcher Antonio Brown. There's now just three wide receivers left on the countdown. Here are the wideouts who have made the list so far:
*Andre Johnson: No. 21
*Antonio Brown: No. 23
*Dez Bryant: No. 25
*Brandon Marshall: No. 36
*Larry Fitzgerald: No. 38
*Vincent Jackson: No. 44
*Demaryius Thomas: No. 49
*Alshon Jeffery: No. 54
*DeSean Jackson: No. 63
*Wes Welker: No. 73
*Pierre Garcon: No. 80
*Jordy Nelson: No. 83
We have a lot of problems with the list above. Jordy Nelson should easily be in the top 50, and we'd also put Jeffery and Thomas higher on the list. Wes Welker has enjoyed a great career, but we don't expect him to play at this elite level in 2014.
If anything, Bryant is underrated after 2,500-plus receiving yards and 25 touchdowns over the last two years. We'd rank Bryant third at the position over Josh Gordon and Antonio Brown, who have both made meteoric rises to the top of the position. (Brown is among the most versatile receivers in football.) We also know that four more wide receivers are left to be ranked. Looking at the list of remaining possible wideouts, here is our guess for what receivers are left, and how we'd order them:
Note that we said this is how the players should be ranked, not how they will be ranked. Julio Jones would normally be in the top-five, but players who missed the entire previous season almost always get skipped. It's strange that there are six wide receivers in the top 30. The position is popular in fantasy leagues but is hardly among the highest-paid positions in football. Quarterbacks, offensive tackles, pass rushers and cornerbacks all get paid more.
It's hard to come up with another possible wide receiver that could make the top 30, so it's a safe bet that Gordon will be on the list. Gordon led the league in receiving despite missing two games and playing with a rotating collection of mediocre quarterbacks in Cleveland.
It will be even tougher for Gordon to earn his ranking this year. He will have a difficult time being a top-30 player in 2014 if he misses a big chunk of the season due to suspension.