Best White Wide Receivers In Nfl History, Help Please: White Receivers In The Nfl

If you looked at stats alone, every one of the greatest wide receivers would have played in the NFL after 1985, but pro football has had exceptional wideouts since the '30s. Here is a ranking of the 25 best factoring in the era in which they played.

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Pittsburgh 1974-82(116 games – 336 rec., 5,462 yards, 51 TDs)Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 2001

His performances in big games have reached an almost legendary aura.

24. Sterling Sharpe


Green Bay 1988-94(112 games – 595 rec., 8,134 yards, 65 TDs)

A neck injury cut his brilliant career short. Imagine if Brett Favre had been able to throw to him for most of his career.

23. Reggie Wayne


Indianapolis 2001-14

(211 games – 1,070 rec., 14,345 yards, 82 TDs)

His 93 career playoff receptions are second only to Jerry Rice.


Carolina 2001-13; Baltimore 2014-16(219 games – 1,031 rec., 14,731 yards, 81 TDs)

One of only three players to earn receiving’s triple crown since 1966. Jerry Rice and Sterling Sharpe are the other two.

21. Isaac Bruce


Los Angeles Rams 1994; St. Louis Rams 1995-2007; San Francisco 2008-09(223 games – 1,024 rec., 15,208 yards, 91 TDs)Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 2020

If the Rams had not drafted him in the second round in 1994, there may have been no “Greatest Show on Turf.”

20. Andre Johnson

Houston 2003-14; Indianapolis 2015; Tennessee 2016(193 games – 1,062 rec., 14,185 yards, 70 TDs)

Johnson is the only player to record 60 or more receptions in his first eight seasons.

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19. Hines Ward

Pittsburgh 1998-2011(217 games – 1,000 rec., 12,083 yards, 85 TDs)

Ward is the Pittsburgh Steelers’ all-time leading receiver. That’s saying something.

18. Andre Reed

Buffalo 1985-99, Washington 2000(234 games – 951 rec., 13,198 yards, 87 TDs)Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 2014

In addition to his prolific receiving statistics, Reed also rushed 75 times for 500 yards in his career.

17. Raymond Berry

Baltimore Colts 1955-67(154 games – 631 rec., 9,275 yards, 68 TDs)Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 1973NFL 100 All-Time Team (2019)

Los Angeles Raiders 1988-94; Oakland Raiders 1995-2003; Tampa Bay 2004

(255 games – 1,094 rec., 14,934 yards, 100 TDs)Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 2015Nicknamed “Mr. Raider,” Brown is the only receiver to retire ranked in the top five in career receiving and return yardage.

15. Marvin Harrison

Indianapolis 1996-2008(190 games – 1,102 rec., 14,580 yards, 128 TDs)Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 2016NFL 100 All-Time Team (2019)

Harrison is responsible for almost a quarter of Peyton Manning’s 539 touchdown passes.

14. Michael Irvin

Dallas 1988-99(159 games – 750 rec., 11,904 yards, 65 TDs)Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 2007

Perhaps the strongest receiver of all time, Irvin’s physical play fit the Cowboys’ offense like a glove.

Oakland Raiders 1965-78(190 games – 589 rec., 8,974 yards, 76 TDs)Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 1988

He had 40 or more receptions in 10 straight seasons, which is amazing when you consider the era in which he played.

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12. James Lofton

Green Bay 1978-86; Los Angeles Raiders 1987-88; Buffalo 1989-92; Philadelphia 1993; Los Angeles Rams 1993(233 games – 764 rec., 14,004 yards, 75 TDs)Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 2003

Lofton was the first player to reach 14,000 career receiving yards.

11. Charlie Joiner

Houston Oilers 1969-72; Cincinnati 1972-75; San Diego Chargers 1976-86(239 games – 750 rec., 12,146 yards, 65 TDs)Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 1996

When he retired in 1986, he was the career leader in receptions and receiving yards.

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10. Lance Alworth

San Diego 1962-70; Dallas 1971-72(137 games – 542 rec., 10,266 yards, 85 TDs)Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 1978NFL 100 All-Time Team (2019)

His play showed offensive coordinators what could be accomplished with a wide-open passing attack.

9. Art Monk

Washington 1980-93; New York Jets 1994; Philadelphia 1995(224 games – 940 rec., 12,721 yards, 68 TDs)Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 2008

Monk was the only constant in the wide receiver corps as the Washington Redskins won three Super Bowls with three different quarterbacks.

Philadelphia 1987-89; Minnesota 1990-2001; Miami 2002(234 games – 1,101 rec., 13,899 yards, 130 TDs)Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 2013

Carter would have been the most dominant receiver of the 1990s, if not for Jerry Rice.

(Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Minnesota 1998-2004; Oakland 2005-06; New England 2007-10; Tennessee 2010; Minnesota 2010; San Francisco 2012(218 games – 982 rec., 15,292 yards, 156 TDs)Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 2018​NFL 100 All-Time Team (2019)

When he was on (as in 2007 when he caught a single-season record 23 TDs), he was the best in the league. He was on enough to put himself in the Hall of Fame and to be named one of the 10 wide receivers on the prestigious NFL 100 All-Time Team.

6. Terrell Owens

San Francisco 1996-2003; Philadelphia 2004-05; Dallas 2006-08; Buffalo 2009; Cincinnati 2010(219 games – 1,078 rec., 15,934 yards, 153 TDs)Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 2018

Antics aside, Owens put together a Hall of Fame-worthy career and was rewarded with induction to Canton in 2018.

5. Larry Fitzgerald

Arizona 2004-Present(234 games – 1,432 rec., 17,492 yards, 121 TDs)​NFL 100 All-Time Team (2019)

Fitzgerald is the youngest player in NFL history to catch 1,000 passes in a career, and is now second all-time in yards and receptions. Fitzgerald, Tom Brady and Adam Vinatieri were the only active players named to the exclusive NFL 100 All-Time Team when it was announced in 2019.

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4. Don Hutson

Green Bay 1935-45(116 games – 488 rec., 7,991 yards, 99 TDs)Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 1963​NFL 100 All-Time Team (2019)

Hutson is the only receiver to be enshrined with the first Hall of Fame class. He had 99 touchdown receptions… in the 1930s and '40s.

(Photo courtesy of

3. Calvin Johnson

Detroit 2007-15(135 games – 731 rec., 11,619 yards, 83 TDs)Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 2021

Johnson was the most physically gifted receiver to ever play the game. His retirement after only nine seasons will always leave us wondering what might have been.

Seattle 1976-89(200 games – 819 rec., 13,089 yards, 100 TDs)Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 1995​NFL 100 All-Time Team (2019)

He held every major receiving record when he retired and was the first player to catch 100 touchdown passes.

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(Photo courtesy of

San Francisco 1985-2000; Oakland 200-04; Seattle 2004(284 games – 1,549 rec., 22,895 yards, 197 TDs)Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 2010​NFL 100 All-Time Team (2019)

No surprise here. If any receiver playing today wants to break one of his career records in receptions, touchdowns or yards, he will have to be awesome and he will have to play for at least 15 seasons.

(Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

— Rankings by Aaron Tallent, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Tallent is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Sweet Science, FOX Sports’ Outkick the Coverage, Liberty Island and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at

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