Dec 29, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) runs after a pass reception against Cleveland Browns defensive back Julian Posey (38) during the third quarter at Heinz Field. The Pittsburgh Steelers won 20-7. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Is Antonio Brown Better Than Dez Bryant?

Last week, Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant was ranked #25 on the NFL Network’s Top 100 Players of 2014 list. Last year NFL Network ranked Bryant #35 on the list, behind six other receivers.

Bryant is ranked higher on this season’s list than at least three of the receivers who were higher than him last year; Brandon Marshall fell from #27 to #36 and Larry Fitzgerald fell from #22 to #38. Reggie Wayne was ranked #21 last year, but does not figure to make the list this year since he was injured most of last season.

Though Bryant did move up ten spots from last year’s ranking, Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Antonio Brown ranked #23 after failing to make the list in 2013. Did Brown’s performance last season warrant such a high jump in the NFL Network’s popular and hotly contested list?

2013 Statistics
Dez Bryant
Antonio Brown
Games Started1614
Receptions93110
Yards1,2331,499
Touchdowns138
Yards Per Reception13.313.6

While Antonio Brown does indeed come out ahead of Dez Bryant in three of the five categories, it could be argued that Bryant leads in the most important categories.

Receptions and yardage can be considered arbitrary at times, especially if a team trails its opponent or relies heavily on their passing game.

Starting every game and catching more touchdowns, however, could be considered more important. The Cowboys know better than most teams that a player cannot be a factor if he is not on the field. Similarly, touchdown receptions usually contribute more to a team’s overall goal of winning than receptions and yardage.

Brown may have led Bryant in several receiving categories in 2013, but Bryant leads by a wide margin in overall production since 2010.

Statistics Since 2010
Dez Bryant
Antonio Brown
Games Started4527
Receptions293261
Yards4,1043,561
Touchdowns4015
Yards Per Reception14.013.6

Antonio Brown may very well have been slightly more productive in several categories than Dez Bryant in 2013, thus determining his higher ranking on the top 100 list. However, in terms of production over the course of both players’ careers, it is a no-brainer. Bryant is the more impactful receiver.

If you had a choice between Dez Bryant or Antonio Brown, who would you choose?

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