Friday, January 11, 2013

NFL Top 10 Wide Receivers of All-Time

All "Greatest of All-Time" lists are constantly a work in progress. There are players currently playing that might knock one of the great players off the list. These are the Top 10 Wide Receivers of all-time as of January 2013. The rankings are based on stats, clutch play, playoff performance, yards per catch, and era played. Leave a comment and tell me what you think.

Honorable Mention: Jimmy Smith, Tim Brown, Art Monk, Larry Fitzgerald (if he ever gets another decent QB again), Reggie Wayne, Torry Holt, Andre Reed, Fred Biletnikoff. Two guys that really could/should be on this list are Charley Taylor and Paul Warfield. If you don't know who they are, "Google them" and look at their stats.

Next Up: Calvin "Megatron" Johnson- In 6 seasons Megatron has piled up 488 catches for 7836 yards with 54 TDs, and is clearly on pace to make it on this list. He is a one man wrecking crew that demands double and sometimes triple, yes Triple teams. This year, his 122 catch, 1964 yard effort broke Jerry Rice's single season yardage record. We are watching greatness unfold right before our eyes. I hope you appreciate it. You never know when it ends. i.e. Bo Jackson

10 Issac Bruce-  Bruce was one of the key members of "The Greatest Show on Turf. He had 8 consecutive 1000yd seasons. Some might argue Tory Holt should be here instead of Bruce but with career numbers of 1024 catches, 15,208 yards, and 91 TDs its hard to leave him off. Bruce was a champion in 1999, and has put together clutch great playoff performances.

9 Michael Irvin- The push off master, also known as "The Playmaker". He had 11 100yd recieving games in the 1995 season. If he had 38 more yds in '96 he would have had 8 consecutive seasons over 1000 yds. With only 750 catches and just under 12,000 yards with 65 TDs he looks like he could be excluded, but his career was cut short. Irvin also has multiple championships and was instrumental in all of them.

8 Terrell Owens- He had 20 catches one game!  He has career total of 1078 catches, 15,934 yards, has the 3rd most receiving TDs in NFL history with 153. He changed the body type owners, GMs, and coaches look for in wide receivers. He was a rare receiver who was physical enough to go over the middle, but fast enough to make big plays over the top. The door to Owens playing career has probably come to a close, but not because he is no longer physically able to play. Even at 39 years old he is faster, stronger, and in better condition than most of the WRs on current NFL rosters. Unfortunately, physically ability is not the only thing you get when T.O. is on your team.

7 Cris Carter- "All he does is catch touchdowns" He made tremendous changes in his off field life to become one of the Greats! 1101 catches, 13899 yards, 130 TDs. His yards per catch are not great but what he lacks in YPC he made up for in TDs and big catches. How this man is not in the Hall of  Fame is a sin and a shame. Throwing "CC" the ball was the definition of "money in the bank". A coach was asked how good Carter's hands were, he relied, "He can catch a beebee in a sand storm".

6 James Lofton- Lofton was part of one of the greatest offenses of all-time, the "K Gun" (Jim Kelly). You rarely find a receiver with over 500 catches and yards per catch north of 15.5. Not only is Lofton above that, he has a staggering 18.3 YPC to go along with 764 catches, 14004 yards, and 75TDs. If you are looking for a big play receiver, you don't have to look much further.

5 Marvin Harrison - In 2002 he caught an NFL record 143 catches in 1 season. No one has gotten any closer than 20 catches to his mark. Marvin amassed 1102 career catches, 14,580 yds, 128 TDs and combined with Peyton Manning to become one of the most deadly QB/WR combos ever. I had the unfortunate privilege of playing in the AFC South while this man was in his prime. I cannot count the precision routes, and spectacular efforts of getting two feet in bounds for catches I have seen up close and personal. I simply call him, "The Route Whisperer" because of his quiet, low key persona.

4 Lance Alworth- In his first full 6 years (78 games, there were shorter seasons in 60s-70s) he had 384 catches, 7,747 yards and 70 TDs so his avg 16 game season would be 79 catches 1589 yards 14.4 TDs with 20YPC. I have seen many highlights and some game film on Alworth, he was a matchup nightmare.

3 Steve Largent- In 14 seasons Largent had 819 catches, 13,089 yards, 100 TDs without an elite QB. He was definitely not your physically prototypical WR but you could not stop him from getting open and making catches. Largent was the original Wes Welker. The differences between the two are that Largent scored a LOT of TDs and didn't have an elite quarterback. These are the reasons he is so high on the list.

2. Randy Moss- "The Freak", he is too fast, too tall, and his ball skills are too good. He came in the league like a seasoned veteran catching an NFL rookie record 17 TDs in his innagural season. 982 catches 15,292 yards, 156 TDs. The scary part is these numbers are going to grow since he came out of retirement. In 2007 he caught an NFL record 23 TDs in 1 season. In his prime he could not be covered by one person. Whether it was Culpepper or Brady, 1 on 1 coverage meant throw it deep to Randy.  Moss was so dominant that a new term for a jump ball that is caught was coined, "Getting Moss'd".

1. Jerry Rice- G.O.A.T. Mr NFL record. He once had 13 consecutive games with a TD. He had 274 consecutive games with a catch. In 1995, he caught for 1848 yards. He finished his illustrious 20 year NFL career with 1,549 career receptions, 22,895 career yards, 197 TDs. Rice was the pillar of consistency with 17 seasons with 50 or more receptions. Not only is Jerry Rice the greatest wide receiver ever, he could be the Greatest player of all-time regardless of position.

This list has been carefully considered and strategically put together. Whether you agree or disagree, let me know what you think. 


  1. Micheal Irvin should be way higher! He's number 1 in m book. Chips on every level and leader of the team of the 90's.

  2. Tough job you gave yourself here. It's hard to compare receivers from different eras, since the passing game is a much bigger part of the average NFL offense now compared to even 25 years ago. You can't overly rely on numbers, since career receiving totals of many of today's WRs would be better than some ELITE receivers of the past. The position is so different now even from a physical standpoint. Guys like Owens and mayby Moss might've been defensive ends 30-40 years ago. They changed the idea of what we think a wide receiver should be.

    I like your list for the most part. I might have Michael Irvin a little higher. He was always the least celebrated of the Cowboys' big three, but Dallas' decline really began when he got hurt. I think he was a bigger part of that team than people usually give him credit for when compared to Aikman and Smith. Also, even if only as an honorable mention, Charlie Joiner HAS to be mentioned here somewhere.

  3. Not a bad list overall. But you're missing out on Don Hutson, the wide receiver for the Packers in the 30's and 40's. He set records that will never be broken, and his 105 touchdowns were the most until Largent broke that record. For me, he's my #2 receiver of all time.



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