Stefon Diggs is having yet another explosive season with Josh Allen as he continues to prove he’s one of the best wide receivers in the league. The 29-year-old has 31 catches (4th in the NFL), 399 receiving yards (8th in the NFL), and 4 receiving touchdowns (tied-2nd in the NFL) through just four games in 2023.
Diggs opened the regular season with 10 catches for 102 yards and one touchdown in a disappointing loss to the New York Jets. He only had 7 catches for 66 yards in Week 2, but the Buffalo Bills got the win and he has been nothing short of elite ever since – a big reason why his team is 3-1 after four games.
He ended Week 3 with 8 catches for 111 yards in the Bills’ 38-7 handling of the Washington Commanders and followed that up with a masterful performance in Week 4 – where he torched the Miami Dolphins for 6 catches, 120 yards, and 3 touchdowns. Now that he’s hot, he’s going to be a very tough receiver to stop.
Stefon Diggs Joins Elite Company With 9,000 Career Receiving Yards
Stefon Diggs entered Week 3 just 20 yards shy of having 9,000 career receiving yards. With his 111 yards in Week 3 and 120 yards in Week 4, Diggs is well past that mark with 9,211 career receiving yards. In fact, he already has his eyes set on 10,000 yards – a realistic goal for him to accomplish by season’s end.
To put his recent achievement in perspective, Diggs becomes just the 71st receiver or tight end in NFL history to record 9,000 career receiving yards and just the 6th active receiver or tight end to surpass that mark. It’s not something we see very often, but we’re not surprised to see Diggs join that elite company.
The only other active receivers (and tight end) to surpass 9,000 career receiving yards are Keenan Allen (Los Angeles Chargers), Davante Adams (Las Vegas Raiders), Travis Kelce (Kansas City Chiefs), Mike Evans (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), and DeAndre Hopkins (Tennessee Titans). Let’s take a closer look!
5. Keenan Allen – 9,721 yards
Keenan Allen was drafted by the San Diego Chargers with the No. 76 overall (3rd round) pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. He’s currently playing in his 11th season in the NFL – all of which with the LA Chargers – and has 831 receptions (1,203 targets) for 9,721 yards and 55 receiving touchdowns in 130 games played.
Allen joined the 9,000-yard club during the 2022 season and is set to join the 10k club by the end of the month. He already has 35 catches (44 targets) for 434 yards and 3 touchdowns in just four games this season. If he can stay healthy for 13 more games, he very well could have the best season of his career.
4. Davante Adams – 10,034 yards
Davante Adams was drafted by the Green Bay Packers with the No. 53 overall pick (2nd round) in the 2014 NFL Draft. He’s currently playing in his 10th season in the NFL – second season with the Las Vegas Raiders – and has 802 catches (1,242 targets) for 10,034 yards and 90 touchdowns in 137 games played.
Adams joined the 9,000-yard club during the 2022 season and just joined the 10k club last week – the club’s newest member. He might not have an elite quarterback this year, but he managed to grab 33 catches (50 targets) for 397 yards and 3 touchdowns through the first four games of the 2023 season.
3. Travis Kelce – 10,499 yards
Travis Kelce was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs with the No. 63 overall pick (3rd round) in the 2013 NFL Draft. He’s currently playing in his 11th season in the NFL – all of which with Kansas City – and he has 831 receptions (1,172 targets) for 10,499 yards and 71 receiving touchdowns in 147 games played.
Kelce joined the 9,000-yard club during the 2021 season and joined the 10k club last season. He has recorded at least 1,000 yards in each of the past seven seasons, but is off to a slow start in 2023 with just 17 catches (26 targets) for 155 yards and 2 touchdowns in three games after missing the season opener.
2. Mike Evans – 10,762 yards
Mike Evans was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the No. 7 overall pick (1st round) in the 2014 NFL Draft. He’s currently playing in his 10th season in the NFL – all of which with the Buccaneers – and he has 703 receptions (1,216 targets) for 10,762 yards and 84 touchdowns in 141 career games played.
Evans joined the 9,000-yard club during the 2021 season and joined the 10k club last season. With at least 1,000 yards in each of his first nine seasons in the league, many people were curious if he could make it 10 this year. He already has 20 catches for 337 yards and 3 touchdowns through four games.
1. DeAndre Hopkins – 11,514 yards
DeAndre Hopkins was drafted by the Houston Texans with the No. 27 overall pick (1st round) in the 2013 NFL Draft. He’s currently playing in his 11th season in the NFL – first season with the Tennessee Titans – and has 871 catches (1,399 targets) for 11,514 yards and 71 touchdowns in 149 games played.
Hopkins joined the 9,000-yard club and 10 k club during the 2020 season – which was the last time we saw Hopkins in the Pro Bowl and last time he surpassed the 100-catch, 1,000-yard mark in a single season (he had 115 catches for 1,407 yards that season). He has 216 yards through four games in 2023.
Receivers Likely to Join Stefon Diggs in the Near Future
In order for a wide receiver or tight end to log 9,000 receiving yards in their career, a lot of things have to go right. They not only have to make it to the NFL, but they have to be trusted as their team’s No. 1 or No. 2 receiver for at least 10 years – usually more. It takes time, health, opportunity, execution, and more.
Of course, having a superstar quarterback certainly helps. I mean, 9,000 yards was always a realistic goal for Stefon Diggs, but it almost became guaranteed once he teamed up with Josh Allen in Buffalo. He had 4,623 yards in five years with Minnesota before recording 4,189 yards in his first three years with the Bills.
With that said, Diggs might be the latest receiver to surpass 9,000 yards but he won’t be the last. In fact, we’ll see several more players achieve it by the end of the season and many more achieve it over the next few years. Let’s take a look at the active receivers and tight ends who are closest to 9,000 yards.
15. Chris Godwin – 5,921 yards
Chris Godwin was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the No. 84 overall pick (3rd round) in the 2017 NFL Draft. He’s currently playing in his seventh season in the NFL – all of which with Tampa Bay – and has 467 receptions (654 targets) for 5,921 yards and 32 receiving touchdowns in 91 games played.
Godwin has had at least 1,000 yards in three of the past four seasons (including each of the past two). If he can keep up that level of production, he should be joining the 9,000-yard club in the 2025 or 2026 season. He’s one of the game’s best receivers, so he’ll get plenty of opportunity if he can stay healthy.
14. Cooper Kupp – 6,329 yards
Cooper Kupp was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams with the No. 69 overall pick (3rd round) in the 2017 NFL Draft. He’s currently playing in his seventh season in the NFL – all of which with the Rams – and has 508 receptions (696 targets) for 6,329 yards and 46 receiving touchdowns in 80 career games played.
Kupp combined for 186 receptions for 2,135 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2019 and 2020. In 2021, he led the entire NFL in receptions (145), receiving yards (1,947), and receiving touchdowns (16). He hasn’t been healthy ever since and has yet to play in 2023, but is finally making his return for LA in Week 5.
13. Michael Thomas – 6,340 yards
Michael Thomas was drafted by the New Orleans Saints with the No. 47 overall pick (2nd round) in the 2016 NFL Draft. He’s currently playing in his seventh season in the NFL – all of which with the Saints – and has 548 receptions (711 targets) for 6,340 yards and 35 touchdowns in 77 career games played.
Thomas had already joined the 5,000-yard club by the end of his fourth season in the NFL, but he has just 78 catches for 828 yards and 3 touchdowns in 14 games since 2020. He has struggled to stay healthy, which is a shame for a former Offensive Player of the Year who led the NFL in receiving yards in 2019.
12. Allen Robinson – 6,856 yards
Allen Robinson was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the No. 61 overall pick (2nd round) in the 2014 NFL Draft. He’s currently playing in his 10th season in the NFL – his first season with the Pittsburgh Steelers – and has 540 catches (918 targets) for 6,856 yards and 43 touchdowns in 114 games played.
Robinson had 1,400 yards and a league-leading 14 touchdowns with the Jaguars in 2015, 98 receptions for 1,147 yards with Chicago in 2020, and 102 catches for 1,250 yards with the Bears in 2021. With that said, he has just 83 catches for 857 yards and 4 TDs in the three years since – with three different teams.
11. Adam Thielen – 6,969 yards
Adam Thielen went undrafted in the 2013 NFL Draft, but was signed by the Minnesota Vikings as an undrafted free agent after a tryout. He’s currently playing in his 10th season in the NFL – his first with the Carolina Panthers – and has 561 catches (809 targets) for 6,969 yards and 57 TDs in 139 games played.
Thielen had an impressive three-year stretch with the Minnesota Vikings between 2016 and 2018 where he had 273 catches for 3,616 yards and 18 touchdowns, but he hasn’t been the same since. If he can stay healthy and keep teams interested, then he can reach the 9,000-yard club by the 2026 season.
10. Tyler Lockett – 7,257 yards
Tyler Lockett was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks with the No. 69 overall pick (3rd round) in the 2015 NFL Draft. He’s currently playing in his ninth season in the NFL – all of which with the Seahawks – and has 550 receptions (769 targets) for 7,257 yards and 56 receiving touchdowns in 131 games played.
Lockett had just 137 catches for 1,816 yards and 9 TDs through the first three years of his career, but had 396 catches for 5,284 yards and 45 TDs over the next five seasons and has recorded at least 1,000 yards in four consecutive seasons. If he can maintain that level of play, he’ll join the 9,000-yard club by 2024-25.
9. Zach Ertz – 7,383 yards
Zach Ertz was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles with the No. 35 overall pick (2nd round) in the 2013 NFL Draft. He’s currently playing in his 11th season in the NFL – his third season with the Arizona Cardinals – and has 702 receptions (1,048 targets) for 7,383 yards and 45 touchdowns in 148 games.
Ertz has only surpassed the 1,000-yard mark in one season – he had 116 catches for 1,163 yards and 8 touchdowns in 2018 – but he consistently got between 700 and 1,100 yards in six consecutive seasons with the Eagles. If he can stay healthy, he can reach the 9,000-yard club by the end of the 2026 season.
8. Marvin Jones – 7,394 yards
Marvin Jones was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals with the No. 166 overall pick (5th round) in the 2012 NFL Draft. He’s currently playing in his 11th season in the NFL – his sixth season with the Detroit Lions (second stint) – and has 544 catches (901 targets) for 7,394 yards and 58 TDs in 149 games played.
Jones has only surpassed the 1,000-yard mark once in his career – he had 61 catches for 1,101 yards and 9 touchdowns in 2017 – but he has consistently gotten between 700 and 900 yards in 7 of the past 9 seasons. He only has 2 catches for 8 yards through four games this season, so he needs to step it up.
7. Odell Beckham Jr. – 7,433 yards
Odell Beckham Jr. was drafted by the New York Giants with the No. 12 overall pick (1st round) in the 2014 NFL Draft. He’s currently playing in his ninth season in the NFL – his first season with the Baltimore Ravens – and has 536 catches (887 targets) for 7,433 yards and 56 TDs in 98 career games played.
Beckham Jr. had 288 receptions for 4,122 yards and 35 TDs through his first three years in the league, but only played in four games in 2017. He had 1,052 yards with the Giants in 2018 and 1,035 yards with the Browns in 2019, but has been riddled with injuries ever since. He can still bounce back, though.
6. Randall Cobb – 7,605 yards
Randall Cobb was drafted by the Green Bay Packers with the No. 64 overall pick (2nd round) in the 2011 NFL Draft. He’s currently playing in his 13th season in the NFL – his first season with the New York Jets – and has 628 catches (903 targets) for 7,605 yards and 53 receiving touchdowns in 159 games played.
Cobb has only surpassed the 1,000-yard mark once in his career – he had 91 catches for 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2014 – but has consistently gotten between 375 and 800 yards every year of his career. He only has 20 yards this season, but he can reach 9,000 yards if he stays with Aaron Rodgers.
5. Robert Woods – 7,795 yards
Robert Woods was drafted by the Buffalo Bills with the No. 41 overall pick (2nd round) in the 2013 NFL Draft. He’s currently playing in his 11th season in the NFL – his first season with the Houston Texans – and has 641 receptions (1,019 targets) for 7,795 yards and 37 touchdowns in 146 career games played.
Woods has been as consistent as you can get at the wide receiver position – tallying at least 500 yards every single year since he entered the league. He had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons with the Rams in 2018 (1,219 yards) and 2019 (1,134 yards). He can reach 9,000 yards by the end of 2025 or 2026.
4. Amari Cooper – 8,495 yards
Amari Cooper was drafted by the Oakland Raiders with the No. 4 overall pick (1st round) in the 2015 NFL Draft. He’s currently playing in his ninth season in the NFL – his second season with the Cleveland Browns – and has 613 receptions (981 targets) for 8,495 yards and 56 touchdowns in 129 games played.
Cooper has had at least 1,000 yards in 6 of his first 8 seasons in the league and is already off to a decent start in 2023 with 18 catches for 259 yards and 1 touchdown through four games. He’ll likely join the 9,000-yard club by the end of this season – he only needs 505 more yards with 13 games remaining.
3. Jimmy Graham – 8,514 yards
Jimmy Graham was drafted by the New Orleans Saints with the No. 95 overall pick (3rd round) in the 2010 NFL Draft. He’s currently playing in his 13th season in the NFL – his sixth season with the Saints (second stint) – and has 714 catches (1,109 targets) for 8,514 yards and 86 TDs in 188 games played.
Graham had just 31 catches for 356 yards and 5 touchdowns his rookie season, but had 355 catches for 4,396 yards and 46 touchdowns over the next four seasons. He consistently tallied between 450 and 650 yards in six straight seasons between 2015 and 2020, but has struggled to make a difference ever since.
2. Brandin Cooks – 8,682 yards
Brandin Cooks was drafted by the New Orleans Saints with the No. 20 overall pick (1st round) in the 2014 NFL Draft. He’s currently playing in his 10th season in the NFL – first season with the Dallas Cowboys – and has 638 receptions (979 targets) for 8,682 yards and 49 touchdowns in 135 games.
Cooks had at least 1,000 yards in 6 of 7 seasons between 2015 and 2021, but came up short least year with 57 catches for 699 yards and 3 touchdowns in 13 games with the Texans. He can join the 9,000 club by the end of this season if he picks up the pace – he has 8 catches for 66 yards through three games.
1. Tyreek Hill – 8,810 yards
Tyreek Hill was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs with the No. 165 overall pick (5th round) in the 2016 NFL Draft. He’s currently playing in his eighth season in the NFL – second season with the Miami Dolphins – and already has 626 receptions (918 targets) for 8,810 yards and 67 TDs in 112 games.
Hill has surpassed the 1,100-yard mark in five of his first seven seasons in the league and is coming off a season that saw him go off for 119 catches, 1,710 yards, and 7 touchdowns. He’s already off to an impressive start to the 2023 season and will join the 9,000 club by the end of Week 6 (if not Week 5).
Which Receivers Have the Most Receiving Yards All-Time?
Knowing that there are only six active receivers with at least 9,000 receiving yards makes you appreciate the all-time leaders because some of their career numbers are straight-up ridiculous. Take Jerry Rice for example – he’s the NFL’s all-time leader in receiving yards with 22,895 yards between 1985 and 2004.
That’s nearly double that of DeAndre Hopkins, who is the current active leader with 11,514 receiving yards. Rice is the only receiver to eclipse the 20,000-yard mark and is one of just six receivers/tight ends to record at least 15,000 receiving yards. For all the players we listed above, it’s a long road to the top.
The only other receivers/tight ends to retire with at least 15,000 receiving yards are Larry Fitzgerald (17,492 yards), Terrell Owens (15,934 yards), Randy Moss (15,292 yards), Isaac Bruce (15,208 yards), and Tony Gonzalez (15,127 yards). It’s hard to say when we’ll see another player join this elite company.
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