Bucky Brooks of NFL.com recently did a breakdown of Wes Welker and Victor Cruz to try and determine who is the best slot receiver in the NFL. After studying all of the skills they display Brooks determined that Cruz is the best slot receiver in the league. I decided to look at all of the same points and give my point of view on this discussion.
Brooks felt both men were equally good route runners. Welker is very deceptive while Cruz relies more on his speed to get to where Eli Manning is targeting him. Welker uses a variety of head fakes and stutter-steps more than Cruz, but both produce the results that are expected of them. When it comes to ball control Welker is better at catching the ball in traffic while Cruz is better in the air.
Cruz is more explosive once he has the ball. Cruz explodes before the ball is even in his hands and once he has it he takes it up another notch. Both players have also proven to be clutch in big situations which have led to championships. For years Welker has been on of the best third down receivers in the game and Cruz has shown in just his first two seasons that he can be one of the more clutch receivers in the league.
Welker and Cruz in my eyes are the two best slot receivers in the NFL. They both have the Manning brothers as their quarterbacks. Welker made his name with Tom Brady throwing the ball to him in New England. Both of these guys make all the contributions that are expected of them for their teams.
Brooks concluded that even though Welker has defined the power of the slot receiver Cruz is currently the best in the NFL. I for one still give the edge to Welker because of how long he's been doing it. He's had the most receptions in the NFL since 2007 (672) and even though he's left New England he'll be working with another great quarterback in Peyton Manning out in Denver. Cruz can easily dethrone him, but I still think Welker is the best.
What do you guys think? Do you agree with me or Brooks?
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