Julio Jones is so indescribably amazing that we are really just figuring out how to place spots 2 through 4. It is a race to the bottom after Julio, and as usual, it is a tight race in the NFC South.
1. Atlanta Falcons
The easy number one. Julio Jones is leading the NFL with 61 receptions, 1,105 yards for 18.1 yards per catch. The only critique is he's been inconsistent (300 receiving yards followed by a dud), and he's had a few bad drops (like against the Eagles). He's still easily the best wide receiver in the NFL, and is so much better than anyone else in the NFC South.
Number two Mohamed Sanu is doing OK after a few good games, and has 39 catches for 430 yards and 11.0 yards per catch. He's had some inconsistencies, surrounding his two best games by being invisible. He's on pace for a respectable 688 yards.
Depth here helps the Falcons. Taylor Gabriel is ON FIRE. The number three is only on pace for 488 yards, but is averaging a Julio-esque 17.8 yards per catch. He's proving to be that X factor that can take the top off a defense when they focus on Julio and snuffing out the run game.
2. New Orleans Saints
I can never tell if the Saints always have a respectable wide receiver group because of their talent or Drew Brees. At the same time, this is easily the most talented group of wide receivers they have had in years. Brandon Cooks already has an impressive 44 catches for 694 yards, a 15.8 yards per catch average. The little guy looks great across from rookie Michael Thomas who is having a monster rookie year with 51 catches for 613 yards, a nice 12.0 average. They are instrumental to Brees pushing for the top quarterback ranking in the league, despite being (blogger estimate) 47 years old.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Despite having a sophomore quarterback, the Bucs actually have the second highest yardage of any wide receiver in the NFC South in Mike Evans. 59 catches for 811 is awesome, and despite a few drops, Evans is on pace for nearly 1,500 yards. He will surely hit that mark with Vincent Jackson's injury. Jackson only had 173 receiving yards, so Dirk Koetter is still succeeding at peppering his top player with targets.
4. Carolina Panthers
There was a realistic possibility the Panthers could be in first this season. Kelvin Benjamin was back. Devin Funchess was turning it on at the end of his rookie season. Ted Ginn Jr. had a surprisingly effective 2015. Well, all of those players are terrible. Benjamin's numbers aren't bad: 43 catches for 627 yards. For the top pass catcher, it's pretty mediocre. While the Saints top two wide receivers have split their numbers, the rest of the Panthers are terrible. Funchess is literally catching UNDER half of his footballs: 14 catches on 33 for 234 yards. Ginn was the deep threat (we remember his game against Atlanta last year) but this year is stuck at 29 catches for 328 yards at only 11.3 yards per catch. Like the rest of their team, this group of bums couldn't keep it going after overperforming in 2015.