No position in all of sports comes with the sexiness and glamour mixed with the diva attitude of playing wide receiver in the NFL. And there have been some truly otherworldy athletes gracing the NFL with their presence as wide receivers over the history of the league. And the quality of receivers has only increased recently as the league has become pass-happier. Wide receivers are one of the hardest positions to compare across eras because the league has changed its rules and tendencies surrounding the passing game. But still, the question has to be asked: Who are the greatest to ever do it? Here are the top 20 greatest wide receivers in NFL history, ranked.

20. Lynn Swan

Pittsburgh Steeler homer takes are back in my lists and no one can stop me. Swann was the ultimate big game player, making clutch catch after clutch catch to help lead the 1970s Steelers dynasty to its immortal status. Yes, the raw numbers don't don't stack up to the greats of today. But even with his relatively shorter career than most on this list, the Hall of Famer boasts career accolades few can match. Super Bowl X MVP, All-Decade team, and four Super Bowl titles make a compelling case for inclusion on this list.

19. Antonio Brown

Antonio Brown is a hard player to rank. Brown has had well-documented off-field issues ranging from kind of weird to really upsetting. At the same time, his on-field performances are hard to deny. He was the spark plug behind the incredible Steeler offense of the 2010s. He also authored one of the greatest five-season stretches any wide receiver has ever had. From 2013-18 he had over 100 receptions and 1200 receiving yards in each season, before eventually going to Tampa Bay (in large part due to those off-field issues) and winning a Super Bowl with Tom Brady. He's certainly one of the greatest wide receivers ever.

18. Andre Reed

Andre Reed was the best wide receiver for the best offense in the league as he and quarterback Jim Kelly helped power the Buffalo Bills to four straight Super Bowl appearances. The Hall of Famer made his money in some of the biggest games in Bills history though. Reed was unreal in the 1993 playoffs, helping lead the Bills to the largest postseason comeback in league history against the Houston Oilers in the first round. Reed had eight catches for 136 yards and three touchdowns despite backup Frank Reich playing.

17. Cris Carter

A Minnesota Viking legend, Cris Carter had a bit of an unorthodox journey to greatness. After coming in through the NFL Supplemental Draft Carter was originally a Philadelphia Eagle. He struggled at first, as a good player with bad off-field habits. Carter credits the Eagles releasing him at “Rock Bottom” for helping save his career and his life. Carter would go on to reach incredible heights in Minnesota, becoming one of the best of all time and earning his Viking jersey retirement.

16.  Art Monk

Art Monk won't be a name many younger fans know, but he was one of the league's best across the 1980s and 1990s. The Washington Commanders would win three Super Bowls in ten years, with three different quarterbacks. But Art Monk was the consistency across all of them. He was fortunate to get drafted into a good situation and was given the time to grow and transform into a dominant pass catcher. Monk would lead the league in receptions, receiving yards, and yards per touch at different times in his career on his way to the 1980s All-Decade team a spot in Canton.

15. Julio Jones

Julio Jones came into the league with massive expectations as the sixth overall pick of the Atlanta Falcons, and he met them. Along with Brown, Jones was one of the dominant offensive forces of his generation. Bigger, faster, and stronger than anyone who tried to guard him, Jones helped create one of the best eras of Atlanta football. In their window of contention, Jones was selected first-team All-Pro in back-to-back seasons. During their 2016-17 Super Bowl run, Jones willed them through the playoffs highlighted by a 9-reception, 180-yard, two-touchdown performance against the Green Bay Packers.

14. Fred Biletnikoff

You know you're an all-time great when an award is named after you. While Fred Biletnikoff is honored with an award in his name in college football, he did plenty in the NFL too. Drafted into the AFL to the Raiders in 1965, Biletnikoff operated in one of the hardest environments for wideouts in league history. Despite that, he was a standout on one of the best teams of his era, helping lead the Raiders to an AFL title and then a Super Bowl after the merger. In Super Bowl XI, to cap a 16-1 season, Biletnikoff led all players with 79 receiving yards, accounting for nearly half of quarterback Ken Stabler's 180 passing yards on the day.

13. Michael Irvin

The Dallas Cowboys of the 1990s were known for their big personalities, exciting football, and winning. And it's possible no one embodied that quite like Michael Irvin did. Irvin, along with Emmitt Smith and Troy Aikman, led the Cowboys to three Super Bowls in four years in the early 1990s. “The Playmaker” was everything you think of when you picture the modern wideout. Big, fast, great hands and feet, loud, confident, and most importantly: backing it all up on the field. He deserves a spot on the list of greatest wide receivers.

12. Elroy Hirsch

To say Elroy Hirsch played the game in a different era would be a huge understatement. “Crazy Legs” had a 12-year NFL career playing for the Chicago Rockets and Los Angeles Rams from 1946-1957. And despite playing in what was essentially the Dark Ages of football for wide receivers, Hirsch authored perhaps the single greatest receiving season in NFL history. In 1951 in a 12-game season, Hirsch had 66 receptions for 1,495 yards and 17 touchdowns. Across a 17-game schedule, Hirsch would be the current leader for single-season and touchdowns. Even in a 16-game season that extrapolates to over 2000 yards, a feat no one has ever accomplished in just the regular season. For that season and his long-term success with the Rams, Hirsch owns a spot on the NFL 100 All-Time team.

11. Tim Brown

Any wide receiver who played during the 1980s and 1990s will have to feel a little overshadowed by a certain player further down this list, but Tim Brown wasn't by much. All Brown did was play the position better than almost anyone else ever had for a very long time. Brown had nine seasons in a row with over 1,000 yards receiving. He made the Pro Bowl nine times and earned a spot on the All-Decade team and in the Hall of Fame. Not to mention he did that with guys like Jay Schroeder and Jeff Hostetler throwing him the ball.

10. Marvin Harrison

Although his son his getting all the headlines now, it'll be hard for anyone to top the career of Marvin Harrison no matter how much genetic material they share. Peyton Manning's favorite target for many years, Harrison got in the league at the same time as a great quarterback and passing revolution and never looked back. When you make the NFL 100 team though, you would've been great regardless. Harrison twice led the league in receptions and yards and was a fixture on the league's best and most consistent offense during his time playing. Harrison bucked the diva trend for receivers letting his play talk for him, and it sure did talk a lot.

9. Raymond Berry

There's a story from Gil Brandt that Raymond Berry was so cerebral in his approach to the game, and understood it so well, that decades after retiring and while coaching the Cowboys, based on instinct alone he could tell the practice field wasn't big enough. No one believed him, but when they measured, sure enough, it was six inches short. He was a pioneer for the route trees that are foundational to today's game. And while people love to talk about Tom Brady getting drafted in the sixth round, Berry went in the 20th. So maybe there's someone else we should consider for greatest draft steal of all time, considering Berry was an innovator and fixture at the top of the receptions and yardage leaderboard as a player.

8. Terrell Owens

Terrell Owens was as polarizing as he was talented, and he was a generational talent who is one of the greatest wide receivers to ever step on a field. Embodying and cementing the stereotype of the loudmouthed brash diva for wide receivers, when it was good in the locker room with Owens it was amazing. When it wasn't…well, we all have our own flaws don't we? Blessed with immaculate footwork and hand-eye coordination, Owens lived in the end zone as much as he liked to live in his opponents' heads. Although towards the end of his career, he bounced around with plenty of drama, he still spent a long time in the league as one of the best.

7. Larry Fitzgerald

For every big personality like Terrell Owens, there is a Larry Fitzgerald. Perhaps no player in the 2000s and 2010s was as universally beloved and respected as Larry Legend. Fitzgerald's consistent excellence despite a laundry list of mediocre-to-terrible quarterbacks feeding him passes is amazing. He was great no matter who was throwing to him, and so consistently so that he worked his way up all the way to number two all-time in receiving yards. Fitzgerald is the first person who pops into your head when you think of the Arizona Cardinals and helped lead them to all of their best moments in the last half-century if not their entire existence.

6. Lance Alworth

Lance Alworth was another receiver playing in a tough era for the passing game who still managed to excel. Playing in the AFL for the then-San Diego Chargers, Alworth was a machine. Even in today's environment, seven straight seasons over 1000 receiving yards would be considered impressive, let alone in the mid-1960s. Not to mention during that time Alworth led the league in yards, receptions, and touchdowns three times. In fact, it what his first year establishing himself as an elite player in 1963 that helped lead the Chargers to the AFL Championship and where he earned AFL PoY honors.

5. Don Hutson

Perhaps the first great wide receiver ever, Don Hutson dominated the league at a near-unparalleled level in the 1930s and 1940s. Hutson's numbers by today's standards aren't much to look at. But it's possible no receiver has ever outclassed their peers more. Across 11 years in the league, Hutson led the league in receptions eight times, receiving yards seven times, and touchdowns nine times for Curly Lambeau's Green Bay Packers. Hutson would help lead those Packers to three NFL Championships and earn himself a spot on the 1930s All-Decade team.

4. Steve Largent

Steve Largent was an unmatched model of excellence and consistency at the time of his retirement. The first truly great Seattle Seahawk, Largent spent much of his career largely toiling away on mediocre teams with mediocre quarterbacks. Largent retired as the league's leader all-time in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns. Largent has certainly been overshadowed by the flashier and talented wideouts who have come through the league since, but few have managed to outdo his accomplishments as one of the greatest wide receivers.

3. Calvin Johnson

Calvin Johnson is probably the most talented, athletic, and unguardable person I have ever seen play the game of football with my own two eyes. “Megatron” not only is one of the best nicknames ever, but an apt description of the 6'5 receiver. The record holder for most receiving yards in a single season required double coverage at all times, if not triple. With Matthew Stafford throwing him the ball, he could take over games singlehandedly even though opponents knew what was coming. He even put up 1331 yards and led the league with 12 touchdowns for the 0-16 Detroit Lions. Ultimately it was likely in no small part due to his time playing for the Lions organization that brought about his retirement early, but he was still otherworldly talented.

2. Randy Moss

Randy Moss is one of the most electric players to ever set foot in the league. The man's name has become a verb for catching the ball over someone's head he did it so often. From his time on the Vikings to the Raiders, to the record-setting 2007 season with the Patriots, Moss was the guy wherever he went. Moss finished not only as one of the best to ever do it but with one of the biggest cultural impacts on the league as well. Moss currently has the fourth-most receiving yards of all-time, second-most touchdowns of all-time, and owns the single-season record for most receiving touchdowns in a season with 23.

1. Jerry Rice

Truly no one else can hold a candle to Jerry Rice's stranglehold on the top of this list. Rice is far and away the leader in receiving yards and touchdowns and helped lead the passing revolution in the NFL. Joe Montana and Steve Young, Rice led the West Coast Offense that the NFL had no answer for. The San Francisco 49ers were the best team in the league over the course of the time that Rice played with them. Rice won so many awards that it's hard to keep track of, including numerous PoY and MVP awards for different groups around and affiliated with the league. Maybe most telling though is the fact that he is on both the 1980s and 1990s All-Decade teams. One of the greatest wide receivers ever? Try the greatest.