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The All-Time Arizona Cardinals Team Lineup: Wide Receiver

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There’s a LOAD of fantastic wide receivers in Cardinals history. The challenge is you can only pick 3 of them...

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Alright folks you probably know the deal by now but just in case let’s do this one last time....

I wanted to try a new exercise where the fans could assemble the all-time team for the Arizona Cardinals in the days leading up to a much anticipated training camp.

You take ONE game on a neutral field, pick the best player and go position by position, with Cards fans voting to assemble the greatest game-day roster of Arizona Cardinals in franchise history, period.

Again: Here’s a few of the rules and guidelines

-All players must have played for the Arizona Cardinals and players must be remembered as Cardinals foremost, or for a majority of their career (aka saying “Boomer Esiason is the greatest Cardinal quarterback ever” because he was a great QB doesn’t count)

This is why despite the fact he was drafted here, I can’t put Ricky Proehl on this list as his damage and legacy is remembered more as a St. Louis Ram than anything he did in the desert.

-No impossible offensive alignments (ex. putting four tight ends on the field or finding 6 wide receivers)

-Talent wins over longevity (the goal is to find the team you’d take to win in a game) but that doesn’t mean players who played for the Cardinals forever shouldn’t be counted...

-St. Louis Cardinals do count, and if there’s an argument to be made for a Chicago Cardinal they can be included (however, it might be rare to pick them to win a single game on a field compared to today’s players unless they were the caliber of Jim Brown, for example and we’ll get to that in a second)

With that let’s look at a position filled with a lot of talent: Wide Receiver

With that here’s my finalists and ones to vote from for the all time team. We’ll be voting for THREE (WR1, WR2, WR3) so vote for the order you prefer as well (ex. if you think a guy like Anquan is the 2nd best, vote for him as WR2, etc).

Wide Receiver (3):

#1. Larry Fitzgerald (2004-Present)

This should be pretty easy, folks.

Almost anything less than calling Fitz “WR1” would be a disservice to his legacy and tenure with the team, at least in my opinion.

Larry Legend (a former Walter Payton Man of the Year as well) will get another season to add to his already incredible career of 1,303 catches for 16,279 yards, 116 TD’s and an average of 12 yards per catch.

He’s a top 5 wide receiver of all time and probably finishes as the 2nd best statistically behind Jerry Rice as of this season.

#2. Roy “Jetstream” Green (1979-1990)

Roy wasn’t the biggest, fastest or strongest but man was he fun. Outside of a spectacular 1984 season in which he had over 1,555 yards receiving, Green played a whopping 169 games for the Cardinals and was even a part of their St. Louis to Phoenix transition. He chalked up 8965 yards and 66 touchdowns for the Cardinals and is probably one of the most unsung heroes of the team overall in its history.

However, there’s still been plenty of love for Green given that he’s a post-game commentator for the team.

#3. Mel Gray (1971-1982)

Talk about underrated, this one’s a deep cut. Gray’s stats are honestly pretty close to Roy Green’s in longevity and while he never topped 1,000 yards in a season or had a ton of catches he had a ridiculous 18.4 yards per catch and 45 receiving touchdowns. That’s a lot of production for a guy who was never truly a “focal point” of an NFL’s offense back during a more run-heavy NFL in the 70’s than today’s game.

Gray also spent his entire career with the St. Louis Cardinals and something needs to be said for that.

#4. Pat Tilley (1976-1986)

I wasn’t sure at first about putting Tilley on this list, even with the fact he spent a whole career with the Cardinals.

But his stats speak for themselves with over 7,000 receiving yards off 486 catches and 37 receiving touchdowns, plus a rushing score to boot. That’s more production than some of the other more well known above names on this list! And he did it all despite being a 5’10, 178 lb. player. Imagine John Brown going out there in the NFL with less padding, etc and medical knowledge back in the day and producing like that for 147 games like he did. Wow.

About time Tilley’s name got some respect!

#5. Frank Sanders (1995-2002)

I had a football trading card or two of Frank Sanders growing up. He was a light in the darkness for the 90’s Sun Devil Stadium Cardinals and got to catch passes from Jake Plummer in his heyday.

Sanders had an 1100 yard season in 1998 and outdid a few of his rivals from a yardage standpoint, hauling in 6749 receiving yards for the Cards along with 24 touchdowns during his tenure. He played one season outside of Arizona in Baltimore but might have ended up as the best 2nd round wide receiver selection in the history of the team if not for, well....you know...

#6 Anquan Boldin (2003-2016)

Even though he only spent 7 of his 14 years in Arizona, Boldin will be remembered by the majority of NFL fans as a Cardinal. He was always the Robin to Larry Fitzgerald’s Batman with some crazy stories, such as facial plates after shattering his sinuses but returning to action only 3 weeks later.

He got a Walter Payton Man of the year award, was the fastest player to 500 catches in NFL history and caught 586 passes for 7520 yards and 79 touchdowns in Arizona. While the team couldn’t pay both him and Fitz and the “respect” issue led to bad blood (and some great games against his former team) Boldin’s probably one of the biggest stars when it came to paving the way for the Arizona Cardinals and their rise to becoming a competent NFL franchise.

So there you have it! In an 11 personnel (3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB) set we have only THREE of these wide receivers who can make it.

Honestly I think Fitz is the easy WR 1 but I’m curious so there’s three voting boxes below to vote for WR1, WR2 and WR3.

So what do you think, Arizona Cardinals fans? Vote now!

WR1:

Poll

Who is all-time WR1 for the Arizona Cardinals?

This poll is closed

  • 93%
    Larry Fitzgerald
    (214 votes)
  • 2%
    Anquan Boldin
    (6 votes)
  • 1%
    Roy Green
    (4 votes)
  • 0%
    Frank Sanders
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Mel Gray
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    Pat Tilley
    (2 votes)
228 votes total Vote Now

WR2:

Poll

Who is all-time WR2 for the Arizona Cardinals?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    Larry Fitzgerald
    (6 votes)
  • 56%
    Anquan Boldin
    (123 votes)
  • 34%
    Roy Green
    (75 votes)
  • 1%
    Frank Sanders
    (4 votes)
  • 0%
    Pat Tilley
    (2 votes)
  • 3%
    Mel Gray
    (7 votes)
217 votes total Vote Now

WR3:

Poll

Who is all-time WR3 for the Arizona Cardinals?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    Larry Fitzgerald (c’mon, now)
    (2 votes)
  • 31%
    Anquan Boldin
    (60 votes)
  • 48%
    Roy Green
    (93 votes)
  • 7%
    Frank Sanders
    (14 votes)
  • 4%
    Pat Tilley
    (8 votes)
  • 7%
    Mel Gray
    (14 votes)
191 votes total Vote Now

Be sure to vote until the 21st!