Former New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman announced on that he would indeed be stepping away from football recently.
Edelman was a mainstay on multiple New England championship teams and always seemed to be at the right place at the right time in the postseason.
With his retirement, many Patriots fans have begun talking about how worthy Edelman is of a Pro Football Hall of Fame nod and a bust in Canton, Ohio.
Let’s slow down here.
If we’re going to suddenly proclaim that Edelman, who was a solid receiver – no doubt, is a Hall of Famer, then there’s a long list of Packers players who deserve to be in the Hall of Fame as well.
Julian Edelman’s final stat line: 11 years, 620 catches, 6,822 yards and 36 touchdowns. Not a bad stat line for 11 years. However, he broke 1,000 yards in a season just three times in his career and his best season for touchdowns was 2015, when he caught seven.
I know the Edelman-isn’t-worthy-of-a-HOF-nod conversation is a popular one, but let’s pretend that more people think he should get in than not get in. Here’s a few Packers names that I would put ahead of him that should get in before Edelman even sniffs it. There’s probably more, but these are the ones that my 22-year-old self knows very well.
Jordy Nelson was absolutely electric during the 2010-20 decade for the Packers. As Aaron Rodgers’ top receiver, he was an outstanding deep threat who could also run short routes and he always knew where Aaron was going at all times.
His career stat line is far better than Edelman’s. He finished with 613 catches for 8,587 yards and 72 touchdowns. Three times he went over 13 touchdowns in a season and four more seasons he finished with over 1,200 yards.
Nelson will never get the benefit of the doubt for just how good he was because he played with Aaron Rodgers in his prime. However, the dude was outstanding for most of the decade. Credit where credit is due.
I mean, what are we doing here. Why is this man not in the Hall of Fame?
Sharpe was one of the most dominant wide receivers of his time, consistently voted first team all-pro and pro-bowler from 1988-1994.
His final stat line? 595 catches for 8,134 yards and 65 touchdowns. In just seven seasons.
His year-to-year stats are out of this world, highlighted by two seasons (1992 and 1993) where he caught a total of 220 balls for 2,735 yards and 24 touchdowns. Oh yeah, he finished with 18 touchdown catches in 1994 alone.
His only knock is the longevity of his career wasn’t great. But that’s because it was cut short due to injury. However, he was a human highlight reel, who many think is more than deserving of a spot in Canton.
Donald Driver is a wide receiver that I don’t think will ever see the Hall of Fame. But for the sake of the argument against Edelman, he should be considered.
Driver was a solid player throughout his career. One of Brett Favre’s favorite targets, he was always Mr. Reliable and came through in big moments for the Packers.
His final stat line: 743 catches, 10,137 yards and 61 touchdowns. A three-time pro-bowler, his best season stretch was 2004-06, where he went over 1,200 receiving yards in all three seasons.
The knock on him was that he was always good, but never out-of-this-world great. His longevity gave him the career stats, and I’m not sure if he’ll be considered as a Hall-of-Famer. But he’s one of my favorite Packers of all time.——————
Gunnar Davis is a lifelong Packers fan and a recent graduate of Simpson College, where he was a 3-year letterwinner on the offensive line and graduated with a degree in multimedia communications. You can follow him on Twitter at @Gunnar57Davis.