The new league year has produced quite a shuffle at the wide receiver position. With that in mind, NFL Network analyst and nine-year NFL wideout James Jones evaluates the recent relocations of 10 WRs (presented in alphabetical order), examining how each player will fare with his new team in 2022. Who will ball out? Whose production will fall?
Old team: Green Bay Packers
Adams goes from one great situation to another. This man has been the NFL standard for receivers over the last few seasons, and he's fresh off a banner season in which he posted career-highs with 123 receptions (second in the NFL) and 1,553 receiving yards (third), while also adding 11 TD catches (fifth). He now joins a passer he's quite familiar with in Derek Carr, as they spent two record-setting seasons together at Fresno State in 2012 and '13. They already have a fine rapport, and first-year Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels knows how to get elite receivers immediately involved (SEE: Randy Moss' 23 TDs in his first season with the Patriots back in 2007). Adams will match, if not exceed, the production from his final campaign in Green Bay.
2022 projection: 1,500 receiving yards, 15 TDs
Old team: Jacksonville Jaguars
I am high on Chark and think he can be a real difference-maker in Detroit, even coming off a broken ankle that limited him to just four games in 2021. Chark led the Jags in receiving yards in 2019 (1,008) and 2020 (706). In those two seasons, he was one of the most efficient wideouts in the league vs. press coverage. According to Next Gen Stats, Chark ranked in the top 10 in several key metrics against press in this span, including fourth in yards per target (11.2) and tied for eighth in receiving TDs (six). He's been able to find success thanks to his solid route running and ability to make tough catches, snagging almost everything that comes his way. With a consistent quarterback and talents like Amon-Ra St. Brown and T.J. Hockenson around him, Chark should help take Detroit's offense to the next level.
2022 projection: 900 receiving yards, 5-6 TDs
Old team: Dallas Cowboys
While Cooper led the Cowboys in catches (292), receiving yards (3,893) and receiving TDs (27) over the past four seasons, his 2021 production (68 catches for 865 yards and eight TDs) didn't justify his lucrative contract, leading a frustrated Jerry Jones to trade away his star receiver to Cleveland. To be frank, Cooper never was going to have 1,500 yards in a loaded Cowboys offense. However, in Cleveland, Cooper could again emerge as a true No. 1 receiver who can make a much bigger impact when surrounded by complementary playmakers like David Njoku and Donovan Peoples-Jones, along with an elite ground game and uber-talented quarterback in Deshaun Watson -- though Watson's playing status for the 2022 season remains uncertain due to an ongoing league investigation surrounding 22 civil lawsuits against him. If Watson is active for a bulk of the season, Cooper might have the best campaign of his career.
2022 projection: 1,200 receiving yards, 10 TDs
Old team: Atlanta Falcons
There's a reason Tom Brady recruited Gage -- a former sixth-round pick who emerged during back-to-back 700-yard, four-TD seasons in Atlanta -- to sign with Tampa during free agency. Not only do the Bucs need a WR3 -- we all saw the offensive decline after Antonio Brown's late-season walk-off -- but they need a WR2 while Chris Godwin recovers from knee surgery. Godwin is on track in his rehab, but Gage's presence will certainly relieve some pressure off Godwin to get back by Week 1. Gage is a guy who can stretch the field with his speed and help the Bucs have a quick start to the season. His numbers will likely dip when Godwin returns, but there are plenty of catches to go around on a team that threw the ball more than any other last season. Gage should enjoy career-high production.
2022 projection: 1,000 receiving yards, seven TDs
Old team: Kansas City Chiefs
I know there's some concern about Hill ditching Patrick Mahomes for Tua Tagovailoa, a quarterback who has struggled throwing the ball deep downfield, but the veteran receiver has so much speed and big-play ability that he'll succeed no matter who's throwing him the ball. Yes, a lot of Hill's success in Kansas City came on home run balls, as he leads the league in every major Next Gen Stats deep receiving category since 2017, but he's also one of the most dangerous wideouts with the ball in his hands, boasting the fourth-most yards after the catch league-wide since 2016. I don't see Tua's limitations holding Hill back. If anything, this dynamic, game-changing target will help Tua in his development. Expect yards and touchdowns to be easy to come by for the former Chief in South Beach.
2022 projection: 1,300 receiving yards, 10 TDs
Old team: Arizona Cardinals
Kirk has been a steady player and productive piece of Arizona's offensive puzzle for the last four seasons. He's coming off a career season that saw him lead the Cardinals in both receptions (77) and receiving yards (982). While Kirk's talented, I don't think he's going to be a bona fide No. 1 receiver just because he's making $18 million per year, as there are a number of other playmakers on Jacksonville's offense -- guys like Marvin Jones Jr., Zay Jones, Evan Engram, James Robinson and Travis Etienne, a first-round pick returning from injury. Kirk should, however, be a reliable and productive playmaker -- he caught 74.8 percent of his targets in 2021, fifth-highest among WRs with 100-plus targets -- for second-year QB Trevor Lawrence, which will send targets his way.
2022 projection: 900 receiving yards, five TDs
Old team: Chicago Bears
Robinson has played at least five games with six different starting QBs in his career, but none as good as his new passer. Matthew Stafford helped Cooper Kupp log an historic campaign and, most importantly, led Los Angeles to a championship in his first season with the Rams. Robinson will have an important role in Sean McVay's offense, especially with Robert Woods traded to Tennessee. Robinson has a good chance to get back to producing big numbers week in and week out, with Kupp attracting most of the defensive attention. The 28-year-old wideout can run every pattern in the route tree. He has the big-play ability, hands and body control to haul in contested catches in the end zone. Robinson can do it all when healthy, and I expect he'll dominate in his first season on the West Coast.
2022 projection: 1,100-plus receiving yards, 10 TDs
Old team: Pittsburgh Steelers
JuJu gets the benefit of playing with one of the top quarterbacks and playmakers of his era in Patrick Mahomes. The former Steeler has been most productive when he's not the guy, and that's the situation he finds himself in in Kansas City. With Tyreek Hill now out of the mix, JuJu will play a much bigger role than initially thought when he first signed with the Chiefs, but he'll still be a secondary target behind all-world tight end Travis Kelce. Mahomes' ability to extend plays and make every throw (and then some) will help the sixth-year pro reach 1,000 receiving yards for the first time since 2018.
2022 projection: 1,100 receiving yards, eight TDs
Old team: Dallas Cowboys
Wilson goes from being a No. 4 wide receiver in Dallas to being a No. 3/4 in Miami -- playing alongside newly acquired Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle and potentially DeVante Parker, though the Dolphins have received trade calls about the former first-rounder. Wilson will do his part in an offense that got exponentially better on paper this offseason, but he downgraded at the game's most important position. Wilson compiled career-highs in catches (45), yards (602) and TDs (six) in Dallas a year ago. He'll fall short of those marks in 2022. Not only does Wilson switch from Dak Prescott to Tua Tagovailoa under center, but he'll be fighting for targets against two of the most electric wideouts in the league in Hill and Waddle (not to mention rising tight end Mike Gesicki).
2022 projection: 500 receiving yards, three TDs
Old team: Los Angeles Rams
I really like Woods to help this Titans passing attack bounce back from a down 2021 season. Woods has been one of the most productive -- yet still underrated -- wide receivers in the league, as he averaged 132.7 targets and 1,096.3 receiving yards in his last three fully healthy seasons in Los Angeles. With a full recovery from his season-ending knee injury, Woods should see a ton of targets working opposite A.J. Brown due to his exceptional hands and savvy route running.
2022 projection: 1,000 receiving yards, eight TDs