The debate about which NFL wide receiver is the best is never ending. This time, however, it's one of the people actually in that conversation sharing his thoughts on the matter.
Arizona Cardinals receiver DeAndre Hopkins joined the Jalen & Jacoby Show on Thursday and declared himself the best wide receiver in the NFL, specifically comparing himself to Saints receiver Michael Thomas and the Falcons' own Julio Jones. During that proclamation, Hopkins drew attention to the quarterback situations that all three players have had during their careers, wondering what his numbers could have been with players like Matt Ryan or Drew Brees throwing him the ball.
"I definitely think I'm the best," Hopkins told the Jalen and Jacoby Show. "I know I'm the best. Mike's my boy. I love Michael [Thomas] ... but he knows if I had Drew Breesmy whole career what these numbers would be. Julio Jones knows if I had Matt Ryan my whole career. That's my boy; I trained with Julio, too. He knows what these numbers would be.
"Those guys are definitely blessed to be in a position where, their whole career, they had a Pro Bowl quarterback - quarterback that they spent multiple seasons with. But I don't complain. I don't make excuses. I go out there and work."
That level of self confidence is unequivocally necessary to be a dominant wide receiver in the NFL, and Hopkins is undoubtedly that. But so are Jones and Thomas, who are often mentioned on the short list of NFL greats. Since Thomas didn't enter the league until 2016, while Hopkins turned pro in 2013 and Jones did so in 2011, it wouldn't be fair to compare their total receiving stats in that time. Instead, let's take a look at each player's average 16-game-season stats for their careers.
Perhaps that argument is making Hopkins' point for him, but, hey, the numbers are what the numbers are.
Every single one of those player's stat lines are remarkable, but Jones's is a cut above the others'. He's averaging more yards on fewer receptions than Thomas and gains nearly 2 yards more per reception than Hopkins. Of course, Hopkins' point about Ryan delivering the ball is well taken, and maybe he would have better stats with better quarterback play. But many have minimized Ryan's accomplishments throughout his career by pointing out the Pro Bowl-caliber players around him. It seems, in this argument at least, the goal posts have moved.