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RZL All-Decade Team: 2010s (Wide Receivers)
By Keith Van Wagner
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RZL All-Decade Team – 2010s (Wide Receivers)

This is the second article in what hopefully will be a long series of articles. In an effort to explore our league’s history, I’m developing an All-Decade team for the years 2010 to 2019. To do so I have had to sift through a lot of our archives, so it’s likely there are some errors. At the same time, we have a very rich history with many talented players. So it’s very likely that a few were excluded that some think should be included, especially since each of us may value some elements of the game over others. Either way, this series is meant to be fun and enlightening. I hope you enjoy.

For the WRs, I chose 6 players to represent the All-Decade Team. I did so for a couple of reasons. First, I picked 3 QBs, which is how many teams generally have on their roster, and I usually go with 6 WRs, so that felt like a good choice. Also, it was just so damn yard to narrow it down. There were a total of 20 WRs I reviewed for this article, and most everyone could have been included on this list. At the last minute I substituted Roy Hall for Yamon Figures for the final roster spot, but then put him back in at the last second.

Also, I’m not going to lie, I really wanted to include my two Panther wideouts, Jason Hill and Kevin Robinson. Hill finished his career 2nd in catches and yards, and 3rd in TDs and made 3 Pro Bowls in the Decade. But a lot of his best work was done before 2010. As for Robinson, no WR had more receiving yards or TDs between the six year stretch of 2014 and 2019 – like not even close. But I don’t want this to be some exercise in homer-ism, so I’ll leave him off.

One more note, relating to the total Yards Receiving for the Decade that I list below. I’m certain about the top 10, but I wasn’t able to figure out how to determine each of the rankings beyond that. So I’m basing it on only the WRs I looked at.

Here are the Wide Receivers of the Decade

Calvin Johnson (Jets, 2010-2019). Was there any doubt that Calvin Johnson would be on this list? Or that he’d be at the top. It’s tempting to just assume Johnson would make this list because he’s the all-time league leader in yards and receptions. But don’t forget, Johnson’s best season didn’t even come in the Decade (2009, 2,109 yards). Calvin Johnson is the gold standard for all WRs in any decade. He ties for the most Pro Bowls in the decade and is easily the most decorated, winning Best WR 3 times. The only knock on Johnson is that he wasn’t the end zone magnet you might expect from him, reaching 10 or more TDs in only 2 of his seasons in the Decade.
Stats (2010-2019)
Yards Receiving: 14,103 (1st for the Decade)
Pro Bowls: 5 (2010, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2017)
Awards: 2010 Best WR, 2013 Best WR, 2017 OPOTY, 2017 Best WR
League Leader in Yards: 2010, 2013, 2017
League Leader in Receptions: 2010, 2013
League Leader in TDs: None
Top 5 Finish in Yards: 2010, 2013, 2017
100 yard games/200 yard games: 60/3

Darrius Heyward-Bey (Redskins, 2012-2015; Dolphins 2016-2019). DHB burst onto the scene in 2012 and swept the Awards with his performance. Heyward-Bey finished 5th in receiving yards, despite being in college for the first 2 seasons of the Decade. Averaged out, DHB’s totals would have eclipsed those of Johnson. During the Decade Heyward-Bey had an astounding 19.8 yards per catch, and his 89 TDs are mind-blowing for 8 seasons. And let’s not forget about DHB’s 9 games with 200 or more yards. That’s 3 times as many as Calvin Johnson.
Stats (2010-2019)
Yards Receiving: 12,586 (5th for the Decade)
Pro Bowls: 4 (2012, 2013, 2016, 2019)
Awards: 2012 OROTY, 2012 OPOTY, 2012 Best WR, 2016 Best WR
League Leader in Yards: 2012, 2016
League Leader in Receptions: 2012
League Leader in TDs: 2012
Top 5 Finish in Yards: 2012, 2016, 2019
100 yard games/200 yard games: 59/9

Marvin Barth (Ravens, 2013-2019). At first glance it might be easy to dismiss Barth and his 16th best total receiving yards for the Decade. This is misleading as his first season was 2013. But put another way, in his 7 seasons between 2013 and 2019, he made the Pro Bowl 5 times. That’s pretty impressive. And during that period Barth had 7 games of 200 or more yards, more than Marcus Monk and Santonio Holmes combined. Barth earned only one Award during the Decade, the 2014 Best WR trophy, but he was a force throughout the Decade. Barth scored 10 or more TDs in 6 of his 7 seasons.
Stats (2010-2019)
Yards Receiving: 10,443 (16th for the Decade)
Pro Bowls: 5 (2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)
Awards: 2014 Best WR
League Leader in Yards: None.
League Leader in Receptions: None.
League Leader in TDs: 2014
Top 5 Finish in Yards: 2014, 2017, 2018
100 yard games/200 yard games: 40/7

Santonio Holmes (Steelers, 2010-2018). In some respects, the selection of Santonio Holmes may be a bit controversial here. While Holmes ended his career 3rd all-time in receiving yards, a lot of his best work came in the years before the Decade. Additionally, Holmes won no Awards and didn’t lead the league in yards or receptions in any year. All this is true. But Holmes was selected to 5 Pro Bowls during the Decade, tied for most of any WR. Though his prominence faded after 2016, he leaves a giant legacy for the league and along with Johnson forms the premiere receiving duo of the first part of the Decade. It’s also worth noting that from 2010 to 2016, Holmes averaged 13 TDs a season.
Stats (2010-2019)
Yards Receiving: 9,989 (18th for the Decade)
Pro Bowls: 5 (2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016)
Awards: None.
League Leader in Yards: None.
League Leader in Receptions: None.
League Leader in TDs: 2015
Top 5 Finish in Yards: 2015
100 yard games/200 yard games: 50/3

Marcus Monk (Bengals, 2010-2016; Bills, 2017-2019). How crazy is it that the one of only 2 men to surpass 13,000 yards receiving for the Decade is the 5th WR listed here? Marcus Monk was an imposing figure in his time in the league, standing 6’6”. Monk’s signature season came in 2011 when he caught 110 passes for 2,021 yards and 15 TDs. While his numbers were never gaudy otherwise, he was a consistent pass catcher who, as his 4 Pro Bowls attest to, was an outstanding WR. It’s interesting to note that Monk tied for the fewest 200 yard games, but also had the most 100 yard games on this list.
Stats (2010-2019)
Yards Receiving: 13,224 (2nd for the Decade)
Pro Bowls: 4 (2011, 2012, 2014, 2017)
Awards: 2011 Best WR
League Leader in Yards: 2011
League Leader in Receptions: 2011
League Leader in TDs: None.
Top 5 Finish in Yards: 2011
100 yard games/200 yard games: 64/3

Yamon Figurs (Packers, 2011-2014; Bucs, 2015-2019). For Yamon Figurs, it's a tale of two careers. His first four seasons with the Packers were productive, but nothing particularly special. Then, following a subpar first year in Tampa Bay, Figurs exploded. His 2016 campaign is one of the best in league history. In the 4 seasons to finish out the Decade, Figurs averaged over 1,700 yards. During that period Figurs went to 3 Pro Bowls and lead the league in yards one year and TDs another. Though not as productive over the long haul as some on this list, Figurs was just as brilliant, nonetheless.
Stats (2010-2019)
Yards Receiving: 11,722 (10th for the Decade)
Pro Bowls: 3 (2016, 2017, 2019)
Awards: 2016 OROTY.
League Leader in Yards: 2019.
League Leader in Receptions: None.
League Leader in TDs: 2016.
Top 5 Finish in Yards: 2016, 2017, 2019
100 yard games/200 yard games: 54/7

Others Considered: Selwyn Lymon finished the Decade with the 3rd most yards for the Decade, but only 2 Pro Bowls…Jason Hill managed over 12,600 yards and 3 Pro Bowls but just missed the cut…Kevin Robinson went to 4 Pro Bowls and had more yards or TDs than anyone from 2014-2019 but was left off the list…Edward Williams went to 3 Pro Bowls and was the Offensive Rookie of the Year for 2011…Devin Thomas finished 9th in yards for the Decade but managed only 1 Pro Bowl…How does DeSean Jackson not make this list? His 4 Pro Bowls are hard to argue with, along with his 2 Top 5 finishes in receiving yards…Marko Mitchell went to 3 Pro Bowls and was the 2019 Best WR and lead the league in receptions in 2016….Patrick Carter clearly wasn’t in the Top 6 of the Decade, but with over 10,000 yards and 3 Pro Bowls, he’s certainly in the next tier…Same for Johnny Knox who had similar stats and lead the league in TDs in 2017…Matt Jones was one of the best in the early part of the Decade…One WR that was hard to leave off the list was Louis Murphy. Between 2016 and 2019 he was one of the best in the game…One of the hardest to leave off the list was Doyle Edgell. Edgell went to 3 Pro Bowls, was the 2013 Rookie of the Year and the Best WR in 2015.
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