(Photos courtesy of the Kansas City Chiefs & San Francisco 49ers)
Talk of Fame Network
Another logjam is forming at wide receiver in the Hall-of-Fame selection process with Terrell Owens already in the queue, Hines Ward arriving in 2017 and Randy Moss just down the road. But they aren’t the only wide receivers worthy of busts in Canton -- or at least worthy of the opportunity to be finalists and have their candidacies discussed and debated.
In this week’s Talk of Fame Network poll, we ask our listeners and readers who the best receiver not in the Hall of Fame is. We offer up some elite candidates from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, in addition to a couple of more recent vintage. So here are your options:
Isaac Bruce. His former head coach, Mike Martz with the St. Louis Rams, thought it an injustice that Owens vaulted over Bruce in the Hall-of-Fame queue in 2016. Bruce was a key element of the Greatest Show on Turf that went to two Super Bowls and won one. Bruce is a member of the 1,000-catch club (1,024), gained 15,208 yards and scored 91 touchdowns. He went to four Pro Bowls in his 16 seasons.
(Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Rams)
Stanley Morgan. Few receivers in NFL history made the plays down the field of Morgan, who averaged 19.2 yards per his 557 catches. But he has never been a finalist for the Hall of Fame.He played before the NFL’s passing explosion of the 1990s and 2000s but still gained 10,716 yards and scored 72 touchdowns in his 14 seasons. He went to four Pro Bowls with the New England Patriots.
(Photo courtesy of the New England Patriots)
Terrell Owens. A first-time Hall-of-Fame finalist in 2016, Owens was passed over by the selection committee despite ranking second all-time in receiving yards (15,934), third in receiving touchdowns (153) and sixth in receptions (1,078). Owens played for five teams in his 15-year career -- the 49ers, Eagles, Cowboys, Bills and Bengals -- and went to six Pro Bowls.
Drew Pearson. A first-team all-decade performer in the 1970s for the Dallas Cowboys, Pearson played 11 seasons and won an NFC receiving title in 1976. He caught 489 passes for 7,822 yards and 48 touchdowns, averaging 16 yards per catch. He went to three Pro Bowls and won a Super Bowl. He’s never even been a Hall-of-Fame finalist.
Otis Taylor. Among the first of the game’s jumbo receivers, Otis Taylor was to the AFL in the 1960s what Charley Taylor was to the NFL that decade. Charley became a Hall of Famer for the Redskins, but Taylor has never even been a Hall finalist for the Chiefs. Otis Taylor was the only NFL wide receiver with a 1,000-yard season in 1971 and finished his career with 410 catches for 7,306 yards and 57 touchdowns.
Billy Wilson. The pass was an afterthought to the 49ers in the 1950s with their “million-dollar backfield” of Joe Perry, Hugh McIlhenny and John Henry Johnson -- all Hall of Famers. But the passing game wasn’t an afterthought when Billy Wilson was the target of those passes. He played 10 seasons, went to six Pro Bowls and won three NFL receiving titles. He has never been a Hall-of-Fame finalist.
(Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers)