best athletes The Best Wide Receivers of All Time  

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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 the NFL, check out the best touchdown celebrations of all time to see some of these guys in endzone action.
Jerry Rice is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
Photo:  Taylor Hill/Getty Images
1 8,629 VOTES

Jerry Rice


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 among the greatest NFL players overall. On November 4, 2010, Rice was chosen by NFL Network's NFL Films production The Top 100: NFL's Greatest Players as the greatest player in NFL history. He is the all-time leader in most major statistical categories for wide receivers, including receptions, touchdown receptions, and yards. Rice was selected to the Pro Bowl 13 times and named All-Pro 12 times in his 20 NFL seasons. He won three Super Bowl rings playing for the San Francisco 49ers and an AFC Championship ...more

Teams: Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils football, Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers

Position: Wide receiver

Birthplace: Crawford, Mississippi, United States of America

Age: 55

Also Ranked

#1 on The Best Football Players Ever

#2 on The Best Super Bowl MVPs of All Time

#3 on The Best College Football Wide Receivers of All Time

#1 on The Best NFL Wide Receivers of the '90s

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Randy Moss is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
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Randy Moss


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 single-season touchdown reception record for a rookie, and is second on the NFL all-time regular season touchdown reception list with 156. Randy Moss is generally considered among the greatest wide receivers of all time. Moss played college football for Marshall University, and twice earned All-America honors. He was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the first round of the 1998 NFL Draft, where he played for seven years before a trade in 2005 brought him to the Oakland Raiders. On April 29, 2007, Moss was ...more

Teams: Oakland Raiders, New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers, Tennessee Titans, Minnesota Vikings

Position: Wide receiver

Birthplace: Rand, West Virginia, United States of America

Age: 38

Also Ranked

#27 on Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

#14 on The Best Football Players Ever

#5 on The Fastest NFL Players of All Time

#1 on The Best College Football Wide Receivers of All Time

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Cris Carter is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
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3 5,584 VOTES

Cris Carter


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 Minnesota Vikings and the Miami Dolphins. After starting for the Ohio State University Buckeyes, Carter was drafted by the Eagles in the fourth round of the 1987 NFL supplemental draft. While in Philadelphia, head coach Buddy Ryan helped to coin one of ESPN's Chris Berman's famous quotes about Carter: "All he does is catch touchdown passes." He was let go by Ryan in 1989, however, due to off-the-field issues. Carter was signed by the Vikings and turned his life and career around, becoming a two-time first-team ...more

Teams: Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, Ohio State Buckeyes football

Position: Wide receiver

Birthplace: Troy, Ohio, USA

Age: 52

Also Ranked

#5 on The Best Ohio State Buckeyes of All Time

#10 on The Best College Football Wide Receivers of All Time

#5 on The Best NFL Wide Receivers of the '90s

#8 on The Best NFL Wide Receivers of the '80s

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Calvin Johnson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
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Calvin Johnson


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 recognized as an All-American twice. He was selected by the Lions with the second overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. On March 14, 2012, Johnson signed an eight-year, $132 million contract extension with the Lions, one of the largest sports contracts ever. Johnson has a rare combination of size, hands, speed, strength, leaping ability, body control and hand-eye coordination. His nickname "Megatron" was given to him by former Lions wide receiver Roy Williams and the name caught on with fans. On December 22, ...more

Teams: Detroit Lions

Position: Wide receiver

Birthplace: Newnan, Georgia, United States of America

Age: 32

Also Ranked

#36 on People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame

#28 on The Best Football Players Ever

#2 on The Best Detroit Lions of All Time

#38 on Athletes Whose Careers Ended Too Soon

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