Unlike other positions on the football field, wide receivers are difficult to classify and rank. There is a vast difference between the wide receiver of today and that of 20 or 30 years ago. Trying to compare two receivers from two different eras of the game of football is practically impossible. As such, you may disagree with some of the wide receivers on this list. I’m not even certain that I agree. So, let’s call this list “some” of the All-Time Top 5 wide receivers.
Fred Biletnikoff – Biletnikoff played for the Oakland Raiders from 1965 to 1978, right in the midst of the NFL’s smash-mouth era. During his career, he had 40 or more receptions in 10 straight seasons, a remarkable feat at a time when the entire NFL was centered on the run. All told, Biletnikoff amassed 589 receptions for 8,974 yards and 76 touchdowns. Steiner Sports has a pair of cool helmets with Biletnikoff’s signature. One helmet features all the Raiders players that played on Super Bowl teams: Marcus Allen (SB XVIII), Fred Biletnikoff (SB XI), Jim Plunkett (XV, XVIII), Ray Guy (XI, XV, XVIII), Willie Brown (XI), Howie Long (XVIII). The other features Biletnikoff with Jim Plunkett and Ray Guy.
Randy Moss – Speaking of Biletnikoff, Moss won the Fred Biletnikoff award in 1997 as the outstanding receiver in American college football while playing for Marshall University. As a rookie, Moss compiled a stat sheet that included 1,313 yards, 69 receptions and 17 touchdowns, a rookie record. The highlight of his career, though, was his 2007 season with the New England Patriots. He had 96 receptions for 1,493 yards and a record 23 touchdowns, averaging 15.2 yards per reception. One of the Patriots’ fiercest rivals was the Jets. Steiner Sports has a picture of Randy Moss being covered by Darrelle Revis. During Moss’ last two seasons with the Patriots, he was often on “Revis Island” whenever they played the Jets.
Steve Largent – During Largent’s time in the NFL (1976-1989), the Seattle Seahawks were a lousy team and thus, he flew under the radar for most of his career. However, he racked up 819 receptions for 13,089 yards and 100 touchdowns. It’s worth noting that he finished his career with an average of 16 yards per reception, a mighty big task for a possession receiver. His best individual season was 1979, when Largent and quarterback Jim Zorn hit it off and he ended up with 66 catches, 1,237 yards, nine touchdowns, and an 18.7 ypc average. If there’s a Seahawks fan on your list, you can get him (or her) a throwback Seahawks jersey with Largent’s autograph and ’95 HOF inscribed on it.
Cris Carter – Carter was one of the NFL’s most durable receivers in addition to being a prolific touchdown machine. During his 16 seasons, Carter played in an astounding 234 games. Besides his first and last season, the only season in which Carter did not play the full schedule was 1992, and that was a strike-shortened campaign. Carter caught 130 touchdown passes and racked up 13,899 total receiving yards. The Carter fan on your list would love one of the many Cris Carter signed helmets that can be found at Steiner Sports.
Jerry Rice – Rice put together a career that nobody has come close to matching, as he still owns many NFL records. His 1,549 receptions and 208 career touchdowns both stand as records. He was known to have a crazy training regimen that included a 2.5 mile sprint and bike riding prior to the game, and he left other players gasping after five hours in the weight room. Rice finished his career with an astounding 22,895 yards. Steiner Sports has an authentic Rice 49ers jersey that is available for the Jerry Rice fan on your list.
Don’t forget to check out Steiner’s “End Of Year’s Deals” for some truly fascinating sports memorabilia at terrific discounted prices.