The first wave of free agency is in the books, and several free agent wide receivers have found new homes. As expected, Jakobi Meyers and Juju Smith-Schuster headlined the signings, but there are still plenty of good players available for teams that need better offensive weapons.
Ranking the Best Remaining Free Agent Wide Receivers
Odell Beckham is easily the riskiest name on this list, but he also possesses the highest upside by a considerable margin. Last we saw Beckham, the wide receiver was playing a key role in helping the Los Angeles Rams win their first Super Bowl of the century. Nobody expects Beckham to be the same dominant force that he was from 2014-2016, but that stretch in 2021 proved that he can still play at an impressive level. Assuming he can still match that level of play, Beckham can be an important part of an elite passing attack, and just about every team with a chance at the Super Bowl should be interested in adding him at the right price.
Adam Thielen is entering his age-33 season, which means that he is much closer to the end of his career than the beginning. That being said, he can still play and make a difference in the red zone. Last year, the wideout recorded 70 receptions for 716 yards and six touchdowns while playing second-fiddle to Justin Jefferson. He’s no longer an ideal WR1, but he can be a viable complementary option or a reliable security blanket for a young quarterback.
Injuries limited DJ Chark to just 11 games last year, but the free agent wide receiver made the most out of his limited time during his first year with the Lions. While on the field, Chark recorded 30 receptions for 502 yards and three touchdowns while averaging an impressive 16.7 yards per reception. At this point, it’s safe to say that his breakout 2019 season was an outlier, but that blazing 4.34 40-yard speed hasn’t gone anywhere. If a team needs a deep threat, Chark is probably the safest bet left on the market.
I know DJ Chark isn’t the big name that Giants fans were chomping for.
But he’s a former 1,000-plus receiver who can make big plays, the tough catches and go deep when needed; something Giants receivers had trouble doing in 2022.
Between DJ Chark and pic.twitter.com/JLxdqSeKLf… https://t.co/JOwN2aXDax
— Doug Rush (@TheDougRush) March 16, 2023
Several teams could talk themselves out of Mecole Hardman based on what he can’t do. While he doesn’t run the most complete route tree, he is fantastic with the ball in his hands and possesses the elite speed required to turn every single touch into a big play. He will never be the focal point of an offense, but if he lands with a creative offensive coordinator, he could be good for two or three exciting touches per game.
Marvin Jones might not be the most exciting of the free agent wide receivers, especially now that he’s entering his age-33 season. However, the former Jacksonville Jaguar, Detroit Lion, and Cincinnati Bengal can still play, even if he has to spend more time in a reserve role. Last year while catching passes from Trevor Lawrence, the former fifth-round pick finished the season with 46 receptions for 529 yards and three touchdowns. This is still adequate production, especially for someone who is, by all accounts, one of the best teammates you could ever hope to have.
Main Photo: Matt Krohn – USA Today Sports