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Virginia Viking

Top Ten Viking Receivers

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Posted (edited)

This list is purely for wide receivers.  I have purposefully left off tight ends and receiving backs.  As I look at this list, it consists of receivers from the '70's to the present day.  It goes from good, very good, great and great potential.  I am certain that I will anger some as I grade current receivers lower than some long retired receivers...even though the current receivers career potential is great.  So, here we go...the Top Ten Viking Receivers:

10. John Gilliam: (1972-75) Gilliam gave Fran Tarkenton a downfield option when he joined the team in 1972.  He was a pro bowler each year he was a Viking, and an All Pro in 1973.  He is one of the 50 Greatest Vikings.  His statistics aren't gaudy by todays standards.  It was a run first league in the '70's.  His world class speed allowed him to lead the league twice in receiving yardage, however. As he was normally double teamed, he opened up the short passing game for Tarkenton and other receivers.  Yet, when Tarkenton connected with Gilliam on a long pass along the sideline, it was usually a thing of beauty.

9. Ahmad Rashad: (1976-82) Rashad was a four time pro bowler, and MVP of the 1978 game, All Pro in 1979 and one of the 50 Greatest Vikings.  Like Gilliam, Rashad's numbers are not gaudy.  However, he proved to have good hands in the clutch.  His most memorable catch came in 1980 against the Cleveland Browns.  With seconds on the clock, he caught a "Hail Mary" from Tommy Kramer in the end zone giving the Vikings a come from behind victory, 28-23, and the Central Division title.  This catch was dubbed "The Miracle at the Met." Hmmmm....

8. Jake Reed: (1991-1999, 2001) Reed was a highly productive receiver during his Viking career. Four times he gained over 1,000 yards receiving.  In 1994, he and Cris Carter combined for an NFL record 207 receptions.  In an era when receivers were known for their big personalities, Reed went about his business without much fanfare.  He should have been a pro bowl selection in 1994, but guys like Rice, Carter and Sterling Sharpe were dominating the receiving leader board.

7. Gene Washington: (1967-72) Washington was the first Viking WR to make the jersey number 84 memorable! He appeared in two pro bowls, and was All Pro in 1969, and played in the Vikings first Super Bowl.  Like Gilliam and Rashad, his statistics are not gaudy.  He also played with QB's who were less than stellar passers.  Yet, his speed and soft hands opened up the offense in 1969.  The Vikings offense that year was nearly as good as the defense.  Washington played a huge role.  He is one of the 50 Greatest Vikings.

6. Sammy White: (1976-86)  Twice selected to the pro bowl, three times an All Pro, NFL Rookie of the Year in 1976, and one of the 50 Greatest Vikings, Sammy White made a career out of running across the middle, catching the ball in traffic and taking enormous punishment. In the Super Bowl against Oakland, he was nearly decapitated by Jack "The Assassin" Tatum, but he caught and retained the ball for a first down.  White is easily the toughest man on this list.

5. Stefon Diggs: (2015- ) He was on the PFWA All-Rookie team in 2015. In a short period he has amassed 302 receptions for 3493 yards and 24 touchdowns.  Diggs is a good all around receiver, able to run crisp routes, get open on a fly pattern, and compete for the ball in tight spaces.  He is one guy, however, who will always be remembered by Viking fans for one special moment.  All anyone has to say is "Minneapolis Miracle." Ahhhhh....

4. Adam Thielen: (2013- ) How far has Adam Thielen come?  It's hard to believe now that he went undrafted in 2013. He is now the most productive offensive player on the team.  He has been to the pro bowl the last two seasons, and was all pro in 2017.  He holds the NFL record for 8 consecutive games with 100 or more receiving yards.  Teamed with Diggs, he is half of the best receiving duo currently playing, with a chance to be considered the best duo in Vikings history, possibly overtaking the guys in the first two spots on this list.

3. Anthony Carter: (1985-1993) Three times selected to the pro bowl, while playing on some fairly mediocre Viking squads, and twice elected to the All NFC team, AC didn't get a whole lot of time on the national stage.  But, when he did, he was awesome.  The 1987 playoffs saw Anthony Carter explode onto the NFL stage.  He had 642 all purpose yards (receiving and returning) in games against New Orleans, San Francisco, and Washington...which were three very good playoff caliber defenses.  He is, deservedly, one of the 50 Greatest Vikings.

2. Cris Carter: (1990-2001) 8 times to the pro bowl, All Pro three times, NFL reception leader in 1994, 3 times NFL receiving touchdown leader in 95, 97, and 99, in the Ring of Honor, has had his number 80 retired by the Vikings, one the 50 Greatest Vikings, member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  When he retired, he was second (behind Jerry Rice) on the all time leading receivers list.  He holds just about every meaningful Vikings team record for a receiver.  He may have had the best pair of hands of any receiver in history.  On just about every other teams' top 10 list of receivers, Carter would be an undisputed number one.  However, he just so happened to play his last several seasons with the Vikings with the guy who is in the top spot.

1. Randy Moss: (1998-2004, 2010) Let me get this out of the way.  Moss belongs at the top spot...but, I never felt Viking fans got all of what Moss might've been capable of.  He should have every record in the book, given his freakish talent, but there were just too many games for me to ignore where he just disengaged.   Still, what an impressive resume! 6 pro bowls (1999 PB MVP), 4 times all pro, 5 times receiving touchdown leader, Vikings Ring of Honor, one of the 50 Greatest Vikings and member of the NFL Hall of Fame, with a highlight reel like no one else's!  Still, I can't help but feel cheated that we didn't exactly get his best!

Edited by Virginia Viking

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While I can't argue much with the names on the list, I think it's still a little high for Diggs and Thielen at this point.  Sammy White was the first guy that I watched play (I was a little too young for Ahmad), so I'd personally put him ahead of the top 3 (which there is no argument about at all), but that's a personal preference.  But, as a honorable mention, I'd like to argue for Hassan Jones, who has been grossly underestimated by us historically.  While not an all-time great, prior to Moss, Jones was one of the historically great down-field receivers the Vikings have had (just play him on Tecmo and you'll see what I mean)...and could arguably be put on par with Gene Washington and Sammy White (along with Leo Lewis).  

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25 minutes ago, swede700 said:

While I can't argue much with the names on the list, I think it's still a little high for Diggs and Thielen at this point.  Sammy White was the first guy that I watched play (I was a little too young for Ahmad), so I'd personally put him ahead of the top 3 (which there is no argument about at all), but that's a personal preference.  But, as a honorable mention, I'd like to argue for Hassan Jones, who has been grossly underestimated by us historically.  While not an all-time great, prior to Moss, Jones was one of the historically great down-field receivers the Vikings have had (just play him on Tecmo and you'll see what I mean)...and could arguably be put on par with Gene Washington and Sammy White (along with Leo Lewis).  

In my first draft I had Thielen and Diggs as numbers 7 and 8.  However, the more I played with the names, the more comfortable I got with them being where I listed them.  I know I am projecting a bit of their potential career numbers, but hopefully, they will live up to my expectations of them.  I do love Sammy White...and I believe that he is chronically underrated by most Viking fans.  The space between him at 6 and Diggs at 5 is quite narrow.  I could've been happy flipping their positions.  Hassan Jones, Leo Lewis, Bob Grimm are all players that get an honorable mention....if I had an honorable mention category.

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Posted (edited)

I'd put Ahmad Rashad (Bobby Moore) ahead of Jake Reed and Gene Washington, , and right up there with Sammy White.  Rashad made a lot of super catches.

Edited by Robb_K

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, Robb_K said:

I remember Jake Reed only as a tight end.  Am I crazy?  He played like a receiver though.

Jake Reed was never a TE.  I'm not sure who you were thinking of, unless you're confusing him with one of the Jordans (Steve and Andrew).  

Edited by swede700

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4 minutes ago, Robb_K said:

I remember Jake Reed only as a tight end.  Am I crazy?  He played like a receiver though.

Are you thinking of Steve Jordan?  He was a TE around that era.

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3 minutes ago, swede700 said:

Jake Reed was never a TE.  I'm not sure who you were thinking of, unless you're confusing him with one of the Jordans (Steve and Andrew).  

No, I remember Steve Jordan wasn't Jake Reed.  Maybe I mixed him up with Alvin Reed of The Redskins?  I'm getting senile now.  I even forgot my sister's kids names, and had seen them almost every day for their whole 26 and 24 years.  oh, how the mighty have fallen.  I had a 147 IQ in 1962, and mine now is probably about 70.  (sigh!). :(

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7 minutes ago, Robb_K said:

No, I remember Steve Jordan wasn't Jake Reed.  Maybe I mixed him up with Alvin Reed of The Redskins?  I'm getting senile now.  I even forgot my sister's kids names, and had seen them almost every day for their whole 26 and 24 years.  oh, how the mighty have fallen.  I had a 147 IQ in 1962, and mine now is probably about 70.  (sigh!). :(

Happens to everyone.  I'm not sure I ever had a 147, but I'm certain it's fallen below 120 now.  It may just be as a result of the current political environment here in the US though.  xD

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As Vikings wide receivers are concerned, Cris Carter is still #1. 

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1 hour ago, swede700 said:

Happens to everyone.  I'm not sure I ever had a 147, but I'm certain it's fallen below 120 now.  It may just be as a result of the current political environment here in the US though.  xD

xDxDxD

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15 hours ago, Vikes_Bolts1228 said:

No Troy Williamson?

This list is invalid.

The sad thing is that he was more productive for us than Laquan Treadwell.

I thought if Percy Harvin wasn't so messed up he had a shot at this list. I was a big fan of Sidney Rice too but he was a 1 year wonder.

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Sammy White was the first guy that I watched play (I was a little too young for Ahmad),

Ahmad was drafted 4 years prior to Sammy, but they both started their Viking careers the same year, 1976.

I also agree that it is too early to rank Diggs and Theilen, but at their current pace they should both crack the list.

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Crazy to say but out of 286 players listed Adrian Peterson is 26th all time for the Minnesota Vikings in receiving yards...

 

Sidney Rice should have been on this list but his career never really turned out and he got injured constantly, talented player though.  Percy Harvin should possibly be on the list but he is probably outside of the top 10, is more a return man and just a RB playing WR who could make big plays and get yards after the catch, was not a pure WR in terms of route running overall.

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Sidney Rice was solely a product of Favre.  He didn't show much before Favre's arrival and did nothing after. 

I still remember getting burned here after I kept clamoring for Dwayne Jarrett over Sidney Rice in that draft (Jarrett went 1 pick later to the Panthers).  In the end, certainly Rice had a better career, but both were unremarkable.  

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