Jay C. Brandriet
You don’t typically ask who the best receiver of all time is. Jerry Rice remains the gold standard for player’s at that position. For this argument, let’s agree to put him at number one.
WHO’S THE SECOND BEST WIDE RECEIVER OF ALL TIME?
It’s not obvious.
MY TOP CANDIDATES
RANDY MOSS – Many fans in their thirties, think Randy is the best they’ve seen. I can buy that. Who had skills like Moss?
DON HUTSON – Hutson was far and away the best receiver over the first half century of the league. His 99 touchdown receptions stood as a record for 44 years after he retired.
TERRELL OWENS- The explosion off the line of scrimmage was like no other. Owens physique, numbers, and overall level of dominance carry his case.
CALVIN JOHNSON– Calvin was the most physically opposing receiver I’ve witnessed. “Megatron” versus a triple team felt about even odds.
LARRY FITZGERALD– One of the top, most consistent offensive players that’s come through the NFL. Larry took reps with multiple QB’s who were fringe pros.
I’M NOT OVERLOOKING THE OTHERS
Michael Irvin’s football soul makes him an enticing choice.
Steve Largent was a magician.
Cris Carter’s third down toe tapping.
Marvin Harrison was precise.
It gets to be a preference thing.
You like Tim Brown? Issac Bruce? Andre Reed?
Lance Alworth? Art Monk? Stallworth?
WHY I’M LEANING TOWARDS LARRY FITZGERLAD
HIS WAYS AND HIS GAME
As a child, Larry would turn off the lights and lay in bed. He would throw the football up to the ceiling, so he could learn to catch the ball in the dark.
In his teenage years, he was mentored by Cris Carter, Randy Moss, and the Minnesota Vikings.
He is 6’3″, 218 lbs.
Fitzgerald was a deep threat, is a possession guy, and does the dirty work.
He’s brains, muscle, and durability.
He’s a route runner.
Number 11 is the ultimate teammate.
I love everything about his demeanor.
Second all time in receptions.
Second all time in receiving yards.
Sixth all time in receiving touchdowns.
Caught a pass in 250 straight games.
Selected to the Pro Bowl 11 times.
HE’S PROVEN HIMSELF IN THE CLUTCH
Though he lacks a ring, Fitzgerald has been awesome in the playoffs. He was dominant and clutch in a Super Bowl.
THE AMOUNT OF TRUST I’D HAVE FOR HIM
Let’s say we all had to pick ourselves an all time team. This squad would play for you, and the stakes would be very high. You needed two receivers and you’d already picked Rice.
Think about how many guys would excel in that role.
Andre Johnson, Sterling Sharpe, Anquan Boldin, or Steve Smith?
Any of today’s studs like Julio Jones, Odell, or Antonio Brown?
We could name ten more.
I’ll take Fitzgerald.
I know some of those other stars peaked a bit higher, but I’m going with Larry.
I’d trust him. He’s a model pro.
He catches the ball even better in the light.
Jay C. Brandriet