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The Best Wide Receivers of All Time 

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
Updated February 7, 2020 248.8k votes 22.8k voters 393.7k views 248 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 WR 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
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

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#543 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #6 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #3 of 15 The Worst NFL Trades Ever Made

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

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#4 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #28 of 80 The Best NFL Player Nicknames #70 of 343 The Most Obnoxious Athletes

3
Larry Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
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

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#13 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #13 of 58 Who Is the Best Wide Receiver in the NFL Right Now? #1 of 52 The Most Likable Active NFL Players

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

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#1,966 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #19 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #25 of 350 People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame

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

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#2,095 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #67 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #5 of 87 The Best Ohio State Buckeyes of All Time

6
Julio Jones is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
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

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#46 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #1 of 58 Who Is the Best Wide Receiver in the NFL Right Now? #10 of 52 The Most Likable Active NFL Players

7
Michael Irvin is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
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

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#4 of 64 The Best Miami Football Players of All Time #44 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #33 of 343 The Most Obnoxious Athletes

8
Steve Smith is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
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

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#98 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #156 of 350 People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame #11 of 95 The Best Baltimore Ravens of All Time

9
Sterling Sharpe is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
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

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#108 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #4 of 350 People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame #11 of 26 NFL Players Whose Careers Ended Too Soon

10
Marvin Harrison is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
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

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#87 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #6 of 350 People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame #7 of 38 The Best NFL Wide Receivers of the '90s

11
Antonio Brown is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
Antonio Tavaris Brown Sr. (born July 10, 1988) is an American football wide receiver who is currently a free agent. Raised in Liberty City, Miami, Brown attended Miami Norland High School, where ...more

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#76 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #176 of 343 The Most Obnoxious Athletes #1 of 25 The Most Hated Players In The NFL Right Now

12
Steve Largent is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
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

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#1,822 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #68 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Everlisted on Athletes You Didn't Know Were Conservative

13
Reggie Wayne is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
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

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#7 of 64 The Best Miami Football Players of All Time #94 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #133 of 350 People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame

14
Hines Ward is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
Jhair84 added
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

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#96 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #111 of 350 People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame #5 of 50 The Best University of Georgia Football Players of All Time

15
Andre Johnson is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
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

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#6 of 64 The Best Miami Football Players of All Time #131 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #89 of 350 People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame

16
Tim Brown is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
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

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#102 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #18 of 83 The Best Heisman Trophy Winners of All Time #2 of 83 The Best Notre Dame Football Players of All Time

17
Terrell Owens is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
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

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#1,827 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #84 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Everlisted on The Best 'Dancing With The Stars' Contestants, Ranked

18
Andre Reed is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
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

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#147 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #6 of 36 The Best NFL Wide Receivers of the '80s #6 of 38 The Best NFL Wide Receivers of the '90s

19
Fred Biletnikoff is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
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

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#2,101 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #91 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #8 of 82 The Best Florida State Football Players of All Time

20
Lynn Swann is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
pigonthewing added
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

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#1,656 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #77 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Everlisted on Athletes You Didn't Know Were Conservative

21
A. J. Green is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
Adriel Jeremiah "A.J." Green (born July 31, 1988) is an American football wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at ...more

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#2,056 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #107 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #186 of 350 People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame

22
Don Hutson is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
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

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#2,010 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #113 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #60 of 95 The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time

23
Art Monk is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
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

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#150 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #4 of 112 The Greatest Washington Redskins of All Time #4 of 36 The Best NFL Wide Receivers of the '80s

24
Isaac Bruce is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
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

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#1,755 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #158 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #11 of 350 People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame

25
John Stallworth is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Wide Receivers of All Time
Jhair84 added John Stallworth
Johnny Lee Stallworth (born July 15, 1952) is a former American football wide receiver who played fourteen seasons in the National Football League for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He is considered ...more