There are many Super Bowl champions featured in our list of the players with the most playoff receptions, but only three of them have surpassed 100 postseason catches.
There are a host of wide receivers and tight ends who have racked up impressive statistics in the NFL regular season.
However, only a select few elite pass catchers have been able to follow up those numbers with consistently dominant postseason performances.
To make our list featuring the players with the most playoff receptions, stars have not only had to make the postseason with their teams on a regular basis, but also make a big impact once they get there.
The players with the most postseason catches have also produced some impressive feats in the Super Bowl and two of the top 10 are far from finished yet in their bid to make NFL history.
Read on to discover the NFL players with the most career postseason receptions. We have also looked at the records for the top performers in a single playoff campaign.
1. Travis Kelce: 165 Playoff Receptions
Given the emergence of the Kansas City Chiefs as perennial Super Bowl contenders since Patrick Mahomes arrived on the scene, it became apparent that Kelce was going to have a shot at Jerry Rice’s record for playoff receptions.
Kelce had 19 catches in the playoffs to help the Chiefs to Super Bowl glory in the 2019 season, claiming six of them against the San Francisco 49ers.
In 2020, Kelce racked up 31 receptions as the Chiefs made it all the way to Super Bowl LV before losing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs defense overwhelmed the Chiefs offensive line, but Kelce still managed 10 catches for 133 yards in that losing effort.
He racked up 27 as the Chiefs claimed another Super Bowl in the 2022 season, winning another thrilling battle, this time against the Philadelphia Eagles. As he had done before against the Niners when it mattered most, Kelce caught all six of his Super Bowl targets for 81 yards and a TD.
Kelce didn’t have the best regular season in 2023, but he came up big in the postseason with 32 catches for 355 yards and three TDs to surpass Rice for the NFL postseason receptions record and help the Chiefs to a third Super Bowl title in five seasons.
2. Jerry Rice: 151 Playoff Receptions
A three-time Super Bowl champion and the holder of multiple NFL all-time receiving records, Rice also had the leading mark for most playoff receptions with 151 until Kelce passed him up on Jan. 28, 2024.
Rice made the postseason in 15 of his 20 NFL seasons and starred for the 49ers before shorter spells with the Oakland Raiders and Seattle Seahawks towards the end of his career.
The Hall of Famer was a driving force in all three of the Niners’ Super Bowl wins during his spell with the team, with 56 of his record reception total coming across those successful playoff runs.
Rice was Super Bowl MVP after an unbelievable 11 catches for 215 yards and a touchdown to help the Niners beat the Cincinnati Bengals to end the 1988 season. That postseason was his most prolific with 21 receptions.
He had another 19 catches in the following postseason when San Francisco made it back-to-back Super Bowl wins. Rice claimed seven catches for 148 yards and three TDs in a 55-10 demolition of the Denver Broncos.
And there were a further 16 NFL playoff catches for Rice as the Niners prevailed in the 1994 NFL season. Ten came in another amazing Super Bowl display (149 yards and three TDs) as the San Diego Chargers were put to the sword.
Rice also made it all the way to the Super Bowl in the 2002 season with the Raiders. He hauled in 14 catches in that postseason, including five (77 yards and one TD) in Super Bowl XXXVII, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers denied him a fourth championship.
Playing in 29 postseason games certainly helped Rice’s chances of coming out on top in this statistical category. But with four trips to the Super Bowl, Rice made the most of his opportunities. His totals of 22 receiving TDs and 2,245 yards are also NFL playoff records, while his mark of 14.9 yards per catch is the best of anyone in the top 10.
3. Julian Edelman: 118 Playoff Receptions
Edelman is the only other player to reach three figures for career postseason receptions.
A key part of the New England Patriots dynasty, Edelman helped Tom Brady to three of the six championships the star quarterback won with the team.
Edelman was MVP in Super Bowl LIII, providing a much-needed offensive spark (10 catches for 141 yards) in a 13-3 win over the Rams. He accounted for more than half of the Pats’ yardage.
Edelman had 26 catches in that postseason, the same total he had managed in the 2014 playoffs when he claimed his first Super Bowl. He grabbed nine catches for 109 yards and a TD in that memorable win over the Seattle Seahawks.
And he racked up 21 more playoff receptions as the Patriots also came out on top in 2016 after a historic comeback against the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI.
Edelman had five catches in that game, including one of the most famous Super Bowl catches in history as he somehow grabbed a ball that deflected off the shoe of cornerback Robert Alford before it hit the ground to keep the comeback alive.
4. Rob Gronkowski: 98 Playoff Receptions
Gronkowski, another Patriots great, regularly made his mark in the playoffs, helping Brady and the Patriots to three Super Bowl crowns.
After taking a year off, he followed the all-time passing yards leader to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he promptly won a fourth championship.
The best postseason Gronk put together for receptions was 2014 when he totaled 16, including six catches and a score in Super Bowl XLIX against the Seahawks.
Having been injured for the Patriots’ Super Bowl comeback against the Falcons, he made a key impact when the Patriots beat the Rams two years later with six catches. He also had a crucial late grab to set up a short run from Sony Michel, which proved to be the only TD of a low-scoring affair.
Gronk then played in all four playoff games for the Bucs as they prevailed in the 2020 season and was still competitive in the playoffs right up until the end of his career. He bowed out with four catches for 85 yards in a divisional-round loss to the Rams.
He ended his career with 15 playoff TDs to his name.
5. Tyreek Hill: 96 Playoff Receptions
Hill, who has spent his career with the Chiefs and Miami Dolphins, will be hoping to add to his playoff appearances in the years ahead.
In an incredible time when Mahomes, Kelce and Hill tormented opposing defenses, the wide receiver racked up 64 receptions in three playoff campaigns between 2019-21.
His best mark was 24 receptions in 2020, which included seven catches in Kansas City’s Super Bowl loss to the Bucs. A year earlier, he had nine grabs for 105 yards when the Chiefs defeated the 49ers.
6. Reggie Wayne: 93 Playoff Receptions
With 11 playoff appearances for the Indianapolis Colts, Wayne is another prominent pass catcher to rack up an impressive number of postseason receptions.
His best playoff stretch was unsurprisingly in 2006 when the Colts went all the way. He caught 17 passes from Peyton Manning across four games and had a 53-yard touchdown reception in Super Bowl XLI against the Chicago Bears.
He had 16 more receptions in 2009, including five in Super Bowl XLIV, but the Colts had no answer for Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints, who pulled off the upset.
Other Postseason Reception Leaders
The other members of the top 10 are also well-known names. Hines Ward and Wes Welker (both 88 receptions) come next, with Michael Irvin (87 receptions) and Andre Reed (85 receptions) taking the final spots.
Welker is the third Patriots star to make the list and appears despite only taking part in the playoffs six times, the lowest of the top-ranked players. Only Kelce (7.4), tops his mark of 6.8 catches per game in the playoffs.
Irvin has the fifth-highest yardage total with 1,315. His impressive mark of 82.2 receiving yards per playoff game is only beaten by one man, and once again that player is the prolific Kelce (86.0).
Looking further down the list, among the top 20, there are only four other receivers who have played in the NFL since the turn of the century.
Julio Jones sits 11th overall with 77 catches and Davante Adams is not far behind with 72 receptions. Anquan Boldin has 70 catches.
Marvin Harrison had 65 postseason receptions in 10 appearances with the Colts, which included a victory in Super Bowl XLI.
Most Receptions in a Single Postseason
The record for most receptions in a single postseason is held by Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp.
Kupp had 33 catches in the 2021 postseason and won the Super Bowl MVP as the Rams edged out the Cincinnati Bengals at their own SoFI Stadium in California.
Super Bowl LVI initially looked like it would be a game for Odell Beckham Jr. to play a leading role, but after his injury, it was left to Kupp to take over the game.
He caught eight passes for 92 yards and two touchdowns from Matthew Stafford including the decisive fourth-quarter TD catch that put the Rams in front.
Prior to catching 33 of his 42 targets in the postseason – a total that included six touchdowns and 19 first downs – he had racked up league-leading stats in the regular season with 145 catches, 1,947 yards and 16 receiving TDs to claim the receiving triple crown.
With only three playoff appearances to his name so far, expect Kupp to rise in the overall list in the years ahead if the Rams can return to competitiveness.
Kelce is right behind on the single-postseason list, grabbing 32 catches in 2023 after having 31 in 2020. The Chiefs star also had a 27-catch postseason in 2022, so he has three entries in the top 10.
Larry Fitzgerald only made it to the playoffs four times with the Arizona Cardinals, but he was a force to be reckoned with in 2008 when he tallied 30 catches.
The Pittsburgh Steelers denied Fitzgerald (seven catches for 127 yards and two TDs) and the Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII.
But Fitzgerald’s postseason exploits still went down in the history books. His marks of 546 yards, seven TDs and eight receiving plays of 25 or more yards are the best in a single playoff campaign.
He also averaged 18.2 yards per catch and 136.5 yards per game in those four memorable games.
Edelman (26 catches in both 2014 and 2018) and Kelce are the only players who have recorded two separate top-10 performances in the rankings for playoff receptions in a single season.
Hakeem Nicks (28 in 2011) and Demaryius Thomas (28 in 2013) were other players to record dominant single postseason campaigns.
Like this? Follow us on Twitter for more.