NFL Receivers Making a Splash
NFL 2012 Football
Last season, wide receivers VICTOR CRUZ of the New York Giants, CALVIN JOHNSON of the Detroit Lions and WES WELKER of the New England Patriots reached historic milestones. The trio marked the second season in NFL history (1995, four) in which three players posted at least 1,500 receiving yards.
Cruz ranked third in the NFL with 1,536 receiving yards in 2011 and surpassed AMANI TOOMER (1,343 in 2002) for the most receiving yards in a single season in Giants history. Cruz also set a club record with seven 100-yard receiving games last season.
"What makes him a great player is he has a great feel for what's going on around him, where defenders are, what coverages they are in," says Giants quarterback ELI MANNING. "That's where it starts. He also does a great job after catching the ball of making guys miss. He's got a knack for turning a play that is designed to get four, five or six yards into a 60-70 yard gain."
Johnson registered an NFL-best 1,681 receiving yards last season and ranked second in the league with a franchise-record 16 touchdown catches. He became only the second player (RANDY MOSS in 2003) in NFL history to register 1,600+ receiving yards and 16+ receiving touchdowns in a season.
Selected No. 2 overall in the 2007 NFL Draft, Calvin Johnson also joined Pro Football Hall of Famers LANCE ALWORTH and JERRY RICE as the only players in NFL history to record at least 12 receiving touchdowns three times in their first five seasons.
"There are not many players like Calvin Johnson in the NFL," says Lions head coach JIM SCHWARTZ. "He's 6-5, 235 pounds, runs a 4.3 in the 40 and he can vertical jump about 44 inches. Each of those things is really good for a certain position, but if you combine all of them into one package, it's surreal."
Welker hauled in a league-high 122 receptions last year and became the second player in NFL history with at least 120 catches in two different seasons (123 in 2009), joining CRIS CARTER (122 in 1994 and 1995).
"Wes Welker would make any quarterback better with his ability to get open and catch the ball," says Patriots quarterback TOM BRADY. "He's a very smart player who has a great feel for the game and a great feel on how to get open. That gives me a lot of confidence."
In 2011, Welker also registered his fourth season with 100+ receptions and tied Rice and MARVIN HARRISON as the only players to have four 100-catch seasons.
Most Players With At Least 1,500 Receiving Yards
|Season||Players with at Least 1,500 Receiving Yards|
|Source: NFL *Pro Football Hall of Famer|
|1995||Jerry Rice* (1,848), Isaac Bruce (1,781), Herman Moore (1,686), Michael Irvin* (1,603)|
|2011||Calvin Johnson (1,681), Wes Welker (1,569), Victor Cruz (1,536)|
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