by Bryan Dietzler
The Pro Football Hall of Fame list of eligible players has been out for a little while now and there has been a lot of speculation as to who is going to get in next year. There are several players at each position that could make it into the Hall of Fame and this time, we are going to take a look at the 12 wide receivers that are eligible to enter the Hall of Fame.
What are their stats? Who did they play for? Do we think that they will get into the Hall?
Let’s find out.
Gary Clark is most well-known for his playing time in Washington but he also played for the Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals and the Miami Dolphins. During his career, Clark caught 699 passes for 10586 yards. He scored 65 touchdowns in 167 games played.
Clark should be a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame. I would look for him to get in sooner rather than later and help add to what is a formidable group of wide receivers in the Hall.
Simply put, Clark deserves to be there.
Torry Holt is one of the better known, then, St. Louis Rams wide receivers in their history. He had an outstanding career with the Rams and even played one season in Jacksonville. As part of the 173 games that Holt played in, he caught a total of 920 passes for 13382 yards. Holt hauled in 74 touchdowns during his time in the league.
Like Clark, Holt should strongly be considered for the Hall. He was a consistent player that played on some of those “high octane” offenses that the Rams put up. Holt was an important part of these teams and deserves a spot next to Kurt Warner.,
Donald Driver played all of his 205 games with the Green Bay Packers. He caught 743 passes for 10137 yards in the Packers’ consistent offense. Driver hauled in a total of 62 touchdowns (one of them came on a running play).
Driver was one of the most popular Green Bay Packers’ players of his time. His production would lead us to believe that he would be selected to the Hall. Look for him to get in sooner than later.
Hines Ward is one of the more well-known Pittsburgh Steelers of the modern era. Ward played all 217 games in Pittsburgh catching 1000 passes for 12083 yards. He scored 86 touchdowns (including one on the ground) and was one of the Steeler’s most reliable targets in his tenure with the team.
There is no doubt that Ward should be added to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He has the credentials and the pedigree that show that he deserves to be there. Look for him to get in this year or next.
Isaac Bruce was a finalist last year and is up for selection again this year. Bruce was a member of the Rams and the San Francisco 49ers although he played a majority of this football with the Rams. In the 223 games he played, he caught 1024 passes for 15208 yards. Bruce added 101 touchdowns (with ten coming on the ground).
The numbers don’t lie. Bruce was one of the most productive wide receivers who are eligible for the Hall of Fame. He seems to have the numbers and the pedigree that would allow him to get into the Hall. I would suspect he will be in this year’s class.
Everyone knows who Chad Johnson is. The player formerly known as Ochocinco played the majority of his career with the Cincinnati Bengals having played his final season with the New England Patriots. In the 166 games he played, he caught 766 passes for 11059 yards. Johnson caught 67 touchdowns during his NFL career.
So, what do you do about Johnson? His wild career and antics may turn off some voters but if Terrell Owens got into the Hall of Fame then Johnson can get into it. I would look for him to be a part of the Hall in the next three to four years.
There have been quite a few former Rams at wide receiver and Ellard, who was a Ram for a while then became a Washington Redskin and a New England Patriot is no exception. Ellard played in 228 games and had 814 pass receptions totaling 13777 yards. He scored 65 total touchdowns.
If you wanted consistency, Ellard was your guy and he played very well during his time in the league. He was on some good teams at times and has the longevity to be considered a future Hall of Famer. I would think that he would be able to easily get in.
We will find out soon.
Mushin Muhammad is best known for his time in Carolina but he also spent a little bit of time in Chicago. Combined, Muhammad played in 202 games totaling 860 catches for 11438 yards. When it came to scoring, Muhammad contributed 62 touchdowns between the two teams that he played for.
Muhammad is one of those players that could either go or not go into the Hall of Fame. He did play for a decent Carolina team and had some Super Bowl experience but he wasn’t a regular visitor to the playoffs and that could haunt him in terms of getting into the Hall.
We all remember Jimmy Smith from his days playing for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Smith spent 12 years in the NFL playing for Dallas and then finishing his career with the Jaguars. He caught 862 passes for 12287 yards. Smith caught 67 touchdown passes during his career.
Smith was one of those guys that you could consider to be a mainstay or a good reliable target. He was always around the ball and made plays when he had to. He played for the upstart Jaguars and helped lead them to the playoffs. I think he gets in sooner rather than later.
The great Indianapolis Colt will make another attempt at entering the Hall of Fame. Reggie Wayne, a fixture on the Colts for 14 years, played in 211 games catching 1070 passes for 14345 yards. He ended up with 82 touchdowns at the end of his career.
Why Wayne wasn’t a first-ballot Hall of Fame player is beyond me. He should have been selected. But there must have been much better talent ahead of him. Look for him to get in very soon and represent a Colts team that had a good go of it in the mid-2000s.
Rod Smith, a former Denver Bronco, played 12 seasons in the NFL all for Denver. In the 183 games he played, he caught 849 passes for 11389 yards. Smith hauled in 69 touchdowns including one on the ground.
Smith played on some good teams and was a very reliable receiver for quarterback John Elway. He had a long and productive career in Denver and helped them win games. I would think that if Terrell Davis could get into the Hall of Fame, Smith should be able to get in as well.
Our final wide receiver that has a chance of entering the Hall of Fame this year is Derrick Mason. Mason played for some good Tennessee teams while he was in the league and also played for Baltimore, Dallas, and the New York Jets. He played in 230 games catching 943 passes for 12061 yards. Mason scored 66 touchdowns in his career.
Mason is one of those outlier players that could easily make it in or be forced to wait a little while. He had an excellent career but he still doesn’t have quite the pedigree that some of the others in his class have. I would say he will get in but it may be a little while before he does.
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