Before I get things underway here, I'd just like to point out that the Mock Draft Database is updated as of this morning. Feel free to go ahead and check it out. It's still 50 mocks as of right now, but I might be adding more for next weekend's update.
Here's your real #2 wide receiver of all time.
- Jerry Rice
- Randy Moss
- Don Hutson
- Michael Irvin
- Paul Warfield
- Charley Taylor
- Steve Largent
- Cris Carter
- Terrell Owens
- Marvin Harrison
What are my personal thoughts on this list?
For starters, Cris Carter is about 6 spots too low. There's no way he should be behind Michael Irvin, and there's no way that he should be behind Moss, either. Call me biased if you will, but the should-be first-ballot Hall of Famer is the best non-Jerry Rice receiver in the history of the National Football League. Period. End of sentence. Bottom line. If my team is driving, down 4 points with 5 seconds left, no time outs, and there's one play where I NEED a TD reception. . .if I can't have Jerry Rice, Cris Carter is the next guy I want out there. Nobody else is even close. He wasn't the fastest guy, and he wasn't the biggest guy. . .but nobody in NFL history, maybe not even Jerry Rice, has or had hands like Cris Carter's. Very few, if any, receivers had his body control, either.
Jerry Rice is in a league entirely of his own. . .but the next name on any list of the best receivers in NFL history should be Cris Carter's.
The other thing I want to look at is the case of the three active receivers on this list. Here's how the three of them stack up numbers-wise, for starters:
Harrison - 1,042 catches, 13,944 yards, 13.4 ypc, 123 TD
Owens - 882 catches, 13,070 yards, 14.8 ypc, 129 TD
Moss - 774 yards, 12,193 yards, 15.8 ypc, 124 TD
And here's #3.
"But what about Moss' off-the-field problems," you might ask. My answer? Big freaking whoop. Listen, I've been as hard on Moss as anybody about the crap he's pulled off-the-field over the years. But there is absolutely, positively no doubt that on the field, Randy Moss just might be the most physically gifted wide receiver in the history of the league. Right now, I'm not sure that that can even be debated. The man came into a team where the two guys in front of him, Cris Carter and Jake Reed, were coming off of being the first receiving duo in NFL history to record consecutive 1,000 yard seasons.
Let me repeat that. . .the two guys in front of Randy Moss on the depth chart going into the 1998 season had EACH gone over the 1,000 yard receiving mark for four years in a row.
And you know what happened? Randy Moss was that team's #1 receiving option by Week 5, if not earlier. Why? Because he was that freaking talented and that much freaking better than everybody else.
Did the guy take plays off? Yeah. . .and I've been fairly harsh on him for that, too. But so do a lot of other receivers. It's always been that way, even if fans of other teams that simply can't stand Randy Moss would never admit that. And hey. . .if he was taking that many plays "off," just imagine the kind of numbers he could have put up if he was "trying" all the time. And after Carter retired, do you think Moss was lining up across from guys like Reggie Wayne or Jason Witten or Dallas Clark or even an aging Jerry Rice?
Hell no. . .he was lining up across from such luminaries as D'Wayne Bates. . .Derrick Alexander. . .Nate Burleson. . .Kelly Campbell. . .Jermaine Wiggins. . .and so forth. The guy almost never saw single-coverage, and he was still destroying everything in his path.
Yeah, he might have been a jerk off the field at times. He also did a hell of a lot of good for the city of Minneapolis that places like ESPN and CNN-SI would never dare show, lest it actually cast Randy Moss in a positive light. And in any event, after great players retire, do we send them to the Hall of Congeniality? No.
Do we send them to the Hall of Personality? No.
Do we send them to the Hall of Boy, You're a Really, Really Super Great Guy and If I Could Possibly Bear Your Children I Would Do So? Ummmmmm. . .no.
Hell, if we're going to start denigrating people's accomplishments because they might have been an asshole off the field, that big building in Canton, Ohio with the funny-looking roof is going to be an awfully empty place. Basically, anything that any of these guys did off the field means absolutely nothing when we're talking about their on-field abilities.
So quite frankly. . .in my completely and totally biased opinion. . .the #2 and #3 names on a list of the greatest receivers of all time are both guys that should be synonymous with the Minnesota Vikings. Is it because they're synonymous with the Vikings? No, not really. . .it's because they're just better than everyone else that would be up for consideration.