Remember the last time you saw Larry Fitzgerald drop a pass? Yeah, me neither. The living legend and lifelong Arizona Cardinal has the greatest set of hands in NFL history, and he’s still making acrobatic catches in the league at the age of 36. Fitzgerald is a surefire Hall of Famer once he retires from the NFL, and his drop rate is a huge reason why.
Besides his drop rate, though, there’s another stat associated with Fitzgerald’s glue-like hands that will make you wonder how it’s even possible.
Larry Fitzgerald is a surefire Hall of Famer
If Larry Fitzgerald retired today, he could be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame tomorrow. Fitzgerald still has plenty left in the tank at age 36, but he’s already built one of the most impressive resumes at his position in NFL history.
The Cardinals WR already ranks second all-time in receptions (1,378) and receiving yards (17,083). Jerry Rice is the only NFL player who has him beat in both categories. Fitzgerald also ranks sixth all-time in receiving touchdowns with 120. He needs nine more to pass Marvin Harrison and 11 more to pass Cris Carter on the all-time list.
Notice anything similar about the players Fitzgerald ranks beside? Yup, they’re all Hall of Famers. Fitzgerald is criminally underrated as an all-time NFL great, but he should be in the conversation for the greatest wide receiver ever.
Larry Fitzgerald has the best hands in NFL history, and this stat proves it
Larry Fitzgerald’s hands are so impressive he might have the most mind-boggling stat of any wide receiver to ever play the game. Over the course of his career, Fitzgerald has more tackles (39) than drops (29). And he’s never even played a snap on defense!
Fitzgerald’s tackles all came on interceptions thrown by his various quarterbacks. As rare as making a tackle on offense is in the NFL, it’s even rarer for Fitzgerald to drop a catchable pass.
And it’s not like Fitzgerald doesn’t have a large sample size, either. The lifelong Cardinal has played 16 seasons in the NFL, and he’s seen over 128,000 passes thrown his way. Of the massive number of targets he’s received over the years, Fitzgerald has somehow only dropped 29 of them.
Could Larry Fitzgerald catch Jerry Rice as the GOAT?
Is it possible Larry Fitzgerald could catch Jerry Rice as the greatest receiver of all time? The short answer — no. But he’s closer than you might think.
Fitzgerald is just 171 receptions behind Rice for the most in NFL history. He could easily surpass Rice in catches if he plays three more seasons. As for receiving yards, though, Rice seems to be untouchable. Fitzgerald is nearly 6,000 yards behind Rice, so he would need to play into his 40s to catch him.
Rice played until he was 42, so who’s to say Fitzgerald can’t do the same?
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference