The wide receiver position is vital to taking the offensive during a football game. As the players responsible for catching the ball from the quarterback, there’s a lot of pressure to get the pigskin down the field. Thousands of NFL players found themselves in this position in the sport’s history, but a few stand out as being the best of the best. These are the top five greatest wide receivers in the NFL’s history and what they did to land themselves in the books.
Jerry Rice is one of the most iconic record holders in NFL history. With over 1,500 receptions and almost 200 touchdown catches under his belt, he’s set the bar so high that many players won’t be able to catch up. He spent 20 seasons on the field, and his skills as a wide receiver remain unparalleled to this day.
From 1998 to the end of his career in 2012, Randy Moss was a powerhouse wide receiver no matter what team he was on. In fact, like Jerry Rice, he made record numbers in just his first six years playing football professionally. During his time with the Minnesota Vikings alone, he racked up 77 touchdowns. So, whenever the team needed a striker, he was it.
Calvin Johnson had the shortest career of the bunch at only nine years and spent all of them on the Detroit Lions. The 2011 to 2013 seasons were particularly noteworthy, ultimately having him recognized as one of the best wide receivers in the sport. In that time, he averaged more than 110 yards of receiving distance in each game and made his permanent mark on the NFL.
Another of the greatest wide receivers in NFL history is Raymond Berry. Aggressive and skilled; he was a master at creating the necessary spacing to maneuver away from the defense. He would prove himself a match for league titans and became one himself over the years—winning two NFL championships. He is also a first-ballot Hall of Fame initiate.
When you need a wide receiver who can do the job without fail, you turn to guys like Marvin Harrison. Coming in at 1,000 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns every year between 1996 and 2006, he was a wide receiver any team would love to have. His consistency is regarded today as some of the best in the business during his prime.
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