It's a passing league, or just a passing game in general. It's taken us a while to get here, but evolution always allows the strongest, the most dominant, and the most successful to not only thrive but survive. That's what we're seeing with the game of football, as unprecedented aerial numbers are through the roof in both college and NFL football this year.
That isn't changing anytime soon.
This year's quarterback class might be down in terms of comparing it to last year, but remember that last year was just a season ago -- still new. And when you look on the horizon, you see guys like Tua Tagovailoa, Trevor Lawrence, Justin Herbert, Jake Fromm and more. All that to say, don't let this current quarterback class fool you into thinking these passing stats are just a phase.
But the reason for that goes beyond quarterback play. Even with a not-so-alluring quarterback crop to choose from this draft, the weapons for the guys already in the NFL are deep and talented. Players like D.K. Metcalf, Kelvin Harmon, N'Keal Harry, JJ Arcega-Whiteside and Hakeem Butler could control the entire Top 50.
This year's wide receiver class has the potential to fill whatever need you have as a team. If you need a big red zone threat, you have those guys to pick from. If you want a speedster in the slot, it's got that, too. Even if you need a true WR1 to change your entire offense, I would argue those guys are in this class.
But even with that said, this year's class might not even be able to hold a candle to what we have coming in 2020.
There are more than a handful of wide receivers who are among the best in college football and aren't even draft eligible yet, and that lends towards us cheating and peaking into the distant future a bit.
These are the names you likely already know who might make the 2020 wide receiver class the best we've seen since 2014.
CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma
After an incredible Orange Bowl performance, Lamb has some of the most momentum of any returning wide receiver poised to take the WR1 crown in 2020. Lamb caught six passes for 167 yards and one touchdown against Alabama. That put him over the 1,000-yard mark with 57 catches and 10 touchdowns.
At 6-foot-1, 195 pounds, Lamb can do it, and the best part is, he has the alpha attitude to match. Lamb truly has all-around game with speed, size and strength, but I don't mean that in a negative like some people do when they can't identify a trait to tout. If he can produce again in 2019 with his third quarterback in three years, that will be enough for me.
Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
I remember watching highlight clips of Jeudy in high school and thinking, "this kid might be special."
Guess what, he's special.
After two years at Alabama, Jeudy is one of the most polished receivers in the country, and runs some of the best routes I've ever seen from a college receiver. He's explosive and precise in his movements, has great hands, and can stretch the field with good speed. If you put Jeudy in the NFL right now, he'd be one o the best slot receivers in the league.
Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State
Wallace wasn't on my radar until the middle of the season, but once he was, he never went away.
Wallace had the third-most receiving yards in the country this year with 1,408. He had 79 catches and 11 touchdowns to go with it. Wallace was one of the best deep threat receivers in the game. He can track passes in the air better than almost anyone, and as much as other teams knew that, they couldn't stop him. After multiple 200-yard games this season, another solid year from him could lock him into the Top 50.
Henry Ruggs II, Alabama
It's crazy to think that Alabama has the best receiver group in the country and yet none of them are draft eligible.
Jeudy is the precise assassin with his route running that can give defensive backs fits. For Ruggs, he has legit 4.3 speed, and might even be the fastest player in the entire country. But he doesn't just have speed. There are plenty of clips of him making tough and even spectacular catches through traffic that show he can be a complete receiver with the ultimate speed trump card.
Laviska Shenault, Colorado
Laviska Shenault. Tough name to say, even tougher receiver to cover.
At 6-foot-2, 220 pounds, Shenault is a true outside wide receiver in every way. Despite playing in just nine games this season, he had over 1,000 yards receiving on 86 catches with six touchdowns. he was fourth in the country in yards per game. He's big, strong, fast, and surly has the first round in his sights going into next year.
Tee Higgins, Clemson
The talk of the season has been about Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, but without a guy like tee Higgins to throw to, who knows what Lawrence would have been in his first year -- it's really more like a perfect marriage than a "this or that".
Higgins can beat you in so many ways. He can cook you with his feet on a good route, he can beat you down the field with long speed, and he can make tough catches and get his feet down at the sideline. He doesn't have stats some of these other guys have had in 2018, but he certainly has the talent.
The future of the passing game is in good hands.