This is not another article championing Julian Edelman's case for the Hall of Fame. If you want a deep dive on the recently retired Edelman's career, I'd advise you to check out this article that ranks Edelman's regular and postseason achievements against past and present receivers.
This story is instead focused on identifying five former receivers that should be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame before Edelman, who won't be eligible for induction until 2026. While his zero Pro Bowl berths and so-so regular-season stats will be held against him, it also doesn't help that Edelman is a receiver, the hardest skill position as far as getting into the Hall of Fame. And while Edelman's Hall of Fame wait won't begin for another five years, many deserving receivers have been waiting years -- decades in some cases -- to receive the call to Canton, Ohio.
While there are several receivers worthy of Hall of Fame consideration, let's take a look at the five eligible receivers who most deserve induction before Edelman. While it wasn't the only criteria we used when putting this list together, we did lean on Pro Football Reference's Hall of Fame monitor, which calculates each players' value as far as the Hall of Fame is concerned. This list does not include Steve Smith, Anquan Boldin and Andre Johnson, who won't be eligible for the Hall of Fame until 2022.
5. Torry Holt
Holt's Hall of Fame "monitor score" according to Pro Football Reference is 105.27; which is just above the average monitor score (105) for receivers who are currently in the Hall of Fame. Holt's score is higher than current Falcons receiver Julio Jones and Hall of Fame receivers Paul Warfield, Isaac Bruce (Holt's teammate in St. Louis), Michael Irvin, Don Maynard, Marvin Harrison and Art Monk, among others.
A seven-time Pro Bowler and member of the NFL's All-2000s Team, Holt played an integral role on the Rams' 1999 championship team. The league's leading receiver on two separate occasions, Holt was the Rams' No. 1 receiver when St. Louis made a return trip to the Super Bowl in 2001.
4. Otis Taylor
A player who was truly ahead of his time, the 6-foot-3, 215-pound Taylor was one of the first receivers to fully use his physicality to his advantage. In 1965, Taylor spurned the NFL (he was drafted by the Eagles with the 203rd pick in the NFL draft) to play for the AFL's Kansas City Chiefs.