This is my Third Installment of my Special “Top 20 NFL Positional Players Post-1990. My first list was the Top 20 Quarterbacks. This list was very difficult and I know I had some controversial picks; however, thats what makes these type of lists unique. My second list was Running Backs, which was even more difficult than the Quarterbacks. This was due to a number of reasons but most importantly because there are so many more Running Backs than Quarterbacks. While drafting my previous lists, I had set parameters and criteria for these players to make the list. I had chose not to include new players on these lists but after more research I have come to the conclusion that some of these star players deserve to make the list, if only because many of them have already surpassed their predecessors. The Wide Receiver list will be the most tough so far and some players may not make the list even though their numbers and statistics place them right in the discussion.
Before I get to the Top 20, I will provide my list of players that deserve honorable mention. I will name the player and give a brief synopsis. Amani Toomer, (1996-2008 New York Giants). Toomer was a 2x NFC Champion and 1x Superbowl Champion. Statistics: 668 Receptions, 9,497 Yards Receiving, 54 Touchdowns.
Santana Moss, (2001-2004 New York Jets, 2005-Present Washington Redskins). Moss was the sixteenth player taken in the first round of the 2001 Draft by the Jets. He was a highly touted receiver from the Miami Hurricanes. Statistics: 695 Receptions, 9,887 Yards Receiving, 65 Touchdowns.
Donald Driver, (1999-2012 Green Bay Packers). Donald came out of nowhere as a seventh round pick for the Packers in 1999. During his career, Driver was a 4x Pro Bowler, an NFC Champion and Super Bowl Champion, the 2002 Packers MVP, and the Packer’s all-time leading Receptions and Yardage Leader. Statistics: 743 Receptions, 10,137 Yards Receiving, 61 Touchdowns.
Andre Rison, (1989 Indianapolis Colts, 1990-1994 Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns 1995, Jacksonville Jaguars 1996, Green Bay Packers 1996, Kansas City Chiefs 1997-1999, Oakland Raiders 2000). Rison was a First Round Pick of the Colts in 1989. He was a 5x Pro Bowler 3x All-Pro and Super Bowl Champion during his career. Rison did not stay on one team long as he played for seven teams during his career. Statistics: 743 Receptions, 10,205 Yards, 84 Touchdowns.
Rod Smith, (1994-2006 Denver Broncos). Rod Smith had an impressive career for the Denver Broncos. What may have been most impressive was that he was an un drafted free agent. During his entire career with Denver, Smith was a 3x Pro Bowler, 2x All-Pro, and 2x Super Bowl Champion. Statistics: 849 Receptions, 11,389 Receiving Yards, 68 Touchdowns.
Joey Galloway, (1995-1999 Seattle Seahawks, 200-2003 Dallas Cowboys, 2004-2008 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2009 New England Patriots, 2009-2010 Pittsburgh Steelers/Washington Redskins. Galloway was the Eighth Pick Overall in 1995 by the Seattle Seahawks out of Ohio State. Galloway enjoyed a very successful career, playing for six different teams. Statistics: 701 Receptions, 10,950 Receiving Yards, 77 Touchdowns.
Herman Moore, (1991-2001 Detroit Lions, 2002 New York Giants). Moore played in 145 games during 11 Seasons, 10 of which came with the underachieving Lions. The Detroit Lions were always one of the red headed step children of the NFL. Nonetheless, Moore was a 4x Pro Bowler and 3x All-Pro. During his time in Detroit, Moore became the first player in years to record back to back 100 Receptions in a year. He shattered every Lion’s Receiving Records while there. Statistics: 670 Receptions, 9,174 Yards Receiving, 62 Touchdowns.
Chad Johnson, (2001-2010 Cincinnati Bengals, 2011 New England Patriots). Chad Johnson (Ochocinco), enjoyed a great career while being a very controversial figure in his career. He was a 6x Pro Bowler, 3x All-Pro, 3x AFC Receiving Yards Leader, 1x NFL Receiving Yards Leader, and the Bengals all-time Receiver. Statistics: 766 Receptions, 11,059 Receiving Yards, 67 Touchdowns.
********OK, so now it’s time for my Top 20 Wide Outs Post 1990.************************************************
MUSHIN MUHAMMAD (1996-2004, Carolina Panthers 2005-2007, Chicago Bears 2008-2009, Carolina Panthers)
Muhammad was the 43rd Pick of the Second Round in the 1996 Draft for the Carolina Panthers. During his career, he was a 2x Pro Bowler, 1x All-Pro, 2x NFC Champion, and he holds the Super Bowl Record with an 85 Yard Touchdown. Mushin Muhammad was extremely consistent in his Thirteen Year Career. Statistics: 860 Receptions, 11,438 Receiving Yards, 62 Touchdowns. In 2000, Muhammad lead the league in Receptions with 102. His career high in Touchdowns was 16, which came in 2004. Mushin no doubt cracks the Top 20.
WES WELKER (2004, San Diego Chargers 2004-2006, Miami Dolphins, 2007-2012, New England Patriots, 2013-Present, Denver Broncos.)
Wes Welker was an un drafted free agent in 2004 For the San Diego Chargers. He then moved on to the Miami Dolphins, who could not afford him and he defected to the New England Patriots. Wes Welker, at only 32 Years old, already has had a Hall of Fame Career. He is a 5x Pro Bowler, 2x All-Pro, 3x NFL Receptions Leader, 2x AFC Champion, 1x AFC Receiving Yardage Leader, and is tied for the longest reception in NFL History with 99 Yards. Welker is the First Receiver in NFL History to have Five 100 Catch Seasons, and also the first with three 110 Catch Seasons, of which he did consecutively. Statistics: 780 Receptions, 8,686 Yards Receiving, 41 Touchdowns.
HINES WARD (1998-2011, Pittsburgh Steelers)
Hines Ward was a Third Round Pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1998. During his Thirteen Year Career, He was a 4x Pro Bowler, 3x All-Pro, 2x Super Bowl Champion, 1x Super Bowl MVP, 3x Steelers MVP, and 3x AFC Champion. Ward is the Steelers all-time leader in all three categories of Receptions, Receiving Yards, and Touchdowns. Statistics: 1,000 Receptions, 12,083 Receiving Yards, 85 Touchdowns.
LARRY FITZGERALD (2004-Present, Arizona Cardinals)
Larry Fitzgerald was highly touted coming out of college and was the Third Pick in the 2004 Draft of the Arizona Cardinals. Fitzgerald is a 7x Pro Bowler, 2x All-Pro, and 1x Receiving Yards Leader. Larry has Two 100 Reception Seasons and is still one of the most dominant Receivers today. In only His Second Pro Season, Fitzgerald recorded 103 Receptions, 1,409 Receiving Yards, 10 Touchdowns, 27 Catches over 20 Yards, 4 Catches Over 40 Yards, and 2 Catches over 70. Fitzgerald is a raw combination of size and speed. He is like a Randy Moss or Terrell Owens. Statistics: 788 Receptions, 10,701 Yards, 80 Touchdowns.
STEVE SMITH (2001-PRESENT Carolina Panthers)
Steve Smith was a Third Round Pick of the Carolina Panthers in 2001. Steve is a 3x Pro Bowler, 3x All-Pro, 1x NFC Champion, and the Triple Crown of Receiving in 2005 with most Receptions, Yards, and Touchdowns. Steve is a smaller type receiver but has been a BEAST for the past 11 Seasons. Smith was also a Return Man early in his career. Statistics: 793 Receptions, 11,709 Yards Receiving, 64 Touchdowns, 4,069 Return Yards and 6 Return Touchdowns.
ANDRE JOHNSON (2003-PRESENT, Houston Texans)
Andre Johnson was the Third Pick of the entire Draft in 2003, by the Houston Texans. He is a 6x Pro Bowler, 2x All-Pro, 3x Wide Receiver of the Year, 2x NFL Receiving Yards Leader, 3x AFC Receiving Yards Leader, and 2x AFC Offensive Player of the Month in 2008. During his rookie season, Johnson recorded 66 Receptions for 976 Yards and 4 Touchdowns. The second year, he had 79 Catches for 1,142 Yards and 6 Touchdowns. Statistics: 838 Receptions, 11,476 Receiving Yards, 56 Touchdowns.
JIMMY SMITH (1992-1993, Dallas Cowboys, 1995-2005, Jacksonville Jaguars)
Jimmy Smith was actually Drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the 1992 Draft. Smith was a Second Round pick for the Cowboys, actually their first pick in that draft. However, Smith spent two seasons with the Cowboys in which was injury plagued. He missed both seasons and was cut by the Cowboys. He was actually signed to the Practice Squad by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1994; however, they quickly cut him. In 1995, Smith was signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars and the rest is history. During his ten year with the Jaguars, Jimmy was a 5x Pro Bowler, 2x All-Pro, 2x Super Bowl Champion, and the 1999 NFL Receptions Leader. He actually holds three NFL Records: Most Games with at Least Five Receptions (16), Most Consecutive Games with at least Five Receptions (21), Most Games with at least 49 Yards Receiving in a Season (16). He also holds every Jaguars Receiving Record including most career receptions, most career receiving yards, most receptions in a season (116), most receiving yards in a season (1,636 Yards), most seasons with 100 Catches (2), and most 1,000 Yard Receiving Yard Seasons (9). Statistics: 862 Receptions, 12,287 Receiving Yards, 69 Touchdowns.
KEYSHAWN JOHNSON (1996-1999, New York Jets, 2000-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004-2005 Dallas Cowboys, 2006 Carolina Panthers.
Keyshawn is the epitome of an Iron Man of Wide Receivers. He started 162 Straight Games, a modern record. He played a total of 167 Games in his career with Four Teams. Statistics: 814 Receptions, 10,571 Yards, 64 Touchdowns. Keyshawn was not only a great receiver, but also one of the best personalities in the NFL.
REGGIE WAYNE (2001-PRESENT, Indianapolis Colts)
Reggie Wayne was a First Round Pick of the Indianapolis Colts in 2001. Wayne has had a tremendous career which in its beginnings, started with playing alongside another player on this list, Marvin Harrison. He is a Super Bowl Champion, 6x Pro Bowler, 3x All-Pro, as well as the Miami Hurricanes leader in receptions with 173. Wayne can make his way up this list as far as he wants, the sky is the limit. He still has a good amount of Football Left. Statistics: 996 Receptions, 13,428 Receiving Yards, 80 Touchdowns. In my opinion, Reggie Wayne could fall anywhere on this list above the Top 5, but for purposes of the parameters, he will fall here at this point. I also believe that one must take into account the Receiver’s Quarterback and Wayne played with one of the best all-time, Peyton Manning. Also, for most of his career he played along side of Harrison, so some of his numbers may be inflated.
TORY HOLT (1999-2008, Saint Louis Rams 2009, Jacksonville Jaguars)
Tory Holt was another highly touted receiver to come out of college. He set every receiving record at North Carolina State in his four years of college. Tory was the Sixth Pick in the First Round for the Saint Louis Rams. Tory Holt went on to have one of the most productive careers of any wide receiver in history. He was part of what was known then as “The Greatest Show on Turf.” He along with other fellow wide receiver Isaac Bruce, Marshall Faulk and Kurt Warner tore up the league in a Four Year Period that may never be saw again. During his career, which was almost exclusively with the Rams, Tory was a 7x Pro Bowler, 1x All-Pro, Super Bowl Champion, Wide Receiver of the Year in 2003, 2x Ram’s MVP, and NFL 2000′s All Decade Team. He actually finished his career with a record Six Consecutive Seasons with over 1,300 Receiving Yards. That stat alone shows how consistent he was year in and year out and he remained a deep threat his entire career. Statistics: 920 Receptions, 13,382 Receiving Yards (10th All-Time), and 74 Touchdowns.
CALVIN JOHNSON (2007-PRESENT, Detroit Lions)
Calvin Johnson, otherwise known as “Megatron” is a heck of a specimen standing at 6’5″ and weighing 236 Pounds. Johnson can do things that no other receivers can or have done in the past. Johnson is a BEAST. Johnson was also one of the most sought after Receivers of the past decade and he was the Second Round Pick of the First Round for the Detroit Lions in 2007. He won the Fred Bilitnikoff and Paul Warfield Trophy in College for the best Receiver and Best Offensive Player in College Football in 2006. He also set many records at Georgia Tech. On December 22, 2012 Calvin Johnson broke the illustrious Jerry Rice single season yardage record of 1,848 Yards. In that same game he set NFL Records for Consecutive 100 Yard Games (8), and Consecutive Games with 10 or More Receptions. Finally, he tied Hall of Fame Michael Irvin’s record for most 100 Yard Games in a Season with 11. So Far, Johnson is a 3x Pro Bowler, 3x All-Pro, 2x NFL Receiving Yardage Leader, NFL Record 1,964 Yards in One Season, and the Lions all-time Receptions Leader in a Season. Statistics: 505 Receptions, 8,104 Yards Receiving, 57 Touchdowns. Many people may question how high Johnson is on this list, but when you take into account his numbers and what he has done on a bad team in only Five Seasons, one can only imagine what his numbers will look like when he retires. Megatron is no Joke.
ISAAC BRUCE (1994-2007, Saint Louis Rams, 2008-2009, San Francisco 49ers)
Isaac Bruce was a Second Round Pick (33) in the 1994 Draft by the Los Angeles Rams out of Memphis State, before they became the Saint Louis Rams. Bruce won the Ram’s Rookie Of the Year Award in 1994. He was the Rams 2x MVP. He was a 4x Pro Bowler, 2x All-Pro, Super Bowl Champion, Saint Louis Ram’s Ring of Honor, and had his Number #80 Retired. In 1995, Bruce put up a season total of 119 Catches for 1,781 Yards, which was second only to Jerry Rice’s record at the time. The 119 Catches ranks Ninth All-Time for a season. He holds every Rams Receiving Record with 1,024 Catches, 15,208 Yards, and 91 Touchdowns. Isaac Bruce and Tory Holt may have been the best 1-2 Tandem in NFL History of Wide Receivers.
TIM BROWN (1988-2003, LA/Oakland Raiders, 2004, Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Tim Brown was a protege coming out of college. He was the Sixth Pick of the Draft in 1988 for the Los Angeles Raiders. Tim enjoyed a sixteen year career, which is pretty impressive for a Wide Receiver, as he maintained great shape. During his career, Brown was a 9x Pro Bowler, 6x All-Pro, NFL 90′s All-Decade Team, Heisman Trophy Winner 1987 and AFC Champion. His success with the raiders earned him the nickname “Mr. Raider.” He is considered one of the most prolific receivers in NFL History. Statistics: 1,094 Receptions, 14,934 Yards Receiving, 105 Touchdowns.
ANDRE REED (1985-1999, Buffalo Bills, 2000, Denver Broncos)
Andre Reed was a Fourth Round Pick of the Buffalo Bills in 1985. He played for a small college Kutztown in Pennsylvania. Andre Reed was another Iron Man at Receiver as he played for Fifteen Years. He put up consistent numbers year in and year out. He was a 7x Pro Bowler, 2x All-Pro, and 4x AFC Champion with the Bills during their run of Four Consecutive Championships from 1991-1993. Reed was one of the main cogs on that team along with Quarterback Jim Kelly and Running Back Thurman Thomas. He is also a member of the Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame. Statistics: 951 Rceptions, 13,198 Receiving Yards, 87 Touchdowns.
MICHAEL IRVIN (1988-1999, Dallas Cowboys)
Michael Irvin may be one of the most well known receivers in NFL History. Not only was he well known, but he is in the Hall of Fame. He was the Eleventh Pick in the First Round of the 1988 Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. He came highly touted out of Miami U. During his NFL Career, Michael was a 5x Pro Bowler (Consecutive), 2x All-Pro, 3x Super Bowl Champion, NFL 90′s All-Decade Team, Previous NFL Single Season 100 Yard Game Leader (11), 1991 Pro Bowl MVP, and an inductee of the NFL Hall of Fame (2007). He is also a member of the Dallas ring of Honor. And, finally, Mike is ranked 92 on the NFL TOP 100 Players of All-Time. He not only put up stats, but its important to note that Mike was a key component in the Cowboys winning their three Super Bowls during the 1990′s. Statistics: 750 Receptions, 11,904 Receiving Yards, 65 Touchdowns. During the Fifth Game of the 1999 Season, Irvin’s career was cut short by a career ending injury against the Philadelphia Eagles. Irvin was carted off of the field with a Cervical Spinal Chord Injury. He would never play again. Had Irvin not been injured, he may have come close to some of Jerry Rice’s numbers.
TERRELL OWENS (1996-2003, San Francisco 49ers, 2004-2005, Philadelphia Eagles, 2006-2008, Dallas Cowboys, 2009, Buffalo Bills, 2010, Cincinnati Bengals)
Terrell Owens may not only be a controversial wide receiver in the NFL; however, Owens may be the most controversial player to ever don an NFL Jersey. Owens was a Third Round Pick of the 49ers in 1996. He was a 6x Pro Bowler, 5x All-Pro, NFC Champion (2004-Eagles), 10,000 Yard Club, NFL 2000′s All-Decade Team, currently the only player in NFL history to score a Touchdown against all 32 Teams, Oldest Player with a Reception of 98+ Yards (36), Oldest Player to have a 200 Yard Receiving Game, Tied with Marvin Harrison, Jerry Rice and Don Hutson with consecutive seasons with six or more Touchdowns (11), Consecutive Seasons with 500 Yards Receiving (15), and One of Six Players to have at least two receptions of 90+ Yards. Statistics: 1,078 Receptions, 15,935 Yards Receiving, 153 Receiving Touchdowns, 942 Points Scored. TO will always be one of the best receivers in history and also well known.
MARVIN HARRISON (1996-2008, Indianapolis Colts)
Marvin Harrison was the Nineteenth Player taken in the First Round by the Colts in the 1996 NFL Draft. He is an 8x Pro Bowler, 3x All-Pro, 5x Second Team All-Pro, Super Bowl Champion, 2x NFL Receiving Yardage Leader, 2x NFL Receptions Leader, NFL Touchdowns Leader (2005), NFL 2000′s All-Decade Team, and a member of the Colts Ring of Honor. Statistics: 1,102 Receptions, 14,580 Yards Receiving, 128 Touchdowns. His career was cut short due to his own accord. Harrison and Owens are neck and neck.
RANDY MOSS (1998-2004, Minnesota Vikings, 2005-2006, Oakland Raiders, 2007-2010 New England Patriots, 2010 Tennessee Titans, 2012, San Francisco 49ers)
Randy Moss was a 7x Pro Bowler, 4x All-Pro, Pro Bowl MVP (1999), NFC Player of the Year (2007), NFL 2000′s All-Decade Team, NFL RECORD 23 Touchdowns in One Season, Most TD Receptions by a Rookie (17), and a list of other records. Statistics: 982 Receptions, 15,292 Yards Receiving, 156 Touchdowns.
CHRIS CARTER (1987-1989, Philadelphia Eagles, 1990-2001, Minnesota Vikings, 2002 Miami Dolphins)
Chris Carter may be one of the Quietest ALL-Time Greats to play in the NFL. He was an 8x Pro Bowler, 2x All-Pro, and Hall of Fame Player. Statistics: 1,101 Receptions, 13,899 Yards, 130 Touchdowns. The only reason that I consider Carter above Randy Moss, Marvin Harrison, and T.O. is because he was a Fourth Round Pick who almost was out of Football. As an Eagle, Buddy Ryan the coach once claimed, “All Chris Carter does is catch Touchdowns.” Well, Carter went on to set all types of Viking Records and he also set NFL Records. Chris Carter is now an analyst for the NFL Network and is one of the Great Men in NFL Football.
JERRY RICE (1985-2000, 49ers, Raiders, 2001-2004, Seahawks 2004)
JERRY RICE…Need I say More. The Greatest Wide Receiver in NFL History. Jerry Rice…One of the Greatest Players in NFL History. Actually Rated #1 NFL PLAYER OF ALL TIME by NFL.Com. 13x Pro Bowler, 10x All-Pro, 3x Super Bowl Champion, 2x Super Bowl MVP, 3x NFC Offensive Player of the Year, NFL MVP 1988. HOF Inductee (2010). Retired #80. Jerry holds nearly every record in the NFL including receptions, receiving yards, touchdowns, both regular and post season. Statistics: 1,549 Receptions, 22,895 Yards Receiving, 208 Touchdowns. Jerry Rice is the Wayne Gretzky of Football. He is the epitome of an all-time GREAT. Jerry Rice is the undoubted #1 RECEIVER, not only post 1990, but of all-time.
***THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST…MY NEXT INSTALLMENT WILL BE THE TOP 10 TIGHT ENDS POST 1990. Also stay tuned for my Week 5 Results and Week 6 Picks.
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