Jimmy Orr Or Raymond Berry Or T.Y. Hilton Or Reggie Wayne: Was Marvin Harrison Really The Colts’ Best Wide Receiver?
The Indianapolis Colts have had a rich history on the gridiron since their inception in 1953, featuring several different amazing football greats over the years. Many fans may argue about who’s the best receiver that donned the prestigious blue and white jersey with the horseshoe, symbolizing luck and hope. There are several receiver standouts who have represented the team’s animalistic perseverance and dedication to winning. These include such players as Reggie Wayne, T. Y. Hilton, Raymond Berry, Jimmy Orr, and most importantly Marvin Harrison. Was Marvin Harrison really the Colts’ best wide receiver? We’ll dig deep into this much argued question as we explore many of the Colts’ best receivers below.
Jimmy Orr may not be too familiar of a name to newer Colts fans, having only played for the Colts’ franchise in Baltimore for the remainder of his career. He made the Pro Bowl once in Pittsburgh before joining the team and played alongside another great wide receiver Raymond Berry during his tenure. Orr struggled during his first year, but came up to speed in his second year, scoring 11 touchdowns and stacked up 974 receiving yards. In 1964, Orr led the NFL in yards per reception (21.7) and repeated this feat in 1968 at the age of 33. He helped lead the team to the Super Bowl III where they unfortunately lost to the New York Jets in 1968. Injuries plagued him in his later years, which led him to retiring in 1970, the same year the Colts won a Super Bowl. Nonetheless, Orr was a contender and there’s a good reason he’s sixth on the all-time receiving yards leaderboard for the Colts.
Another dominant player Colts fans may not know about is the NFL Hall of Famer Raymond Berry, who played for the franchise for 13 years alongside Jimmy Orr. Widely considered as one of the Colts first bonafide stars, Orr led the NFL in touchdowns in 1958 and 1959. In 1960, Orr put up a whopping 1,298 receiving yards over the course of 12 games, averaging over 108.2 yards per game. He was selected to six Pro Bowls and helped lead the Colts to two championships long before the Super Bowl era. In 1967, he retired as the all-time NFL leader in receiving yardage and receptions. It’s no wonder that Berry is considered to be one of the best receivers to ever have played for the Colts, but still pales in comparison to Marvin Harrison’s achievements.
The formidable third round draft pick, T.Y. Hilton firmly sits at 4th in the ranking of Colts history for both total receptions and reception yards. Hilton made a statement during his rookie year, he scored seven touchdowns and had 861 receiving yards, averaging 17.2 yards per reception. In 2016, he led the NFL in receiving yards racking up 1,448 yards. He’s made four Pro Bowls and achieved four-consecutive 1,000-yard seasons from 2013-2016. Hilton has a great playoff resume with the Colts, notably against the Kansas City Chiefs where he had 13 receptions for 224 yards, two touchdowns, and helped the Colts come back from a 28-point deficit. He’s battled through injuries in recent years, but still has the potential to achieve so much more.
Reggie Wayne is the only receiver on this list who comes close to Marvin Harrison when it comes to stats and accolades. Wayne holds the most career games (211) in Colts history, beating out Peyton Manning by three. The future hall of famer ranks number two right behind Harrison, sitting at 14,345 receiving yards and this puts him at number 10 on the NFL all time leaderboard for receiving yards. Wayne spent the first few years of his career playing alongside Harrison and even scored the only receiving touchdown in the Super Bowl they won against the Chicago Bears in 2007. Wayne was selected six-times for the Pro Bowl, but even with his numerous achievements still doesn’t quite stack up to Harrison.
Marvin Harrison sits on top of the Colts receiver totem pole and his accomplishments are hard to match. It’s hard to compete with Harrison who is an eight-time Pro Bowler, three-time First Team All-Pro, and a Super Bowl champion. He holds the most touchdowns in the team’s history, a total of 128 while Reggie Wayne has 82. He had double digit touchdowns in the seasons he played from 1999-2006. Plus, Harrison and Peyton Manning are known as the most prolific receiver quarterback duo in NFL history, scoring a combined 112 touchdowns over the course of 11 seasons and winning a Super Bowl ring. Not to mention Harrison’s hall of fame status along with holding the single season reception record until it was broken in 2019 by Michael Thomas. It’s safe to say Marvin Harrison is leagues apart from any other notable Colts receivers and he truly is the Colts best receiver of all time.