There are a handful of NFL players who are obviously skilled, but their success is significantly benefited by their current situation. Sometimes athletes are benefited by other superstars; therefore, they perform a lot better than they would elsewhere in the NFL This is often apparent when fans notice receivers who are succeeding; usually because of a really good quarterback. Peyton Manning, for example, is a guy who made people around him a lot better. Running backs played better with Peyton, but mostly, receivers performed at a higher level with his patience and strong arm. Not all quarterbacks make everyone around them better though.
Plenty of guys actually make star athletes struggle: Ryan Fitzpatrick, for example. The Jets front office really soured on Fitzpatrick this past season. Brandon Marshall’s game was not benefited remotely by the presence of Fitzpatrick. Marshall will have the opportunity to prove himself with Eli Manning this season with the Giants. Marshall is an example of someone who would NOT be on this list, in fact, he is the opposite person that would be on here. Marshall was screwed by a poor situation with Todd Bowles. Here are 20 players Who Would Suck On Different Teams.
20. Randall Cobb
Randall Cobb’s had two very good seasons in the NFL. In 2012, he recorded 954 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. He topped this number in 2014, managing 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns. But what about the other years? His first year in the league, 2011, was a bust. He scored once and had 375 yards. He got injured in 2013, so that year cannot be taken into account. The 2015 and 2016 seaons were not great years for Cobb either, as he only managed 10 touchdowns and 1,439 reception yards. Cobb isn’t doing too hot in Green Bay, but he remains somewhat of a threat in the Packers offensive attack.
Cobb benefits greatly from the presence of Aaron Rodgers, a future hall of fame quarterback. If he were to play on another team, say the Jets for example, I believe he would be extremely irrelevant. He has some speed in the open field, but he makes a lot of mistakes.
19. Travis Benjamin
Benjamin has been somewhat average with Philip Rivers. He began the 2016 season kind of hot, but faltered into sub par mode. I had Benjamin on my fantasy team in 2016, and I was very disappointed with his output of production. He only managed four touchdowns and 677 yards in 2016. In my opinion, if Benjamin left the Chargers – his career could come to an end. He remains high up on the depth chart in Los Angeles, because Philip Rivers seems to like him as a target.
There were some hopes that he would develop into a prime time receiver with Philip Rivers, since Keenan Allen got injured once more, but he surely was unimpressive this past NFL season. If there is any consolation, Benjamin is very agile. He is not an unproductive receiver at the moment, but I fear his usage would cease to exist on another organization’s depth chart.
18. Jarvis Landry
Jarvis Landry is a very one dimensional wide receiver. He is noted as a prominent athlete, but I think he is productive to the extent of his circumstance. It is fair to say that Landry is very good after the catch. Once he catches the football, he does a good job of moving through a defense. Additionally, all the stats prove to him being a talented athlete. He has recorded 3,051 receiving yards in three seasons. The downside to his numbers are his actual touchdowns. He had four touchdowns in 2016, four in 2015, and three in 2014. Therefore, he is either in a poor situation, or he just isn’t very good at finding the end zone.
I think he actually is in a favorable circumstance. At one point, I would have said Tannehill was a bust, but he has proven himself as a viable option at the QB position. Landry lacks speed in some regards. Along with Benjamin, I had Jarvis on my fantasy team. He consistently attained maybe 12 points every week, because he struggled to get open. If he actually gets the ball, he can make things happen. With another organization, he may struggle to fit in a different offense.
17. Adam Thielen
Thielen showed himself to be a viable option in Minnesota in 2016. He recorded 967 yards, five touchdowns, and 69 receptions. He earned a three year contract extension with the Vikings this offseason. Thielen’s performance in 2016 was successful. He surpassed his statistics in 2015, in which he only accumulated 144 receiving yards. Receivers good season, or two, need to be taken with a grain of salt. Thielen earned a big contract, for a solid year. I wouldn’t say he was, by any measure, a very productive player.
Thielen deserves recognition for a great season, one talked about in the Vikings organization as on par with Randy Moss, during his time in Minnesota. What benefited Thielen was Sam Bradford. I am definitely not saying Bradford is a great QB; he is unbelievably average. Adam had a catch rate of 75%, which makes sense considering Sam converts a high percentage of his passes. Both are accurate players, who tend to be consistent. Thielen may not find as much success with a QB who is not as accurate.
16. Matt Forte
Forte is one of my favorite running backs in the league. He is quiet but confident, one of the league’s best halfbacks that is active. This being said, he has begun to struggle a little, which is obviously because he is aging. As we have seen, running backs tend to lose explosiveness earlier in their careers, making way for other prospects to emerge. Forte, now 31, is a mentor for Billal Powell. He should remain on the Jets, a team he scored seven touchdowns for last season. On the Bears a year before, a team with an objectively worse offensive line, Forte only had four touchdowns. He has almost revamped his career in East Rutherford, creating significant discussion as to whether he should keep playing, or rather, how long he should play.
The Jets will be a different team next season and Forte may get another opportunity to start. Additionally, players have praised his leadership as he is an obvious veteran.
15. Ryan Mathews
Ryan Mathews’ career has been a lot of mediocrity, followed by more mediocrity. He had eight touchdowns last season and 661 yards rushing. Though he built on his previous season by two touchdowns, I am not convinced he is a very solid option for the Eagles. This being said, some teams would surely love his services. Matthews is not a bad running back; he has his moments. But I think switching teams would be a horrible idea. He is beginning to settle into the Eagles unique offense, post Chip Kelly nonsense era, and establishing his own style of running in a different system than that of the Chargers. If Mathews went to another team, I could easily see him being a backup for a much younger, more talented, prospect. By staying in Philadelphia, he will get the opportunity to retain the starting job and continue to build chemistry with the offensive line.
14. Eli Rogers
Rogers proved himself to be somewhat valuable with the Steelers in 2016. His rookie season was decent. He had three touchdowns, 48 receptions, and 594 yards. I think he has a lot to build on for next season. In terms of his yardage output, 594 is not a very solid number. Additionally, three touchdowns could easily become 4-7 next season. Rogers would be wise to keep playing with Ben Roethlisberger, for as long as he can. Big Ben is one of the league’s top tier quarterbacks, someone who is a complete game changer. Rogers can continue to be mentored by the great Antonio Brown, and this would simply only help his career.
If he left the Steelers this early in his career, he may face other unexpected obstacles. Rogers did okay in 2016 and he should want to build on his mediocre rookie season with Mike Tomlin’s leadership.
13. Cole Beasley
Cole Beasley is a short, mildly athletic, Cowboys receiver. His recent success has been due to the emergence of Dak Prescott, a multi-dimensional quarterback who proved his worth for Jerry Jones. Beasley recorded seven touchdowns and 833 yards in 2016. These are very respectable numbers, but they must be observed within context. He played in one of the league’s premier offenses this past season, which can be extremely pleasant for any athlete. Along with Dez Bryant and Zeke Elliot, the Cowboys had an unforgettable season.
This being said, I believe his career would falter elsewhere. Beasley would not have the same amount of talent around him on another team and this would surely be very negative to his career. I do not mean to completely badger Beasley; he had a good season. I am simply saying that he is not a game changing receiver by any means.
12. Nate Solder
Nate Solder is a two time champion, and a New England Patriots prodigy. He joined the team in 2011 and has been riding the Pats’ wave ever since. The offensive tackle is one of Brady’s best friends on the field, someone who is a big body. Solder had 16 starts this past season, which is equal to his 2012 games played. If Solder were to leave New England, he may not garner the respect he does now. He has yet to make the Pro Bowl or get awarded for many significant accolades. Since he is a New England Patriot, he gets overrated from playing in a well structured system.
If he were to go to, say the Rams, he may find a much more difficult time getting motivated to block for Jared Goff. Being on the Patriots, from what former players have acknowledged, is a serious commitment, one that makes players fully interested in the cause at hand. They have a coaching staff that does not mess around one bit and will release any player who does not live up to expectations.
11. Cameron Brate
Brate is one of Jameis Winston’s biggest targets. With the arrival of veteran DeSean Jackson in Tampa Bay, pressure will be taken off the young tight end. This is not say Brate should not be heavily targeted by Winston, but Jackson is obviously a more proven player. Brate, a Harvard alum, recorded a very solid eight touchdowns this season, along with 660 reception yards.
I don’t think he would do well on another team for various reasons. One reason, is because he isn’t a very athletic receiver. Brate is a very solid blocker and he did prove that this past football season: but he isn’t the greatest route runner. Most of his touchdowns and targets came from red zone passes. Going to another team might throw his game off, like it did to the once notable Julius Thomas.
10. Doug Baldwin
Doug Baldwin had a great season in 2016. He put up numbers not necessarily expected from him, which include seven touchdowns, 1,128 yards, and 94 receptions. Along with Russell Wilson, who didn’t have an unbelievable season, by any measure, Doug shined in open space. He got open very well and proved himself to be a great option aside from Jimmy Graham. Without Russell Wilson, what would become of Doug Baldwin?
Wilson is one of the league’s premier quarterbacks. He is fantastic at getting in open space and giving himself the opportunity to run. If Russell decides not to run, he often lofts a ball up to one of his receivers, often Baldwin, who is open because of simple defensive tactics. Put Doug Baldwin with, say Jared Goff, and he probably would lose a lot of value in the NFL. More simplistic QBs are the enemy of an athletic wide receiver because they are not, by nature, multi-dimensional. This means defenders can easily gain an inclination, or insight, into what the QB is going to do. Baldwin should really stay in Seattle, as long as he can, and ride the Seattle wave.
9. Thomas Rawls
Thomas Rawls has had the brief luxury of being able to run behind a fantastic offensive line. Along with Russell Wilson, he has been given great advice as he emerges as a solid halfback. Many running backs benefit from a good offensive line – others struggle behind a weak one (Todd Gurley for example). Rawls recorded an average three touchdowns and 349 yards, unfortunately, due to injury. Christine Michael came in as a the starter, but he eventually went over to the Packers mid-season. Rawls isn’t a fantastic runner, but he has been good enough to remain a starter in Seattle.
Eddie Lacy’s departure from Green Bay may give Rawls some competition for the starting job. In actuality, Rawls may struggle in another system. It may well happen that Lacy will take Thomas’s job, but he can still be a productive backup. On another team, all the amazing aspects of his game, will go to die.
8. DeAngelo Williams
DeAngelo Williams has seen his career drastically change since he went to the Steelers. In Carolina, he was stuck in a two man system with Jonathan Stewart. Though the two were solid runners, neither one was given the opportunity to excel on an individual level.
The Steelers have a very good offensive line. This enables Williams, whenever he is called upon in Le’Veon Bell’s absence, to be able to power through defenses. Williams had an astounding 11 touchdowns in 2015, a number he only topped in 2008 – in which he scored 18 touchdowns. Honestly, DeAngelo could start on another team. He is a powerful runner, but he has already nestled into a favorable circumstance with Pittsburgh. Williams, already 33, would not be smart to leave his situation. Running backs usually do not last too long in the NFL, and the fact that he is above 30 does not make him an attractive piece on the open market.
7. Jordan Matthews
Jordan Matthews has had some trouble adjusting to the fast paced level of the NFL. He has a tendency to drop passes or run the wrong route. Regardless, by no means is he a bad receiver. This being said, he has seen a drop down in productiveness this past season. He had 16 combined touchdowns in 2014 and 2015. In 2015, he had a shy three touchdowns. Matthews was in a poor offense in 2016, but if he stays in Philadelphia, the team may be a little different come next season. The organization brought in Torrey Smith and Alshon Jeffery, two veteran guys who could assist in giving Matthews some more direction and mentor him.
Jordan should really stay with the Eagles and develop his game there. Wentz has a lot of potential, and switching teams may unravel any real progress made with his future and essential development.
6. Antonio Gates
Gates has had a very good career. The 14 year veteran has had the opportunity to play with Philip Rivers, but unlike other athletes, Rivers is not the reason for his success. He has revolutionized the tight end position with his athleticism. I put Antonio Gates on this list because, at this point, his career is winding down. Hunter Henry is beginning to emerge as the potential front runner to be the next starting tight end for the Chargers, and Gates has vocalized the idea of retiring very soon. If we were to switch teams, it would not be good for his career. He has nestled into a comfortable home with the Chargers, and switching teams this late in his career would be detrimental to his image.
Many athletes make the poor decision of switching teams, at the end of their career for monetary purposes. Gates has made millions of dollars; money is not an issue for him.
5. Ty Montgomery
Montgomery has made the transition from being a very average receiver to the starting running back in Green Bay. This is mostly because of Eddie Lacy’s injury problems and the Packers’ urgent need for an agile runner. Ty didn’t really have a great season by any measure. He had three rushing touchdowns and 457 rushing yards. Montgomery is able to run behind a fairly solid offensive line in Green Bay. Without this circumstance, Montgomery would probably be a third string back. He is not a natural halfback by any means and still looks like a receiver. He also fumbled twice in 2016. This isn’t a substantial number, but McCarthy did get pretty heated when he dropped the ball in important moments during the season.
4. Davante Adams
Adams has the luxury of being able to play with a great quarterback. He had a very good season in 2016, recording 75 receptions, 997 yards, and 12 touchdowns. Compare this to his 2014 and 2015 seasons, in which he had four touchdowns, and you see extreme progression. Adams has taken control over the receiving aspect for the Packers. Jordy Nelson has trouble staying healthy and Randall Cobb hasn’t been as good as he once was. An aspect of his game worth noting, is that he certainly drops a lot of passes. He had five dropped passes in 2016, which is 4.1% of all of his combined targets. This is a very minimal amount, but surely, dropping important passes holds relevance.
He doesn’t have extreme speed and isn’t insanely good in open space. Adams has the luxury of being able to run routes knowing Rodgers will probably get the ball in his direction. Without the comfort of a legendary QB, Adams would be significantly less productive elsewhere.
3. Chris Hogan
Chris Hogan was one of Tom Brady’s favorite targets in 2016. He managed to have his best season, recording 38 receptions, 680 yards, and four touchdowns. Surely, Hogan is no Edelman. Edelman has significantly better statistics, in terms of yards and receptions. Hogan beat a Patriots franchise record on January 22 2017. He had 180 yards, which is the organization’s most receiving yards by a player in the playoffs. Many things point to Hogan being unproductive in another uniform.
Just look at his stats before he went to play with Tom Brady. In Buffalo, he recorded six touchdowns, 959 yards, and 87 receptions in three years. Hogan was largely irrelevant in Buffalo, as he struggled in a poor offense. The difference between a good receiver and an average one is that the productive athlete can be good in any atmosphere. Hogan cannot.
2. Emmanuel Sanders
Sanders enjoyed a lot of his success in the Peyton Manning era. This past season, he struggled to remain as relevant in an ever changing Broncos depth chart. Surely, he is still probably the second best receiver on the team, but I would be very interested to see him leave Denver. From 2010-2013, Sanders was average on the Steelers. He was near fourth on the depth chart every year, and had his first good season the year before he left for Denver. Obviously, he killed it in in 2014. The Broncos offense was unreal that year and Peyton Manning had one of his best years ever. Yet, his stats have faltered since. He had 79 receptions in 2016 versus his 101 career high in receptions in 2014. By no measure is Emmanuel a “bad” receiver. But I think his career would have been a lot different had he never gone to Denver. If he would have remained in Pittsburgh, or gone elsewhere, he’d have probably been a no.3 or no.4 receiver.
1. Julian Edelman
Julian Edelman was praised after Super Bowl LI and for good reason. He caught a pass that was so intensely defended. The ball was tipped into the air by the Falcons defense and then it somehow dropped into Edelman’s hands on the ground. In 2016, he struggled a bit on the touchdown end. He only had three touchdowns, but still managed 1,106 reception yards. To me, Edelman is not an elite receiver. Along with Tom Brady, he is glorified as a top tier athlete. If he were to leave the safe haven that is New England, I think he would truly struggle elsewhere, or just be a very average player. Edelman is not an extremely fast player, but he is obviously clutch.
My question is this, would he have the same success he has enjoyed on a team like the Rams or Eagles? Brady has the ability to make guys around him significantly better. Edelman has been able to ride the wave of greatness since 2009, but when Brady retires, he may find difficulty in a fast paced, league geared towards younger athletes.