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Best Wide Receivers of All Time

Best Wide Receivers of All-Time: The Top 10

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper,

1. Jerry Rice: There is no other position on the field where the choice is more clear. Even if you wanted to cut against the grain and go with someone else just to be controversial, you couldn’t do it with a straight face. Unquestionably, Rice was the greatest wide receiver to ever play the game, setting marks that will likely never be equalled. In addition, Rice was one of the hardest-working players of all-time, committing himself to a borderline-insane offseason training program. The 13-time All-Pro holds too many records to mention, with nearly 23000 yards receiving yards and 207 total touchdowns (10 rushing).

2. Don Hutson: This is not a gesture to gratuitously add a member of the old-guard. Hutson was head-and-heels above his contemporaries. Regularly credited as being the first modern receiver, Hutson’s career was over by the mid-40’s, but his 99 touchdown catches stood as an NFL record until Steve Largent broke it many years later in 1989. The 2-time league MVP was the first pass catcher to catch over 50 balls in a season and go over 1000 yards.

3. Randy Moss: OK, maybe he wasn’t one of the better teammates or all-around receivers on this list. But when you want to talk about deep-threats, there might not have been a more reliable receiver than Moss, who made it all look almost too routine. Moss caught an incredible 153 touchdown passes, including an eye-popping 23 in 2007 in his first year with the Patriots--an NFL record.


4. Terrell Owens: Another guy who is known for having a bad attitude and being a big distraction, but numbers don’t lie. He made every team he played on better and by the end of the day, only Rice had better statistics. With over 16000 yards receiving and 157 touchdowns, he was one of the more productive offensive players ever.

5. Cris Carter: To this day, it’s hard to imagine how he managed to make some of those catches. One of the more breathtaking receivers on this list, Carter made the nearly-impossible seem normal, catching 130 touchdowns in his distinguished career. After two seasons with the Eagles, he spent 12 seasons with the Vikings before retiring after one year with the Dolphins. He caught 1101 balls for 13899 yards and made the Pro Bowl 8 times.

6. Tim Brown: One of the greatest scoring threats in NFL history. The 16-year Oakland Raider (he retired after one season with the Buccaneers), caught almost 1100 passes for nearly 15000 yards. Brown was also a top returner and by the end of his career, Brown was a versatile threat who who could score in a variety of ways. The former Heisman winner was a 9-time All-Pro.

7. Marvin Harrison: It was hard to realize how good he was, since his connections with Peyton Manning were just so automatic and constant that you tended to take it for granted. But when he was gone, you started to realize what he really represented--a game-to-game A+ level pass-catcher who produced year after year.

8. Michael Irvin: When looking at the Cowboys’ resurgence in the 90’s, he is a big part of it. Irvin almost accounted for 12000 yards receiving before a neck injury ended his career in his 12th season. From 1991-1998, he amassed 1000 yards in all but one season. With three Super Bowl rings, Irvin’s career was capped off when he was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame.

9. Paul Warfield: The 8-time Pro Bowl selection was one of the originators of the high-flying wide receiver. His total number of receptions (427) might not hold up to today’s idea of all-time great pass catchers, but he did account for 8565 yards for an average of over 20 yards per catch.

10. Larry Fitzgerald: Still in his prime, Fitzgerald has already caught 700 balls for nearly 10,000 yards in 8 seasons with the Cardinals. Only 28 and by all accounts a straight-edged and clean-living man, Fitzgerald looks to add a lot to those totals, which could have him vying for a higher spot on this list in the coming years.

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