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Who are the top 5 New York Jets wide receivers of all time?

Laveranues Coles, NY Jets, NFL, Stats, Rank, Top, WR
Laveranues Coles, New York Jets, Getty Images

The New York Jets have a rich history at the wide receiver position

Although the New York Jets have often struggled offensively throughout their history, they sure have been able to produce some exceptionally talented wide receivers.

Today, I am tasking myself with ranking the Jets’ top five greatest wide receivers of all time.

Honorable Mention 1: Brandon Marshall

Brandon Marshall made a massive impact in just two years with the Jets. The team acquired Marshall just before the 2015 season. In 2015, Marshall recorded 1,502 yards on 108 catches with 14 touchdowns. (The 109 receptions and 1,502 yards are standalone single-season records, whereas the 14 touchdowns are tied for first with Art Powell in 1960 and Don Maynard in 1965.)

Marshall spent one more season with the Jets before being released. His 2016 campaign did not come close to matching the heights of his 2015 performance.

Although he only spent two seasons with the team, Marshall’s iconic 2015 campaign is among the greatest for a wide receiver in Jets history.

Honorable Mention 2: Keyshawn Johnson

Although Keyshawn Johnson‘s career with the Jets did not end as most fans wanted it to, Johnson is one of the most talented receivers in Jets history.

The Jets drafted Johnson with the first overall pick in the 1996 NFL draft. In four years with the team, Johnson recorded 305 receptions for 4,108 yards and 31 touchdowns while appearing in the Pro Bowl twice.

Unfortunately, Johnson was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2000 offseason, as he became the highest-paid receiver in the league. If Johnson had spent more time with the Jets, he would have been higher on this list.

Honorable Mention 3: Jericho Cotchery

Jericho Cotchery was one of the most reliable receivers in Jets history.

The Jets selected Cotchery in the fourth round of the 2004 NFL draft. Cotchery never garnered massive attention; he flew under the radar and always showed up on game day. Cotchery led the Jets in receiving yards each year from 2007 to 2009.

Despite these notable achievements, in Cotchery’s seven years with the Jets, he never made a Pro Bowl or received any notable accolades. Nonetheless, Cotchery was a fan favorite due to his toughness and consistency. Every team needs players like Cotchery.

5. Laveranues Coles

The Jets selected Laveranues Coles in the third round of the 2000 NFL draft. Coles showed promising play in his first three years with the Jets, most notably in his 2002 breakout year, when he caught 89 passes for 1,264 yards and five touchdowns.

After those three years, the Jets unfortunately lost Coles to the Washington Commanders franchise via free agency, where Coles continued to showcase his talent. He appeared in his first Pro Bowl with Washington in 2003.

In 2005, Coles was traded back to the Jets in exchange for Santana Moss. Coles would play another four years with the Jets before being released ahead of the Jets’ 2009 season. Over the four-year stretch from 2005-08, Coles led the Jets in receptions (289), receiving yards (3,439), and receiving touchdowns (24).

In Coles’ seven years with the Jets, the former Florida State Seminole recorded 5,941 receiving yards, which currently ranks fifth in Jets history. Although Coles spent his prime with the Redskins, he will forever be remembered as a game-changer for Gang Green.

4. Al Toon

On-the-field health certainly derailed Al Toon‘s career. Despite that, Toon did everything he could to overcome gruesome injuries.

New York pegged Toon as the 10th overall pick in the 1985 NFL draft. Just two seasons into his NFL career, he earned his first Pro Bowl nod at only 23 years old, catching 85 passes for 1,176 yards and eight touchdowns in 1986.

Toon would also make the Pro Bowl in each of the next two seasons. In 1988, he led the NFL in receptions with 93.

In eight seasons with the Jets, Toon recorded 517 catches for 6,605 yards and 31 touchdowns—even though he missed 27 games. Toon endured a whopping nine concussions in his NFL career.

I believe Toon had the potential to become one of the greatest receivers of all time had he managed to stay healthy throughout his career. Although Toon struggled with injuries, Jets fans will forever remember Toon’s impact, nonetheless.

3. Wayne Chrebet

There is no question that Jets X-Factor’s Wayne Chrebet is one of the most beloved players in Jets history.

Chrebet, a New Jersey native and one-half of “The Underdog Jets Podcast,” signed with the Jets in 1995 as an undrafted free agent out of Hofstra. Chrebet immediately made a statement as he earned a spot on the 53-man roster and emerged as a fan favorite while also redefining tough third-down hauls and slot play.

Across an 11-year career spent entirely with the Jets, Chrebet recorded 580 receptions for 7,365 yards and 41 touchdowns. He is second in franchise history in receptions, third in receiving yards, and third in receiving touchdowns.

Chrebet will always be one of the most beloved Jets players of all time.

2. Wesley Walker

Wesley Walker is one of the most electrifying receivers in Jets history.

Legally blind in his left eye, Walker was selected by the Jets in the second round of the 1977 NFL draft. His disability did not stop him from emerging as one of the premier wide receivers in the league during his prime.

Over the 10-year span from 1977 to 1986, Walker was third in the NFL in receiving touchdowns (63) and seventh in receiving yards (7,476).

Over his 13-year career (spent entirely with the Jets), Walker averaged 19.0 yards per reception, which remains the Jets’ franchise record among players with at least 20 receptions for the team. He led the NFL in yards per reception in each of his first two NFL seasons, posting 21.1 in 1977 and topping it with 24.4 in 1978.

Across 154 games with the Jets, Walker amassed 438 receptions for 8,306 yards and 71 touchdowns. He is second in franchise history in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns, while he ranks fifth in receptions.

Walker’s inspiring story will live on forever. He overcame a disability to become one of the greatest receivers in Jets history.

1. Don Maynard

Without a doubt, Don Maynard is the greatest receiver in Jets history.

Maynard signed with the then-New York Titans in 1960. He quickly made a statement, recording 1,265 yards and six touchdowns on 72 catches in the Titans’ 1960 debut season.

Maynard went on to play 13 seasons for the Titans/Jets, finishing with 627 receptions for 11,732 yards and 88 touchdowns—all franchise records to this day.

The southern gentleman played a major role in helping the Jets win their lone Super Bowl. Although Maynard didn’t record a reception in the Super Bowl, as he was battling a hamstring injury, Maynard’s astonishing play in the 1968 season helped the Jets get there.

Maynard was named a first-team All-Pro that season; in just 13 games, he caught 57 passes for 1,297 yards and 10 touchdowns. Maynard led the AFL in yards per reception (22.8) and receiving yards per game (99.8).

Over 50 years after Maynard’s last snap with the Jets, he remains the undisputed top wide receiver in franchise history. It will be a long time before anybody catches up to him.

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