NFL

Top 5 Wide Receivers in Every NFL Franchise’s History

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Arizona Cardinals

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5. Mel Gray

Mel Gray was a sixth-round draft pick for the then-St. Louis Cardinals in the 1971 NFL draft and was selected to four straight Pro Bowls (1974–1977) during his time with the team. One of the most impressive accomplishments of his career was the fact that Gray caught passes in 121 consecutive games between 1973 and 1982. Beyond that ridiculous stat, Mel Gray caught a total of 351 receptions for 6,644 receiving yards and 45 touchdowns. Pretty impressive numbers for a guy at number five on this list. Though I could have put him at number four, this next guy was just about equal to Gray.

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4. Pat Tilley

The St. Louis Cardinals drafted Pat Tilley in the 4th round (114th overall) of the 1976 NFL Draft. Tilley played with the Cardinals for the entirety of his career which expanded to 11 seasons and boy oh boy what a successful 11 seasons they were! Beyond making the Pro Bowl in the 1980 season campaign, Tilley caught a very impressive 7,005 receiving yards on 468 catches and converted 37 of those passes to touchdowns. Interestingly enough, after his football career ended with the 1986 season with the St. Louis Cardinals, Tilley became the area director for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and gave motivational messages throughout northwest Louisiana.

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3. Roy Green

By the time the Cardinals moved to Phoenix, two-time All-Pro receiver Roy Green was already towards the end of his career but that didn’t stop him from becoming the face of Arizona’s newest sports franchise. During his three years in Phoenix, Green tallied 2,597 receiving yards along with 18 touchdowns. When he was in St. Louis (Cardinals before Arizona) he was one of the league’s best receiver for a few seasons as he made back-to-back Pro-Bowls in 1983 and 1984 where he led the lead the league in touchdowns (14) and receiving yards (1,555). He was a fan favorite during his time with the franchise and is without question a top 3 receiver in team history to boot.

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2. Anquan Boldin

Anquan Boldin arrived in Arizona in 2003, after being draft in the second round. His presence was felt immediately, setting the NFL record for most receiving yards by a rookie (217) in his first game. Additionally, Anquan holds the record for most receptions in the first 26 games of a career (157) and is the fastest player in NFL history to get to 300, 400 and 500 receptions, respectively.

 Boldin also showed extraordinary toughness. In 2008, Boldin suffered an extremely violent helmet-to-helmet collision while attempting to catch a Kurt Warner pass in the end zone. After being carted off the field, it was determined he suffered fractured paranasal sinuses. Boldin would return three weeks later to catch nine passes for 63 yards and two touchdowns against the Carolina Panthers. 

During his time in Arizona, Boldin racked up 7,523 receiving yards along with 44 touchdowns. He was named to three Pro Bowls and was the AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2003. Boldin was traded to the Baltimore Ravens in 2010 and now plays for every Cardinals fan’s least favorite team, the San Francisco 49ers. It still hurts for Cards fans, but his impact in Arizona was big enough to get him in the top two here.

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1. Larry Fitzgerald

The face of the Arizona Cardinals franchise, the uber-athletic Larry Fitzgerald has done nothing but catch passes and score touchdowns in Arizona. To date, he has 12,641 receiving yards and has scored 77 touchdowns. He currently ranks fifth all-time in NFL history for receiving yards per game (76.0). He also holds NFL records for most touchdowns in a postseason (7), most receptions in a postseason (30), most receiving yards in a postseason (546) and youngest player to record 700 passes.

Additionally, he hold the Cardinals franchise records for career receiving yards, career receiving touchdowns, career receptions (909), most seasons with 1,000 receiving yards (6), most season with 10+ receiving touchdowns (5) and is tied with Anquan Boldin for most seasons with 100+ receptions (2). Fitzgerald has been named to seven Pro Bowls and has been selected as an All-Pro four times. It’s going to be exciting to see how much more he can add to his already Hall of Fame career, but no matter what happens – he is easily the greatest Arizona Cardinal of all-time.