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Thread: Who is the best WR all time? In their prime.

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Northman View Post
    Moss had Tom Brady
    Megatron had Matt Stafford
    Rice had Montana and Young but ALSO had Rich Gannon who is not a HOF QB.

    When i think of Rice i dont look at just his stats, i look at his ability to change the game and make the clutch plays needed to win them.

    Moss and Megatron certainly were talented receivers and will be HOF'rs but Rice to me was on a whole other level and the fact that he wasnt necessarily as gifted athletically as the other two makes what he did even more impressive to me.
    Yup. Rice had that cold blooded killer in him more than guys like Johnson and Moss did.

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    Rice is the best career/resume wise.

    But we watched Megatron go "Staffy throw me that shit up high, ignore triple/quad coverage," and that shit felt like it was out of an anime.

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    Just to clarify, I'm not asking who is the best WR of all time. That's Rice. I'm asking who is the most unstoppable at their peak--like Chaz mentioned, Moss on 50/50 balls. That kind of thing. Not body of work, but any given Sunday at the top of their game, and try to imagine the team/coach/QB is a level field.

    Which WR posed the biggest matchup nightmare.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sting
    "You know cos I just lost my parents--both my parents died in the same year...to this day, people come up to me and say 'my dad died and that album really meant a lot to me,' which is very nourishing {pats heart} for a songwriter to hear that your songs have a utility beyond just their own solace, that it actually helps other people."

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    I did not read the entire thread, but I think it would have to be Megatron or........Gronk. I know he is a TE and not a WR. but that guy still gives opposing DBs/LBS/S nightmares. In his prime was nuts.


    Still- I think Megatron has to be the guy. His height, speed, strength, jumping and great person, clean off the field. He was so good. He was like the big bro to DT. I love me some DT, but he was not megatron (insert never dove joke here please). Megatron was a once every 50 years kind of player possibly.
    The Plan at the moment:

    Draft: Trade a 3rd and 6th this year to a team to move up and get a 2nd next year (this will happen).

    Players I want:
    Jake Ferguson (Jake Butt) or Jelani Woods or Jeremy Ruckert or Cade Otten (owen daniels) at TE- All 4th rd or later.
    Troy Anderson LB 3rd/4th rd (yay Timmy!)
    Neil Farrell, JR DL- run stuffer- bye purcell

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    Cris Carter in his prime was also machine. Honorable mention

    Moss or tron felt the most unfair.

    That’s my vote.

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    Here is a flier….. although it’s a 1 year “ in his prime” Josh Gordon. His age 22 season is ridiculous given who was throwing the ball. 14 Games, 1600 yards, 9 TD’s from Jason Campbell, Brandon Weeden and Brian Hoyer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddiemac87 View Post
    Here is a flier….. although it’s a 1 year “ in his prime” Josh Gordon. His age 22 season is ridiculous given who was throwing the ball. 14 Games, 1600 yards, 9 TD’s from Jason Campbell, Brandon Weeden and Brian Hoyer.
    ^yas! This dude gets me.

    Imagine you are the Megatron who blew off the combine, smoked a bowl, suited up, and one day decided no one could cover you. Then you got bored and got a DUI.

    I'm talkin dudes that may not be HOF worthy, but when they were *on* it was unreal. And not just a DB mismatch or a schematic flaw exploited.

    I sorta wonder if Andre Johnson is getting overlooked, even above the 'tron.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sting
    "You know cos I just lost my parents--both my parents died in the same year...to this day, people come up to me and say 'my dad died and that album really meant a lot to me,' which is very nourishing {pats heart} for a songwriter to hear that your songs have a utility beyond just their own solace, that it actually helps other people."

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    Megatron was advised not to workout at the combine, everybody started talking shit about that so at the end of the 40 testing when everyone is moving on to next drill he borrowed someone else’s shoes and ran a 4.38 … at 230-some lbs.
    "Tuning ... into each other ... lift all higher”
    “I’m just different!”
    “ . . . Picture a cup in the middle of the sea”

    Draft
    1st round— Cooper Dejean CB
    2nd round— Jack Sawyer OLB
    3rd round— Will Shipley RB
    4th round— Ricky Pearsall WR
    5th round— Ladd McKonkey WR
    6th round— Cash Jones RB
    7th round— Carson Steele RB

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    Anyone who doesn't think Jerry Rice is the best does not deserve to post on a football forum. I'm sorry. It's the height of ignorance to suggest anyone else.
    I miss the old Mile High Stadium.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeHoof View Post
    Anyone who doesn't think Jerry Rice is the best does not deserve to post on a football forum. I'm sorry. It's the height of ignorance to suggest anyone else.
    Thanks for clearing that up. You are released.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sting
    "You know cos I just lost my parents--both my parents died in the same year...to this day, people come up to me and say 'my dad died and that album really meant a lot to me,' which is very nourishing {pats heart} for a songwriter to hear that your songs have a utility beyond just their own solace, that it actually helps other people."

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    Just spent the last couple of hours watching Megatron, AJ, Rice, Steve Smith, and TO. It's getting late, I'll have to save Moss for later.

    While I was watching each one, at some point I had the thought 'this guy'.

    Just for some background, I was a pre-teen football junkie who had just moved to live with my dad in northern CA around '87 or so. Every Sunday was Montana and Rice. I wanted to play football and be a wide receiver because of Steve Largent and Jerry Rice. I would practice my sprints for hours after school. I'd invent weird catching drills that were practically impossible, like blind trampoline rebound 0.1s reaction drills. My HS # was 82 just because my best friend already had 80. Just some context so y'all don't think I'm overlooking Rice.

    Rice was not 6'5". He did not run a 4.2 at the combine. He was not tree trunk strong like Andre Johnson. These are important facts when you consider that the activity often consists of defeating another human in the act of obtaining possession of a gravity-controlled object moving through space and time.

    But after watching these highlights, you realize that there are some aspects of playing WR that are hard to quantify but are no less important in the overall game of keeping drives alive and points on the board. That could make a less obviously physically dominant athlete a superior player at the position.

    Here are some of those aspects:

    1. Concentration. This is where I think Rice > everyone. Every moment, every snap, his baseline was pure intensity. He was waiting every fuggin millisecond of every snap for his defender to slip. To look the wrong way. He was locked onto them like a damned predator. Greatness was such an overriding goal that his obsession with it made him a force of nature. He had as broad a repertoire as any to play the game of ways to exploit a mistake, outside of physical attributes, ways to beat man or zone or whatever. Plans to convert catches into gains after the catch. If peak-Rice is the real answer to 'who was the most unstoppable in their prime, all else equal' it was because he was obsessed (always attentive to and striving toward) winning each play.

    2. Tricks. You don't need to win a ridiculous jump ball if you don't tip your hand to the defender. This is another way Rice dominated. I was watching a Rice vs Deion play and Deion could have easily defended the pass had Rice not maneuvered his body to make a last instant catch. He tummy-caught it by turning his body at the last moment.

    3. Proprioceptive athleticism. Proprioception is defined as:
    the sense of self-movement and body position. It is sometimes described as the "sixth sense". Proprioception is mediated by proprioceptors, mechanosensory neurons located within muscles, tendons, and joints.
    i.e. why one reason why some combine freaks just suck at WR. There's no easy way to measure this, but you know it when you see it. Sometimes called balance. When Javonte Williams seems like he's down, but he picks up another 30 yards, well, he's elite in this aspect. This aspect is huge, too. Not falling down or eluding a close encounter with a defender can make a big difference at WR where it's assumed the players are already in space. What made Megatron and AJ so special was that there were also elite in this regard. T.O., too, probably even more than Megatron and AJ. When it comes to the man-child WRs.

    When you binge highlights you realize that WR is one of the most proprioceptive-challenging things on the planet. The action of running full speed, possibly jumping, making a pre-move for a defender to miss prior to possession, a full deceleration, hand-fighting, subtle leverages in close coverage, obscured vision from pass-angle or close coverage, and so on...these are savage animal contests that have nada to do with size and speed. I'm talking mongoose and cobra here. You know what I mean. It's hard af to measure it, but it might be the most important aspect of all. This is why dudes like Gordon or AB might actually be the correct answer, as rocky as their overall careers have been.

    No particular receiver stood out to me besides possibly TO, also Rice, but all of the greats demonstrated they were elite in this regard. I just mention it to reign in the idea that size and speed combos are 'all that'.

    Well, there are certainly more aspects than those, but these are enough words so I better stop while I'm ahead.

    After watching the highlights, damn. I'm still undecided. Rice and TO made up a lot of ground on Megatron, who I think is probably still the most 'unstoppable' mismatch at WR. He kinda jumps off the page when you watch him.
    Last edited by Hawgdriver; 03-11-2022 at 04:13 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sting
    "You know cos I just lost my parents--both my parents died in the same year...to this day, people come up to me and say 'my dad died and that album really meant a lot to me,' which is very nourishing {pats heart} for a songwriter to hear that your songs have a utility beyond just their own solace, that it actually helps other people."

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    Kinger, I'd like to hear why Carter, I know I've overlooked him.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sting
    "You know cos I just lost my parents--both my parents died in the same year...to this day, people come up to me and say 'my dad died and that album really meant a lot to me,' which is very nourishing {pats heart} for a songwriter to hear that your songs have a utility beyond just their own solace, that it actually helps other people."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawgdriver View Post
    Kinger, I'd like to hear why Carter, I know I've overlooked him.
    The criticism of CC on the field was that he was only good for a first down or a touchdown. No YAC.

    He was basically one of the first guys to master the possession type of play and weaponize it yo the point of being a dominant one. His bad character overshadowed the fact that hr might be the best route runner ever; his hands were great and if you look at his raw production it would be OP today.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawgdriver View Post
    Just to clarify, I'm not asking who is the best WR of all time. That's Rice. I'm asking who is the most unstoppable at their peak--like Chaz mentioned, Moss on 50/50 balls. That kind of thing. Not body of work, but any given Sunday at the top of their game, and try to imagine the team/coach/QB is a level field.

    Which WR posed the biggest matchup nightmare.

    Hard to say because a matchup can mean anything right? Speed, catchability, etc.

    If i look at Rice, Moss, and Megatron their first 6 years (going by how many 1,000 yd seasons they had) to see who was the most consistent it would be in this order in terms of production and as you say "unstoppable".

    Moss- first 6 seasons over 1,000 yds
    Rice- 5 out 6 seasons over 1,000 yds
    Megatron- 4 out 6 seasons over 1,000 yds

    I dunno, i think its kind of loaded question to be honest. I saw Calvin make a catch with 3 defenders around him which is probably one of the greatest plays ever for a WR. Ive seen Moss catch passes that almost no other receiver could make, ive seen Rice completely dominate a game where no one could remotely stop him.

    So the question becomes, what if Megatron had been on the Niners with guys like Montana or Young? Moss the same question. Does Moss get more leeway because he had QB's that arent necessarily Matt Stafford or Montana? Over the years ive seen various WR's do some pretty crazy things (Beckum, Adams, Kupp) so im not sure how anyone can really answer this because what exactly is the definition of dominance? I think we all kind of have our own interpretation of what dominance is as for me its not really relegated to just one thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Northman View Post
    Hard to say because a matchup can mean anything right? Speed, catchability, etc.

    If i look at Rice, Moss, and Megatron their first 6 years (going by how many 1,000 yd seasons they had) to see who was the most consistent it would be in this order in terms of production and as you say "unstoppable".

    Moss- first 6 seasons over 1,000 yds
    Rice- 5 out 6 seasons over 1,000 yds
    Megatron- 4 out 6 seasons over 1,000 yds

    I dunno, i think its kind of loaded question to be honest. I saw Calvin make a catch with 3 defenders around him which is probably one of the greatest plays ever for a WR. Ive seen Moss catch passes that almost no other receiver could make, ive seen Rice completely dominate a game where no one could remotely stop him.

    So the question becomes, what if Megatron had been on the Niners with guys like Montana or Young? Moss the same question. Does Moss get more leeway because he had QB's that arent necessarily Matt Stafford or Montana? Over the years ive seen various WR's do some pretty crazy things (Beckum, Adams, Kupp) so im not sure how anyone can really answer this because what exactly is the definition of dominance? I think we all kind of have our own interpretation of what dominance is as for me its not really relegated to just one thing.
    It's on me for not framing the question as well as possible. But at least in the discussion it helps tease out exactly what I'm trying to ask. It shows I haven't thought about it deeply enough, or clearly enough.

    I'll frame it more precisely.

    Before that, I wanted to sorta agree with you on the first 6 years and stats, but also draw a distinction. The stats do a good job of showing 'unstoppable' because the stats are really what is trying to be stopped. It was obvious that these WRs were massively talented and had to be accounted for by the time they hit their peak. But they still found a way.

    On the other hand, stats can get crazy based on a single defensive lapse (hello free 80 yards)--now maybe the WR induced the lapse, or maybe there was confusion on assignment, or maybe the OC had out-schemed the coverage. There are some games when a WR goes off, and it really doesn't have to do with the WR as much as the defense being easily exploited. Peyton Manning could just deliver it to Reggie Wayne at will against the Broncos, then Shanny decided he'd seen enough and got Champ, D-Will, and Foxworth.

    That might be a reason why we haven't said much about Harrison and Wayne--the Peyton Manning effect.

    Just saying that stats do tell a good story, but if we base it exclusively on stats, we are going to miss these kinds of things:

    A 0-1 reception game because the WR was always drawing two defenders, allowing easy targets to other receivers. Yeah, he was stopped, but if stopping the WR means throwing the kitchen sink at him, was it worth it?

    A WR with a crap QB on a bad, lifeless team. Looking at you, Randy Moss & Aaron Brooks. Was Randy in his 'prime' or at his peak? Maybe at age 29 he was past it, but his 23 TD season the year afterward showed that he still had mad game.

    WRs on bad teams who rack up stats in the 4th Q.

    WRs who played in divisions with bad secondaries they would see twice a year. This probably evens out, but let's look at some of the best WR seasons to get a feel for it (I'm going to use the NY/A as the ranking of passing defense, lower means better defense). Picking at random.

    1998 Moss - GB (1), TB (7), Det (16), Chi (27) (solid)
    1993 Rice - NO (4), Atl (28-DFL), LA Rams (27) (hmm)
    2012 'Tron - GB (7), Min (10), Chi (4) (overachiever)

    Yeah, it's just 6 or 8 games of the year, but it matters. We are so stat-centric that this discussion begins with the premise told by those stats. We don't even question it, we assume the stats are the truth. Yeah, we can mentally adjust our position based on this nuance--but we are only moving it a little bit, and we start with what the stats say.

    Imagine there were *no* stats.

    This gets to how I could more precisely frame the question.

    Here it is.

    With the benefit of hindsight--of knowing how their careers would play out,
    And with peak Peyton Manning (or whatever perfect QB you think would max the WR)
    Against the best defenses in the league
    With just one year to make a go at a championship on a solid team

    Which WR (or receiver if you want to say Gronk, etc) at the top of their game do you pick first?
    Quote Originally Posted by Sting
    "You know cos I just lost my parents--both my parents died in the same year...to this day, people come up to me and say 'my dad died and that album really meant a lot to me,' which is very nourishing {pats heart} for a songwriter to hear that your songs have a utility beyond just their own solace, that it actually helps other people."

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