Best Athletes The Best Wide Receivers of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
190.6k votes 17.7k voters 351.1k views 270 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
8,374 1,653
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 is a former American football wide receiver who played 20 seasons in the National Football League. He is widely considered to be the greatest wide receiver in NFL history and ...more

2
6,255 2,678
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 is a retired American football wide receiver who played 14 seasons in the National Football League. He holds the NFL single-season touchdown reception record, the NFL ...more

3
5,156 3,173
Calvin Johnson is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
Detroit Lions
Calvin Johnson, Jr., nicknamed Megatron, is an American football wide receiver for the Detroit Lions of the National Football League. He played college football for Georgia Tech, and was ...more

4
3,750 2,936
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 is an American football wide receiver who played 15 seasons in the National Football League. A six-time Pro Bowl selection, Owens holds or shares several National Football ...more

5
4,523 2,599
Larry Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
Arizona Cardinals, Pittsburgh Panthers football
Larry Darnell Fitzgerald, Jr. is an American football wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League. He played college football for the University of Pittsburgh, and ...more

6
3,895 2,516
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 "Cris" Carter is a former American football and Hall of Fame player in the National Football League. He was a wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles, the ...more

7
3,193 2,221
Marvin Harrison is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
Indianapolis Colts, Syracuse Orange football
Marvin Daniel Harrison is a former American football player who was a wide receiver in the National Football League for 13 seasons. He played college football for Syracuse University, and was ...more

8
4,101 2,676
Michael Irvin is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
Dallas Cowboys
Michael Jerome Irvin is a former American football player for the Dallas Cowboys, and an actor. He is also a former broadcaster for ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown and currently an analyst for NFL ...more

9
2,661 1,859
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 "Tim" Brown is a NFL Hall of Fame former American football wide receiver. He played college football for Notre Dame, where he won the Heisman Trophy, becoming the first ...more

10
2,887 2,109
Steve Largent is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
Seattle Seahawks
Steven Michael "Steve" Largent is a retired American football player, enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and a former Republican politician, having served in the U.S. House of ...more

11
2,074 1,581
Isaac Bruce is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
Memphis Tigers football, St. Louis Rams, San Francisco 49ers
Isaac Isidore Bruce is a former American football wide receiver in the National Football League. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the second round of the 1994 NFL Draft. He played ...more

12
1,840 1,320
Andre Reed is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
Buffalo Bills, Washington Redskins, Denver Broncos
Andre Darnell Reed is a former professional American football player. He played wide receiver in the National Football League for 16 seasons, 15 with the Buffalo Bills and one with the ...more

13
2,100 1,006
Julio Jones is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
Alabama Crimson Tide Football, Atlanta Falcons
Quintorris Lopez "Julio" Jones is an American football wide receiver for the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Falcons with the sixth overall pick ...more

14
2,197 1,235
Steve Smith is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
Carolina Panthers
Stevonne Latrall "Steve" Smith, Sr. is an American football wide receiver for the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League. After playing college football for the University of ...more

15
2,132 1,373
Andre Johnson is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
Houston Texans, Miami Hurricanes football
Andre Lamont Johnson is an American football wide receiver for the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Houston Texans third overall in the 2003 NFL Draft. ...more

16
2,455 1,563
Reggie Wayne is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
Indianapolis Colts, Miami Hurricanes football
Reginald "Reggie" Wayne is an American football wide receiver who is a free agent. He played college football for the University of Miami, and was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in ...more

17
1,768 1,378
Don Hutson is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
Green Bay Packers
Donald Montgomery Hutson was the first star split end in National Football League history. He is considered by many to have been the first modern receiver. In his senior season at the University ...more

18
2,406 810
Antonio Brown is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
Antonio Duval Brown is a former American football wide receiver. Brown played with the Buffalo Bills and the Washington Redskins in the National Football League. He played college football at ...more

19
1,945 1,136
Sterling Sharpe is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
South Carolina Gamecocks football, Green Bay Packers
Sterling Sharpe is a former American football wide receiver and an analyst for the NFL Network. He attended the University of South Carolina, and played from 1988 to 1994 with the Green Bay

20
2,138 1,463
Lynn Swann is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
pigonthewing added Pittsburgh Steelers, USC Trojans football
Lynn Curtis Swann is an American former professional football player, sportscaster, and current politician. In 2006, he was the Republican nominee to run against the incumbent Ed Rendell for ...more

21
1,489 1,078
Art Monk is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
Washington Redskins, Syracuse Orange football, New York Jets
James Arthur "Art" Monk is a former American football wide receiver in the National Football League for the Washington Redskins, New York Jets, and the Philadelphia Eagles. Monk was ...more

22
1,350 1,114
Lance Alworth is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
San Diego Chargers, Dallas Cowboys
Lance Dwight Alworth is a former American football wide receiver. He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He retired as a player after the 1972

23
1,291 1,011
Torry Holt is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
NC State Wolfpack football, St. Louis Rams, New England Patriots
Torry Jabar Holt is a former American college and professional football player who was a wide receiver in the National Football League for eleven seasons. He was named to the Pro Bowl seven ...more

24
1,828 986
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. is a retired American football wide receiver and current NBC studio analyst who played 14 seasons for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League. He played ...more

25
1,569 1,018
Fred Biletnikoff is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
Oakland Raiders
Frederick S. "Fred" Biletnikoff is a former professional football player and a member of both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and College Football Hall of Fame. He was a wide receiver ...more