No. 1 WR in the AFC South into the 2023 season: Calvin Ridley, Jaguars
Calvin Ridley takes the top spot on our list of wide receivers in the AFC South. Despite a challenging 2021 and 2022 season, where he only appeared in five games for multiple reasons, Ridley has proven himself to be one of the best in the game. In fact, since 2020, he boasts the sixth-highest receiving yards per game average among all receivers in the league, with an impressive 82.8 yards per game.
The Jaguars recognized Ridley's talent and made a bold move by trading for him to enhance quarterback Trevor Lawrence's arsenal. With Ridley's speed, route-running ability, and reliable hands, he has the potential to become a game-changer for the Jaguars' offense. Fans are eager to see Ridley back on the field and expect him to pick up where he left off, showcasing his elite skills.
Ridley's stats do not reflect his actual performance, and it is crucial to recognize his efficiency and effectiveness on the field in Atlanta. Despite receiving backup quarterback-level target quality, Ridley displayed a catchable target rate of 71.2 percent, which ranked 73rd in the league.
This indicates his ability to make the most of challenging passes. Additionally, his route win rate ranked him fifth overall, emphasizing his skill in getting open and creating opportunities for his team.
Looking ahead to the 2023 season, Ridley's potential is immense. With the expectation of improved chemistry with his quarterback, Trevor Lawrence, Ridley has the opportunity to elevate his game to new heights. While he may be classified as a WR2 next season, his potential to reach WR1 status should not be underestimated.
Ridley's talent, combined with a stronger quarterback connection, could lead to a breakout season for the young receiver.