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Is A.J. Green only the 5th-best wide receiver in the NFL?

A.J. Green is easily one of the best receivers in the NFL, but if you had to rank him where would he fall?

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals-Minicamp Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Anyone who doesn’t include A.J. Green in the discussion of the best wide receivers in the league needs their head checked. Admittedly though, it is hard to really find a ranking of the top receivers from one to 10 that doesn’t disrespect at least one of the league’s top receivers.

Green is no stranger to disrespect among ranking lists, which is what happens when you’re on the Bengals. Recently, Reggie Wayne ranked his top 10 receivers in the NFL for Green ranked fifth on the list behind Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, Odell Beckham Jr., and DeAndre Hopkins.

Green is always a threat to make a big play, but he hasn’t quite been the same since Hue Jackson’s departure a couple seasons ago, much like the rest of the Bengals’ offense. However, he’s still unstoppable once he’s in the zone with size (6-foot-4, 210 pounds), speed and great hands. With his rare skill set, he’s the closest thing to Julio Jones you’ll find.

Wayne has some insight that most analyst don’t considering he played the receiver position at a high level in the NFL for awhile. Still, it is hard to think of Green as only the fifth best receiver in the NFL though, especially when Beckham is ranked ahead of him.

Guys like Brown and Jones will pretty much always be at the top of these lists as they produce near the top of the league pretty much every season. These guys benefit from having quarterbacks and offenses that are based around getting them the ball. They also have guys at other skill positions around them that take some of the defensive pressure off of them. I’m not saying they aren’t top receivers, but if you plugged Green into those situations, he would produce similar numbers.

As far as the other guys ranked ahead of Green, I don’t take issue with Hopkins as much as Beckham. Hopkins had an incredible season last year with 96 catches, 1,378 yards and 13 touchdowns. Green has had a few down years due to the offense taking a dip as a whole, so to move Hopkins up above him isn’t that crazy.

Beckham was ranked ahead of Green and Hopkins though after only playing four games last season. His body of work was pretty great before that, Green played last season though, and if the margin between these three receivers is who has had the best season lately — and in the long-term — then Green should really be ahead of Beckham.

If everyone wants to save themselves a headache, we could probably just argue tiers that receivers fit into. If that is the case then these rankings aren’t bad. Brown and Jones can have the top tier and Green, Hopkins and Beckham are the next tier.

The NFL has become such a pass-heavy league that there are so many guys who put up numbers that would’ve been considered THE best 10 or 20 years ago. Now it isn’t uncommon to have a few receivers with more than 100 receptions and who surpass 1,200 receiving yards. The top five are clearly guys who don’t get their numbers just because they are in the right system. They could put up top numbers no matter where they went.

As long as Green is ranked among the top five, it’s hard to put up much of an argument. Do you agree or think Green should be ranked among the top three?