The 10 Greatest Wide Receivers in NFL History

In honor of Jerry Rice's 49th birthday, check out the best wideouts of all time.

Happy Birthday, Jerry Rice! The 10 Greatest Wide Receivers of All-Time

Tim Brown

10. Tim Brown

CAREER: 1988-2004
STATS: 1,094 Rec, 14,934 Yds, 100 TDs
 Consistency is Tim Brown's middle name. He holds various NFL records including most consecutive seasons with at least 75 receptions (10), most consecutive starts by a WR (176), and and most touchdowns as a Raider (104). When Rich Gannon and Jerry Rice donned the Silver & Black, all in the twilights of their careers, they led the Raiders to Super Bowl XXXVII in 2002, losing to the Buccaneers, one of the greatest defenses ever assembled. Tim Brown did things the Raider way: Just win, baby. R.I.P. Al Davis.

Steve Largent


9. Steve Largent

CAREER: 1976-1989
STATS: 819 Rec, 13,089 Yds, 100 TDs
He wasn't big, he wasn't fast, but he had great concentration and had some of the best hands in history. One of the smartest wide outs to ever put on a uniform, when Largent retired he held all the major WR records. Yes all of 'em, fam. The most receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns all belonged to Largent. The former Oklahoma congressman was arguably the best at his position until Jerry came along. Not bad for a guy that was going to get cut and got traded to the expansion Seahawks. 

Paul Warfield

8. Paul Warfield

CAREER: 1964-1977
STATS: 427 Rec, 8,565 Yds, 85 TDs
Warfield, like Michael Irvin, doesn't have the same numbers as everyone else on this list. Sometimes you have to throw numbers out the window. Paul Warfield averaged 20.1 yards per reception and was the main WR on the perfect 1972 Dolphins. He also put those numbers up playing in an era where passing wasn't a major part of offenses, so take that into account. The two-time Super Bowl champion made the most of his situation, it seemed like every other catch was a touchdown. Plus, we like him since he was on the same team--but isn't half as annoying--as that Mercury Morris fella.

Marvin Harrison

7. Marvin Harrison

CAREER: 1996-2008
STATS: 1,102 Rec, 14,580 Yds, 128 TDs
Who's a better route runner than Marvin Harrison? Sure, he had the second coming of Johnny Unitas throwing at him, but he still had to make the plays. He did it with style, grace and class, too. Marvin is in the top 10 of the three major statistical categories for wide outs and holds the record for most receptions in a single season with 143 (2002). Yup, you can say he was one of the most heavily strapped stacked wideouts to ever play the game. #hadtodoit #deadwrong

Cris Carter

6. Cris Carter

CAREER: 1987-2002
STATS: 1,101 Rec, 13,899 Yds, 130 TDs
The man with velcro for hands. We swear we never witnessed him drop a pass, or at least that's what we'll tell our grandkids. After battling alcoholism and subsequently being traded from the Eagles to the Vikings, his life changed. Instead of being addicted to booze, he became addicted to catching passes and in the process, finished his career top 10 dead or alive. Oh yeah, he also taught Randy Moss a thing or two, too. 

Michael Irvin

5. Michael Irvin

CAREER: 1988-1999
STATS: 750 Rec, 11,904 Yds, 65 TDs
Man, listen. Michael's pound for pound numbers don't stack up to any of these cats on this list. That shit doesn't matter because from 1991-1995 he was it, and in that same period the Cowboys won THREE Super Bowls. Anyone will tell you, Michael Irvin was the heart and soul of those teams; it's all about the intangibles folks. He was as tough as nails, but unfortunately, substance abuse and a spinal cord injury shortened his career. Michael Irvin played in only eight full seasons.

Terrell Owens

4. Terrell Owens

CAREER: 1996-present?
STATS: 1,078 Rec, 15,934 Yds, 153 TDs
Terrell Owens could've been the greatest wide receiver to play in the league. He had it all: strength, speed, charisma, toughness, hands; well, maybe not his hands. T.O. has dropped more passes than some people have caught in their careers (led the league multiple times). Shit, even with all those drops he still ranks among the top five among wideouts in all three major categories (receptions, yards, TDs) and his touchdown celebrations led to the No Fun League to outlaw them. He's fifth in receptions, second in yards and tied for second with Randy Moss in touchdowns. If it wasn't for Team Obliterator's (word to Skip) bad attitude who knows what he could've accomplished. Fuck it, for old time's sake

Randy Moss

3. Randy Moss

CAREER: 1998-2010
STATS: 954 Rec, 14,858 Yds, 153 TDs
Randy Moss is like your favorite rapper who went platinum, but should've went triple. By all accounts, the greatest deep threat in NFL history, Moss left defenses in the dust. You throw it up, the Freak will catch it. When he teamed up with Tom Brady, Randy set the all-time receiving TD record in a season with 23. Sure, he hot-dogged it, didn't run too many slants and said questionable things, he was still that dude. It's sad they way he retired and what could've been. One thing's for sure, Randy Moss doesn't care and would probably wipe his you know what with your opinion. 

Don Hutson

2. Don Hutson

CAREER: 1935-1945
STATS: 488 Rec, 7,991 Yds, 99 TDs
If it wasn't for Jerry Rice,Don Hutson  would've definitely been number one. All this man did was invent the WR position. He was the first to run modern day routes and held 18 NFL records when he retired in '45. His receiving TD record stood for 44 years. He played in a time where defense ruled, every team ran the ball and QBs threw only when necessary. You young'ns better recognize and pay respect.

Jerry Rice

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