Try our corporate solution for free!
(212) 419-8286

Players in NFL history with most receiving yards 2021

In American Football terms, receiving yards refers to the number of yards gained by a receiver on a passing play – this not only includes the length of the pass, but also the additional yards that the player was able to run once he was in possession of the ball. Jerry Rice is the only player in NFL history with more than 20,000 receiving yards – the wide receiver racked up 22,895 receiving yards in a career spanning from 1985 to 2004.

Jerry Rice – NFL legend

With an unrivalled number of receiving yards to his name, it is no wonder that Jerry Rice is considered a legend of the game. Widely lauded as the best wide receiver in history, the Mississippi native was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010. Rice spent the majority of his career in San Francisco, plying his trade for the 49ers. Unsurprisingly, he is the runaway leader for all time receiving yards for the franchise with 19,247 yards. No other player for the 49ers has managed to break the 10,000-yard barrier. Having been on the receiving end of so many successful passes, Jerry Rice also leads the way in number of touchdowns for the 49ers – he scored 187 times for the San Francisco team, more than twice that of his closest rival, Terrell Owens.

Leading quarterbacks

Behind every great wide receiver is a great quarterback because without a perfect throw, the pass would never be completed. Drew Brees, who has been plying his trade as a quarterback in the NFL since 2001, currently leads the way with the most passing yards in NFL history – he has passed a combined total of over 80 thousand yards for the San Diego Chargers and the New Orleans Saints, beating stiff competition from other legendary quarterbacks including Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, and Tom Brady. The skill and level of performance of these modern-day quarterbacks can be seen in the fact that the average completed passing yards per game stands at 234 yards – between 1950 and 1959, this figure stood at just 167 yards.

Players with the most receiving yards in NFL history as of February 2021

Loading statistic...
You need to log in to download this statistic
Register for free
Already a member?
Log in
Show detailed source information?
Register for free
Already a member?
Log in

Release date

February 2021


United States

Survey time period

as of February 3, 2021

Supplementary notes

Regular season.

Statista Accounts: Access All Statistics. Starting from $468 / Year
Basic Account
Get to know the platform

You only have access to basic statistics.

Single Account
The ideal entry-level account for individual users
  • Instant access to 1m statistics
  • Download in XLS, PDF & PNG format
  • Detailed references
$59 $39 / Month *
in the first 12 months
Corporate Account
Full access

Corporate solution including all features.

* Prices do not include sales tax.

Statistics on "National Football League"

Statista Accounts: Access All Statistics. Starting from $468 / Year
Learn more about how Statista can support your business.