Top 5 WRs: No.1 — Calvin Johnson 

Remember when Jigga Man asked, “Who’s the best emcees, Biggie, Jay-Z or Nas?” Cats really had to contemplate that. Similarly these days, the NFL QB King changes weekly. Is itBrady, Brees, Rodgers or Manning?

The only sure thing in the debates of greats is that Calvin Johnson is the best wide receiver – maybe the best player – in the NFL.

He’s part ballerina, part giraffe and part rocket ship. The Megatron marathon continues to dip by, rip into and barrel through NFL defenses, and statistically, he makes mincemeat out of his contemporaries. Sorta like Jerry Rice did in his day.

Megatron is a cut above the rest and simply the best at dominating his position, compiling 3,654 receiving yards since ’11 . That's 722 more than his next closest comp (Wes Welker). Since then, he’s also averaged an NFL-high 113.9 yards per game, and has 38 receptions of at least 25 yards.

Just add in that his 169 receptions resulting in first downs leads the next closest guy (Roddy White) by 19 grabs and we can go straight to indictment in the case of dope receivers.

There is one debate still up for grabs concerning Johnson, and that’s all-time greatest. At one time, Rice seemed like the immovable object in that category, but Johnson’s record-breaking ’12 campaign, in which he grabbed 122 passes and shattered Rice’s single-season receiving mark with 1,964 yards, has expeditiously boosted him into another orbit of elite.

Sure, Megatron needs to get his TD grabs up before he can be considered better than the “hardest working man in throw business.” Five scores for a guy with over 100 grabs is a bit light. Rice proponents would say that Megatron benefits from playing in a pass-drunk, defense-defunct NFL.

On the flip side, Johnson has accumulated his whopping stats on sheer freakish talent and superior ability. Let’s not forget, until Matthew Stafford hit the scene, Megatron had the likes of Jon Kitna, a washed Daunte Culpepper, Dan Orlovsky, Drew Stanton and Shaun Hill tossing him the rock. That’s a QB lineup uglier than an Anna Benson tirade . Rice had hard-body Hall of Famers darting him the pigskin.

With “Air” Stafford locked in for the next five years and an OC in Scott Linehan – who, since his arrival in ’09, has molded a unit that is “built to throw the ball” sky is the limit for the M&M Boys (Matthew and Megatron).

Even Rice, who doesn’t give anybody props if they don’t deserve them, is Cali-Kush high on Johnson’s future. He basically laughed in Randy Moss’s face; but with Megatron, Rice (dare we say it) is ready to concede the throne. “I tried to get to 2,000 yards and I was not successful,” Rice, who held the mark since ’95, said in an ESPN TV interview last season. “I think he’s gonna do it.”

Johnson is in his athletic prime at age 27. The 6´5, 240-pound game-wrecker has smashed his classmates and will spend the rest of his career chasing ghosts and living legends. If he can slip in a couple of Rice-like Super Bowl performances, y’all can just see him at the top.

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.