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New York Jets: Top 10 Wide Receivers Of All-Time

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Dec 14, 2014; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Jets logo prior to the game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Jets were one of the main reasons the NFL-AFL merger happened back over 40 years ago. The Jets are a historic franchise, there’s been a lot of greats to pass through over the years.

Specifically at the wide receiver position, the Jets have been fortunate over the years to have some of the best in the game. This top-10 list won’t be every Jets fans typical one. Not everyone is going to agree with this list, but that’s what makes it fun.

So without any further ado, let’s jump right in to who the Jets top-10 receivers of all-time are in my book.

Next: 10. Jerricho Cotchery

Sep 7, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Carolina Panthers wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery (82) against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

10. Jerricho Cotchery

One of my personal favorite Jets of all-time is Jerricho Cotchery. Reliable, consistent and always made the tough catches when the Jets needed it throughout his seven years with the green and white.

Cotchery is infamous with some fans for a statistic many wish was broken already. Cotchery was the last 1,000 yard receiver for the Jets. Yes that was back in 2007 as the Jets haven’t had a 1,000+ yard receiver in nearly a decade.

As depressing as that statistic is, let’s get back to why Cotchery is deserving to be on this list. So far in his NFL career, that was his lone 1,000 yard campaign. But to make this list you don’t have to have a bust in Canton.

Throughout his prime with the Jets, he was best when playing 2nd or 3rd fiddle in the passing game. Taking advantage of slower linebackers or smaller corners in the slot, Cotchery proved his worth every single time he was on the field for the Jets.

Next: 9. Rob Moore

Dec 14, 2014; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Jets logo prior to the game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

9. Rob Moore

Coming in at number nine on this list is “flash in the bottle” Rob Moore. Though his career with the Jets was short, he had quite the impact in that amount of time.

Jets fans were craving ‘Moore’ from this star wideout who played 5 seasons for the green and white before moving on to the Arizona Cardinals. In 153 games played (146 starts), Moore registered 628 receptions for 9,368 yards and 49 touchdowns.

His best season came in the 1997 season in which Moore caught 97 receptions for 1,584 yards and 8 touchdowns en route to an All-Pro selection. To make this list, receivers didn’t necessarily have to spend their entire career with the Gang Green.

To make this list it’s all about how a particular player impacted the team whether statistically speaking, emotional connection or even a bust in Pro Football Hall of Fame. As the caption reads, although Moore never truly reached his full potential, he was an exciting weapon for the Jets in the early to mid 90’s.

Next: 8. George Sauer

Dec 14, 2014; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Jets logo prior to the game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

8. George Sauer

For some of the younger Jets fans of this generation you may not know who George Sauer is but he was an instrumental cog in the Jets’ upset victory of the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III. In 1969, he started and caught eight passes for the Jets in that very championship game.

Sauer played six seasons for the Jets amassing over 300 receptions and nearly 5,000 yards receiving. Sauer retired at the peak of his career following the 1970 season because he considered professional football dehumanizing.

Sauer left this world much too early, he died on May 7, 2013 in Westerville, Ohio of congestive heart failure, having suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. But his memory will live on forever in the hearts and minds of Jets fans across the world.

Next: 7. Keyshawn Johnson

Dec 14, 2014; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Jets logo prior to the game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

7. Keyshawn Johnson

The first pick in the 1996 NFL Draft, Keyshawn Johnson was quite the enigmatic figure for the Jets. Not only did he have the stats at over 300 catches and north of 4,000 yards receiving with the Jets but the larger than life character.

He also spawned a new era of relevance under the era of Bill Parcells in the late 90’s. He helped the Jets reach the AFC Championship game.

Though the Jets ended up trading the star receiver, they received draft ammunition to welcome the next era of Jets football. It turned into two 1st Round picks for the Jets on top of their original and the Bill Belichick ordeal in which they received another. An unprecedented four 1st Round draft choices that turned into Chad Pennington, John Abraham, Anthony Becht, and Shaun Ellis.

Though his career with the Jets was short, his impact was far-reaching and quite impactful on the future of the Jets in the 2000’s and beyond.

Next: 6. Rich Caster

Dec 14, 2014; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Jets logo prior to the game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

6. Rich Caster

Rich Caster was a bit of a tweener in college and the pros playing both wide receiver and tight end. But regardless, he played in the National Football League for 12 seasons with seven of those coming with the Jets.

Caster was a three-time pro bowl selection and used his unique blend of size (6’5) and speed to torment defenses. He was a mismatch nightmare before that term was even coined on a regular basis.

Posting career totals of 245 receptions over 4,400 yards and 36 touchdowns, Caster was one of the first receivers on the team to truly make a name for himself. In an era where the passing game was just really starting to take off in the early to late 70’s, he proved he was elite. These totals should be looked upon with greater respect than Caster’s been given credit for.

Next: 5. Laveranues Coles

Dec 14, 2014; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Jets logo prior to the game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

5. Laveranues Coles

Laveranues Coles will always hold a special spot in my heart. He epitomized ‘Playing Like a Jet’ as he had multiple stints with the team in which he established himself as a top-5 receiver in the entire history of the franchise.

He’s ironically 5th in receiving yards in Jets history and came through in the clutch on a consistent basis. He’s had so many iconic moments with the Jets from the Monday Night Miracle to his rebirth in 2006 with a healthy Pennington.

Coles wasn’t the talker that Keyshawn Johnson was, but he let his play do all the talking. Collecting nearly 460 catches to the tune of 5,900 plus yards and a respectable 37 touchdown receptions, he was able to back up his talk with putting it all on the field.

For me, Coles and Cotchery were the guys during my rise up as a Jets fan. Only being 22 years old, I’ve only got to witness such a small history of the Jets but everyone needed a player to look up to. And these were the guys everyone looked up to, especially Coles.

Next: 4. Al Toon

Dec 14, 2014; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Jets logo prior to the game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

4. Al Toon

The receiver who perhaps may always be remembered for not being Jerry Rice. But although he may be overshadowed by the greatest receiver in the history of the NFL, he had a stellar career in his own right.

Al Toon played his entire career with the Jets (seven seasons) in which he was a three-time Pro-Bowl selection. His best season came when he led the NFL in receptions in the 1988 season (93 receptions).

One of many Jets receivers whose career ended up being derailed by concussions which is the reason he hung up his cleats at just 29 years old, for those that saw him play in action will always remember how he did anything he was asked to and delivered..

This top-5 is pretty negotiable from the stand point that the five guys on this list all deserve to be here, but their order is often up for discussion.

Next: 3. Wayne Chrebet

Dec 14, 2014; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Jets logo prior to the game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

3. Wayne Chrebet

I was this close to putting Wayne Chrebet into the number two slot on this list. I’m 5’3, Chrebet was so inspirational to me being an underdog. He’s a guy you loved to cheer for since fans knew if you needed a third down conversion, you threw to #80 to get the job done.

Standing at 5’10 inches on a good day, Chrebet went undrafted in the 1995 NFL Draft. He was granted a walk-on opportunity with the Jets and he never looked back. Not only was he a surprise for the Jets in the beginning, his consistency put him on a whole different level.

Throughout his career, he donned many nicknames from ‘The Green Lantern’ to ‘Mr. 3rd Down’  because 379 of his 580 career receptions were third to first down conversions. Chrebet’s 580 receptions ranks him 2nd and his 7,365 yards from scrimmage place him 5th all-time in the record books for the Jets.

Not only did he have the stats to back up his high ranking on my list, he also had such an emotional connection to the fan base. As foreshadowed earlier, Chrebet’s career was halted by concussions in 2005. But he’s still remembered as one of the greatest receivers in the history of the franchise.

Next: 2. Wesley Walker

Dec 14, 2014; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Jets logo prior to the game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

2. Wesley Walker

Wesley Walker is considered by many to be the man, the myth, the legend himself. Walker is 2nd in team history in receiving yards and 2nd in receiving touchdowns. He’s also tied for 5th all-time in receptions.

A dynamic play-maker who is probably mostly remembered for his best receiving season which came in 1983, he caught 61 receptions and in 1986 had a career-best 12 receiving touchdowns. Four of them were scored in Week 3 as he caught a game-winning touchdown from Ken O’Brien in overtime to give the Jets a wild shootout win 51-45 over the division rival Miami Dolphins.

He was noted for his great speed, averaging over 20 yards per reception over the course of his career. His career 19 yards per catch speaks to that. He is a lock as the 2nd best receiver in Jets history.

Next: 1. Don Maynard

Dec 14, 2014; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Jets logo prior to the game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

1. Don Maynard

As close as I tried to make it, as much suspense as I attempted to create, it’s obvious. Don Maynard, hall of famer, and the only Jets receiver to have over 10,000 career receiving yards.

He was an ‘NFL Reject’ not making it through Giants training camp getting cut, going over to Canada not doing anything. Then being the 1st player to sign with the newly formed Titans of New York.

He had multiple 1,000 yard campaigns, multiple double digit touchdown campaigns, and helped the Jets win their first and only Lombardi. The only hall of fame receiver in the history of the Jets and well deserving of the title of number one receiver in the history of the green and white.

Next: New York Jets 2015 Training Camp: Grading WR situation

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