Last Updated: 12/07/20 11:30am
NFL Network analyst Bucky Brooks has blended the NBA and NFL in selecting his top five ‘starting fives’ from the league’s array of offensive talent.
“When we think about starting fives I want you to think about it in basketball terms,” said Brooks. “We’re running a fast break, who are your five best playmakers?
“Guys that can put the ball in the hole. When you think about this, this is all your skill position players.”
Here’s a look at Bucky’s top offensive quintets…
No 5 – Dallas Cowboys
Bucky’s Cowboys ‘starting five’
|Running back||Ezekiel Elliott|
|Running back||Tony Pollard|
|Wide receiver||Amari Cooper|
|Wide receiver||Michael Gallup|
|Wide receiver||CeeDee Lamb|
The Dallas Cowboys sit at No 5 after tying down wide receiver Amari Cooper to a lucrative new deal and adding Oklahoma wideout CeeDee Lamb in the first round of the NFL Draft.
Michael Gallup proved himself as a worthy No 2 receiver last year, while Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard offer a potent one-two punch out of the backfield.
“Two-time rushing champ, two 1,000 yard receivers getting a guy in CeeDee Lamb who should add to the mix,” said Brooks.
No 4 – Kansas City Chiefs
Bucky’s Chiefs ‘starting five’
|Running back||Clyde Edwards-Helaire|
|Wide receiver||Tyreek Hill|
|Wide receiver||Sammy Watkins|
|Wide receiver||Mecole Hardman|
|Tight end||Travis Kelce|
The reigning Super Bowl champions were afforded a luxury pick in the first round of the draft this year as they selected versatile LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
He’ll add to the blistering speed of Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman, along with the ever-reliable hands of tight end Travis Kelce.
There’s also the added bonus of having the league’s best quarterback under center in Patrick Mahomes, fresh off of signing the biggest contract in sports history.
“Everyone is talking about the half-billion-dollar man in Patrick Mahomes, but Pat Mahomes is successful because he has a track team around him,” said Brooks.
“Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins, Mecole Hardman. Those guys can score from anywhere on the field.”
No 3 – New Orleans Saints
Bucky’s Saints ‘starting five’
|Running back||Alvin Kamara|
|Wide receiver||Michael Thomas|
|Wide receiver||Emmanuel Sanders|
|Tight end||Jared Cook|
In Michael Thomas, the New Orleans Saints have last season’s leader in receiving yards at their disposal as they look to make the most of the Super Bowl window they find themselves in.
The team offered welcome support for Thomas in the offseason by acquiring the veteran experience of Emmanuel Sanders, who proved he can still be a useful weapon during his spell with the San Francisco 49ers in 2019.
While Alvin Kamara poses as one of the lead dual-threat running backs, Jared Cook remains a powerful redzone target. Throw the all-purpose Taysom Hill into the mix and the Saints have the players to cause any defense problems.
“Everyone thinks about Michael Thomas being a one-man wrecking crew, he is,” said Brooks. “But now with Jared Cook, Emmanuel Sanders, that offense can go to the next level. Don’t forget, Alvin Kamara comes back, Drew Brees should still be able to play at a high level.”
No 2 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bucky’s Buccaneers ‘starting five’
|Wide receiver||Mike Evans|
|Wide receiver||Chris Godwin|
|Tight end||Rob Gronkowski|
|Tight end||O.J. Howard|
|Tight end||Cameron Brate|
In Tampa Bay Tom Brady finds himself with a more gifted receiver corps than he has had available to him in years following his New England farewell.
Mike Evans and Chris Godwin both enjoyed 1,000 yard receiving seasons last year, and there is a feeling tight end O.J. Howard’s capabilities are still yet to be fully exploited.
The return of Brady’s old friend Rob Gronkowski meanwhile offers bonus protection at the line of scrimmage and secure hands in the open field.
“Everyone is excited about TB12 playing with a number of playmakers on the outside,” added Brooks.
“A one-two combo in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, then three tight ends that can get it done. Man, if they just get a little bit of running game we could see TB12 turn back the clock.”
No 1 – Cleveland Browns
Bucky’s Browns ‘starting five’
|Running back||Nick Chubb|
|Running back||Kareem Hunt|
|Wide receiver||Odell Beckham Jr.|
|Wide receiver||Jarvis Landry|
|Tight end||Austin Hooper|
Odell Beckham Jr, Jarvis Landry, Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, Austin Hooper. This Cleveland Browns offense should be too good not to make the playoffs, but for one reason or another it has been yet to happen for them.
The arrival of Hooper from the Atlanta Falcons is sure to play to first-year head coach Kevin Stefanksi’s creative use of tight ends, although that may not include David Njoku after the 2017 first-round pick recently requested a trade.
“It’s now or never for Baker Mayfield, because the weapons that he has, the most explosive offense in football should follow,” explained Brooks.
“OBJ, Jarvis Landry, Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. You go and get Austin Hooper, they can line up and blood you with the running game or throw it over your head.”