Don Hutson was the first modern wide receiver. A native of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Hutson played at Alabama from 1932-34. He and Bear Bryant both played end on the 1934 National Championship team. Bryant had the utmost respect for Hutson and often referred to himself as the “other end” on the ‘34 team.
In spite of his success in college, Hutson was not widely recruited by NFL teams, who thought he was too skinny to be successful at the next level. Legendary Packers coach Curly Lambeau took a chance on Hutson and signed him in 1935.
Hutson’s first play in the NFL was an 83-yard touchdown catch. That first play started him on his way to 99 career touchdowns, best in Packers franchise history.
He was an 8-time All-Pro selection and still holds the highest TDs/game for a receiver. He also holds NFL records for most seasons leading the league in scoring, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns.
Don Hutson’s No. 14 was the first number retired by the Green Bay Packers. He is in the College Football Hall of Fame, the NFL Hall of Fame, and the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame.
Amari Cooper’s third place finish in voting for the 2014 Heisman Trophy is the highest ever finish by an Alabama football wide receiver. He is the only Alabama player to ever win the Biletnikoff award. He was the 2014 SEC Offensive Player of the Year and a unanimous First Team All-American.
Against Tennessee his junior year, Cooper set a school record for single-game receiving yards with 224. For good measure, he tied it against Auburn later that year. In a season where Blake Sims set a school record for single-season passing yards, Cooper was on the receiving end of nearly half of them.
His 99-yard touchdown catch from AJ McCarron is the longest play from scrimmage in school history and one of the only bright spots of the 2013 Iron Bowl.
Cooper was the 4th Overall Pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. In his two season career with the Oakland Raiders, Amari Cooper has played in 32 games and started 29. He has 155 receptions for 2,213 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Don Hutson was the lock at wide receiver. He basically invented the modern position. But choosing between Julio Jones and Amari Cooper was really difficult. Sort of like picking a favorite child. After much deliberation, Cooper eventually won out.
Julio Jones was a better NFL prospect than Amari Cooper, mainly because he’s absolutely huge where Cooper is only large. His first years in the NFL have been so impressive it can be argued he is the best in the NFL.
But Amari Cooper did more at Alabama. Cooper is the most decorated receiver the Tide has ever seen. He also had some fun rewriting the records Julio Jones set just a few seasons earlier.