With NFL offenses becoming more and more explosive every year, it’s important to have playmakers all over the field on the offensive side of the ball. The offensive line and quarterback are still the most important positions – just ask the New York Giants – but that isn’t why you are watching. You are watching for the big plays from the best running back, wide receiver, tight end combos in the NFL.
Leaving quarterback and offensive line out of this, which team has the best trio at these playmaking positions? Listed below are 10 trios in consideration. At the end, each player will get a score 1-10, with more points being better. Let’s have some fun.
Atlanta Falcons: Devonta Freeman, Julio Jones, Austin Hooper
Freeman is one of the best two-way running backs in the game and has thrived in Atlanta, while Julio is a top 1-3 receiver in the game. Hooper has shown he can be a legit weapon for Matt Ryan, but is still unproven and inconsistent.
Dallas Cowboys: Ezekiel Elliott, Dez Bryant, Jason Witten
Zeke dominated last season, Dez’s production has decreased but you still have to respect his playmaking ability, and Witten, the future Hall of Famer, is as dependable as they come.
Carolina Panthers: Christian McCaffrey, Kelvin Benjamin, Greg Olsen
Expectations for McCaffrey are through the roof but are yet to be seen, Benjamin is a huge red zone target but hasn’t broken out yet, and Olsen is Cam’s safety blanket.
Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Mixon, A.J. Green, Tyler Eifert
Some say Mixon is the best running back in this loaded running back draft, A.J. Green has maybe taken it down a notch but is still an elite talent, and Eifert is huge red zone target but has become touchdown dependent.
Green Bay Packers: Ty Montgomery, Jordy Nelson, Martellus Bennett
Montgomery is a wide receiver turned running back who is still learning the position. When healthy, Jordy is a top five receiver with the Packers and Bennett has been somewhat of a mercenary tight end but is still one of the better overall tight ends in the game.
Kansas City Chiefs: Kareem Hunt, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce
Even though we haven’t seen a lot of Kareem Hunt yet, he looks like he will be a productive running back in this league, Tyreek Hill has game changing ability, and Kelce is seen as the best overall tight end in the game since Gronkowski can not stay on the field. In our most recent podcast, our host posed this trio as the best.
Los Angeles Chargers: Melvin Gordon, Keenan Allen, Hunter Henry
Melvin Gordon had a breakout season last year but is somewhat touchdown dependent, Keenan Allen is a pass-catching animal and Hunter Henry is trending up.
Minnesota Vikings: Dalvin Cook, Stefon Diggs, Kyle Rudolph
Dalvin Cook is as impressive as Kareem Hunt so far, Stefon Diggs has his big games here and there but needs to be more consistent, and Rudolph is a big weapon but sometimes goes missing in the offense.
New England Patriots: James White (or whoever running back of your choice), Brandin Cooks, Rob Gronkowski
It’s very hard to decide who the lead back is in New England, but for argument’s sake let’s’ say it’s the guy who had 14 catches and three touchdowns. Brandin Cooks is a dangerous weapon for Brady, and that Gronkowski guy is pretty good, but health is his Achilles’ heel.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, Jesse James
Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown are arguably the best at their position, which Jesse James is emerging as a reliable option for Big Ben in the Steelers offense.
The chart below will give points to each position for each of the following trips. My point system is based on: production, health, talent, and role & fit in offense. These points are given out as a ranking compared to everyone else on the list. For example, Odell Beckham and Mike Evans are not on this list because of their teammates, and would be the #2 and #3 receivers on this list. This is a fully subjective point system and is open to debate!
|KC (Hunt, Hill, Kelce)||7||4||10||21|
|ATL (Freeman, Jones, Hooper)||8||9||3||21|
|PIT (Bell, Brown, James)||10||10||1||20|
|DAL (Elliott, Bryant, Witten)||9||3||7||19|
|NE (White, Cooks, Gronkowski)||3||7||9||19|
|GB (Montgomery, Nelson, Bennett)||4||8||4||17|
|LAC (Gordon, Allen, Henry)||5||5||6||16|
|CIN (Mixon, Green, Eifert)||1||6||5||12|
|CAR (McCaffrey, Benjamin, Olsen)||2||1||8||11|
|MIN (Cook, Diggs, Rudolph)||6||2||2||10|
10 points mean best on list, 9th means 2nd best, etc.
So I didn’t end up answering my own question did I? My pick here is the Chiefs, I just love the balance they bring from all three positions and the home run threat all three of them pose. The Steelers have elite players in Brown and Bell, but James it’s hard to rank James over any of other tight ends on this.
Philadelphia Eagles: Darren Sproles, Alshon Jeffery, Zach Ertz
Tennessee Titans: DeMarco Murray, Delanie Walker, Eric Decker
Washington Redskins: Rob Kelley, Terrelle Pryor, Jordan Reed
Side Note: What does it say about the Giants personnel that even with Odell they don’t crack my list. Paul Perkins and a rookie tight end isn’t going to cut it, even though I like Engram a lot. The same goes with the Bucs, as Evans is a beast and Cameron Brate is solid, but their running backs don’t do it for me.