Much was made of the fact that Brandon Marshall made the Pro Bowl over fellow star Chicago Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, but there is little doubt that Marshall and Jeffery make up the league’s best outside WR duo. Jeffery’s breakout campaign has allowed Marshall to stop seeing way too much coverage, and both players free each other up to make plays. While Jeffery had more receiving yards, Marshall more receptions and faced more difficult matchups, and his terrific blocking also can’t go ignored. I, like many, like to berate Pro Bowl picks, but the fans got Marshall over Jeffery right (check out some great reasoning from the Pro Football Focus that helps explain why Marshall was deserving).
Anyway, Brandon Marshall went on the NFL Network’s NFL AM today, and he was asked by analyst Mark Kriegel which wide receivers he would rank above himself. Marshall mentioned just two names, and both are elite wideouts in the NFC North in Detroit Lions superstar Calvin Johnson and Jeffery.
I would argue that Marshall is a better receiver than Jeffery (Jeffery has the potential to be even better, though), but it was nice to see Marshall give his teammate the nod. Johnson is still the best receiver in the league despite a strong push from Cleveland Browns breakout guy Josh Gordon, and Johnson’s ability to excel despite significant injury is quite impressive; he’s clearly better than Marshall.
But it was still interesting to see Marshall leave off the likes of Jordy Nelson, Antonio Brown, Gordon, Demaryius Thomas, Larry Fitzgerald and others, but there’s little doubt in my mind that Marshall is one of the best wideouts in the game. In fact, I would consider ranking him third in the league behind Johnson and Gordon, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s on most people’s top five lists- the dude sure can ball.