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Best wide reciever in the nfl right now

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/28/2016 Category: Sports
Updated: 8 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 507 times Debate No: 85679
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
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My argument is that Antonio Brown is the best wide receiver in the NFL right now, He has back to back years with 100+ catches, over 1,500+ yards and 10+ touchdowns. Antonio Brown has the skills to run any route in the league including bubble screens.


I can't deny that Antonio Brown is an elite receiver. But he's also catching passes from an elite quarterback: 2-time Super Bowl champion Ben Roethlisberger, while playing in a high-powered offense surrounded by multiple weapons - LeVeon Bell, DeAngelo Williams, Martavis Bryant, Markus Wheaton. This all makes Antonio Brown's job significantly easier than my choice:

DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins took the NFL by storm this year. 111 Receptions, 1521 Yards, 11 Touchdowns. And the critics will say "oh but his stats weren't as good..."

Yeah, because he was catching passes from a motley collection of Brandon Weeden, TJ Yates, Ryan Mallet and Brian Hoyer. Hoyer being the best of the lot... the same career backup journeyman Hoyer who threw 4 INTS and posted a pathetic 15.9 passer rating in the Texans 0-30 playoff loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

And who are those other weapons on the Texans roster who help take the defense's focus off Hopkins? They don't exist.
Debate Round No. 1


I do not disagree that Hopkins is a good receiver, but is he as good as Antonio? No now in my eyes. In reality, Hopkins really had his breakout year this year, he's also had games anyway where he's been shutdown during stretches of games. Antonio Brown has the experience and the elusiveness to be a legit route runner. He has Ben and other weapons that you respectfully mentioned. But he's made Ben better along with the other receivers. Before Browns emergence, Big Ben was experiencing issues with team success and trying to get to the Super Bowl. Browns emergence fixed the issues in Pittsburgh and they now can be in the discussion for the Super Bowl for seasons to come. Hopkins is just getting it going, the issue is the experience Hopkins has is not comparable to Brown's to even be considered the best in the Leauge. Antonio Brown has been breaking records this past season, his teammates of receivers Bryant and Wheaton have on fire then they seem to dim out. Without Brown, the steelers would not be where they are at. Because he draws coverage and still makes plays. Ben would not be where he's at. Because before the Steelers were dealing with issues of poor play. Despite all of the weapons Pittsburgh now has, Antonio has been able to put up the stats because he draws up double coverage but makes the plays. The other " weapons" have been inconsistent this season. Brown is the legitimate reason why Pittsburgh is better off then they were a few years ago. Hopkins still has more to prove if he wants to be the best, not enough experience throws me off board with Hopkins.


"Before Browns emergence, Big Ben was experiencing issues with team success and trying to get to the Super Bowl."

When has Ben Roethlisberger ever experienced issues with team success? He's been with the Pittsburgh Steelers since 2004 and the worst record they've ever had during that time frame is 8-8. Here's the Pittsburgh Steelers record over the last four seasons:
2012 8-8
2013 8-8
2014 11-5
2015 10-6

During this time frame the Steelers running game improved:
2012 - 26th best in the league
2013 - 27th
2014 - 16th
2015 - 16th

And their pass protection improved. If you look at Roethlisberger's Sack% - aka the number of times Ben is sacked per pass attempt - you'll see steady improvement over the last several seasons:
2012 - 6.3%
2013 - 6.7%
2014 - 5.1%
2015 - 4.1%

Brown has been excellent but crediting him with the entire team's collective improvement is not only unfair to the remaining 52 players on the Steelers roster, it's statistically inaccurate. But enough about Brown, let's talk about my boi Nuk. First off, that's a badass nickname: Nuk.

Second of all, when I judge a wide receiver I want to know how he performed against elite cornerbacks. Antonio Brown faced off against both Richard Sherman (6 rec, 51 yards, 0 TDs) and Patrick Peterson (3 rec, 24 yards, 0 TDs). Not exactly record breaking numbers. Where exactly is AB when he's not feasting on inferior competition?

Now my boi Nuk? He had the displeasure of drawing Darrelle Revis in Week 11 and completely owned Revis Island to the tune of 5 receptions, 118 yards and 2 touchdowns. While mind you, catching passes from back-up QB TJ Yates.

Sources? I found all my stats on pro football reference.
Debate Round No. 2


The last two years 2014 an 2015 they went back to the playoffs with Antonio brown as the first receiver on the team. I am not staying he deserves all credit. If you said Julio jones was the best you would have the argument. The issue with Hopkins is he does not have the experience Brown has in the Leauge. What if Hopkins play falls down miserably next year? It could happen. Comparing Browns play agianst Sherman and Peterson to Hopkins play agianst Revis are different. Brown has played agianst two of the best corners probably in the Leauge, while Darelle revis play has been declining. Revis has not played well agianst a lot of #1 wideouts this year. Just ask Sammy Watkins an he will tell you how he could match up revis. Revis is way older then Sherman and Peterson. Hopkins is a good receiver and has talent, but the experience he has compared to brown throws me off board saying he's not the best.


"What if Hopkins play falls down miserably next year?"

What if Brown's play falls down miserably next year? The future is purely speculative. We only have the present and past with which to judge.

As stated the Houston Texans had a rotating door at the QB position, featuring four different starters during 2015:
- Brian Hoyer started 9 games
- Ryan Mallet started 4
- TJ Yates started 2
- Brandon Weeden started 1
- Even 5th string scrub BJ Daniels had to step in and toss a few pass attempts in Week 16.

And while Antonio Brown may face double coverage from time to time, teams can't afford to focus solely on him. When they do, you end up with games like fellow Steelers WRs Martavis Bryant's 178 yards game in Week 10 and WR Markus Wheaton's 200+ yards performance in Week 12. Bryant and Wheaton take a lot of pressure off Antonio Brown. They keep teams honest and force defense's to play the majority of their day with single coverage on Brown.

Meanwhile opposing defenses only need to worry about one game every week: Deandre Hopkins.

When I look at Antonio Brown I see:
- Better quarterback
- More weapons to take the pressure off
- Lesser performances against elite cornerbacks (Sherman & Peterson from Argument #2)
- He's got the easier job.

When I look at DeAndre Hopkins I see:
- A receiver who has proven he can produce no matter who is playing QB
- Relatively no fellow teammates on offense who can take the pressure off
- A guy who, despite all those challenges, was still able to dominate an elite cornerback (Darrelle Revis)

I get it, Antonio Brown has slightly better stats. But stats don't tell the whole story. It's time to recognize DeAndre Hopkins as the best wide receiver in the NFL right now.
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by patriotd12 8 months ago
Is Hopkins better then brown in your opinion sactown boom?
Posted by SactownBoom 8 months ago
*1000 yard season
Posted by SactownBoom 8 months ago
Depends on what you mean by "emerge" He had a 1000 season while Wallace was still there. In 2013, after Wallace left, the Steelers were 8-8 and missed the playoffs. So I'd say it wasn't merely Brown alone who changed Big Ben's fortunes.
Posted by patriotd12 8 months ago
Big Ben was still dealing with issues at wide receiver, Brown wasn't even in the picture until guys like mike Wallace left the team. Brown changed the steelers in many ways with his superb receiving skills and fast feet. The team got back into the picture with him at wideout, hes posting numbers especially from this pass season that are identical to jerry rice like numbers.
Posted by SactownBoom 8 months ago
"Before Browns emergence, Big Ben was experiencing issues with team success and trying to get to the Super Bowl. Browns emergence fixed the issues in Pittsburgh and they now can be in the discussion for the Super Bowl for seasons to come. "

You do understand the Big Ben won his 2nd Super Bowl the year before Brown was drafted, right? They had a down year during Brown's rookie year, but that probably had more to do with Roethlisberger being suspended for 4 games due to his bathroom hijinx with a coed rather than any on the field issues.
Posted by diarrhea_of_a_wimpy_kid 8 months ago
Julio Jones would have been the expected choice. Performances were nearly identical.

Hopkins and Allen Robinson had breakout years. A-Rob's ypc were teh highest in the top 20 receivers and he had Blake Bortles as a QB, and Hurns opposite him taking targets. Marshall would have been a solid veteran consideration.l

Interesting to see the approach with someone who didn't lead in stats.
Posted by patriotd12 8 months ago
I just don't see Hopkins, as the best. Because he needs to show more, he only broke out this year, if he wants to prove more. He's gotta have more experience and keep grinding. I could see a argument made for Julio agianst brown. But jordy Nelson. Is not the best but he's around top 5 in the Leauge definatly
Posted by FlamboGus 8 months ago
Brown all but disappeared from the stat sheet when Ben went down.

I'd go with Julio as number 1. Jordy is also top 3...
Posted by MikeTheGOd 8 months ago
tbh I wasn't expecting DeAndre Hopkins to be selected. Not that he's not easily a great receiver just that the Texans yeah... I am from Texas so I am glad to see support of him and he had amazing stats despite our QB situation.
Posted by patriotd12 8 months ago
Thanks Mike, hope you enjoy it. This is my first debate if you or anyone else would like to give me feedback, I will be willing to listen.
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