It’s almost hard to believe that the National Football League is already at the halfway mark of the season. So far in the 2017 NFL season, we have seen a lot of surprises like DeShaun Watson getting hurt after a sensational rookie year thus far, some other notable quarterbacks out for the season, the Philadelphia Eagles with the best record in the league, and of course some great football. However, there are some players that are letting the fans down by not producing numbers in the NFL.
In this article, I have examined a failing wide receiver for every team in the National Football League. Some teams have a lot of good wide receivers like the Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots, and the Green Bay Packers. However, a lot of these teams have wide receivers that shouldn’t be playing at all.
Some of these wide receivers are in their first professional season; others were never drafted. Some are veterans, and other fans might have never heard of. For all we know, these wide receivers can still turn it around since there’s still a whole half of the football season left. Some of these players might actually be very good but they don’t have good quarterbacks passing the ball to them.
Anyway, let’s now take a look at the worst wide receiver for every team in the 2017 National Football League season so far, starting with the Arizona Cardinals of the NFC West Division.
32 ARIZONA CARDINALS: John Brown
John Brown, when healthy, has been a quality wide receiver in the four years he’s been in the NFL, but so far he’s not doing so hot, catching only 16 passes on 41 attempts. In 2016 he had 39 catches for 517 yards but then again that was in 15 games. He's currently on pace to beat his 517 yards from a year ago. He also has two touchdowns this year and he had two touchdowns all year in 2016. All Brown has to do to get better is to get more open and run better routes if he wants to get more catches for the Cardinals. Overall, Brown is not someone you want on your fantasy team since he’s catching a small percentage of passes thrown to him.
31 ATLANTA FALCONS: Mohamed Sanu
Sanu has the second most receiving yards for Atlanta with 354, but he could have a lot more if he had more catches. So far in seven games, Sanu has 28 receptions on 41 attempts (68%) with only two touchdowns. Sanu is currently on pace to beating his 653 yards from last year and even gaining his 3,000th career receiving yard, he hasn’t had any big plays so far with his longest catch being 24 yards. He is due for a big play, however, since he’s had a big catch of over 50 yards every year since 2014 including a 76-yard catch in 2014 with the Cincinnati Bengals. Sanu is not the fastest wide receiver in the league, but he knows how to make big plays and so far in 2017 he hasn’t.
30 BALTIMORE RAVENS: Breshad Perriman
Perriman so far with the Ravens has played in seven games and only targeted 19 times. Out of those 19 attempts, he only caught four passes for 26 yards and zero touchdowns. These stats are almost hard to believe after having 499 yards in all 16 games in 2016 catching 33 passes out of 66 (50%). The first round pick from University of Central Florida is a good player for the Ravens organization, but so far with the way he’s been playing, 2017 could be the worst season in his short career so far. What’s even more amazing about these stats is that he had over a thousand yards in his last season at UCF before going into the NFL, which makes me think why hasn’t Perriman been targeted more so far?
29 BUFFALO BILLS: Zay Jones
Zay Jones has been targeted 37 times in his rookie year so far, which is the second most on the team. However, Jones only has 10 receptions for 115 yards for a 11.5 reception average. For a rookie wide receiver, we really can’t expect much, but if Jones is a receiver that the quarterback likes to go to, he should have a lot more than 10 catches. It’s almost hard to believe that before being drafted in the second round, he had over 1,000 receiving yards in his each of his last two seasons with FCS East Carolina University. Of course he’s only an NFL rookie, so it could take some time before Jones starts putting up bigger numbers later in the season. Perhaps he could be selected to the pro bowl this year, but only time will tell.
28 CAROLINA PANTHERS: Devin Funchess
Funchess may have suffered a hamstring injury recently but he still played in eight games for the Panthers and so far things aren’t going great for him. He has been targeted 58 times and only has 33 receptions for 357 yards. His 33 receptions are already the most of his career in a season and his 357 yards are the third most for Carolina only behind Christian McCaffrey (378) and Kelvin Benjamin (475). However, he’s only completing 56% of his targets, which is the worst for any receiver with at least 19 targets. Perhaps it’s time for Cam Newton to start looking for Funchess or perhaps Funchess just needs to start getting more open or run shorter routes so the Panthers can start getting back to where they were a couple years ago when they went to the Super Bowl.
27 CHICAGO BEARS: Joshua Bellamy
In his three seasons with the Bears and in the NFL, Bellamy was never a standout wide receiver. In eight games so far this season, he has 10 catches on 17 targets for 114 yards and an 11.4 yard average. Bellamy is also the only wide receiver in Chicago with a minimum 10 catches to not have a receiving touchdown. Chicago only has eight receiving touchdowns with only Zach Miller having more than one receiving touchdown. So far in his three NFL seasons, Bellamy has 48 receptions on 91 targets for 620 yards and three touchdowns. It’s only a matter of time before Bellamy gets his first touchdown of the 2017 season since he’s had at least one in each of his first two seasons. Actually so far he’s only had at least one reception in a loss for the Bears. Maybe they would win more games if they trade Bellamy.
26 DETROIT LIONS: TJ Jones
Jones did have a big game last week against the Steelers with 88 yards on four receptions, but his seasons stats are still not that good as he caught 17 passes on 33 attempts (51%). 17 catches is not bad for eight games, but what’s amazing is that he has zero touchdowns in 2017 so far. He does, however, have 261 yards receiving, which is already the most in a season for his career. Believe it or not, Jones only has one receiving touchdown in his entire NFL career, only getting it against the San Francisco 49ers in his rookie season. Perhaps Jones could be better to go to in red zone as long as he can stay open in the future for the Lions.
25 CINCINNATI BENGALS: Brandon LaFell
Most of the wide receivers for Cincinnati are doing well. However, LaFell is catching the ball a lot but not in the end zone. Of course, AJ Green is doing the best with four touchdowns so far, but Lafell only has one touchdown and has 180 yards. He also has 7.8 yards per reception average, which is the worst for Cincinnati’s wide receivers with a minimum 10 targets. LaFell also has one fumble so far in 2017, with it happening last week against the Indianapolis Colts even though he didn’t lose it. LaFell is one of three wide receivers to have a fumble along with Green and Tyler Kroft. Perhaps LaFell would be better with the Houston Texans since he’s from Houston and the Texans could use better receivers now that DeShaun Watson is out for the season.
24 CLEVELAND BROWNS: Bryce Treggs
This is only the second season for Treggs but things aren’t going as planned for him since he’s playing for Cleveland. The former Philadelphia Eagle is actually having a better season than his rookie season last year. In four games played in 2017 so far, he has five receptions but on 14 targets for 79 yards. Treggs actually still has yet to reach the end zone as he has zero touchdowns in 13 career games. Of course this is the 0-8 Cleveland Browns we’re talking about here and there are a lot of players that need improvement, but if the Browns want to earn that elusive first win, the Browns might have to put Treggs in more games. His stats through four games are virtually identical last year through nine games as he had three receptions on 12 targets for 80 yards in 2016.
23 DALLAS COWBOYS: Cole Beasley
2017 is Beasley’s sixth season with the Cowboys and things aren’t going as well as he used to be. So far in seven games, Beasley has 18 receptions for 141 yards, but has the third worst receiving yards per reception average on the team with 7.8. Beasley’s 18 receptions are coming off 31 targets, which means he’s completing 58% of passes thrown to him. He does have two touchdowns so far this year, but he would have a lot more if he can just make more completions. So far in his six-year career, his most touchdown grabs in a season is five in both 2016 and ’15. With the way he’s been playing so far, it’s possible that he can finish the season with less or barely over five touchdowns. It’s more likely that he will have less after receiving a concussion last week.
22 DENVER BRONCOS: Isaiah McKenzie
McKenzie is a wide receiver that Denver quarterback Trevor Siemian doesn’t go to very often, but the rookie out of Georgia University should be targeted more. After only playing for six games, he has been targeted five times and only has one reception. That one reception was only zero yards. Denver actually uses McKenzie more as a punt returner as he has done so 18 times for 142 yards and zero touchdowns. This just shows that McKenzie is a fast wide receiver and he can go deep. McKenzie also rushed the ball one time for four yards so far this season. It’s almost like Siemian doesn’t know that McKenzie is a wide receiver on the field. McKenzie can be a great wide receiver, but he just needs Siemian to throw to him more often.
21 GREEN BAY PACKERS: Trevor Davis
Here is another wide receiver that is not thrown to a whole lot. You would think that Aaron Rodgers has a lot of options (and he does), but Davis is an option that Rodgers doesn’t go to. In seven games that Davis has played in, he has only been targeted once and has one reception for only nine yards. Davis has been used more often as a punt and kickoff returner as he has nine punt returns for 83 yards and he has four kickoff returns for 107 yards. Davis still has yet to touch the end zone for the Packers in only his second NFL season. Of course Rodgers is going after his stars receivers like Davante Adams and Randall Cobb, but it’s unfair for Davis to be left out.
20 HOUSTON TEXANS: Braxton Miller
Miller has been targeted 10 times so far this season for Houston, but he only caught the ball five times for 20 yards and a team worst 4-yard average on receptions including one touchdown. Miller looks like a wide receiver that is made for the red zone, but Houston quarterback DeShaun Watson doesn’t throw to him enough. Things could change, however, as Watson is now out for the season with an ACL injury and Houston is signing Matt McGloin because of the injury. A blast from the past of sorts, McGloin had a great year at Penn State when current Houston coach Bill O’Brien was coaching the Nittany Lions. When McGloin and O’Brien get back together, it could mean that Miller would get more chances to catch the ball.
19 INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: Kamar Aiken
2017 is the first season at Indianapolis for Aiken after spending his first three seasons at Baltimore. So far with the 2-6 Colts, Aiken has 14 receptions out of being targeted 36 times, which means he’s only completing 39% of passes thrown to him. On those 14 receptions, he has 131 yards with a 9.4-yard average with zero touchdowns. This is the second straight year when Aiken doesn’t have a touchdown. Last year with the Ravens, Aiken only had one touchdown all season. With the way the Colts are doing at the halfway point of the season, it’s possible that Aiken will finish his fourth NFL season with zero touchdowns. It will be interesting to see if Aiken has any more big plays this season since his longest play so far was for 21 yards, which happened last week at Cincinnati against the Bengals.
18 JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: Keelan Cole
Cole, a rookie out of NCAA Division II Kentucky Wesleyan, is definitely a Jacksonville Jaguar. The Jaguars are getting somewhat better this year, but Cole is not living up to the 4-3 record. Cole has been targeted 20 times so far in seven games, but he only has eight receptions for 111 yards. What’s even more amazing is that his longest play is 52 yards and he still doesn’t have any touchdowns. For a rookie out of an NCAA Division II program, we really can’t expect much especially since he was never drafted. It could be a matter of time before Cole gets his first professional touchdown, but Cole could also be one of those players that have an extremely small career. With stats like what he has so far, it’s also possible that he could not get any more targets this season.
17 KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: DeMarcus Robinson
The Chiefs are on a roll with quarterback Alex Smith, but there is one wide receiver that is not living up to the 6-2 record and that is DeMarcus Robinson. Robinson has been targeted 18 times and has 10 receptions, which isn’t really that bad. However, he only has 115 yards and zero touchdowns with a reception yard average of 11.5. He’s one of two Kansas City wide receivers along with Chris Conley to not have a receiving touchdown. If every Kansas City wide receiver wants to be happy with a touchdown, Smith will have to start looking for Conley and Robinson at the red zone during the second half of the season. It’s kind of unfair to both Conley and Robinson to have zero touchdowns while every other wide receiver has at least two touchdowns.
16 LOS ANGELES CHARGERS: Mike Williams
Who would have ever thought that a wide receiver from a NCAA national championship team end up on this list? Williams, an NFL rookie out of Clemson, is not living up to being a first round draft pick for the Chargers as he has two receptions out of six targets for only 22 yards and zero touchdowns. Williams is one of two wide receivers for the chargers to not have a receiving touchdown along with Dontrelle Inman. Williams was drafted seventh in the first round of last year’s draft and had high expectations for the Chargers. However, quarterback Philip Rivers is not letting Williams live up to those expectations by only passing the ball to him six times. Sure he only caught the ball twice, but if Rivers passes to him more often, more receptions are soon to come for the national champion wide receiver.
15 LOS ANGELES RAMS: Pharoh Cooper
Cooper is currently in his second season with the Rams and so far things are not going as planned for him. After seven games so far, Cooper has three receptions on five attempts for 26 yards and zero touchdowns. He is currently on pace to beating his number of receptions from last year (14), but that was only on 10 games played. Cooper is also the return man for the Rams as he returned six punts for 47 yards and 16 kickoffs for 617 yards and a touchdown. Perhaps Los Angeles could have him just as a punt/kickoff return man rather than just wasting his time on the field looking for balls that are hardly ever thrown to him considering he has more punt and kickoff returns than the number of targets thrown to him from Jared Goff.
14 MIAMI DOLPHINS: Leonte Carroo
Carroo has played in all seven games so far for the Dolphins; but he’s only been targeted 14 times and has seven receptions for 69 yards and zero touchdowns. He’s already having a better season in 2017 after only having three receptions on six targets for 29 yards in 2016. The only difference is that he had a touchdown in 2016. He may have came out of Rutgers University, but Carroo can be a fantastic wide receiver in the red zone considering he had 29 career touchdowns in three seasons with the Scarlet Knights. So far in 2017, Carroo has six receptions on the road and only one reception at home with the one home reception being 21 yards against the New York Jets. The six other receptions happened just last week at Baltimore against the Ravens. Therefore, maybe Carroo will start to get more receptions for the rest of the season.
13 MINNESOTA VIKINGS: Laquon Treadwell
Treadwell, a second season wide receiver out of Ole Miss, is definitely having a way better season in 2017 than what he did in 2016. So far this season, he has been targeted 21 times, but only has 12 receptions for 142 yards and zero touchdowns. Treadwell is one of two Vikings wide receivers to not have a receiving touchdown along with Michael Floyd. Treadwell’s 142 yards isn’t that bad, but with nine incompletions, he could do a whole lot better. At least the former first round draft pick is doing a lot better than having one reception on three attempts like he did in his rookie season last year. If the Vikings want to continue their playoff push, it’s time for Treadwell to start making more receptions.
12 NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: Phillip Dorsett
All of the wide receivers for the Patriots are doing really good with Tom Brady. However, Philip Dorsett is the only wide receiver not completing at least 60% of passes thrown to him as he completed four out of eight (50%) passes thrown to him. He does have 85 yards on four receptions for a reception yard average of 21.3, which leads the team. However, he’s the only wide receiver for the Patriots to not have a receiving touchdown. He also only has three first downs on his receptions, which is the worst for all Patriots wide receivers. Perhaps there’s a reason why Brady doesn’t throw to him a whole lot, but if the Patriots want to hang on to the AFC East division title, it’s time for Dorsett to start getting more open and make more receptions.
11 NEW ORLEANS SAINTS: Tommylee Lewis
The Saints are in first place of the NFC South division with a 5-2 record, but Tommylee Lewis is not living up to the record. Honestly, I don’t know how he’s even in the NFL as he only had 11 touchdowns in four years at Northern Illinois University. However he is having a better year through six games played for the Saints than through 12 games in 2016 as he has seven receptions for 84 yards, but with zero touchdowns. Through 18 career games, Lewis still has yet to have a receiving touchdown despite having a rushing touchdown in 2016. Perhaps Lewis would be better as a running back since he has more rushing touchdowns than receiving touchdowns in his entire career. The Saints also use him a lot for kickoff returns.
10 NEW YORK GIANTS: Brandon Marshall
2017 is the first year for Marshall to play with the Giants and so far things aren’t going the way fans think they would. Playing in only five games, the 12-year veteran has 18 receptions on 33 targets for 154 yards. What’s surprising about this is that not one of those 18 receptions was for a touchdown as he had at least one touchdown in each of his first 11 years, including 14 touchdowns for the Jets in 2015. He also has a reception yard average of 8.6 this year and he had a double-digit average every year of his career. Perhaps the Giants might not be the best team for him since they are 1-6 so far this season. Maybe Marshall would be better ending his career with the Steelers since he’s from Pittsburgh.
9 NEW YORK JETS: ArDarius Stewart
Never in my wildest dreams would I think to write down a rookie wide receiver from Alabama University on this list. Unfortunately, that is the case for ArDarius Stewart as he’s been targeted only seven times and has four receptions for 36 yards and surprisingly no touchdowns. He also only has one first down reception so far this year for the Jets. With four receptions for 36 yards, he has a yard per reception average of 9.0. This shows that Stewart is a decent wide receiver, but quarterback Josh McCown just needs to throw the ball to him more considering he is a national champion from the Crimson Tide. Stewart was a great wide receiver for Alabama for three years, but his passing stats were actually better going 2-for-2 for 36 yards. Perhaps Stewart could be a quarterback for time to time in the future considering the quarterbacks the Jets have had the last five years.
8 OAKLAND RAIDERS: Cordarrelle Patterson
Patterson is with Oakland for the first time in 2017 after spending his first four NFL years with the Minnesota Vikings. So far Patterson has caught 14 out of 19 passes thrown to him for 69 yards and a 4.9 yard per reception average. He does have four first downs but also has zero touchdowns. Patterson was never a big touchdown receiver for the Vikings, but with Derek Carr as the Raiders quarterback, you would think that Carr would pass to a player in his fifth NFL season more often, especially since he’s a first round draft pick out of Tennessee University. Patterson did make it to the playoffs once in 2015 with the Vikings, but was only used as a kickoff returner in the loss to Seattle in an NFC wildcard game.
7 PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: Marcus Johnson
How about them Eagles with the best record in the NFL? The 7-1 Eagles have really good receivers, but the only wide receiver not living up to the best team in the NFL right now is Johnson, who is a rookie out of Texas University. So far in seven games played, he has been targeted four times and made two receptions for 22 yards, which really isn’t that bad. However, he is the only wide receiver for the Eagles to not get a touchdown. Quarterback Carson Wentz seems to pass the ball well to all the other wide receivers, he’s just not passing the ball to Johnson enough as Mack Hollins has been targeted the second fewest with nine. This kind of makes Johnson left out and it’s such the shame. Hopefully Wentz will pass the ball to Johnson more often in the future.
6 PITTSBURGH STEELERS: Eli Rogers
Ben Roethlisberger has a lot of players to pass the ball to and so far in 2017, he’s passed the ball to Rogers 14 times. Out of 14 tries, Rogers only has seven receptions for 64 yards. 64 yards on seven receptions isn’t that bad, but he still has yet to get a touchdown this season and he has zero plays over 20 yards. Of course Roethlisberger goes to Antonio Brown a lot, but Rogers just needs to get better routs and start making more receptions, especially since he has a 9.1 reception yard average, which isn’t good enough to last long with the six-time Super Bowl champions. This may only be his second season in the NFL, but Rogers needs to start getting in the end zone more and get more than three touchdowns like he did last year in his rookie season.
5 SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS: Aldrick Robinson
Now remember this is the 0-8 49ers we’re talking about here. For a five-time Super Bowl winning franchise, they sure aren’t playing like it this year. Aldrick Robinson has 10 receptions for 168 yards, which isn’t that bad. However, he only has one touchdown reception, which is crazy for a wide receiver with 168 yards. He also has seven first down receptions, which is the fewest out of all 49er wide receivers. It seems that quarterback Brian Hoyer likes to go to Pierre Garcon considering Garcon has been targeted 67 times; but Robinson is just not catching the passes that are being thrown to him. Perhaps he can get more passes when former Patriot Jimmy Garoppolo comes to town. Other than that, Robinson needs to start making more receptions before the end of the season.
4 SEATTLE SEAHAWKS: Tanner McEvoy
With Russell Wilson as the quarterback for Seattle, the sky’s the limit for the Seattle wide receivers. However, McEvoy only has one reception on four passes thrown to him. The one reception was a big one, however, going 53 yards, but yet somehow not a touchdown. This is the NFL second season for McEvoy and he had two touchdowns on nine receptions last year. McEvoy knows how to grab huge catches, but he’s just not getting the ball passed to him enough. McEvoy played at Wisconsin University before going pro, but he played all sorts of positions including quarterback, wide receiver, running back, and even on defense. Perhaps McEvoy is not meant to be an NFL wide receiver. Maybe he would be better off as a member of the Seattle defense since he was on the Wisconsin defense for three years.
3 TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: Chris Godwin
Chris Godwin may only be a rookie coming out of Penn State, but things at Tampa Bay are not going very well as he has seven receptions out of 12 passes thrown to him. Now seven out of 12 isn’t that bad, but he has zero touchdowns and the longest play for him so far only went 18 yards. Godwin was an animal at Penn State finishing last year as a junior with 982 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns, but quarterback Jameis Winston is not throwing the ball to him very much. It’s only a matter of time before Godwin gets his first NFL touchdown. Of course its hard to do that since Winston is only going after three receivers in the end zone (Mike Evans & DeSean Jackson), but Godwin will get there eventually since he has 74 receiving yards.
2 TENNESSEE TITANS: Corey Davis
Corey Davis is probably the most surprising entry on this list since he was picked fifth overall in the 2017 NFL draft, but the rookie out of Western Michigan is not living up for the division leading Titans. He currently has seven receptions on 13 tries with 73 yards, but he also has zero touchdowns in two games against the Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders. Davis has been injured with a hamstring issue, but Davis should be able to return within the next week or two. However, when he does return, quarterback Marcus Mariota or Matt Cassel should pass the ball to Davis more often. The Titans didn’t draft Davis in the first round to just play two games. The rookie has to come up big eventually.
1 WASHINGTON REDSKINS: Terrelle Pryor Sr.
2017 is the first season at Washington for Terrelle Pryor Sr. after spending the last two years at Cleveland. After having a good year with 1,007 receiving yards and four touchdowns in 2016, Pryor has 18 receptions for 223 yards on 34 passes thrown to him so far this year, which isn’t that bad. However, he only has one touchdown so far. Perhaps Washington could use Pryor as a running back since he had 576 rushing yards with Oakland in 2013. He also had a 57.4 completion percentage as a quarterback with the 2013 Raiders, so Washington could also use him as a quarterback. Bottom line is that Pryor might not be fit to be a wide receiver in the National Football League. He wasn’t even a great wide receiver at Ohio State University since he only had three receptions for the Buckeyes.
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