Skip to main content

Shannon Sharpe Names NFL's Best Non-QB Player Ever

ATLANTA, GA - FEBRUARY 02:  NFL player Shannon Sharpe attends the 8th Annual NFL Honors at The Fox Theatre on February 2, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

ATLANTA, GA - FEBRUARY 02: NFL player Shannon Sharpe attends the 8th Annual NFL Honors at The Fox Theatre on February 2, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

Like most NFL conversations, the all-time great discussion inevitably revolves around quarterbacks.

Tom Brady may be running away with the G.O.A.T. label, but who's the best NFL player ever when removing the most important position?

Shannon Sharpe struggled between two choices before picking a legendary wide receiver during Wednesday's Undisputed.

"I go back and forth between Jerry Rice and Lawrence Taylor, but ... I'm gonna pick Jerry because [of] the level of greatness that he was able to sustain for 20 seasons."

As Sharpe noted, Rice is 5,403 receiving yards ahead of Larry Fitzgerald for the NFL's all-time high. He also holds a sizable lead over Fitzgerald on the receptions leaderboard and notched 197 receiving touchdowns, 41 more than runner-up Randy Moss.

Rice also remained productive near the end of his career, tallying 1,211 receiving yards and seven touchdowns in his age-40 season with the Raiders. That marked the 13-time Pro Bowler's 14th 1,000-yard campaign.

The former 49ers legend also has compiled more postseason receiving yards (2,245) and touchdowns (22) than anyone by a wide margin. Among his three championships, he earned Super Bowl XXIII honors with 11 catches for 215 yards and a touchdown in a 20-16 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Sharpe said there's "no question" Rice is the greatest wide receiver of all time, but he wasn't as emphatic about selecting him over Taylor.

Of course, there's no foolproof method of choosing between a legendary pass-catcher and an unstoppable linebacker. There's not much reason to, either.

Rice and Taylor were all-time greats at their respective crafts.