In this series, we’ll be highlighting a different player from the New York Jets’ storied past. Today, we take a look at fullback Richie Anderson.
When most people think of a fullback, they think of a big bruiser who clears the way for others rather than making plays with the ball in his hands. But for the New York Jets, Richie Anderson was anything but a “normal” fullback.
A sixth-round pick in the 1993 NFL draft out of Penn State, Anderson was more of a runner than receiver or blocker for the Nittany Lions. Over his final two seasons in Happy Valley, Anderson rushed for over 2,000 yards and 28 touchdowns, while catching just 37 passes.
But once he got to the pros, Anderson would eventually prove himself to be one of the best pass-catching fullbacks in NFL history.
After a forgettable rookie season, Anderson proved over the rest of his career to be worth far more than a sixth-round draft pick. He would spend 10 of his 12 NFL seasons in the Gang Green, putting up numbers few fullbacks in league history can boast.
His best season came in 2000, when he earned his only Pro Bowl selection after catching 88 passes for 853 yards. A consistent performer who finished his NFL career with a two-year stint with the Dallas Cowboys, Anderson caught at least 25 passes in nine of his 12 NFL seasons.
Anderson’s 305 receptions over 10 seasons with the Jets are tied for the 13th-most in franchise history, sharing the spot with former No. 1 overall pick Keyshawn Johnson.
In all, Anderson tallied 4,423 total yards and 18 touchdowns over his 12 NFL seasons, proving to still be a productive pass-catcher in his final two seasons with the Cowboys, at 32 and 33 years old.