Depending on who you ask, Jalen Ramsey is arguably the best cornerback in the NFL today. The Los Angeles Rams defensive star prides himself on lining up one-on-one against the league’s best wide receivers. Fortunately, he happened to be on the same team as the most productive receiver during the 2021 season — Cooper Kupp.
Kupp put up monster numbers in his fifth season en route to winning AP Offensive Player of the Year honors. Ramsey recently revealed his list of the top five wideouts in the league, and his Rams teammate did not rank as highly as many people would expect.
Jalen Ramsey reveals his list of top 5 NFL receivers from 2021
Today’s NFL is undoubtedly a passing league. The more quarterbacks throw the football, the more opportunities the league’s brightest wide receivers get to shine.
Jalen Ramsey has the unenviable task of trying to slow these guys down week after week, but he more than holds his own against them. During a recent appearance on The Pivot Podcast, the LA Rams All-Pro cornerback revealed his list of the top five wideouts in the league.
As a caveat, Ramsey advised that he based his list solely on the players’ 2021 performance. He proceeded to list the receivers in order.
“It’s tough because I ain’t guard everybody, obviously,” said Ramsey. “Davante Adams, Tyreek Hill. They might be interchangeable, though. I might have three numbers ones. Deebo. Them three for sure because they changed the game, and the offenses are structured around them. I’m gonna go Odell [Beckham Jr.] fourth. Then, Cooper Kupp and Stefon Diggs.”
Ramsey got away with adding an extra name to his list, but the final rankings are as follows.
- Davante Adams (1A)
- Tyreek Hill (1B)
- Deebo Samuel (1C)
- Odell Beckham Jr. (4)
- Cooper Kupp (5A)
- Stefon Diggs (5B)
Why the Rams star cornerback ranked Odell Beckham Jr. ahead of Cooper Kupp
Considering Jalen Ramsey had a front-row seat to watch Cooper Kupp make NFL history, it was surprising that he ranked his teammate so low.
The five-time Pro Bowler initially had Kupp right behind Deebo Samuel. However, he switched him with Odell Beckham Jr. Ramsey suggested that some people may not understand how valuable OBJ was to the team when the Rams signed him midseason.
“He meant a lot to the team, meant a whole lot,” said Ramsey. “One, he’s a dog on the field. You’ve got to talk about performance because we’re in a performance-based industry. He’s a dog. He’s really that dude, all the highlights, everything. You know, he’s still that. He’ll do some stuff, and we’ll be at practice like, ‘Dang.’ It ain’t that many athletic like that, twitchy, run good routes, hands crazy. He’s really that one.”
While Kupp ultimately won Super Bowl MVP, Ramsey believes Beckham would’ve won if he didn’t get hurt in the first half.
“O was really that igniter. He was popping it off. We were feeding him, getting crunk, and then we were rolling off of O’s juice. Everybody knows about Cooper Kupp. He’s nice, but if Odell could’ve kept going, he probably would’ve been Super Bowl MVP.”
Kupp’s monster 2021 campaign vaulted him into elite territory
Jalen Ramsey ranking Odell Beckham Jr. in his top five may have been a bit biased. While there’s no debating that OBJ is one of the most talented players in the NFL, he wasn’t nearly as productive as Cooper Kupp.
The Eastern Washington product easily put up the best numbers of his career. He recorded 145 receptions, 1,947 receiving yards, and 16 touchdowns. Kupp led the league in all three categories.
While the Rams star fell just shy of breaking Calvin Johnson’s single-season regular-season receiving record, he still made history. Kupp recorded the most yards in a season, including the playoffs.
The 28-year-old wideout developed a strong rapport with Matthew Stafford from the jump. Don’t expect their chemistry to fade in 2022, either. With his technical route-running ability and reliable hands, Cooper Kupp could be one of the best in the league for the next few years.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference