903 receptions. 9,924 yards. 50 touchdowns.
Those are the career numbers for Wes Welker: the go-to target for Tom Brady for many years that revolutionized the slot receiver position.
Welker was a magnet for the football in New England and Denver as he led the NFL in receptions in 2007, 2009, and 2011 and caught over 100 passes in 2008 and 2012.
While his play was not always flashy, Welker’s high volume of receptions ranks him 22nd all time for receptions leaders which is above Hall of Famers Shannon Sharpe and Michael Irvin, elite receivers such as Calvin Johnson, Julio Jones, and Antonio Brown, and countless other prolific players.
So in the wake of Julian Edelman’s playoff heroics again this past season that saw the Hall of Fame questions circulate around his name, it should bring up an even greater argument for Wes Welker.
Julian Edelman is a great NFL receiver and is beloved in New England and his success should not be discredited. Though to say Edelman should be in the Hall of Fame without mentioning Wes Welker is undervaluing the career that Welker had.
For comparison, Edelman’s career currently stands at 499 receptions, 5,390 yards, and 30 touchdowns which are drastically lower than Welker’s. It is Edelman’s playoff performances and Super Bowl winning plays, which Welker did not have, that makes the argument more compelling. So compelling in fact, that many New England fans and analysts are neglecting what Wes Welker had done.
While I would love to see Julian Edelman get Hall of Fame consideration, I believe that Wes Welker should be the one being recognized first. Career stats and the way Welker revolutionized his position and the slot receiver’s impact on the game should not be undervalued.
Let’s hope we can see #83 and #11 both get their dues in the long run.