Top 10 NFL 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 Mentions: 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.
George Wrighster is a former NFL tight end. He played for the University of Oregon and was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2003.
Next Up: Calvin Johnson "Megatron"
In six seasons Megatron has piled up 488 catches for 7,836 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, 1,964-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 will end (i.e. Bo Jackson).
No. 10 Isaac Bruce
Bruce was one of the key members of "The Greatest Show on Turf." He had eight consecutive 1000-yard 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, it's hard to leave him off. Bruce was a champion in 1999 and has put together some clutch playoff performances.
No. 9 Michael Irvin, "The Playmaker"
The push-off master, also known as "The Playmaker." He had 11 100-yard receiving games in the 1995 season. If he had 38 more yards in '96 he would have had eight consecutive seasons over 1000 yards.
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.
No. 8 Terrell "T.O." Owens
He had 20 catches one game! He has a career total of 1078 catches, 15,934 yards and has the third most receiving TDs in NFL history with 153.
He changed the body type that owners, general managers 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, physical ability is not the only thing you get when T.O. is on your team.
No. 7 Cris Carter
"All he does is catch touchdowns." He made tremendous changes in his off-field life to become one of the greats! He had 1101 catches, 13899 yards and 130 TDs. His yards per catch are not great but what he lacks in YPC he made up for in TDs and big catches.
That 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." Cris Carter has hands so good that he can catch a beebee in a sand storm.
No. 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, but he also 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.
No. 5 Marvin Harrison
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
In 2002 he caught an NFL record 143 catches in one season. No one has gotten any closer than 20 catches to his mark.
Marvin amassed 1102 career catches, 14,580 yards and 128 TDs. He 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.
No. 4 Lance Alworth
In his first full six years (78 games, there were shorter seasons in '60s-'70s), he had 384 catches, 7,747 yards and 70 TDs. So his average 16-game season would be 79 catches, 1589 yards and 14.4 TDs with 20 YPC.
I have seen many highlights and some game film on Alworth; he was a matchup nightmare.
No. 3 Steve Largent
In 14 seasons Largent had 819 catches, 13,089 yards and 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.
No. 2 Randy Moss
"The Freak"—he is too fast, too tall and his ball skills are too good. He came into the league like a seasoned veteran catching an NFL rookie-record 17 TDs in his inaugural season.
He had 982 catches 15,292 yards and 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 one season.
In his prime, he could not be covered by one person. Whether it was Culpepper or Brady, one-on-one 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."
No. 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 and 197 TDs. Rice was the pillar of consistency, ending 17 seasons with 50 or more receptions.
Not only is Jerry Rice the greatest wide receiver ever, but 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.