Hall of Fame Receiver Says Two Cardinals Have Best Hands Ever

Howard Balzer

Wide receiver Cris Carter played 16 seasons in the NFL for three teams – the Vikings, Eagles and Dolphins – and was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2013.

During his career, Carter had 1,101 receptions with 130 touchdowns and at one point had eight consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. So, he knows just a little about pass-catchers.

In a recent video for NFL.com, Carter named the five receivers in league history he believes had the best hands. Three are retired and also in the Hall of Fame: Jerry Rice, Randy Moss and Steve Largent.

The other two are Cardinals receivers Larry Fitzgerald and DeAndre Hopkins.

Carter chose those five players, but did not rank them in any specific order.

On Fitzgerald and Hopkins, Carter said, "I didn't have to drop the standard when I talk about these two. When you talk about the current state of the NFL as far as the best hands, I have these guys at the top of that list. They've done it for a long period of time and that is why they are on this elite list."

Of course, Hopkins hasn’t been at it that long yet, having played seven seasons.

While numbers, of course, aren’t the only standard for players, here’s where Carter’s picks rank on the NFL’s career lists:


  1. Rice (No. 1, 1,549)
  2. Fitzgerald (No. 2, 1,378) 
  3. Moss (No. 15, 982)
  4. Largent (No. 30, 819)
  5. Hopkins (No. 64 632)

Receiving yards: 

  1. Rice (No. 1, 22,895)
  2. Fitzgerald (No. 2, 17,083) 
  3. Moss (No. 4, 15,292) 
  4. Largent (No. 18, 13,089)
  5. Hopkins (No. 78 8,602)

Receiving touchdowns: 

  1. Rice (No. 1, 197)
  2. Moss (No. 2, 156)
  3. Fitzgerald (No. 4, 120) 
  4. Largent (T9, 100)
  5. Hopkins (T107, 54)

However, it won’t take a lot for Hopkins to continue his vault up the lists because many players are bunched together. A 100-catch season would move him into a tie for 44th, 1,000 yards would get him to 54th and 10 touchdowns would result in a jump to a tie for 65th.