The greatest receiver of all time. Most people I've encountered think this is an easy one. Jerry Rice. If you haven't already formed the opinion of me that I live in the moment let me dispel that here. Jerry was great. Mostly because he played along time but I do still think he was great. Here's a couple issues I have though. Ever wondered why we have a combine? Let me put it a different way. Notice how Lebron is pretty universally considered the greatest basketball player on the planet? He also just happens to be one of the greatest athletes. How about Serena? Jordan? Deion? Bo Jackson? See where I'm going with this? It's not a coincidence that a lot of the greatest players to ever play the game just so happen to be the greatest athletes as well. Yes, you have your exceptions. Most of the time though there are reasons for those exceptions and those players aren't really the greatest anyway, they're just great. Two of those exceptions are Steph Curry and Chris Paul. Two of the best point guards in basketball right now but not two of the best athletes. Reason being that you don't really have to be a great athlete to play point guard. It's a position that relies more on court vision and dribbling than it does athleticism. Don't get me wrong though, Westbrook is a beast and just so happens to be one of the best athletes in the league. So back to Rice. 6'2" 200 pounds and ran a 4.71 40. Now if you look at the top ten receivers in the league today you'd notice that none of them run it slower than right around 4.5 and most of the top ten run it right around 4.3 - 4.4. But that must be a coincidence or Jerry Rice was just that good right? On top of that, he just so happened to have two first ballot hall of famers throwing him the football and was basically the first stud receiver to play in Bill Walsh's west coast offense.
So who do I think is the best. Let me elaborate a little on what I consider the best. I don't think about it as who did the best compared to their competition because that would just be unfair. Who would dominate anytime is the best. Look at it this way. Who is the best sprinter? The one who runs it that fastest. Not the one who dominated a certain era. It's easy. Well other sports are just as easy if you carve all the fat off and get to the meat of the situation. My pick is Randy Moss. Complete and total domination of the sport unlike any other. Look it up, that's not what this is about for me to give you statistics. Yes, I understand that Jerry had better overall numbers. But he played for two decades. He didn't play the position the best, he just had the greatest balance of skill and longevity. Moss was 6'5" 215 pounds and ran a 4.25 40 with a 51" vertical. For a reference, Jordan's was 48". Moss was also the leading scorer on two of the top three scoring offenses of all time. Brady just so happened to have one of the greatest statistical years of all-time with Moss and has been a stat beast ever since. Daunte Culpepper had the highest quarterback rating of all-time playing with Moss until he left to Oakland. Not so great after that. Chad Pennington was the 18th overall pick after playing with Moss in college and had one "decent" year in the NFL without Moss. These aren't coincidences.
So that's who I think is the greatest. While I'm at it, I'd take Calvin Johnson over Rice as well but maybe that's for a different blog. Fell free to comment. I'm a firm believer in making new decisions based off new information and I'd love to hear an argument why you'd take Rice. Thanks for reading.