New QB/WR Duo’s Set To Make A Splash In 2021
Many wide receivers around the league will be catching passes from a different quarterback than they were just a few months ago. With teams acquiring multiple quarterbacks and wide receivers throughout the course of free agency and the NFL Draft, any duo can immediately click on the field and produce breakout numbers. Last year, Stefon Diggs put up career numbers after leaving Minnesota for a change of scenery in Buffalo with Josh Allen at the helm. This year, any new combination of QB/WR duos could be in for a breakout year.
Matthew Stafford/Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams
During Jared Goff’s best season in 2018, Cooper Kupp was able to produce 566 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns in only 8 games. In the two years following, Kupp has continued to produce WR1 numbers despite the subpar QB play of Goff. With Matthew Stafford now under center, expect Kupp to put up even more impressive numbers in Los Angeles. With opposing defenses having to gameplan for Robert Woods and recently acquired deep threat DeSean Jackson, Kupp will be able to thrive in the slot where he is most comfortable. If Stafford and Kupp are able to develop chemistry, look for Kupp to solidify himself as the best slot receiver in the game this year.
Ryan Fitzpatrick/Terry McLaurin, Washington Football Team
Thus far in his two-year NFL career, Scary Terry has caught passes from Case Keenum, Colt McCoy, Dwayne Haskins, Alex Smith, Kyle Allen, and Taylor Heinicke. If you want to talk about premiere NFL quarterbacks in this league, look no further than that list right there. Fitzpatrick will be entering his 16th season in the league and is by no means a stud, but he will be the best QB McLaurin has had to date. A YAC monster who also acts as a deep ball threat when he wants to, McLaurin will benefit from Fitzpatrick’s arm strength, which hasn’t regressed a bit. McLaurin has amassed over 2,000 receiving yards in his first two years in the league and with Fitzpatrick under center, expect McLaurin to have a special year in Washington.
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Joe Burrow/Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals
It’s hard not to be excited about the two former LSU teammates reuniting in Cincinnati. During their 2019 campaign, which saw Burrow win the Heisman Trophy and Chase the Fred Biletnikoff Award, the duo racked up 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns. Now they have a chance to try and replicate those ridiculous numbers. The thing about this duo is there is no chemistry needed to be built. What was established in college will now be brought to the pros. If Chase finds himself having a smooth transition into the NFL, this could be one of the best QB/WR duos in the league for years to come.
Daniel Jones/Kenny Golladay, New York Giants
While there are multiple question marks regarding both of these players this upcoming season, this is the year Jones proves the doubters wrong. In the last half of the 2020 season, Jones was able to clean up the turnover bug, throwing only one of his 11 interceptions in the final eight games. The third-year quarterback will be getting a big-time playmaker in Kenny Golladay, who led the league in touchdown receptions just two years ago, but the receiver struggled to stay on the field last year in Detroit and only played in five games. Jones will have multiple weapons available to spread the ball around the field, but Golladay’s big-time playmaking will make him a favorite target in New York.
Matt Ryan/Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons
I know Kyle Pitts is labeled as a tight end, but I had to put him on this list. The departure of Julio Jones to Tennessee leads me to believe that Kyle Pitts will emerge as a favorite target of Matt Ryan’s this upcoming season. Sure, Atlanta still has Calvin Ridley, who is sure to be a stud this year, but Pitts was made the highest-drafted tight end in NFL history this year, and he’s going to play like it. Remember the success Ryan had finding his tight end the last time he had an elite player at the position in Tony Gonzalez? With Pitts’ size and athleticism as a tight end, he is going to be a mismatch nightmare for any DB or linebacker you have try to cover him. It’s rare that we see a rookie tight end immediately emerge as one of the best in the league, but I don’t think it will be a problem for Pitts in Atlanta.
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