The New York Giants have been an existing franchise since 1925. They began winning NFL Championships soon after being founded. The Giants have four NFL Championships and four Super Bowls in their history.
Since their last title in 2011, the Giants have made the playoffs just once in eight years. That stretch will continue in 2020 as they are expected to finish in the bottom half of the NFC East along with Washington. The Giants will enter the season with Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard as their top two receivers. Darius Slayton is another bright spot who developed a strong connection with Daniel Jones last season.
The Giants have had elite wide receivers throughout all generations in their history. When putting together their top five in history, they were spread out over many years. Here is the final list of the best receivers in franchise history.
5. Del Shofner
Shofner entered the league in 1957 and spent four years with the Los Angeles Rams. He did not record a catch during his rookie year before leading the league in receiving yards in 1958 with 1,097. In Los Angeles, Shofner was a two-time Pro Bowler and All-Pro selection. In 1961, he began his seven year tenure with the Giants.
Over the first three years of Shofner’s Giants’ career, he was both a Pro Bowler and All-Pro selection. He logged 68 catches for 1,125 yards and 11 touchdowns. In 1962, Shofner totaled 53 catches for 1,133 yards and 12 touchdowns. He averaged 21.4 yards per reception. Shofner put together one of the best three year stretches in team history and it continued in 1963 with 1,181 yards and nine scores.
Shofner missed significant time over the course of his final four years in New York. On the Giants’ all time receiving list, there are many running backs near the top including Tiki Barber, Joe Morrison, and Frank Gifford. Shofner is eighth all time in receiving yards among wide receivers. He lands on this list mainly because of his early dominance over his first three years in a Giants’ uniform.
4. Homer Jones
Jones came to New York in 1964 at 23 years old and played just three games as a rookie. He was selected 33rd overall by the Houston Oilers in the 1963 AFL Draft but suffered a knee injury and was cut shortly after. He was then selected by the Giants in the 20th round of the 1963 NFL Draft.
Jones quickly bounced back, scoring six touchdowns in his second season before becoming a starter in 1966. He caught 48 passes for 1,044 yards and eight touchdowns. Jones was a big play receiver for the Giants who averaged 21.8, 24.7, and 23.5 yards per reception from 1966-1968. He put up his best numbers in 1967 with 49 catches for 1,209 yards and a league-leading 13 touchdowns. Jones was a two-time Pro Bowler with the Giants.
Jones spent the 1970 season in Cleveland before calling it a career. He finished his Giants’ career with 214 catches, 4.845 yards, and 35 touchdowns.
3. Kyle Rote
Rote was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1951 NFL Draft out of SMU. He spent his entire 11-year career with the Giants and was a four-time Pro Bowler. It took Rote a few years to breakout in New York.
In 1953, Rote earned his first of four straight Pro Bowl appearances. He finished with 440 yards and eight touchdowns. Rote got stronger as his career went on. He posted his best two seasons over the final years of his career. In 1960, Rote finished with 750 yards and 10 touchdowns. During the final year of his career, Rote ended with a career-high 805 yards.
Rote played in 121 games as a Giant. He played during a time where there was not much emphasis on throwing the ball. Rote is seventh all time in receiving yards for the Giants with 4,797. He ranks second in receiving touchdowns with 48.
2. Odell Beckham Jr.
The Giants added Beckham in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft and he burst onto the scene immediately. Beckham is arguably the most talented receiver in Giants’ history. He showed his crazy athleticism and hands during his five years with the Giants.
In year one, Beckham was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year after posting 91 catches for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns. Beckham outdid himself in year two with 96 catches for 1,450 yards and 13 touchdowns. In 2016, he earned his third straight Pro Bowl appearance with 101 catches for 1,367 yards and 10 touchdowns. Beckham would have landed higher on this list if his time as a Giant lasted longer. He played just four games in 2017 and was traded to the Cleveland Browns following the 2018 season. Beckham played 59 games as a Giant.
Beckham was a sideshow during his years in New York. He was famous for a one-handed catch on the field and tantrums off the field. There was an issue with Josh Norman, a kicking net, and all coaches he played for. It did not help that Beckham was on just one winning team in five years with the Giants.
Beckham’s talent cannot be denied. In 59 games, he totaled 390 catches and 5,476 yards which is second in franchise history. He logged 44 touchdowns before being sent to Cleveland. Beckham is currently with the Browns and finished with over 1,000 yards in his first season with the Browns.
1. Amani Toomer
Toomer was the Giants’ second round pick in 1996. After finishing his rookie year with just one catch for 12 yards, the team did not expect for him to turn into their top receiver in franchise history. Toomer did not have a breakout season until 1999.
This is where he put up his first 1,000 yard season. Toomer would be targeted over 100 times in each of the next seven seasons. He posted five straight 1,000 yard seasons from 1999-2003. In 2002, Toomer finished with a career-high in catches with 82 and receiving yards with 1,343. He also caught a career-best eight touchdowns.
Toomer spent 13 years in New York. In August of 2009, Toomer signed with the Kansas City Chiefs but was cut less than a month later. He did not play a game for any other team but the Giants. Toomer has a stranglehold on all Giants’ receiving records. He is the leader in catches (668), receiving yards (9,497), and receiving touchdowns (54). Toomer checks all the boxes when looking for a top receiver. He had a long tenure and is at the top of all major receiving lists.