Greatest TD-catching receivers

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Jan 25, 2008



With 23 TD catches in 16 games during the 2007 season, Randy Moss joined Green Bay legend Don Hutson as the only two receivers in history who averaged more than 0.8 TD catches per game.
 
It's a pretty select crew.
 
As Cold, Hard Football Facts readers know, former Green Bay star Don Hutson is the most dominant receiver in the history of the NFL – that's right, even more dominant than Jerry Rice. (Hey, there's a reason Hutson made the All-Time 11).
 
Further proof of his dominance is found when we look at the list of most productive TD-scoring wideouts in NFL history. Hutson stands all alone at No. 1, a long distance ahead of second place, after averaging 0.853 TD catches per game over the course of his career (116 games, 99 TD catches).
 
Here's a look at the 30 most prolific TD-catching wideouts in NFL history, based upon per game production. (You can also click here for a sortable spreadsheet listing all 45 players with 80 or more career TDs.)
 
ALL-TIME LEADING RECEIVERS, TDs per GAME (through 2007)
 
Player
TDs
Games
TDs per game
1
Don Hutson
99
116
0.853
2
Randy Moss
124
154
0.805
3
Terrell Owens
129
173
0.746
4
Marvin Harrison
123
175
0.703
5
Art Powell
81
117
0.692
6
Jerry Rice
197
303
0.650
7
Lance Alworth
85
136
0.625
8
Sterling Sharpe
65
112
0.580
9
Cris Carter
130
234
0.556
10
Tommy McDonald
84
152
0.553
11
Gary Collins
70
127
0.551
12
Sonny Randle
65
120
0.542
13
Paul Warfield
85
157
0.541
14
Bullet Bob Hayes
71
132
0.538
15
Mark Clayton
84
158
0.532
16
Carl Pickens
63
125
0.504
17
Torry Holt
71
142
0.500
17
Steve Largent
100
200
0.500
19
Charlie Taylor
79
165
0.479
20
Don Maynard
88
186
0.473
21
Wesley Walker
71
154
0.461
22
Andre Rison
84
184
0.457
23
Jimmy Orr
66
149
0.443
24
Raymond Berry
68
154
0.442
25
Bobby Mitchell
65
148
0.439
26
Joey Galloway
77
176
0.438
27
Carmichael
79
182
0.434
28
Isaac Bruce
84
197
0.426
29
Herman Moore
62
149
0.416
30
Michael Irvin
65
159
0.409
Active players in bold
Minimum, 60 TD receptions
 
A couple things jump out, besides Hutson's numbers, which continue to stand the test of time.
 
The first is Art Powell, the forgotten AFL superstar who absolutely shredded defenses in the 1960s and probably belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In 1960 with the N.Y. Titans (later the Jets), he and Don Maynard formed the first WR tandem to each surpass 1,000 yards receiving in a single season. He went to the Raiders in 1963 and was absolutely brilliant under head coach Al Davis. He caught 73 passes for 1,394 yards (17.9 YPC) and 16 TDs in 14 games that season. He averaged 22.26 yards per catch in his 10-year career. Nobody today comes close to that mark.
 
The other is Tommy McDonald. The diminutive wideout (5-9, 176 pounds) played in the NFL from 1958 to 1968, mostly for Philadelphia. He's second only to Hutson in career TD receptions among receivers who spent their entire career in the pre-Live Ball Era NFL. To put his career into perspective, he caught in 152 games as many TD passes as Andre Rison (84) did in 12 years and 184 games in the modern NFL (1989-2000).
 
McDonald's 84 TDs came on just 495 career receptions and he averaged 17.0 yards per catch. Rison, playing mostly in quick-pass offenses, caught 743 balls and averaged just 13.7 yards per catch.

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