Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by SoCal Pmen, Dec 27, 2009.
He just became the only receiver in the league to have three 110+ seasons--and he's gunning for 120-130 receptions this season right now, with two games to go, and having missed two games.
A few more seasons at this level of productivity and he has to merit consideration. He's completely changed the concept of what it means to be a slot receiver in the NFL. The entire NFL is on the hunt for "the next Wes Welker," or probably should be.
If that doesn't merit a player for consideration for the HOF, I don't know what does.
One and a half
If he has 2/3 more seasons with 110+ receptions then there is a strong case for it
How many Pro Bowl games has he been in?
I think in the end he will be, even w/o pro bowls. The guy defines a position that wasn't thought to be that valuable before. He is the epitome of clutch, hardworking super productive.
I think he's in.
He may end up with a near record in receptions and first downs too.
How many times has that happened? He will be in the Hall at Gillette.
Agreed, if Welker can put together a 5 year stretch with 550 to 580 catches on one of the most productive offenses ever, he'll get in. I don't think he'll be first or second ballot, but sooner or later the guys who can read tape will tell the voters that Welker was key to the late noughties Patriots offense, not Brady or Moss, and therefore he belongs in Canton with those two as well.
IMHO, he will make the Patriots HOF, wait and see on Canton.
He's a solid WR, but a future Hall of Famer he's not.
Well this will be his 2nd Pro Bowl and 2nd season leading the NFL in receptions. He currently has 441 career receptions, so he should finish around 450 for this season. He's 28 years old, so let's say he has 3 more years playing at this high high level he's at.
If he has 3 more years left in his prime, he could get close to 800 catches. From there, he'd need 200 more catches from ages 32 on to reach 1,000 for his career - a pretty big career milestone for receivers.
With that all said, I always lean towards players who were dominant for a smaller period of time over players who had very solid careers but over a longer period of time. I call this the "Ricky Watters vs. Terrell Davis Debate". If you look at Watters career numbers, they dwarf Davis's:
Watters (10 seasons): 10,643 rushing, 4,248 receiving, 91 total TD's
Davis (7 seasons): 7,607 rushing, 1,280 receiving, 76 total TD's
However, if you watched the NFL in the 1990's and especially the late 90's and were asked "Who's the best running back in football?" - most peoples answer would have been Terrell Davis, especially considering he had a 2,000 yard season. I wouldn't have considered Ricky Watters to be the best running back in the NFL at any point in his career.
So I traditionally give less credit to a guy who just "stuck around" and got to 10,000 career rushing yards over a guy who had legendary seasons albeit for a much shorter time.
So to tie this all back into Welker, I would lend myself to vote for a guy who had 450 catches over a 4 year span over a guy who had 450 catches over a 6 year span but more longevity.
I'm inclined to think that justice will eventually prevail, and he'll get in. Some may point to his years in Miami saying that he wouldn't be anything without Tom Brady, but he was used as a return specialist in his time there, and had a solid 67 reception season his third year.
In New England, he's had 345 (and counting) receptions in three years, set the record for most double digit reception totals in a season, been named to two going on three AP All-Pro teams, became the only player to have three straight 110+ reception seasons, and took the slot receiver position to an unprecedented level. He is currently the definition of the position. How often do you hear players being compared to Wes Welker? Despite teams realizing the value of players such as him, nobody comes anywhere close to doing what he does.
If the HOF committee looked at a player's three best consecutive seasons to make their selections, he would be a sure-fire HOFer. However, they look at a player's entire career, so it really comes down to what Welker does for the next few seasons. One thing that would greatly improve his chances would be a Super Bowl ring. Without one it makes a lot of people think twice about letting someone into the HOF. Another thing that would seriously help him was if he kept up his unbelievable production for at least two more seasons. Perception-wise, 5 seasons a big jump over 4 for whatever reason, and a huge jump over 3. If either of these scenarios came true I would think of him as a likely HOFer, and if both came true I think he's got a very good shot.
Wes Welker is the best ever at what he does, but for now, his HOF chances are very much up in the air. And we all know how well he deals with things that are up in the air (particularly football shaped things).
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