The football analytics site Pro Football Focus has continued with its yearly series of NFL position rankings. Anthony Treash’s Wednesday article on wide receivers had the Green Bay Packers’ Davante Adams ranked first, followed by DeAndre Hopkins of the Arizona Cardinals. But at third, there was a Cheetah.
3. Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs
The term “perennial deep threat” is thrown around loosely, but when it comes to the Cheetah, it certainly applies; he really might be the best deep threat in NFL history. Over the past four years, Hill has notched 56 receptions (most by 10), 2,240 yards (most by 687) and 25 touchdowns (most by 10) on targets of 20-plus yards downfield. He’d still rank in the top five in deep receiving touchdowns if we expanded that time frame to the past decade.
Keep in mind, Hill has only five years of NFL experience. He’s as electric as a receiver can be and is paired with superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Talk about a potent duo.
Hill has finally eliminated all doubt: across the league, he is no longer an extremely fast “gadget player” or “return specialist.” Instead, he is a full-fledged threat as a wide receiver. His speed is certainly his calling card, but his ability to track passes — and his chemistry with Mahomes — are also a big part of his success.
Treash’s suggestion that Hill might be “the best deep threat in NFL history” is part of what triggered Wednesday’s NFL Twitter meltdown over whether Hill really deserves that description over players like Randy Moss or Jerry Rice.
Who are you taking in their prime?— FanDuel (@FanDuel) May 19, 2021
: Randy Moss
❤️: Tyreek Hill pic.twitter.com/RxFoLbePqf
But in fairness, it’s just too early to make that call. As Treash notes, Hill is only five years into his career. Moss turned in ten 1,000-yard seasons over a 15-year career with three different teams, while Rice had 14 in 20 seasons with two franchises.
Clearly, Hill has a long way to go. But based on what we’ve seen so far, it’s not hyperbole to say that he could one day be in the conversation with those two Hall of Fame receivers.