Who are the top five wide receivers in the NFL? That’s what Justin Jefferson was asked by Bleacher Report. And while he was sure to include himself in his top five (and rightfully so), he also gave a shoutout to Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp.
The third-year Vikings wideout ranked Kupp in a tie for third with Cincinnati Bengals star Ja’Marr Chase. Jefferson’s full top five was Las Vegas Raiders wideout Davante Adams, himself, Kupp and Chase, then Buffalo Bills wideout Stefon Diggs.
Jefferson’s list is pretty legit, as all five of those names finished within the top eight in receiving yards last season. The question is whether Kupp, who won the receiving “triple crown” after leading the league in receptions, yards and touchdowns, was ranked properly.
That’s a pretty tough question to answer, especially when considering what Kupp did in 2021 on his way to winning Offensive Player of the Year. In that group of five, Kupp might be the least naturally talented of the bunch. However, he has a gift for getting open, has outstanding hands (a 72.4% career catch percentage), and is outstanding after the catch and in the red zone.
How does Kupp rank in fantasy football?
From a fantasy football perspective, the public clearly reveres Kupp, who is ranked as the WR1 heading into the 2022 fantasy football season per FantasyPros’ Expert Consensus Rankings. Of course, fantasy football also factors in statistical projections and team circumstances along with pure ability.
Perhaps ratings from the upcoming Madden video game could also help us settle this debate. According to Madden 23, Kupp is the second-best receiver in the league at 98 overall. The only wideout above him is Adams, who was given a rare 99 rating. Kupp was given 99 ratings in both the awareness and catch categories, along with a 96 in acceleration.
So, where does Kupp truly rank among the game’s elite? I actually agree with Jefferson. I’d put Kupp third in my top five, behind Jefferson and Chase. Jefferson possesses Kupp’s separation skills and does so with better athleticism. He also has more receiving yards in his first two seasons than any other player before him. Chase could be a superstar in the making after exploding on the scene as a rookie and might have the most complete skillset in the game already.
Regardless of where you rank Kupp, the point is he’s widely regarded as one of – if not the best – receivers in the NFL. And at age 28, he’s still in his prime. Will he top his legendary 2021 campaign? Probably not. In fact, only Calvin Johnson in 2012 has had more yards in a single season, and Michael Thomas in 2019 is the only player with more catches in a single season. But there’s no doubt that Kupp could be on a Hall of Fame career path if he continues to play anywhere close to this level for the next five or six years.