The 20 best wide receivers in the history of New York Jets

How high does Garrett Wilson already rank on this list?
Wayne Chrebet
Wayne Chrebet / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

The history of the NY Jets hasn't always been riddled with stellar offensive play. From lackluster quarterback play to inconsistent offensive line performances, Jets fans have suffered through some pretty putrid offenses over the years.

But that should take nothing away from the many talented wide receivers who have played for this organization. Jets history is littered with star wide receivers, with some going on to forge Hall of Fame careers.

Some of the most beloved players in franchise history played the wide receiver position. From longtime Jets who made an impact over a number of years to those who carved their name in Jets history in just a season or two, we're here to discuss the best wide receivers in team history.

Let's take a look at the 20 best wide receivers in Jets history. But first, a look at some of the criteria we will be using for this list.

Criteria for selection

It's never easy to put together a list like this. There isn't one single metric that can be used to determine the "best" wide receivers in a franchise's history. Subjectivity will always be a factor.

For the purposes of this list, though, we will be ranking based on a combination of team success, individual success, awards, accolades, longevity, memorable moments, overall impact, etc.

We will attempt to provide a fair balance between longevity and peak, with an emphasis being placed on the overall lasting impact a player has on the Jets' organization. For example, one great year in a winning season carries more weight than a few solid years in a losing season.

This list is only accounting for contributions made as a receiver, and will only include players who were designated as "wide receivers." Running backs, tight ends, etc. will not be included and special-teams impact will not be taken into consideration.

The top 20 wide receivers in NY Jets history

20. Derrick Gaffney

A forgotten member of the early 1980s Jets teams, Derrick Gaffney managed to play seven seasons in New York between 1978 and 1984 before making a brief comeback for a two-game stint in 1984.

Gaffney was never a flashy player, but he compiled some pretty impressive numbers over 100 career games as a member of the Jets. Only six wide receivers in Jets history have appeared in more games for the team than Gaffney.

His best season actually came as a rookie in 1978, when he finished with 38 catches for 691 yards and three touchdowns. Poor quarterback play likely contributed to his lack of production, but Gaffney's longevity helps him earn a spot on this list.

Gaffney ranks 13th among all wide receivers in Jets history in total receiving yards.

19. Jeremy Kerley

A fifth-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, Jeremy Kerley just missed out on those successful AFC Championship Game teams of 2009 and 2010, but he still spent a few seasons as the team's primary slot receiver.

Kerley played five seasons with the Jets between 2011 and 2015, with his best year coming in 2012 when he recorded a team-best 56 catches for 827 yards and two touchdowns. He was far and away their best wide receiver that season.

Kerley briefly returned in 2017 to play eight more games with the Jets following a productive year with the San Francisco 49ers in 2016. The undersized TCU product was a quality slot receiver and reliable punt returner during some dark years for the Jets.

He ranks 14th among all Jets wide receivers in total receiving yards, a testament to his consistency over six total years with the organization.

18. Braylon Edwards

Braylon Edwards' time with the Jets was rather short-lived compared to others on this list, but he peaked at the right time and played an important role in consecutive AFC Championship Game appearances for Gang Green.

Edwards was traded to the Jets in the middle of the 2009 season with the troubled wide receiver looking for a fresh start in New York. He got just that, totaling 541 yards over 12 games with the Jets that season, helping lead the team to the AFC Championship Game.

Edwards returned in 2010 and posted his best season with the Jets, finishing with 53 catches for a team-leading 904 yards. His second-quarter touchdown against the New England Patriots in the 2011 AFC Divisional Round cemented his place in Jets history.

Edwards doesn't even crack the top 25 in receiving yards among wide receivers in Jets history, but his name will be remembered for longer than quite a few of the names on this list.

17. Bake Turner

One forgotten member of the Jets' Super Bowl-winning roster in 1969 is wide receiver Bake Turner. While most of the attention rightfully goes to the likes of Don Maynard and George Sauer, Turner's peak in New York came well before that Super Bowl run.

Turner was a member of the inaugural New York Jets roster in 1963, becoming one of the team's first AFL All-Stars that season after finishing with 71 catches for 1,009 yards and six touchdowns. He was named the Jets' team MVP for his efforts.

Turner followed that up with another impressive campaign in 1964 that saw him finish with 58 catches for 974 yards and a team-leading nine touchdowns. He actually topped Maynard in every receiving category in both a963 and 1964.

While Turner was relegated to a part-time player by the time the Jets won the Super Bowl, he should be remembered for his early-career excellence.

16. Eric Decker

Alongside Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker formed one of the most formidable wide receiver duos in Jets history. Decker was a driving force behind the Jets' prolific 2015 season that saw the team finish 10-6 en route to breaking multiple receiving records.

Marshall was the primary record-setter, but his dominance wouldn't have been possible without Decker. The former Denver Broncos wideout was traded to the Jets in 2014, and he went on to lead the team with 74 catches for 962 yards and five touchdowns.

Decker returned in 2015 and put together his most productive season with the Jets, finishing with 80 catches for 1,027 yards and 12 touchdowns. Jets fans know how that season unfortunately ended, but that doesn't take away from the historic nature of the team's 2015 campaign.

Decker ranks 18th all-time among Jets wide receivers in receiving yards despite his brief tenure with the organization. He absolutely deserves a spot on this list.

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15. Robby Anderson

Some fans might be surprised to see Robby Anderson's (now known as Robbie Chosen) name this high on the list, but the former undrafted free agent put together a respectable four-year stint with the Jets.

The formerly-named Anderson totaled over 3,000 total receiving yards with the Jets between 2016 and 2019, a figure that ranks 11th all-time among wide receivers in Jets history.

He was the Jets' leading receiver in 2017 and 2018 and was a staple of the team's offense for a few years in the late 2010s. His development from an undrafted rookie into a de factor WR1 was one of the Jets' biggest developmental wins of that era.

Anderson/Chosen wouldn't find the same success after leaving New York, save for a breakout 1,000-yard campaign in Carolina in 2020, but he deserves to be remembered for his contributions. His numbers speak for themselves.

14. Santonio Holmes

We've already touched on one half of the Jets' stellar wide receiver duo in 2010. Now, we can talk about Braylon Edwards' other half, Santonio Holmes.

The Jets acquired Holmes in what would be a steal of a trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers, sending a fifth-round pick to their AFC foes in April of 2010. Holmes would go on to play an important role in the Jets' deep postseason run that year.

His famous back-shoulder touchdown against the New England Patriots may not be as memorable as his iconic Super Bowl grab in Pittsburgh, but Holmes left his mark on that era of Jets football and put up some impressive numbers.

Holmes lasted a surprising four years with the Jets, compiling 2,128 yards and 16 touchdowns, but he will always be remembered for his performance in 2010. That Holmes/Edwards duo was nasty.

13. Santana Moss

Santana Moss would likely rank higher on this list had he not spent the majority of his prime playing for a different team, but he still deserves consideration for what he did in green and white.

A first-round pick in the 2001 NFL Draft, Moss broke out in his third year with the Jets, hauling in 74 catches for 1,105 yards and 10 touchdowns. That would prove to be the peak of his Jets career, as following a successful 2004 season, he was shipped to Washington in exchange for another player we will get to on our list.

Moss thrived in Washington, topping 1,400 yards in his first season and going on to play 10 years with the team. While he's now much more remembered for his time in the NFC East, his Jets tenure is where it all started.

Moss still did enough to rank 15th all-time among Jets wide receivers in receiving yards, and his 2003 and 2004 seasons earn him his place.

12. Art Powell

We're going way back to the early days of the Titans of New York with original franchise member, Art Powell. Powell was one of the greatest AFL players of all time, ranking third in receiving yards in league history behind only Don Maynard and Lance Alworth.

It was alongside Maynard that Powell made his mark with the future Jets. Maynard and Powell became the first wide receiver duo to each top 1,000 yards in a season in 1960, the first year of the Titans' existence.

Powell would go on to lead the AFL in receiving yards in 1962, hauling in 64 catches for 1,130 yards and eight touchdowns in what would be his final season with the Titans. He'd later shine as a cornerstone of the Oakland Raiders after leaving New York.

Powell only lasted three years with the organization and never technically played for the "Jets," but he still ranks 10th all-time among wide receivers in receiving yards. He deserves to be mentioned when discussing the early years of the franchise.

11. Garrett Wilson

How do you even rank a player like Garrett Wilson? The 2022 Offensive Rookie of the Year has only played two seasons in the NFL at the time of writing, but he's still done enough to warrant a high ranking on this list.

Wilson is the first player in Jets history to reach 1,000 receiving yards in each of his first two seasons in the NFL. He followed up a spectacular 1,103-yard season in 2022 with another 1,042 yards on 95 catches in 2023.

All the while, Wilson has been saddled with the worst quarterback play in the NFL, a putrid offensive line, and a lackluster receiving corps. What he's managed to do in that situation over the first two years of his professional career cannot be overlooked.

Wilson will have an opportunity to continue climbing up this list over the coming years. He has a chance to be a special player for the Jets.

MORE: The 10 best quarterbacks in the history of New York Jets

10. Rob Moore

Rob Moore's name tends to get left out of discussions about the best wide receivers in Jets history, likely because the team didn't do much winning during his time in New York, but he still put up some impressive numbers.

Selected in the supplemental draft in 1990, Moore finished his rookie season with 44 catches for 692 yards and six touchdowns. He'd break out in 1991 and proceed to lead the Jets in receiving in four consecutive seasons, highlighted by a Pro Bowl 1,010-yard campaign in 1994.

Whether it was Ken O'Brien, Boomer Esiason, or even Browning Nagle throwing him passes, Moore continued to produce despite lackluster offensive talent around him.

The Syracuse legend would later find success with the Arizona Cardinals before entering the coaching world. Moore ranks eighth all-time among Jets wide receivers with 4,258 career receiving yards.

9. Brandon Marshall

Brandon Marshall holds the distinction of possessing the single greatest receiving season in Jets history. His stint in New York wasn't as long as many of the others on this list, but he made an impact in his two short years with the Jets.

Marshall was traded to the Jets prior to the 2015 season in a swap of Day 3 draft picks. Alongside Eric Decker and Ryan Fitzpatrick, Marshall finished that historic season with 109 catches for 1,502 yards and 14 touchdowns.

All three marks stand alone as Jets franchise records to this day. Marshall's 109 catches were 16 more than any other player in Jets history at the time, while he topped Don Maynard's near-50-year single-season receiving yards record.

Marshall would spend one more year with the Jets before he was released with the organization opting for a rebuild. That 2015 campaign still stands as one of the Jets' most prolific offensive seasons in franchise history, and Marshall is a prominent reason for that.

8. Jerricho Cotchery

A paragon of consistency and reliability, Jerricho Cotchery absolutely deserves to be considered one of the top-10 wide receivers in Jets history. To a certain segment of fans, he will always be the standard bearer.

Cotchery was never really a star receiver during his time with the Jets, although he did lead the Jets in receiving every year from 2007 to 2009, including a career-best 1,130 yards in 2008.

His seven-year Jets tenure is perhaps best remembered for an important 3rd-and-9 catch he made in November of 2010 on a play in which he injured his groin. The sight of a limping and clearly injured Cotchery diving to make a crucial grab still remains in the minds of many Jets fans.

Cotchery never made a Pro Bowl or received any notable accolades during his seven years with the Jets, but his longevity, consistency, clutchness, and toughness make him one of the more beloved receivers in team history.

7. Keyshawn Johnson

Perhaps one of the most talented wide receivers in Jets history, Keyshawn Johnson's career in New York disappointingly ended after just four seasons, but those four seasons were sure spectacular.

The first overall pick in the 1996 NFL Draft totaled over 4,100 receiving yards with the Jets, notching a pair of 1,000-yard campaigns in his two final seasons in New York. Those two seasons netted him consecutive Pro Bowl appearances in 1998 and 1999.

Johnson was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in April of 2000 where he'd go on to become the NFL's highest-paid wide receiver and continue his excellent career.

It's worth wondering how high on this list Johnson would rank if he had stayed with the Jets, but he still places ninth all-time among Jets wide receivers in total receiving yards. His talent was undeniable.

6. George Sauer

An often-forgotten member of the early Jets teams, George Sauer starred alongside Don Maynard to form arguably the league's best wide receiver duo at the time. Sauer just never gets the same praise Maynard did.

The former Texas star made four AFL All-Star games and three All-AFL teams during his stellar but admittedly brief time with the Jets. Sauer was the Jets' leading receiver in Super Bowl III, finishing the game with eight catches for 133 yards.

Sauer controversially retired at the peak of his career following the 1970 season, citing his displeasure with "professional football." He likely could have ranked even higher on this list had he not retired.

Nonetheless, Sauer ranks sixth all-time in receiving yards among Jets wide receivers and was an integral part of the team's only Super Bowl run. He might be the most unheralded wide receiver in Jets history.

5. Laveranues Coles

Laveranues Coles left an indelible mark on Jets history during his two stints with the organization. A third-round pick in the team's star-studded 2000 NFL Draft class, Coles developed into a star wideout over his first three years with the organization before leaving in free agency.

Coles would continue to shine in Washington, earning his first Pro Bowl nod in 2003, before he was shipped back to the Jets in exchange for Santana Moss in 2005. That's where Coles would spend the rest of his prime years in the NFL.

Coles was Chad Pennington's No. 1 receiver upon his return, notching the only 1,000-yard campaign of his second Jets stint in 2006. He later enjoyed success with Brett Favre as his quarterback in 2008.

Over seven total years in New York, Coles amassed 5,941 yards, a figure that ranks fifth all-time among Jets wide receivers. He was released just prior to the team's AFC Championship Game runs of 2009 and 2010, but that doesn't take away from the success he had with the organization.

4. Al Toon

Injuries unfortunately derailed the career of one of the Jets' most talented and impressive wide receivers, but what Al Toon managed to do in his eight seasons in the NFL absolutely deserves to be talked about.

The 10th overall pick in the 1985 NFL Draft, Toon broke out in his second pro season, finishing the year with 85 catches for 1,176 yards and eight touchdowns en route to a first-team All-Pro appearance.

Toon would make three consecutive Pro Bowls with the Jets between 1986 and 1988, earning second-team All-Pro honors in 1988, before his recurring concussions started to become a problem.

Toon is one of only two players in NFL history to play fewer than 110 games and still record over 500 receptions. He also had more catches in his first five seasons than any player in league history at the time.

3. Wayne Chrebet

If this were a ranking of the most beloved players (at any position) in Jets history, Wayne Chrebet would have a strong case to be No. 1. As it stands, Chrebet is still one of the best wideouts the Jets have ever had.

Signed as an undrafted free agent out of Hofstra in 1995, Chrebet would make the Jets' roster and quickly establish himself as a regular fixture in the team's offense as the starting slot receiver.

In total, Chrebet played 11 seasons in the NFL, all with the Jets, finishing with over 7,300 career receiving yards. Only the great Don Maynard finished his Jets career with more career receptions than Chrebet's 580.

You could make the argument that Chrebet deserves the No. 2 spot on this list purely because of his impact and longevity. Chrebet will forever be one of the most adored players in franchise history.

2. Wesley Walker

A second-round pick in the 1977 NFL Draft, Wesley Walker would go on to play 13 seasons with the Jets between 1977 and 1989, becoming the team's best and most productive wide receiver since Don Maynard (more on him in a moment).

Walker become the first (and at the time of writing, the most recent) Jets player to lead the NFL in receiving yards during his first-team All-Pro 1978 campaign that saw him finish with 1,169 yards and eight touchdowns.

Legally blind in his left eye, Walker was one of the NFL's premier deep threats, best known for his downfield speed and playmaking ability. His 19.0 career yards per reception ranks first among all Jets wide receivers with at least 17 catches. Yes, 17.

Walker finished his Jets career with a lot more than that, recording 438 catches for 8,306 yards and 71 touchdowns over 13 years. He still ranks second all-time in Jets history in receiving yards and touchdowns behind only...

1. Don Maynard

Don Maynard is the greatest wide receiver in Jets history. Not only was Maynard a member of the inaugural Titans of New York team in 1960, but he was still a focal point of the roster by the time the Jets won the Super Bowl in 1969.

Maynard was the first player in franchise history to sign with the then-Titans of New York in 1960. He'd total 72 catches for 1,265 yards in his first season in New York before going on to make four AFL All-Star games and receive four separate All-AFL honors.

Maynard didn't record a catch in the Super Bowl, as he was hampered by a hamstring injury, but his performance in the AFL Championship Game helped his team reach the ultimate title game.

At the time of his retirement, Maynard was pro football's all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards. He was also the first player in pro football history to reach the 10,000-yard receiving mark.

Maynard will be remembered as not only one of the greatest wide receivers of his era but as the best wide receiver in Jets history. The Joe Namath/Don Maynard duo is why many are Jets fans to this day.

The 20 best wide receivers in NY Jets history by receiving yards



Years With Team

Receiving Yards


Don Maynard




Wesley Walker




Wayne Chrebet




Al Toon




Laveranues Coles

2000-2002, 2005-2008



George Sauer




Jerricho Cotchery




Rob Moore




Keyshawn Johnson




Art Powell




Robby Anderson




Bake Turner




Derrick Gaffney

1978-1984, 1987



Jeremy Kerley

2011-2015, 2017



Santana Moss




Lam Jones




Brandon Marshall




Eric Decker




Garrett Wilson




Santonio Holmes