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Burleson: Calvin Johnson, Randy Moss athletic freaks


Nate Burleson got an up-close and personal look last season at Calvin Johnson playing the wide receiver position at a level few have ever reached.

Then again, this isn't Burleson's first time in close proximity with a ridiculously gifted pass-catcher. The Detroit Lions' veteran once was teammates with Randy Moss on the Minnesota Vikings.

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During my chat with Burleson last week, I asked the natural question: Who's better?

"Very similar," Burleson said. "Calvin might be slightly stronger. Moss might be slightly faster. They can go back and forth on the attributes, physically. They both have a high IQ for the game. Both (have) extremely strong hands. And they're freaks of nature.

"These are guys that could have easily not only played a different position on the football field -- gained 20 pounds and be the best D-end in the game, or best tight end -- but they could also have been premier athletes in other sports," Burleson added. "You talk about a couple of guys who could have played Major League Baseball, obviously basketball was something they could have done."

Burleson's a great guy to ask because he saw both players at the peak of their powers. During Burleson's rookie season in 2003, Moss -- 26 and still a year from sulking his way to Oakland -- finished with 111 receptions for 1,632 yards and 17 touchdowns. Last season, Johnson put up a 96/1,681/16 line for the Lions.

For my money, a healthy and motivated Moss remains the most explosive wide receiver of all time. But Megatron's no slouch.


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