The Top 5 Wide Receivers In The NFL

As NFL offenses move more and more towards a pass-first mentality, the wide receiver position has never been more important. The rules changes that have been implemented in recent years make it easier than ever for receivers to have success out there on the football field. There are plenty of guys who put up numbers, but who are the very best?

According to BOLTHYPE, the following five players are the best wide receivers in the NFL today (Updated 02/08/2010)

01. Larry Fitzgerald

Larry Fitzgerald has been, for some time now, a very, very good player. But it was his dominant performance in the playoffs two years ago, combined with his remarkable consistency since entering the league has allowed him to steadily ascended to his throne as the king of receivers in the NFL. Fitzgerald is, for all intents and purposes, unstoppable. He combines excellent body control and leaping ability with strong and reliable hands, allowing him to win most of his battles when the ball is in the air. A fantastic player who has carved out an excellent career in the NFL so far.

02. Andre Johnson

Andre Johnson, much like Larry Fitzgerald, has flown under the radar for most of his career. He's piled up yards and touchdowns but hasn't gotten much national exposure playing for a traditionally non-playoff franchise. That's beginning to change; you hear cornerbacks around the league talk about Johnson as one of the most difficult guys to cover, and one of the reasons why is his tremendous deep-speed. Johnson is a physical mismatch who can run by guys and strong-arm the ball when it's in the air. He's been the Texans' offense for some time, and that doesn't figure to change anytime soon.

03. Brandon Marshall

Marshall is in the news often, but it's not always for his on-field play. Disgruntled with the Broncos and possibly a malcontent in the locker room, Marshall has also had his fair share of off-the-field issues. As a player, however, Marshall is quickly becoming one of the most dangerous wide receivers in the game. Charger fans know first-hand how dominant Marshall can be; in a 2008 Week 2 match-up with the Bolts, Marshall caught 18 balls, setting a Broncos record for most catches in a single game. Physical and tough after the catch, Marshall welcomes contact and hits defenders as hard as they hit him. If Marshall can stay out of legal trouble and not draw the commissioner's wrath, Marshall could go down as one of the game's all-time greats.

04. Vincent Jackson

You'll be hard-pressed to find an elite receiver who defies the 'diva' stereotype more so than Vincent Jackson. VJ is one of the hardest-working players on the San Diego Chargers and that hard-work has certainly paid off. Coming into the league, Jackson was viewed as a project with sky-high potential. Flash forward to today, and Jackson has emerged as one of the league best young receivers and one of the best Charger wide outs in recent memory. Averaging 17.2 Yards per catch thus far in his career, Vincent Jackson has become one of the game's best deep threats. In addition to his ability to catch the ball, Jackson is also a willing and able blocker. He's the total package.

05. Reggie Wayne

It would be difficult to imagine the Colts winning so many games over that last decade without having a guy like Reggie Wayne on their roster. Wayne isn't the biggest guy, nor the fastest, but he is remarkably consistent, has tremendous hands, and excels at route running. Wayne has all the abilities you look for in a top-flight receiver. Making all 16 starts for seven consecutive years, Wayne produces with machine-like efficiency. He displays tremendous football intelligence and shares an uncanny on-field connection with QB Peyton Manning. In many ways, Reggie Wayne is the catalysis for what the Colts do offensively, and his presence on the field opens things up for his teammates.


Agree or disagree with the five players listed above? Use the comment section below and give us your top 5!

February 8, 2010

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Anonymous said... Feb 8, 2010, 3:18:00 PM

This is a bit high for VJ. I think you'd have to put Welker and Calvin Johnson above him, plus possibly Moss, Colston, Jennings, Sidney Rice

Anonymous said... Feb 8, 2010, 3:47:00 PM

VJ is just fine right where he is on that list

Anonymous said... Feb 8, 2010, 8:03:00 PM

Hmmm, it's tough to compare. Do you mean the top 5 wide receivers this LAST season, this month, in the flower of their "prime" only; or are you also comparing relatively recent greats who are now in decline but still playing (T.O., Steve Smith, Hines Ward, etc.)? For those just now enjoying "hitting their stride" like Vincent Jackson, one or two monster years doesn't necessarily make for a monster career..., yet; because you can't average in the "declining" seasons still to come.
To my eye, the only undisputed pick in your top five so far is Larry Fitzgerald. He is awesome in every aspect of the game he plays. And although I'm thrilled with our Bolt Jackson's average yards per catch and willingness to block, he is borderline on this list. VJ (along with Brandon Marshall) seems to have "mental stability" issues that just worry me, even on the football field. I mean, if a player can't even reliably DRIVE himself to a home championship game, home after drinking (when free taxi service is always available), or refrain from stupid, needless penalties on the gridiron away from the play; can you actually and realistically take him seriously as a candidate for being a "Top Five" elite professional? Sorry, I don't think so.
I think this list needs further tweaking.

Brian said... Feb 8, 2010, 10:30:00 PM

I would put VJ @ #2 on the list, and #1 would be Simeon Rice. I'd round out my top 5 with Welker, Austin and Moss. Meachem, Wallace and Colston all get honorable mentions.

Anonymous said... Feb 9, 2010, 3:32:00 PM

You'd put Simeon Rice above all those guys even though he's only had one good season? doesn't seem like he's proved himself enough to be mentioned in the top 5. I'd have to bump VJ for Wes welker at this point in their career just because of the consistent 100 catch seasons. I'd also have to rank Johnson above Fitzgerald because he does more on an offense with a LOT less. Johnson was the only threat on that offense for a long time and from then until now he's still put up ridiculous numbers with double teams and for a long while without even having a decent QB. Fitzgerald has always had Boldin on the other side and had his best seasons with Kurt Warner throwing him the ball. Here's my top 5...

1)Andre Johnson
2)Larry Fitzgerald
3)Reggie Wayne
4)Wes Welker
5)Brandon Marshall

Honorable mention: Vincent Jackson, Steve Smith(Car), Miles Austin.

Rob Zepeda said... Feb 10, 2010, 10:10:00 AM

I'm pretty sure you guys mean SIDNEY RICE right? And although I respect what Wes Welker does, I can't include him in the top five when I feel his teammate Randy Moss is better. I really tried to avoid one-year-wonder type guys, so thats why Miles Austin and Robert Meachem aren't on this list. I don't think either player is dominant like these five have been.

Anonymous said... Feb 10, 2010, 10:29:00 AM

i thought simeon rice was a retired defensive end...somewhat clueless...

Anonymous said... Feb 10, 2010, 4:47:00 PM

Rob - How does your list rate in the yards-after-catch (yac) catagory?
And I'd also like to know how your compare just two against each other, Randy Moss and Wes Welker? You've already said you think Moss is better, but I'm curious how you came to make that rating? Just asking.

Rob Zepeda said... Feb 10, 2010, 5:09:00 PM


I think Welker is certainly in the top 10 mix, but not top 5. As the slot receiver, he doesn't get matched-up with a defenses' best corner and doesn't have to contend with safety help over the top. He is a dynamic threat who can churn up the YAC, no doubt, but much of his success is predicated on the Randy Moss' ability to free him up. In the list above, each of those guys have been productive for consecutive years and are clearly the go-to options on their team. A defense knows they must account for those players and while they may try and stop them, those guys above are still able to make plays facing double teams.

Welker is top 10, but not top 5 in my mind.

Brian said... Feb 10, 2010, 9:18:00 PM

lol...yes, definitely meant Sidney Rice. I'm hands have a mind of their own sometimes, and old habits die hard. Anyways, watching his play is more impressive than any of the other guys on anyone's list. His stats don't speak for themselves. He's far more valuable than any of the numbers suggest. VJ is #2 because he has so much value away from the ball.

In contrast, Andre Johnson isn't as valuable as HIS stats say he is. Catching 59% of the passes intended for you is NOT that impressive. Compared to Welker's 76%, Johnson starts to seem a little overrated in my book. And I'd be more likely to refer to Marshall as a cancer than an asset.

I can't argue against Fitzgerald's inclusion on your list, nor Wayne. They are respectable picks...great receivers.

Anonymous said... Feb 10, 2010, 10:24:00 PM

Wayne is a "system" guy who was shown to be not as great as some think by a mediocre Saint's defense. Don't get me wrong he is still very good! But definitely not top 5 in my book.

Anonymous said... Apr 17, 2010, 2:50:00 PM

all of these receivers are the same kind of player. kinda tall and strong guys with good hands.

like when you talk of welker as "not top 5" you kinda miss the point. what i want to say is that you cant really compare a guy like fitzgerald to welker.

but i know for sure that VJ and M80 are among the best deep ball receivers in the league.

Ann said... May 5, 2010, 6:40:00 PM

I think they put larry fitzgerald in the right place he is a very good WR almost can catch whatever ball is throne to him a very good player.

Anonymous said... May 6, 2010, 5:51:00 PM

larry is the best ever not just because I'm a cards fan but it is gust how he players the game

Anonymous said... May 6, 2010, 5:53:00 PM

larry is the best!!!

Anonymous said... Aug 5, 2010, 10:22:00 AM

swap fits with johnson and jackson with ochocinco

Anonymous said... Aug 15, 2010, 6:21:00 PM

Wat Da Fuck GO LOOK At DRA NUmBERS AND TELL ME WHO da best Is AN DAT DAM BOMB JACKSON SHould NOT B ON DA LIst WAT About CHad,SMith,jennings,Owens,MOss DO DIS DAM list over

Anonymous said... Aug 20, 2010, 6:25:00 PM

First off how can u compare johnson catching career 59% of the passes thrown to him vs welker who had 79%. Look at Welkers quarterback! Look who was Johnsons end of discussion........ While i admit i am biased... where is Calvin Johnson on this list.... HE is virtually unguardable... 6'5 with 4.3 speed and can jump out the stadium..... Like the other johnson he suffers from poor quarterback play

Anonymous said... Aug 20, 2010, 6:28:00 PM

an one other thing im appalled that VJ made the list..... Dont get me wrong he's a good receiver but to be in the top 5, come on people.... There are monstrous receivers in the league and u pick this guy... I know he's a little old but listen to the corners...... Where is Randy Moss? Corners in the NFL constantly admits he's a problem.... Practically the only guy Nnamdi Asamougha can't guard

john said... Aug 21, 2010, 3:39:00 AM

I would have to go with larry fitzgerld the guy is a beast. kind of reminds me of randy moss when he played with vikings '95 .plus in off season he works out with other players on vikings squad. totally unselfesh and great work ethic about him. like cc (chris carter) back in the day with moss and jake reed. 3 headed monster vikes. peace

john said... Aug 21, 2010, 3:42:00 AM

I would have to go with larry fitzgerld the guy is a beast. kind of reminds me of randy moss when he played with vikings '95 .plus in off season he works out with other players on vikings squad. totally unselfesh and great work ethic about him. like cc (chris carter) back in the day with moss and jake reed. 3 headed monster vikes. peace

Anonymous said... Oct 7, 2010, 2:09:00 PM

chad ocho cinco should be in this

Anonymous said... Oct 17, 2010, 5:55:00 AM

These are all great recievers but here's my opinion.

1). Reggie Wayne
2). Larry Fitzgerald
3). Randy Moss
4). Vincent Jackson
5). Brandon Marshall

Ttcont2 said... Nov 2, 2010, 9:33:00 PM

hahaha.... someone needs to learn proper grammer.

Los2fly said... Nov 26, 2010, 5:26:00 AM

man the bad part about it they didnt put moss up there

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