There's been a shuffle at the offensive skill positions in the free agency. NFL Network analysts Maurice Jones-Drew, David Carr and Nate Burleson surveys the offseason relocation of notable running backs, quarterbacks and wide receivers, answering one question for each: Will the player have more or less success with his new team than he did with his previous club? Today, Burleson examines wide receivers (in alphabetical order).
Danny Amendola, Miami Dolphins: SIMILAR PRODUCTION
Amendola was a dominant force in New England when Julian Edelman wasn't on the field. The thing is, though, Amendola isn't Jarvis Landry. Nor will he replace Landry in Miami. Adam Gase's offense is a big question mark for me heading into 2018, especially with Ryan Tannehill coming back from injury. Amendola is a rhythm receiver, so he'll need to be fed. If he gets a lot of targets, he can be a big playmaker in big games -- as we've seen him do in New England -- but I'm wondering just how many big games the Dolphins will be in this year. 2018 prediction: 600 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
John Brown, Baltimore Ravens: MORE SUCCESS
It's tough to shine when you're paired with a future Hall of Famer, the way Brown was overshadowed by Larry Fitzgerald in Arizona. You can't dominate when a legend is standing next to you. Now, Brown can be a big-time player in Baltimore. He'll help that offense by taking the top off coverage. 2018 prediction: 700 receiving yards and four TDs.
Brandin Cooks, Los Angeles Rams: SIMILAR PRODUCTION
I love this fit. I think Cooks will do well in L.A., but surpassing what he did with Drew Brees in New Orleans and Tom Brady in New England is a tall order. Still, Cooks will have a solid year because of the system Sean McVay has in place, the development of Jared Goff and the presence of a dominant running back in Todd Gurley. McVay exploits mismatch problems that are anchored by the running back, and he'll create a game plan that features Cooks' speed. 2018 prediction: 1,000 receiving yards and eight TDs.
Michael Crabtree, Baltimore Ravens: MORE SUCCESS
I've learned not to question Crabtree's skill level, as he's been one of my favorite receivers to watch the last few seasons. He's a chain-mover with great hands and someone a quarterback can count on when in dire need of a first down. Joe Flacco's going to look for him often in the red zone, and Crabtree will eventually become Flacco's favorite target in 2018. 2018 prediction: 1,000 receiving yards and 10 TDs.
Allen Hurns, Dallas Cowboys: MORE SUCCESS
Dak Prescott is looking to bounce back from a sluggish 2017 campaign, but so is everyone else on the offense -- Ezekiel Elliott, Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, Cole Beasley, Terrence Williams, etc. Don't get it twisted; even with all the offensive talent, the former Jaguar is there to complement Dez. I know Scott Linehan, who coached me in both Minnesota and Detroit, loves new, hungry receivers. Hurns will definitely be a big part of the offense, but there are a ton of mouths to feed, meaning his production won't equal his best year in Jacksonville (1,031 yards and 10 TDs in 2015). However, my prediction would still be a solid season in the Cowboys' offense. *2018 prediction: 700 receiving yards and six TDs. *
Jarvis Landry, Cleveland Browns: SIMILAR PRODUCTION
Landry was able to be the first player in NFL history to record 400 receptions in his first four seasons because he got a ton of targets in Miami. He might not get that in this offense, and it's something he'll have to adjust to. It's not likely that Landry will have 100 catches, but he could be more efficient if he takes advantage of the balls thrown his way. The Browns have the potential to field two 1,000-yard receivers this season in Landry and Josh Gordon. 2018 prediction: 80 receptions for 1,000 yards and five TDs.
Donte Moncrief, Jacksonville Jaguars: SIMILAR PRODUCTION
With Jacksonville shipping its top two receivers away -- Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns -- Moncrief has the opportunity to be productive. He's a tall wideout who loves going over the top of defenses. The only thing that concerns me is, there are a handful of others who've built a relationship with Blake Bortles. 2018 prediction: 500 receiving yards and four TDs.
Jordy Nelson, Oakland Raiders: LESS SUCCESS
Nelson is one of my favorite receivers in the league, and he doesn't get enough credit, in part because he played with Aaron Rodgers. Instead of, "Wow, what a great route by Jordy," it was, "Dang, what a throw by Rodgers." Nelson will turn 33 in May, but that's not going to impact him from a production standpoint. He'll be the quiet killer in Jon Gruden's offense, and his consistency will make him Derek Carr's safety net. Nelson's a productive player who shuts up and shows out, but it'll be interesting to see him playing with a QB who's not Rodgers. My projected numbers for 2018 will top what he did a year ago, but in general, Nelson's best days are behind him. *2018 prediction: 950 receiving yards and nine TDs. *
Terrelle Pryor, New York Jets: MORE SUCCESS
I was all in on Pryor in 2017, when he signed a one-year prove-it contract with Washington. After he played in just nine games (two starts) and had season-ending ankle surgery in November, it's tough for me to say Pryor's going to be extremely successful in 2018. Another concern I have is, who's going to throw him the ball in New York? The Jets' quarterback room is a mixed bag, with veterans Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater likely to be joined by a first-round pick, and there are a lot of questions about the receiving corps, which actually could play in Pryor's favor. 2018 prediction: 600 receiving yards and five TDs.
Paul Richardson, Washington Redskins: MORE SUCCESS
My guy P. Rich can make the difficult catches, and there's a definite need for a receiver like him in Washington. Richardson joins Jamison Crowder and Josh Doctson to form a trio that will allow new quarterback Alex Smith to sling it downfield. Contrary to popular opinion, the Redskins' offense is comparable to the Chiefs' unit Smith played with last year, between the aforementioned trio, Jordan Reed at tight end and a running back committee in Rob Kelley, Chris Thompson and Samaje Perine. Toward the middle of the season, Richardson will emerge as Smith's favorite target. 2018 prediction: 1,100 receiving yards and 10 TDs.
Allen Robinson, Chicago Bears: MORE SUCCESS
Robinson didn't see the field at all in 2017, giving rise to questions about what his free-agency market would look like. But I love when a team aggressively goes after a playmaker at wide receiver, even after coming off major injury. The Bears needed to bring a playmaking receiver in this offseason to help Mitchell Trubisky improve in Year 2, as they ranked dead last in passing yards and tied for last in receiving touchdowns. Robinson is going to elevate Matt Nagy's air attack, but we won't see Robinson really hit his stride until his second year in the Windy City. 2018 prediction: 900 yards and eight TDs.
Mike Wallace, Philadelphia Eagles: SIMILAR PRODUCTION
He was brought to Philadelphia for a specific reason -- to be the Torrey Smith of the 2018 season. Wallace can take the top off the coverage and catch some underneath throws on occasion. He'll make those splash plays when the rest of the Eagles' weapons are getting the attention. 2018 prediction: 700 receiving yards and five TDs.
Sammy Watkins, Kansas City Chiefs: MORE SUCCESS
The football world was caught off guard when Buffalo shipped Watkins to the West Coast, but he sure made his time in Los Angeles worthwhile, especially in the red zone. His numbers didn't blow you away (593 receiving yards), but Watkins had eight touchdowns in 2017. In Kansas City, where Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill and Kareem Hunt will attract a ton of defenders, Watkins gives Patrick Mahomes another target to launch the ball to. There's so much talent on this offense, and a healthy Watkins can bump Andy Reid's play-calling to the next level. That said, Watkins won't see 1,000 yards with all these mouths to feed. 2018 prediction: 900 receiving yards and seven TDs.