NFL News & Analysis

The top 10 wide receivers against single coverage: A.J. Brown, Justin Jefferson, Tyreek Hill and more

East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver A.J. Brown (11) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the New York Giants during the game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Chris Pedota-USA TODAY Sports

Almost every week, the NFL's most dominant receivers will see the best of what the opposing defensive coordinator has to offer, whether that comes in the form of matchups against the defense's best players or coverages specifically designed to take them out of the game.

What separates them from the rest is their ability to take advantage of the opportunity when they are left one-on-one.

Here are the 10 best wide receivers against single coverage from the 2022 season, according to PFF receiving grade.

T-1. A.J. Brown, Philadelphia Eagles

PFF receiving grade vs. single coverage: 93.7

Despite coming up just short of a Super Bowl title, the trade for A.J. Brown could not have worked out better for the Philadelphia Eagles. The one-two punch of Brown and DeVonta Smith opened up plenty of opportunities for the former Tennesee Titan to dominate. In 2022, Brown led the NFL in receiving yards (850) and touchdowns (8) against single-coverage looks.

T-1. Tyreek Hill, Miami Dolphins

PFF receiving grade vs. single coverage: 93.7

Covering Hill one-on-one does not come recommended, but when Jaylen Waddle is on the other side of the field, sometimes it becomes inevitable. Despite seeing just 46 targets against single coverage this season, 23rd among receivers, Hill recorded the sixth-most receiving yards (616) and led the position in yards per route run (6.48) against single coverage.

T-1. Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers

PFF receiving grade vs. single coverage: 93.7

Williams missed four games and played only six snaps in another as he battled through injury in 2022, but he excelled when he was on the field. The sixth-year receiver hauled in 14 contested catches against single coverage in 2022, the second-most at the position.

4. Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals

PFF receiving grade vs. single coverage: 93.0

With much of the attention on teammate Ja'Marr Chase, Higgins was able to see plenty of single coverage in 2022 — and he feasted. Along with ranking fourth in receiving grade against single coverage, Higgins ranked second in both passer rating when targeted (144.4) and touchdown receptions (7) on those one-on-one looks.

5. Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills

PFF receiving grade vs. single coverage: 92.4

Over the last three seasons, no wideout has more yards, first-down conversions or explosive receptions of 15 or more yards versus single coverage than Stefon Diggs, so it is no surprise to see him here. Diggs led all receivers in explosive receptions (22) and first-down conversions (36) against single coverage in 2022.

6. Amari Cooper, Cleveland Browns

PFF receiving grade vs. single coverage: 92.1

The Cleveland Browns acquired Cooper's services in exchange for a 2022 fifth-round pick and some change. And despite the not-so-great QB play, the trade has worked in Cleveland’s favor so far. Against single coverage, Cooper finished with the fourth-most receiving yards (634), tied for third in first-down conversions (32) and tied for second in touchdowns (7).

7. CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys

PFF receiving grade vs. single coverage: 91.9

Cooper’s former teammate showed why he could be the guy in Dallas this past season, recording career highs in just about every major statistical receiving category. Of Lamb’s 36 catches vs. single coverage, 31 went for a first down and over half (19) went for 15-plus yards.

8. Christian Kirk, Jacksonville Jaguars

PFF receiving grade vs. single coverage: 91.6

The Jaguars caught major flak for the four-year, $72-million deal they gave Kirk last offseason. But while Kirk does not have the star power of others on this list, he proved he could be a top target for Trevor Lawrence’s Year 2 breakout.

Kirk was crucial down the stretch for the Jaguars' playoff push. He caught one touchdown against single coverage in Week 18’s playoff-clinching matchup against the Titans, one in the wild 27-point comeback against the Chargers in the wild-card round and another in the divisional round.

T-9. Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings

PFF receiving grade vs. single coverage: 91.2

Jefferson came into the year saying he was going for the WR1 title, and it is hard to argue. He is one of two receivers to have earned a 90.0-plus PFF grade every year since 2020 and had defenses game-planning to eliminate him.

It was too easy for Jefferson in one-on-one situations this past season, as he ranked second in receiving yards (748), tied for first in 40-plus-yard catches (5) and third in contested catches (13).

T-9. Garrett Wilson, New York Jets

PFF receiving grade vs. single coverage: 91.2

What the Offensive Rookie of the Year was able to do with the rotating door of quarterbacks he saw this season is nothing short of remarkable.

He did a ton of work after the catch versus single coverage, as he ranked third in yards after the catch behind A.J. Brown and Justin Jefferson, second in yards after contact and second in missed tackles forced.

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