Wide receiver relocations: DeAndre Hopkins to soar on Cardinals
- Projections for relocated wide receivers
- Running backs
The free agency frenzy produced quite a shuffle at the offensive skill positions, including wide receiver. NFL Network analyst and former WR Nate Burleson has surveyed the recent relocations of nine wideouts, answering one question for each: Will the player post greater, similar or lesser production with his new team in 2020 than he did with his previous club in 2019?
Nelson Agholor, Las Vegas Raiders
Old team: Philadelphia Eagles
Agholor will fit in well as a WR2 behind Tyrell Williams — that’s familiar territory for the former first-round pick having been in this same situation with Alshon Jeffery on the Eagles. Agholor received so much criticism in Philly for his drops and inconsistent play that I feel like this move will rejuvenate him.
2020 production: 65 rec., 900 yards, 7 TDs
DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals
Old team: Houston Texans
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I love this fit. Arizona has been searching for Larry Fitzgerald’s successor for quite some time. It’s hard to imagine Christian Kirk taking the torch; Hopkins definitely helps with that transition. By gaining one of the best receivers in the league, Kliff Kingsbury finally has the horses to fully operate the run-and-gun Air Raid offense Kyler Murray ran in college. Expect Murray to let it fly whenever he can, and Hopkins will be on the other end of those passes more often than anyone else.
2020 production: 110 rec., 1,300 yards, 12 TDs
Emmanuel Sanders, New Orleans Saints
Old team: San Francisco 49ers
Sanders is going to reap the benefits of playing opposite Michael Thomas, who demands the focus of the defense. The Saints have one of the most high-flying offenses in the league — adding Sanders to the mix makes them more dangerous. I bet Sean Payton already has Sanders prominently featured in the playbook.
2020 production: 75 rec., 1,100 yards, 6 TDs
Tajae Sharpe, Minnesota Vikings
Old team: Tennessee Titans
This is a great situation for the former Titan. During his career, as a backup or sub, Sharpe has rarely been one of the QB’s first few reads. With Stefon Diggs out of Minnesota, Sharpe has a spectacular opportunity to prove himself opposite Adam Thielen, and I think he will log his best season to date.
2020 production: 55 rec., 950 yards, 9 TDs
Robby Anderson, Carolina Panthers
Old team: New York Jets
Anderson joins not only a new team, but one that has gone through major offensive changes. I don’t expect the former Jets receiver’s numbers to soar because Carolina’s new QB1, Teddy Bridgewater, isn’t known for routinely heaving the ball down the field. Plus, everyone knows this offense runs through Christian McCaffrey, who’ll get the vast majority of the touches.
2020 production: 45 rec., 900 yards, 7 TDs
Randall Cobb, Houston Texans
Old team: Dallas Cowboys
The Texans’ offense is going to really struggle without Hopkins. He provided an enormous threat, game in and game out — it’s very hard to picture what this unit will look like without him. If Will Fuller can stay healthy and stretch the field, Cobb should be able to put up comparable numbers to his 2019 production in Dallas. I think it’ll be challenging season for the Houston offense — and the unit could really go south if Fuller can’t stay on the field.
2020 production: 60 rec., 900 yards, 5 TDs
Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills
Old team: Minnesota Vikings
Diggs’ production will drop slightly, but his touchdown totals will increase. His yardage will dip simply because Josh Allen is a dynamic runner, so the young QB isn’t likely to drop back and pass it as much as Kirk Cousins did in Minnesota. I will say that I think Diggs will have an impact statistically on every game in Buffalo, something he didn’t consistently do on the Vikings.
2020 production: 60 rec., 1,000 yards, 10 TDs
Breshad Perriman, New York Jets
Old team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Perriman got a lot of love late last season with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin sidelined, and the hope is that he’ll carry that late-season success over to 2020. In New York, I see Adam Gase using Perriman like he deployed Jarvis Landry in Miami, as guy who will allow Sam Darnold to get the ball out quickly.
2020 production: 50 rec., 800 yards, 5 TDs
Devin Funchess, Green Bay Packers
Old team: Indianapolis Colts
Funchess is coming off a lost season due to a collarbone injury suffered in Week 1, but he’s in this section because my 2020 projection for him is less than his last full season (2018 with the Carolina Panthers). He’s heading to a team with a crowded wide receiver room, but the 6-foot-4, 225-pounder could become one of Aaron Rodgers’ red-zone targets.
2020 production: 35 rec., 400 yards, 4 TDs
Follow Nate Burleson on Twitter @nateburleson.
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