Raiders wideout Davante Adams recently joined former NFL receiver Brandon Marshall on the I AM ATHLETE podcast. One topic the pair of Pro Bowlers discussed was Adams’ current list of best receivers in the league.
Calvin Ridley checked in at fifth overall.
Davante Adams named his top 5 wide receivers in the nfl right now— Shannonnn sharpes Burner (PARODY Account) (@shannonsharpeee) May 20, 2023
1. Davante Adams
2A. Justin Jefferson
2B. Tyreek Hill
3. Stefon Diggs
4. Calvin Ridley
5A. Mike Evans
5B. CeeDee Lamb pic.twitter.com/65TOnSbjiv
Adams has more touchdowns than any other skill position player since his 2014 rookie season. He, Justin Jefferson, and Tyreek Hill are objectively the top-three wideouts in the game after pacing the NFL in targets and receiving yards last year.
They’re joined by Stefon Diggs as the only players with over 4,000 receiving yards since 2020 (when Jefferson entered the league and Diggs was traded to Buffalo). Diggs also ranks second in receptions in that span and finished top-five in every major receiving category in 2022.
The fifth spot is where receiver rankings get murky. Mike Evans and CeeDee Lamb (whom Adams listed sixth and seventh overall, respectively) as well as names like A.J. Brown, Cooper Kupp, and Ja’Marr Chase all have an argument for that coveted top-five mark.
To the shock of anyone who doesn't bleed teal, Adams ranked Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Calvin Ridley as the fifth best receiver in the NFL right now.
If you could really see Calvin really go to work, the way that I see him, the way I watch his tape, the way that a lot of the guys that I know that that know the position well watch his tape, I think it’ll be a lot of... I mean you could say whatever you want about last year it ain’t got nothing to do with football like, and it was silly anyway, but he’s gonna be back this year and I think that he’s going to have a really really good year.
And as a receiver, as you know, we don’t control everything, so we control our tape. Watch the boy’s tape. He’s out there doing stuff to people consistently with the routes, he don’t give nobody a break.
Ridley was traded from Atlanta last fall as he served a year-long suspension for violating league gambling policies. His last NFL game was in October 2021.
However, in his latest full season, Ridley was on pace for league-wide recognition as an elite wideout. He played 15 games in 2020 and ranked top-10 among all receivers in every major stat. Ridley finished behind only Adams, Diggs, and Travis Kelce in receiving yards per game (91.6) on his way to a second-team All-Pro selection.
Calvin Ridley = ELITE receiver.— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) January 11, 2021
Take a look back at @CalvinRidley1's top catches of the 2020 season.
: https://t.co/8tGnbNnWW3 pic.twitter.com/WrL14Y27iq
Plus, in his own words, Ridley is “a 1,400 yard receiver on a broken foot.”
“I know that I’m one of the better receivers in this league.”@CalvinRidley1 on his confidence and health. pic.twitter.com/5mdFNIkvSh— Jacksonville Jaguars (@Jaguars) April 19, 2023
Ridley first mentioned his 2020 injury in a March The Players Tribune piece he wrote titled A Letter to the Game.
Hardly anybody knows this, but I played most of the 2020 season with a broken foot. Remember that 1,300-yard season? Nine touchdowns? I was killing it on one foot, for real. Actually, I had played through bone spurs my first two years. Just gritted through it with painkillers. But then, my third year, the wheels came off. Week 8, we were playing Carolina and I remember looking at Julio and I just knew. I said, “Nah, bro, this is different. My shit broke.
Imagine what he’ll with a healthy body, Trevor Lawrence as his quarterback, and a vote of confidence from one his his top peers.
Watch the full I AM ATHLETE podcast on YouTube below.