Sports

The Best Wide Receivers of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
230.3k votes 21.3k voters 381k views 250 items

List Rules Please the rank players only based on their on-field accomplishments

The best wide receivers of all time are a group of elite athletes inclusive of some of the best athletes of all time. The greatest wide receivers are the ones that make amazing plays every game while simultaneously making the little plays that move the ball down the field. These are the top wide receivers ever to play the game of football.

These elite football players are members of pro-bowl squads, Super Bowl winners, and all-around all-star football players. Some, like Jerry Rice, became the stuff of football legend while they were still playing, while others like Wes Welker are just making their marks as the go-to wide receivers on franchise teams. Most of the top wide receivers in the NFL are on this list, and whether they are the best wide receivers currently in the NFL or the best wide receivers in the history of the NFL, they all have a fighting chance to land at #1 on the list of the best wide receivers ever.

Who are the best wide receivers of all time? What are the qualities of the top wide receivers? Who is the greatest wide receiver ever? These are some of the questions this list looks to tackle with its compilation of the best wide receivers of all time. There are scores of famous wide receivers in the history of the NFL, so if you don't see your favorite wide receiver on the list, make sure to add him so other users can vote for him to move up this list of the greatest wide receivers of all time.

If you want a little more football after checking out this list of the best wide receivers in NFL history, check out the best touchdown celebrations of all time to see some of these guys in endzone action.

list ordered by
1
Jerry Rice is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils football, Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos
Jerry Lee Rice Sr. (born October 13, 1962) is a former American football wide receiver who played in the National Football League (NFL), primarily with the San Francisco 49ers. Due to his ...more
2
Randy Moss is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
Oakland Raiders, New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers
Randy Gene Moss (born February 13, 1977) is a television sports analyst and former American football wide receiver who played 14 seasons in the National Football League (NFL). He holds the NFL ...more
3
Calvin Johnson is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
Detroit Lions
Calvin Johnson Jr. (born September 29, 1985) is a former American football wide receiver. A two-time All-American at Georgia Tech, Johnson was selected second overall by the Detroit Lions of the ...more
4
Terrell Owens is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, San Francisco 49ers
Terrell Eldorado Owens (; born December 7, 1973), popularly known by his initials, T.O., is a former American football wide receiver who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 16 ...more
5
Larry Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
Arizona Cardinals
Larry Darnell Fitzgerald Jr. (born August 31, 1983) is an American football wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at ...more
6
Cris Carter is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings
Graduel Christopher Darin Carter (born November 25, 1965) is a former American football player in the National Football League. He was a wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles (1987–89), the ...more
7
Marvin Harrison is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
Indianapolis Colts, Syracuse Orange football
Marvin Darnell Harrison (born August 25, 1972) is a former American football wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for Syracuse University, and was ...more
8
Michael Irvin is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
Dallas Cowboys
Michael Jerome Irvin (born March 5, 1966) is a retired American football player, actor, and sports commentator. Irvin played college football at the University of Miami, then for the Dallas ...more
9
Tim Brown is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
Notre Dame Fighting Irish football, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Oakland Raiders
Timothy Donell Brown (born July 22, 1966) is a former American football wide receiver who played professionally in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for Notre Dame, ...more
10
Julio Jones is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
Atlanta Falcons
Quintorris Lopez "Julio" Jones (; born February 8, 1989) is an American football wide receiver for the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football ...more
11
Steve Largent is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
Seattle Seahawks
Stephen Michael Largent (born September 28, 1954) is an American former football player, enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and a former Republican politician, having served in the U.S. ...more
12
Don Hutson is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
Green Bay Packers
Donald Montgomery Hutson (January 31, 1913 – June 26, 1997) was a professional American football player and assistant coach in the National Football League (NFL). He played as a split end and ...more
13
Isaac Bruce is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
Memphis Tigers football, St. Louis Rams, San Francisco 49ers
Isaac Isidore Bruce (born November 10, 1972) is a former American football wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the St.Louis Rams in the second round of the ...more
14
Andre Johnson is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
Houston Texans, Miami Hurricanes football
Andre Lamont Johnson (born July 11, 1981) is a former American football wide receiver who played the majority of his 14-year career with the Houston Texans of the National Football League (NFL). ...more
15
Steve Smith is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
Carolina Panthers
Stevonne Latrall Smith Sr. (born May 12, 1979) is a former American football wide receiver who played 16 seasons in the National Football League (NFL), primarily with the Carolina Panthers. He ...more
16
Andre Reed is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
Buffalo Bills, Washington Redskins, Denver Broncos
Andre Darnell Reed (born January 29, 1964) is a former professional American football player. He played wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL) for 16 seasons, 15 with the Buffalo ...more
17
Torry Holt is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
NC State Wolfpack football, St. Louis Rams, New England Patriots
Torry Jabar Holt (born June 5, 1976) is a former professional American football player who was a wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL) for eleven seasons. He was named to the Pro ...more
18
Lance Alworth is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
San Diego Chargers, Dallas Cowboys
Lance Dwight Alworth (born August 3, 1940) is a former American football player who was a wide receiver for the San Diego Chargers of the American Football League (AFL) and National Football ...more
19
Reggie Wayne is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
Indianapolis Colts, Miami Hurricanes football
Reginald Wayne (born November 17, 1978) is a former American football wide receiver who spent his entire 14-year career with the Indianapolis Colts. He played college football for the University ...more
20
Antonio Brown is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
Buffalo Bills
Antonio Duval Brown (born March 3, 1978) is a former American football wide receiver who played for the Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins of the National Football League. He played college ...more
21
Sterling Sharpe is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
South Carolina Gamecocks football, Green Bay Packers
Sterling Sharpe (born April 6, 1965) is an American former American Football wide receiver and analyst for the NFL Network. He attended the University of South Carolina, and played from 1988 to ...more
22
Art Monk is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
Washington Redskins, Syracuse Orange football, New York Jets
James Arthur Monk (born December 5, 1957) is an American former football wide receiver in the National Football League for the Washington Redskins, New York Jets, and the Philadelphia Eagles. ...more
23
Lynn Swann is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
pigonthewing added Pittsburgh Steelers, USC Trojans football
Lynn Curtis Swann (born March 7, 1952) is an American football player, broadcaster, politician, and athletic director, best known for his association with the University of Southern California ...more
24
Hines Ward is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
Jhair84 added Pittsburgh Steelers
Hines Edward Ward Jr. (born March 8, 1976) is a former American football wide receiver who played 14 seasons for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college ...more
25
Fred Biletnikoff is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
Oakland Raiders
Frederick S. Biletnikoff (born February 23, 1943) is a former gridiron football player and coach. He was a wide receiver for the Oakland Raiders in the American Football League (AFL) and ...more