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Top 5 NFL Wide Receivers under the most pressure in 2013

The NFL over the years has changed from a hardened defensive league during the early part of the latest century to a Arena league type offensive style that is all about scoring and protecting the quarterback. As time passed by, the NFL also began to institute rules that ensured higher scoring games to create more excitement for fans watching from the stands and at their big screen TV’s. This is where the Wide Receivers of the National Football League come in to play. After the Quarterback, the WR has become the most glamorous position in the game of football. A recent vote from most experts regard former 49er Jerry Rice, a wide receiver as the greatest player in NFL history. Rice is the standard at his position that all great WR today are judged.

Wide Receivers

Today we talk about the wide receiver position in the NFL we often associate it with a high level of productivity that is expected when you play. However, with the high level of productivity that is demanded at the wide receiver position becomes a high level to perform. There are some teams whose offenses in the league that are built on running the football, while other teams whose offenses are built around passing the football. Entering the 2013 season, the Wide Receiver position in the NFL has certainly become a focal point of team’s offense as they seek to either improve either through the NFL Draft or via free agency. There are five specific wide receivers under the most pressure to perform in the 2013 season.

Greg Jennings (Minnesota Vikings)

The Minnesota Vikings made some improvements on offense this past off season with the signing of Greg Jennings (formerly of the Green Bay Packers) via free agency. During his injury marred 2012 season, Jennings had just 4 receiving touchdowns while only accounting for 366 receiving yards on 36 receptions. He was brought to Minnesota to help QB Christian Ponder on the aerial attack as they needed to add weapons for Ponder and improve the Vikings passing attack. Jennings recent comments about his former team (Green Bay Packers) stating that “Everything was more cookie-cutter” in Green Bay while everything is much more structured in Minnesota has certainly raised eyebrows back in Green Bay and will certainly warrant Jennings to prove how “structured” things are with the Vikings, and perform on a high level like he is capable of doing when healthy.

Jordy Nelson (Green Bay Packers)

Jordy Nelson’s name being mentioned in the list will certainly raise a few eyebrows and understandably so. There is reason why there will be pressure on Nelson to perform and play like a number one receiver in Green Bay to help out Aaron Rodgers. All time great Packer WR Donald Driver retired after the 2012 season and Greg Jennings departed Green Bay for NFC North rival Minnesota Vikings. This created a void to fill for the Green Bay offense, which needs receivers to step up in production and fill the gaps of Jennings and Driver. Last season, Nelson had 49 receptions for 745 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns which were pretty solid for a number three receiver. With Nelson’s role changing in the offense starting this season, it is very certain that for the first time in his career, Jordy Nelson will be the number one receiver in Green Bay and face pressure of performing like a number one receiver.

DeSean Jackson (Philadelphia Eagles)

Mr. Jackson has got to step up and earn the big contract he received during the 2011 off season. In 2012 Jackson had 45 receptions for 700 yards and only 2 touchdown receptions as part of what was a very disappointing season for the Philadelphia Eagles. Chip Kelly will be running a new offense which can and will utilize a receiver like Jackson with the skill set he has. DeSean is part of a talented group of offensive firepower that includes TE Brett Celek and WR Jeremy Maclin. If the Eagles look to improve offensively in their aerial attack this season, it is imperative that DeSean Jackson steps up and plays like the number one receiver that he is and can be. Whoever the starting quarterback will be in Philadelphia (Vick, Foles or possibly Matt Barkley?) a large portion of their success passing the ball with hugely depend on how DeSean Jackson performs on a consistent level.

Hakeem Nicks (New York Giants)

There is no overstating of how important Hakeem Nicks is to the New York Giants offensively. There is also no overstating how important this season will be for Nicks and his future in New York. The New York Giants just signed WR Victor Cruz to a 6 year $45 million contract extension and there is a reason why GM Jerry Reese has not given Nicks the money of a number one receiver as of yet. There is no doubt about how talented he is but however, the issue with Nicks is can he stay healthy an entire season and perform at a high level like he did in 2011. Last season, Nicks had 53 receptions for 692 yards and 3 touchdown receptions which are well under his standards. Hakeem Nicks certainly deserves to get paid like a number one receiver however he MUST perform like one this season or he could very well find himself a free agent at season’s end. There will be pressure on the shoulders of Nicks to perform at a high level and stay healthy to be a vital part of the Giants offense.

Percy Harvin (Seattle Seahawks)

Percy Harvin was acquired back in March in a trade with the Minnesota Vikings to help provide an additional weapon for Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. Last season, Harvin had 62 receptions for 677 yards and 3 touchdown receptions. Last season, Seattle Seahawks did not have a single wide receiver over 50 receptions (Sidney Rice led with 50) and with the addition of Harvin it will make Seattle’s offense all the scarier for defensive coordinators. He has to show the Seahawks why he was traded for during the offseason. Anytime you’re sought after by multiple teams in the NFL, there is certainly a reason why teams see something in you. Now, Percy Harvin must produce with pressure and expectations of being a big time receiving threat for a team that has Super Bowl aspirations for the 2013 season.

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Ralph Garcia

CEO NGSC Sports


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