Wide receiver is a complex position on the professional level. Many wide receivers require a year or two in the league before they reach their true potential, many receivers also seem to lose their speed in their early to mid thirties and consequently see their statistics drop. Which wide receivers though have stayed not only at the top of their game, but at the top of the league despite giving in to the aging process?
The Oldest Players To Lead The League In Receptions, By Decade:
1930s: Red Bagro (New York Giants) tied for the league lead with 16 receptions in 1934 when he was 32 years old.
1940s: Don Hutson (Green Bay Packers) led the league in receptions for the fifth season in a row in 1945 at the age of 32.
1950s: Two players led the league in receptions during the 1950s at the age of 32, Mac Speedie (Cleveland Browns) did it with 62 in 1952, and Pete Pihos (Philadelphia Eagles) did it with 62 in 1955.
1960s: Lionel Taylor (Denver Broncos) caught 85 passes in 1965 at the age of 30, making him the oldest player in the 1960s to lead the league in receptions.
1970s: In 1976, at the age of 34, MacArthur Lane (Kansas City Chiefs) was the NFL leader in receptions with 66.
1980s: J.T. Smith (St. Louis Cardinals) was 32 when he led the league in receptions in 1987.
1990s: Jerry Rice (San Francisco 49ers) was 34 when he led the league in receptions in 1996.
2000s: At the age of 31, Rod Smith (Denver Broncos) led the league in receptions in 2001 with 113.