Julian Edelman: Hall Pass

 

Julian Edelman is a Hall of Famer. At least that’s the debate following the 10-year receiver's Super Bowl MVP award on Sunday. On paper, his regular season career is not worthy of the Hall, but when it matters most, Edelman might just be the best receiver the NFL has ever seen.

You can credit his productivity in the playoffs to quarterback Tom Brady, but Edelman was once a nobody who has helped make Brady even better. Edelman was a seventh-round pick and a junior college quarterback who transitioned to receiver upon transferring to Kent State. He had zero Division I scholarship offers coming out of high school. And now, he has his third Super Bowl ring, his first Super Bowl MVP, and his fingerprints on another chapter in the Patriots' postseason legacy.  

Many aren’t sold on putting Edelman in the Hall, and we get it. He's well outside of the Top 100 in career receiving yards and touchdowns, but his playoff numbers put him among the greats. He’s only 32 years old, and if the Patriots make another deep playoff run, he’ll likely surpass Jerry Rice as the greatest playoff receiver to ever play the game.

Keep in mind, Edelman missed the entire 2017 season with a torn ACL. If he was on the field in last year’s playoffs, he’d already be knocking on Rice’s door and the Pats might have made it three straight.

Edelman recorded his seventh postseason 100-yard receiving game on Sunday. That tied Michael Irvin – the Dallas Cowboys legend – for second most all-time. Jerry Rice? He has eight. The busts of both Irvin and Rice sit in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but Edelman took less games to get there.

Jerry Rice:

6-foot-2, 200 pounds

Draft: 1st Round

29 playoff games

8 100-yard receiving games

Michael Irvin:

6-foot-2, 210 pounds

Draft: 1st Round

16 playoff games

7 100-yard receiving games

Julian Edelman:

5-foot-10, 198 pounds

Draft: 7th Round

13 playoff games

7 100-yard receiving games

It's an anomaly, but Edelman and Rice are the only two NFL players with 100+ catches in postseason history. And Edelman did it in less than half the games. The guy belongs in the Hall. Period.

 
Justin Tangfebruary2019