Honorable Mentions: Antonio Brown, A.J. Green, Julio Jones
This trio are arguably the three best receivers currently in the league. With that said, they are just a few accolades short of solidifying their respective spots in Canton.
Brown has been the modern-day Marvin Harrison, recording a remarkable 481 receptions over the past four seasons for 6,315 yards. When you have a 106-reception/1,284-yard/12-touchdown season and it’s seen as a “down” year, that unquestionably makes you an elite-level player.
Green’s calling card has been consistency. The former Georgia standout tied Randy Moss’ record for the most seasons of 1,000-plus receiving yards to start a career (5). He would have broken that record had he suited up for any of the final six games of 2017, as he was just 36 yards short from the 1,000-yard mark.
Jones might be the owner of the best individual season when compared to the other two — as he accrued 1,871 total receiving yards in 2015. This mark is only 93 yards short of the single-season record set by Calvin Johnson. He capped off a 1,409-yard 2016 season with a trip to the Super Bowl, and is currently the most deadly jump ball-threat in the entire NFL.
Although Brown, Green, and Jones have some impressive statistical totals, the Hall of Fame has historically been unkind to receivers. Take for example Terrell Owens — who has the second most career receiving yards in NFL history, and is still yet to be inducted. Each of these guys will have to prove their longevity if they hope to make it to Canton one day.
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23. QB Philip Rivers
Arguably the most controversial selection on this list, the longtime Chargers signal-caller has a rightful spot waiting for him in Canton. In his third season, Rivers took over the starting job for the team, and has led the Chargers offensive assault for the last decade. His gunslinger mentality both endeared and disenchanted him for many following the game. Rivers never shied away from firing passes into tight coverage, and that’s part of what made him so great.
He already holds the record for most wins in Chargers history with 97, and paces the franchise in virtually every other QB category. Rivers has more completions and touchdowns than Ben Roethlisberger and Carson Palmer – whom all started their careers in 2004. Rivers also has the least passing attempts of trio. The playoff woes could come back to haunt Rivers when the time for voting arises. Chargers fans everywhere were regularly devastated by the teams shortcomings in the postseason, but the blame can’t be fully place on Rivers. After all, how many QB’s can say they played a playoff game on a torn ACL?
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