According to future Hall of Fame Oakland Raiders cornerback (now turned safety) Charles Woodson, former Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Marvin Harrison was the best wide receiver he went up against in his 18 seasons in the NFL (via ESPN):
"“Marvin Harrison was the best receiver I played against, especially being a young player and just learning the game at this level,” said Woodson.”“He was already at a high level, and the job was made even more difficult because it seemed like every time we played the Colts it was in Indianapolis, where they played on turf — that old AstroTurf,” added Woodson. “I hated playing on that. The Colts were fast on it, and Marvin had everything: He was bigger than you would think from watching him on film, and he was fast and quick and ran great routes. They were going to line him on the defense’s left side every time, but he was tough to deal with even when you knew where he was going to be. I never was one of those guys who was going to lose sleep thinking about a matchup, but I did understand that it was going to be one of those days when I was playing him. Really, he was the only guy that I thought of like that.”"
Of course, he’s not alone in his assessment, as other highly regarded NFL cornerbacks that had the misfortune of playing against Harrison such as Champ Bailey and Charles “Peanut” Tillman have said the same thing.
There’s no question that Harrison is one of the NFL’s all-time great receivers and should finally be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year, after years of being ridiculously snubbed. Currently, Harrison is a semi-finalist for induction.
Teaming up with Peyton Manning, Harrison went on to help form one of the best quarterback to wide receiver combinations in NFL history.
The 6’0″, 175 pound diminutive, but dangerous wideout finished his Colts career with 1,102 receptions for 14,580 receiving yards, and 128 receiving touchdowns in 13 seasons. That ranks 3rd (receptions), 7th (receiving yards), and 5th all-time (receiving touchdowns) respectively.
Harrison was an Super Bowl XLI Champion, 8x Pro Bowler, 3x First-Team All-Pro, NFL All-Decade Team Member of 2000’s, and was inducted into the Colts Ring of Honor in 2011.
Needless to say, he’s one of the most accomplished players to play the wide receiver position. At one point in his career, he was nearly uncoverable.
Still, Woodson remains a great player in his own right, so it’s high praise for Harrison coming from a former cornerback who’s one day destined for Canton, Ohio, himself after he retires at season’s end.
The 39 year old and former Heisman Trophy winner is a Super Bowl XLV Champion, 9x Pro Bowler, 4x First-Team All-Pro, Defensive Player of the Year, and NFL All-Decade Team Member of 2000’s.
Simply put, it’s one of the best players to ever play the cornerback position saying that Harrison was the best player he ever went up against at wide receiver–which holds significant merit.