Top 5 NFL Receivers of All Time

Top 5 NFL Receivers of All Time

#5 Don Hutson

Credit: NFL

• Games played: 116
• Receptions: 488
• Receiving yards: 7,991
• Receiving TDs: 99

Catching 488 passes for 7,991 yards in an era when teams ran the football 90% of the time is impressive. But nearly catching 100 TD passes in only 116 games in the same era is what's most impressive. The World War II era is known for wishbone and power running offenses, not receivers catching 100 touchdown passes. Hutson changed the perception of this position and paved the way for greats like Swann and Rice to 

#4 Randy Moss

• Games played: 218
• Receptions: 982
• Receiving yards: 15,292
• Receiving TDs: 156

Randy Moss was possibly the most explosive receiver to ever step on the field. His combination of height and speed made opposing defensive coordinators lose sleep trying to scheme around his ability to score. With little effort Moss blew past cornerbacks and safeties. The only hope to shut Moss down was to hold him or hope for an under throw, since overthrowing him was impossible. 

#3 Terrell Owens


• Games played: 219
• Receptions: 1,078
• Receiving yards: 15,934
• Receiving TDs: 153

Terrell Owens was the most physically dominant receiver to ever play in any era. He was bigger, stronger, and faster than every defensive back he lined up against. Late in his career, Owens became an NFL journeyman, and despite his penchant for being uprooted, his productivity never waned. 

#2 Lynn Swann

• Games played: 116
• Receptions: 336
• Receiving yards: 5,462
• Receiving TDs: 68
• Super Bowl Champ: 4

Lynn Swann's stats may surprise a casual football fan. Not because he shattered records, quite the contrary, Swann's stats are special because his stats were not what made him special. He didn't catch 1,000 balls. He didn't have 10,000 yards receiving. But most important to Swann's legacy, he was undeniably the biggest threat on a four-time Super Bowl winning team. Remove Swann from the dynastic Steelers, and you remove any hope of Pittsburgh winning a championship. 


#1 Jerry Rice

• Games played: 303
• Receptions: 1,549
• Receiving yards: 22,895
• Receiving TDs: 197
• Super Bowl Champ: 3

Jerry Rice is one of few athletes where conversations about "Greatest" begin and end with him. Rice's greatness transcends eras. His lack of premier height and blazing speed, motivated him to outwork his contemporaries. He was the best route runner, had the best hands, and was the best playmaker (besides Barry Sanders) in the NFL. It's doubtful another player of Rice's skill will come along in our lifetimes. 

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