San Diego Chargers: Top 5 Wide Receivers of All Time

Camrin BaucomContributor IIIAugust 24, 2011

San Diego Chargers: Top 5 Wide Receivers of All Time

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    The Chargers have had some great receivers in their history, and a couple of them are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. From the days of "Air Coryell," to the current passing strategies and philosophies, Chargers receivers have come and gone and we have seen some of the best in this particular franchise. 

    I decided to make a list of some of the best in the blue, powder blue and gold. 

No. 5 Wes Chandler (1981-1987)

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    Wes Chandler joined the Chargers as part of a trade in 1981 from the New Orleans Saints. He was a 3rd overall pick in the 1978 NFL Draft. 

    He was a great pickup for the Bolts and amassed 6,132 receiving yards on 373 receptions and caught 41 touchdowns in a Chargers uniform. He was a great weapon for Hall of Fame QB Dan Fouts under Head Coach Don Coryell's system, known widely as "Air Coryell"

No. 4 Gary Garrison (1966-1976)

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    Gary "The Ghost" Garrison joined the Chargers in 1966; he was also the 76th overall pick in the NFL Draft that same year.

    In his 10-year tenure in San Diego, The Ghost caught 404 passes for 7,533 receiving yards and 58 TD's while being a Charger. He lined up on the line of scrimmage opposite WR (or rather Flanker) Lance Alworth.

    Garrison would go on to playing his last year in 1977 for the Houston Oilers, yet will always be known as a Charger. 

No. 3 Vincent Jackson (2005-Present)

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    This was a tough one, but I based this one on that fact that Vincent Jackson is going to be a Charger the majority of his career.

    Alright let's get this one going, Jackson was drafted with the 65th pick by the Chargers in the 2005 NFL Draft and is currently the starting wide receiver for the Bolts. He's racked up 3,648 receiving yards on 212 catches with 28 touchdown catches.

    He is a favorite to go into the Chargers Hall of Fame if he keeps producing the numbers he is making right now. He has such a fiery side to him and his freakish stature really makes him intimidating to opposing teams. 

No. 2 Charlie Joiner (1976-1986)

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    Charlie Joiner, Hall of Fame wide receiver inductee in 1996, joined the Chargers by a trade from the Cincinnati Bengals in 1976. He was drafted 93rd overall by the Houston Oilers in the 1969 NFL Draft.

    He had outstanding numbers as he broke into stardom while being in San Diego. He caught a franchise record 586 passes for 9,203 yards and 47 touchdowns in a Bolts uniform.

    Nowadays, you can find Joiner on the sidelines as the wide receivers coach with his own beloved Chargers. He started coaching the Bolts' receivers in 2008 and hopes to continue to do so.

Honorable Mention: Anthony Miller (1988-1993)

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    Before we head to No. 1, I give you an honorable mention:

    Anthony Miller, who was with the Chargers from the 1988 NFL Draft to his release in 1994.

    He had 374 receptions with 5,582 receiving yards and 37 touchdowns with San Diego.

    Miller was an important target in his career in San Diego, but didn't have a solidified quarterback at that time. He didn't have John Hadl throwing it to him, no Dan Fouts, Drew Brees or Phillip Rivers. So he had a lot of talent but no QB to help him show for it.

    He was a hopeful, but couldn't make it on my list.

No. 1 Lance Alworth (1962-1970)

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    Who else better than Lance Alworth?

    Lance Alworth was drafted 8th overall to the Oakland in the 1962 AFL Draft, but traded his rights to the Chargers while they were in a bidding battle for Alworth against the San Francisco 49ers, ultimately Lance ended up in San Diego.

    When in San Diego, he was moved to wide receiver because of his graceful motion, substantial speed, and jumping ability, thus giving him the nickname "Bambi." While playing in the powder blue, he had 493 receptions for a franchise record 9,584 receiving yards and another franchise record 81 touchdowns.

    He also had his jersey No. 19 retired in his honor.

    Lance Alworth is, for sure, one of the best players in the NFL of all-time.