Based on his production lately, New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard seems to be laughing all the way to the bank. Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

We saw some young wide receivers break out big-time last season. None more so than record-breaking New Orleans Saints pass catcher Michael Thomas.

On the other side of the ledger sits a group of big-name players at this position who are vastly overrated by the masses.

Is Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry worth his ridiculous contract? How will Julian Edelman perform without Tom Brady tossing him the rock? These are among the five most overrated receivers heading into the 2020 NFL season.

Jarvis Landry, Cleveland Browns

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The pure volume of targets makes Landry a realistic target in fantasy football circles. It also has many believing that the former LSU standout is better than he actually is. Landry has put up 2,150 receiving yards in two seasons with Cleveland after it acquired him from the Miami Dolphins. Not too shabby, right?

That’s until we realize that the high-priced pass catcher is averaging a mere 11 yards per reception and 7.2 yards per target throughout his six-year career. With Cleveland, Landry has also hauled in just north of 57% of his targets. That’s not much bang for your buck when it comes to a guy playing under a five-year, $75.5 million contract.

Alshon Jeffery, Philadelphia Eagles

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

A former Pro Bowler dating back to his days with the Chicago Bears, Jeffery signed what was then a mere one-year, $9.5 million deal with Philadelphia back in 2017. He ultimately gained 789 yards in 16 games with Philadelphia that season. For this, Jeffery was rewarded with a four-year, $52 million extension that December.

It’s been completely downhill since. Jeffery, 30, is coming off an injury-plagued 2019 campaign with just 43 receptions for 490 yards. He has caught fewer than 58% of his targets in three seasons with Philadelphia and is coming of a serious foot injury. At this point, Jeffery’s future in the City of Brotherly Love remains very much up in the air.

Julian Edelman, New England Patriots

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

A product of Tom Brady in New England? We’ll find out soon enough now that Brady is prepared to do his thing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Sure this former Super Bowl MVP has put up stellar numbers for the Patriots after switching from small-school college quarterback to NFL wide receiver. Even then, he remains vastly overrated.

Edelman, 34, has never recorded more than seven touchdowns in any of his 11 NFL seasons. He’s gained 1,000 yards receiving just three times and is averaging a mere 7.2 yards per target throughout his career. Despite this, there’s been Hall of Fame talk surrounding Edelman. Come on.

Brandin Cooks, Houston Texans

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With Cooks having been traded for a first-round pick twice and a second rounder once, it seems like he might be better than he really is. Otherwise, why would have three NFL teams already moved on from him in separate trades? It certainly is something to think about.

Last season with the Los Angeles Rams, Cooks recorded a mere 42 receptions for less than 583 yards in 14 games. It was the worst statistical output of his six-year career. He’s also scored a total of seven touchdowns on 189 targets over the past two seasons. Despite this, Texans head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien seems to think he can replace DeAndre Hopkins. That’s laughable.

Sterling Shepard, New York Giants 

Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

A former second-round pick out of Oklahoma, Shepard produced big-time in his first two NFL seasons, recording a combined 124 receptions for 1,414 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also caught 66% of his targets during this span. Most figured Shepard was destined for stardom, especially after the Giants traded Odell Beckham Jr.

It has not panned out. His splits are pretty much exactly the same over the past two seasons. Shepard is also coming off a 2019 campaign that forced him to miss six games to injury. At this point, the receiver seems to be nothing more than a complementary piece for young quarterback Daniel Jones and Co.

This article first appeared on Sportsnaut and was syndicated with permission.


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Can you name every NFL player to reach 5,000 or more receiving yards in their first five seasons in the league?
6,784 / STL / 1999
Torry Holt
6,743 / MIN / 1998
Randy Moss
6,364 / SF / 1985
Jerry Rice
6,201 / ATL / 2011
Julio Jones
6,171 / CIN / 2011
A.J. Green
6,103 / TB / 2014
Mike Evans
5,975 / ARZ / 2004
Larry Fitzgerald
5,872 / DET / 2007
Calvin Johnson
5,865 / HOU / 2013
DeAndre Hopkins
5,861 / IND / 2012
T.Y. Hilton
5,741 / GB / 1988
Sterling Sharpe
5,556 / CIN / 2001
Chad Johnson
5,554 / IND / 1996
Marvin Harrison
5,512 / NO / 2016
Michael Thomas
5,476 / NYG/CLE / 2014
Odell Beckham
5,458 / ARZ / 2003
Anquan Boldin
5,424 / DAL / 2010
Dez Bryant
5,378 / WAS / 1985
Gary Clark
5,365 / IND/ATL / 1989
Andre Rison
5,317 / DEN / 2010
Demaryius Thomas
5,259 / PIT / 2010
Antonio Brown
5,222 / GB / 2006
Greg Jennings
5,147 / NO/NE/LAR / 2014
Brandin Cooks
5,097 / NO / 2006
Marques Colston
5,097 / OAK/DAL / 2015
Amari Cooper
5,033 / DEN/MIA / 2006
Brandon Marshall
5,014 / MIA/CLE / 2014
Jarvis Landry
5,007 / SEA / 2000
Darrell Jackson
5,002 / GB / 1978
James Lofton

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