Every NFL Team's Offensive Weapon Situation Ranked
Written by: Aaron Ussery
Heading into training camp, now is a great time to check in on the state of each team's overall roster. Below I rank all 32 teams' current offensive weapon situations from the worst to the best. Read below to see how your team stacks up against the rest of the league.
32. Chicago Bears
Key Players: RB David Montgomery, WR Darnell Mooney, TE Cole Kmet
The offseason plan for Chicago was pretty obvious: tear it all down. The previous regime had left behind a grizzly-sized mess for GM Ryan Poles, so many big name players had to go. Chief among those big names were the likes of Allen Robinson and Jimmy Graham, two players that had been staples in the Windy City for most of Matt Nagy's tenure (for better or for worse).
Both are gone, and there isn't much proven talent here to replace them. Montgomery has had some nice moments thus far, but is far from the league's most dynamic back. Mooney still projects as more of a secondary target than a true WR1, and unless he can take a major step forward this is still looking like one of the worst wideout corps in the league. Cole Kmet caught 60 targets for 612 yards last season but didn't have a single touchdown.
There's a chance that Mooney and Kmet can continue progressing and break out in 2022, but all the projection and uncertainty makes it easy for me to call this the worst set of offensive weapons in the NFL right now.
31. Houston Texans
Key Players: RB Marlon Mack, WR Brandin Cooks, TE Brevin Jordan
Houston took a small step in the right direction this offseason, but glancing over their offensive depth chart shows you there's still quite a ways to go. There's a few interesting pieces here, but as a whole it's still lacking in elite playmakers.
The rushing offense was abysmal last season, so Marlon Mack was added in the offseason to give the RB room a bit of a boost. Given his recent injury history, however, his actual contribution may wind up being less than what the team would like. Expect a committee approach, with Rex Burkhead and rookie Dameon Pierce getting plenty of carries as well.
Cooks still looks like a one-man show at wide receiver, but there's still a chance Nico Collins could step up in his second year and grow into more of a sidekick. The team may also get some help from rookie John Metchie when he's able to return from his ACL injury. TE Brevin Jordan will most likely be contending with Pharoah Brown and Teagan Quitoriano for the starting job, though none of them really jump out as exciting options.
30. New England Patriots
Key Players: RB Damien Harris, RB Rhamondre Stevenson, TE Hunter Henry
There's a lot to like with the starting RB tandem of Harris and Stevenson, and both James White and newcomer Pierre Strong can serve as chance of pace options to the powerful duo.
The team got a ton of red zone production from Hunter Henry last season, but next to nothing from fellow free agent pickup Jonnu Smith. The hope will likely be for both to step up more in 2022, given their contracts, but there's worse tight end situations in the league.
There is not, however, a worse wide receiver room in the NFL right now than the one in Foxboro. A unit consistent of Devante Parker, Kendrick Bourne, Nelson Agholor, and Jakobi Meyers just isn't gonna get it done. Rookie WR Tyquan Thornton will have to be the second coming of Tyreek Hill just to lift this group into league average territory.
Tyquan Thornton is also most certainly not going to be the second coming of Tyreek Hill, so... yeah.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars
Key Players: RB Travis Etienne, WR Christian Kirk, TE Evan Engram
I can't rank the Jags much higher than this, because most of their key contributors are shaping up to be players who have never suited up for them.
Etienne is the favorite to start over James Robinson, who is still working his way back from an Achilles injury. Etienne himself, of course, had a foot injury last preseason that wound up sidelining him for the year. There's a lot to like, but it's still all projection at this point.
Kirk essentially broke the wide receiver market, so you'd hope the team at least plans to use him like a number one wide receiver. He isn't one, of course, so we'll see how that plan goes. Zay Jones also joined the team this offseason, and I still have a lot of hope for Laviska Shenault as well -- but I still see a below average wideout corps when I look at everything here.
New TE Evan Engram can produce, but nobody should be losing their minds about him. He's a decent receiving threat who can't block and still struggles with drops even after five years in the league.
28. New York Giants
Key Players: RB Saquon Barkley, WR Kenny Golladay, TE Ricky Seals-Jones
I think we're all starting to worry that Saquon Barkley may never go back to being the player that he once was. Lower body injuries have haunted him the past two seasons, which is never what you want to hear with a running back. Maybe an extra offseason removed from his 2020 ACL tear will help him get back into form. He still has the talent to be one of the very best RBs in the NFL.
Things don't look too great elsewhere either. Kenny Golladay has just 57 catches over the last two seasons combined, after posting 65 in 2019 alone. Nobody seems to have a clue what's going on with Kadarius Toney. Darius Slayton is fine, but hasn't lived up to the expectations he set back during his rookie year. It's an underwhelming wideout corps, and even Brian Daboll may not be able to make it look good.
Ricky Seals-Jones is the team's projected starting tight end. Ricky Seals-Jones has never had more than 35 catches in a season. He may end up breaking out in a big way come 2022, but I'm not holding my breath.
27. Atlanta Falcons
Key Players: TE Kyle Pitts, WR Drake London, RB Cordarrelle Patterson
The good news is that Kyle Pitts is 110% who everyone thought he was. As a rookie, he had the world's quietest 1,000 yard season despite essentially having nobody around to take the pressure off of him. He's an ascending talent, and I won't be shocked if we're talking about him as the best TE in the game period come 2023.
The bad news is that everything else doesn't look too great here. The team took Drake London in the first round, but he'll be pulling a heavy sled in a wideout room that features Olamide Zaccheaus and Auden Tate as his main counterparts.
In the backfield, Patterson had a great season as the team's de-facto RB1 last season. For now, he looks in line to be so again in 2022 - but the additions of Damien Williams and Tyler Allgeier could help patch things up.
In all, Pitts does a lot to lift things here -- but the lack of proven, elite talent at either WR or RB makes it tough to place Atlanta any higher than this.
26. Tennessee Titans
Key Players: RB Derrick Henry, WR Treylon Burks, WR Robert Woods
The Titans offensive weapon group, for now, is defined by the ghost of AJ Brown. His departure left the wideout room in flux. The hope is certainly that newcomers Woods and Burks can help fill the void, but each has question marks. Woods is 30 years old and coming off a torn ACL, whereas Burks is reportedly struggling with conditioning thus far early on in camp. Not necessarily what you want to be hearing about the unproven rookie you drafted to quite literally replace the Pro Bowler you just dealt away.
Elsewhere, Derrick Henry is still Derrick Henry. The injury he suffered in 2021 is concerning, but we can't write off somebody as good as him. I will say that I don't love what's behind him, with rookie Hassan Haskins appearing to be the "guy" if Henry goes down again.
TE Austin Hooper was quietly added in the offseason as well. He just had the least productive season of his career in 2021, but he's only 27 and has shown himself to be a reliable and steady player in the past. The team lacked a difference-maker at the position last season, so Hooper won't need to do much to be an improvement.
25. New York Jets
Key Players: RB Breece Hall, WR Elijah Moore, WR Garrett Wilson
Things look better on paper for the Jets, but they're another example of a team where things are mostly unproven.
Breece Hall was considered by many to be the draft's best RB prospect, and his terrific burst and speed should work well in Mike LaFleur's wide zone offense. He and Michael Carter are an enticing 1-2 pairing, but again we'll have to see how it goes first.
Same goes with the pass catchers as well. Garrett Wilson was taken 10th overall to join up with Elijah Moore and Corey Davis. On paper, that could be an exciting trio. The tight end room got a complete overhaul, with CJ Uzomah, Tyler Conklin, and Jeremy Ruckert all added in the offseason.
The Jets, similar to the Jaguars, are relying on a bunch of unknowns. But I like these unknowns quite a bit more.
24. Carolina Panthers
Key Players: RB Christian McCaffrey, WR DJ Moore, WR Robbie Anderson
We can probably go ahead and file Christian McCaffrey in the same bucket as Saquon Barkley. When he's healthy, he's one of the best in the league. But he hasn't been healthy for two straight seasons now, and it's fair to wonder if he ever will be again. D'Onta Foreman was signed in the offseason to add insurance. He and Chuba Hubbard make for decent depth behind the former All Pro.
DJ Moore is the best receiver who nobody talks about. He's produced at a high rate every year despite seldom ever having reliable QB play. He is elite, and his presence alone is enough to boost Carolina above teams who lack a player of his caliber. Robbie Anderson had the least productive season of his career in 2021 and has flirted with retirement this offseason, but if he's still in the fold I consider him a good number two option. Terrace Marshall Jr. was a massive disappointment as a rookie, but is still talented enough to make a difference and shouldn't be written off after one year.
The tight end room isn't terribly exciting. They overpaid Ian Thomas to keep him around, but may have a superior player to him in second year man Tommy Tremble.
23. Green Bay Packers
Key Players: RB Aaron Jones, RB AJ Dillon, WR Allen Lazard
With Davante Adams no longer in the picture, the Packers skill-position group is currently defined by their excellent RB duo of Jones and Dillon. The two complement each other extremely well, and both may see something of an expanded role with the wideout corps looking a little barren.
Lazard, as the one big holdover, is likely the de-facto number one receiver until one of the newcomers takes the role away from him. He's got plenty of chemistry with Rodgers, but lets get real -- he's not Adams. Watson has a boatload of physical talent, but has reportedly been struggling with drops during mini camp. Rodgers won't throw his way much if he doesn't trust him to come down with the ball. Sammy Watkins is here as well, but he and Randall Cobb should both be considered little more than ancillary pieces at this point. I do have my eye on fourth round pick Romeo Doubs. He's more polished at this point than Watson is, and I wouldn't be shocked if he contributes more.
Robert Tonyan is still the TE1. Injuries derailed him last season, but he's shown chemistry with Rodgers before. I'm interested to see if Josiah Deguara will have more of a role this season. But in any case, I wouldn't describe the tight end room as very strong right now.
There's still some pieces to like here, but Adams' departure still leaves a dark cloud hanging over the Packers 2022 offensive weapon group.
22. New Orleans Saints
Key Players: RB Alvin Kamara, WR Chris Olave, WR Jarvis Landry
It's a lot of the same old faces in New Orleans, but with vastly different circumstances.
Kamara is facing a likely suspension after his offseason arrest for assault. Reports in that vain aren't looking great, as there's a good chance it could be longer than six games. If that's the case, then Mark Ingram may have more on his plate than what he can currently handle given his age.
And then there's the wideout corps, where Michael Thomas still doesn't appear ready to come back from his ankle injury. The uncertainty with his status is a big reason why Jarvis Landry is in the picture now. He and rookie Chris Olave form a good pairing, and if they can get something from Thomas this year that should be considered a bonus.
Adam Trautman and Taysom Hill (yup, you read that right) highlight the TE room. Trautman likely gets the starting nod, but the team will likely want to see him step up in his third season. He hasn't caught more than 30 passes in either of his two seasons thus far. I'm not even going to speculate on what Hill will look like in this role.
I'm giving New Orleans a lot of benefit of the doubt here, but there's a high chance for this all to go terribly wrong this season.
21. Detroit Lions
Key Players: RB DeAndre Swift, WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, TE TJ Hockenson
Swift is trending towards an expanded role in 2022, particularly as a pass-catcher. He totaled over 1,000 net yards from scrimmage last season in only 13 games. If he can stay on the field just a bit more, there's a chance he could really shine. Jamaal Williams added over 750 plus yards from scrimmage of his own last year, the second highest mark of his career. They're a really solid RB tandem.
Things are trending the right way in the wide receiver room as well. St. Brown already showed as a rookie that he can make a difference in this NFL. He mainly thrives in the slot and as a possession receiver, so Detroit wisely added two others to the mix who can win as downfield threats in DJ Chark and Jameson Williams.
Hockenson hasn't lived up to his top ten selection in 2019, but he's still one of the better tight ends in the league when he's healthy. My main concern is that there isn't much behind him right now (2021 UDFA Brock Wright looks to be the main backup).
There's potential for this group to grow into one of the league's best, but they aren't there quite yet.
20. Arizona Cardinals
Key Players: WR Marquise Brown, RB James Conner, TE Zach Ertz
The suspension of DeAndre Hopkins knocks Arizona down a bit, but not too much. He'll be back after six games, and if all goes well then you figure he and newcomer Marquise Brown can form a nice tandem. Beyond the two of them however, I don't love what's here. AJ Green is well past his prime, meaning second year man Rondale Moore likely will have an expanded role in 2022.
James Conner was second only to Jonathan Taylor in rushing touchdowns last season, with 15 total. However, he still only managed 3.7 yards per carry -- the worst mark of his career thus far. And yet for some reason, Arizona still looks to be relying on him as the main back. One of Darrel Williams, Eno Benjamin, or Keontay Ingram will need to step up or else the team will be lacking explosiveness in the backfield (beyond Kyler Murray, I suppose).
Zach Ertz was retained and will likely start the year as the starting tight end, but the team wisely invested in a younger player with second round pick Trey McBride. The two of them form a decent tight end combo on paper, but Ertz could easily hit a wall and McBride could easily face the typical struggles of a rookie tight end.
In general, this group of weapons can likely put up points - but there's a bit more reliance on aging players (such as Hopkins, Green, Conner, and Ertz) than what I am comfortable with.
19. Baltimore Ravens
Key Players: TE Mark Andrews, RB JK Dobbins, WR Rashod Bateman
We have to start with the tight end room, since that's where the offense thrives. Andrews was the best receiving tight end in the league last season, and there's little reason to think he'll be anything less than a top five player at his position in 2022. I liked the selections of Charlie Kolar and Isaiah Likely to round out the room here. A deep and versatile tight end room was a big factor in this offense's success back in 2019 during Lamar's MVP season, and it looks like Greg Roman is trying to recreate that.
The season ending injuries to Dobbins, along with Gus Edwards and Justice Hill, left the team's RB corps decimated in 2021. You figure that's not likely to happen again. If Dobbins is healthy, I consider him an easy candidate for 1,000 rushing yards. Edwards and Hill both have their roles in the offense as well, but lets not count out the additions of Mike Davis and Tyler Badie. The team could easily keep all five RBs on the roster.
And then... there's the wideouts. Obviously this isn't a priority for the team, but it's still a little nerve-wracking to see so much hinging on young players to break out. Somebody between Rashod Bateman, Devin Duvernay, James Proche, and Tylan Wallace is going to need to step up and take on some of the production left by Marquise Brown's departure.
18. Kansas City Chiefs
Key Players: TE Travis Kelce, WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire
It's a bit of a new era in Kansas City, with Tyreek Hill no longer in the picture.
Travis Kelce is still here, of course, and is still the league's best tight end. But beyond him it's all question marks.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdez-Scantling, Mecole Hardman, and rookie Skyy Moore will all try to fill the void left over by Hill's departure. It's a decent enough group, but obviously lacking in a true elite talent.
The running back room is the same story. Edwards-Helaire has been much maligned after being taken in the first round back in 2020. His talent is there, but it just hasn't shown up enough times. Ronald Jones was a sneaky good signing, as the former Buc offers a great contingency plan if CEH struggles again. And we also can't forget about Jerick McKinnon, who had some success for the Chiefs last season as well.
There's a lot to prove here, but I still think Kansas City will likely still be able to put up points this season.
17. Denver Broncos
Key Players: RB Javonte Williams, WR Courtland Sutton, WR Jerry Jeudy
This might be lower than what people were expecting, but let's take a closer look.
At wide receiver, the team has Sutton, Jeudy, Tim Patrick, and KJ Hamler. On paper, that looks like a really good group. But Sutton has only put up one 1,000 yard season thus far in his career. Jeudy has struggled with consistency, drops, and injuries which have prevented him from reaching his ceiling. And Hamler has suffered two season ending injuries in two years. The most reliable player in this group over the past two seasons has actually been Patrick, who is definitely a solid player but probably someone you'd prefer to have as your third/fourth option more so than a number one/number two guy. For all the love that gets tossed at this receiving group, there really are a lot of question marks here...
The running back room looks to be on more solid ground, with Melvin Gordon back once again to split carries with Javonte Williams. Williams is someone I'm keeping tabs on, as I think there's a chance he could have a Jonathan Taylor-style breakout season in 2022. Mike Boone is an interesting third option. He hasn't gotten many carries in his career thus far, but he's never had a season where he's averaged under 4 yards per carry.
Tight end is in flux, with Noah Fant having been dealt to Seattle in the Russ trade. In his wake the team has a duo of Albert Okwuegbunam and rookie Greg Dulcich. Both have plenty of upside, but neither is a proven player.
Russell Wilson will probably come in and get a lot more out of this group than either Drew Lock or Teddy Bridgewater did, but that is still speculation at this point. Denver's group has a lot of potential to outperform this ranking, but going solely off of what we already know I couldn't put them above any of the following teams.
16. Buffalo Bills
Key Players: WR Stefon Diggs, WR Gabriel Davis, TE Dawson Knox