90s NFL

Stop the Julian Edelman Hall of Fame talk; the 1990s had numerous WRs who were more impactful

Recently, former New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman announced his retirement. First thought, he had a very solid career. But conversely, the thought of the former college quarterback putting on a gold jacket in Canton definitely never came close to entering my mind. In reality, it’s baffling that Edelman is even being considered as a possible future Hall of Famer.

As mentioned earlier, Edelman had a very solid career and was quite productive in the postseason. But it’s hard to deny that Edelman was mostly receiving passes from Tom Brady. Furthermore, winning Super Bowls is such an overrated and lazy argument to enshrine an individual into football immortality. On the other hand, I am one to understand stats and numbers may not necessarily tell the whole story (Edelman’s stats, perhaps underwhelming for HOF consideration during his 12-year NFL career: 620 receptions, 6,822 receiving yards, 36 receiving touchdowns). But to simply put it, there was so much talent a generation ago with greater impact on the passing the game than Edelman. Most of these pass catchers I’m about to mention are not even close to being discussed as a Hall of Famer.

I’m not going to get into the whole difference in the eras as the passing game has clearly evolved so much. But to me, these receivers quickly came to mind as pass catchers I would rather have in their prime over Julian Edelman, who are currently not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame:

  • Sterling Sharpe
  • Herman Moore
  • Rob Moore
  • Eric Moulds
  • Joey Galloway
  • Rod Smith
  • Jimmy Smith
  • Keenan McCardell
  • Torry Holt
  • Joe Horn
  • Muhsin Muhammad
  • Carl Pickens
  • Henry Ellard
  • Andre Rison
  • Terance Mathis
  • Derrick Mason
  • Keyshawn Johnson

This is just a quick list that I put together to show how many receivers in the ’90s that I thought were clearly better than Julian Edelman. Moreover, this list doesn’t include players I would have to think about more like Jake Reed or Brett Perriman. I respect Edelman’s wonderful career with a tremendous Super Bowl performance, but it’s hard for me to say he was a better wide receiver than the players I mentioned above who are currently not in the Hall of Fame.

Edelman in 2014 (Picture Credit: Jeffrey Beall, CC BY 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)