49ers

Deebo, Aiyuk among best receiver duos in 2022

49ers
NFL

Cornerbacks, prepare those hamstrings.

The 2022 NFL offseason saw plenty of movement with star players and some of the league’s best wide receivers were no exception. Star wideouts like Tyreek Hill were traded to the Miami Dolphins while Davante Adams joined Fresno State teammate Derek Carr in Las Vegas.

Moves like those created intriguing wide receiver duos that will command your attention anytime they’re on the field. In particular, these 10 stand out as ones who will light up the stat sheet:

Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton – Denver Broncos

Russell Wilson’s arrival means Denver’s receivers are bound for an uptick in production – just ask guys like Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett and Jermaine Kearse, to name a few Seahawks’ who reached new heights with Wilson. Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton are the duo to watch here. Though the former missed seven games last season and the latter suffered a setback in his development following an ACL tear in 2020, Wilson is the perfect quarterback to help them bounce back and reach their potential. 

A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith – Philadelphia Eagles

This is Jalen Hurts’ prove-it year. An improved sophomore campaign got his team into the playoffs, but it was clear that rookie DeVonta Smith needed another partner to reduce the load. So, the Eagles went out and got A.J. Brown from the Tennessee Titans. Smith fell 84 yards shy of a 1,000-yard receiving season in his first year while Brown logged 869 despite missing four games. If Hurts makes a leap in his third year, he’ll have these two wideouts to thank. 

 

Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk – San Francisco 49ers

Deebo is still a 49er – for now – but he’s arguably the most unique player in the NFL. The dual-threat receiver-running back archetype – or “wide back” as he deemed himself – racked up 1,405 receiving yards and 365 on the ground last season. With Brandon Aiyuk coming on strong toward the second half of the season, this is an under-the-radar duo that could really shine if Trey Lance comes along the way San Francisco hopes. 

Cooper Kupp, Allen Robinson – Los Angeles Rams

With Odell Beckham Jr. out of the picture, Cooper Kupp’s new star teammate is former Chicago Bear Allen Robinson, who signed a three-year deal with the Rams in free agency. Kupp earned the receiving triple crown last season en route to being named the Super Bowl MVP. Robinson, however, had a down year in 2021 after missing five games due to a hamstring injury and COVID-19. However, he posted two strong 1,100-plus receiving yards in 2019 and 2020. Matthew Stafford will surely look to get him going with Los Angeles. 

DeAndre Hopkins, Marquise Brown – Arizona Cardinals

Though he fell short of moving to Los Angeles, Marquise “Hollywood” Brown was traded to Arizona on draft day this offseason after a three-year stint with Baltimore. Brown had his first 1,000-yard receiving season in 2021, and now he’s joining one of the best wideouts in the game in DeAndre Hopkins. The only downside to this duo is that Hopkins will miss the first six games of the new season after being suspended for violating the league’s PED policy.

 

Davante Adams, Hunter Renfrow – Las Vegas Raiders

The NFL world was shocked when the Las Vegas Raiders acquired Davante Adams from Green Bay. The Fresno State product is reuniting with former college teammate Derek Carr after numerous dominant seasons with Aaron Rodgers. Along with Adams, Hunter Renfrow figures to line up alongside him. In his third season with the franchise, Renfrow popped off for 103 receptions, 1,038 receiving yards and nine touchdowns, all marking career-highs. This is the duo Carr needs to compete in what looks to be the toughest division in football. 

Keenan Allen, Mike Williams – Los Angeles Chargers

One of the few duos that are returning from last season, Keenan Allen and Mike Williams had impressive campaigns with the Chargers last year despite barely missing out on the playoffs. Williams logged 1,146 receiving yards while Allen trailed him by just eight, tallying 1,138 yards. The duo combined for 13 touchdowns with rising star Justin Herbert leading the way. If they can top that this upcoming season in a crowded AFC West, look out. 

Mike Evans, Chris Godwin – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Another returning duo on the list is Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Evans has hit 1,000 receiving yards in each of his eight seasons in the NFL while Godwin is coming off a 1,103-yard campaign in 2021, which included a career-high 98 receptions. With Tom Brady returning, the rapport he has with Evans and Godwin should only get stronger. The main downside here is how Godwin looks after suffering an ACL tear late in the season. 

Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle – Miami Dolphins

Miami also made a blockbuster acquisition during the offseason, landing Tyreek Hill from Kansas City. He joins Jaylen Waddle, who logged 104 receptions and 1,015 receiving yards as a rookie, in South Florida to form one of the fastest wideout duos we’ve seen. The biggest question mark is Tua Tagovailoa, who is also entering a prove-it year after two iffy seasons to start his NFL career. 

 

Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins – Cincinnati Bengals

First-year wideout Ja’Marr Chase and second-year wideout Tee Higgins were vital components to the Bengals’ recent Super Bowl run. Chase went off for 81 catches, 1,455 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns in one of the best rookie campaigns you’ll see while Higgins supported rising star Joe Burrow with 74 receptions, 1,091 yards and six touchdowns. They’re the youngest duo on this list, and they might even be the best. 

Honorable mentions

New Orleans Saints: Michael Thomas, Jarvis Landry

We haven’t seen Michael Thomas’ slant routes since 2020 after he suffered an ankle injury that kept him out all of last season. Jarvis Landry has been relatively quiet the last two years after five consecutive Pro Bowl nods, which resulted in just a one-year, $3 million deal with the Saints this offseason as a free agent. Jameis Winston is returning to lead the squad, and if everything pans out, maybe Thomas and Landry could turn things around in The Big Easy and remind everyone of their talent.

Seattle Seahawks: DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett  

DK Metcalf has been a dominant force since entering the league as a rookie, which hasn’t been surprising given his 6-foot-4, 235-pound frame. Tyler Lockett has put up three straight 1,000-yard seasons, but the two might not be catching too many eyes this year with Drew Lock replacing Wilson at quarterback. This is a duo that deserves to be mentioned, but they might be overlooked as the Seahawks rebuild.