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Torry Holt needs to be inducted into the Hall of Fame this upcoming class

Torry Holt needs to go in the Pro Football Hall of Fame right now

2005 NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at St. Louis Rams Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Torry Holt, the St. Louis Rams legend who is among the all-time leading receivers in NFL history, is part of the Hall of Fame All-2000’s decade team but he’s not in the Hall of Fame. He retired in 2009, which made him eligible for the Hall of Fame before the Rams even moved back to Los Angeles in 2016, so why isn’t he in yet?

Now is the time to finally make it happen and put Torry Holt in the Hall of Fame.

Well, let’s pull no punches here. Torry Holt in his 11-year career led the NFL in receiving from 1999-2009. Yes, he had more than Terrell Owens and Randy Moss in that span. He also had eight 1,000-yard seasons, which included four 1,300-yard seasons and two 1,600-yard seasons. He’s currently second all-time in 1,300-yard seasons and is tied for first in 1,600-yard seasons. To say this guy should wait what is now the latter half of a decade to get in the Hall of Fame is an absolute joke.

The Hall of Fame announced their 25 semifinalists and Holt was a part of the list. It’s not a shock because he was part of the finalists last year. The argument people make against him is that there is just too many receivers creating a logjam or that he played in an elite offense. What both of these arguments show is a flawed a narrative.

First off, logjam or not Holt is one of the greatest receivers in the game’s history. There are receivers that were enshrined that are not as good as Torry Holt its just that the timing worked out for them when it did.

The second thing about the Greatest Show on Turf is ridiculous. You weren’t penalizing Emmitt Smith, Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin for playing in the same offense now were you? Aikman and Emmitt were first ballot Hall of Famers and Irvin was a 2nd ballot. You cannot use the argument that Holt had it easy because who he played with and dismiss the notion that his stats and ultimately his resume suffered because he shared the spotlight with two other Hall of Famers. Marshall Faulk and Isaac Bruce amounted to 20,000-plus yards and 150 touchdowns which was accumulated when Holt was on the Rams. That’s a big reason why he doesn’t have bigger numbers than receivers like Terrell Owens who played for the majority of his career with the likes of Tae Streets, an over-the-hill Jerry Rice and players like Arnaz Battle and Todd Pinkston.

Here’s the real argument for Holt. He’s already good enough to get in as is with the totals and everything. However, if thats not enough than I think it’s time to look at game averages. Some would argue thats a skewed method, I would disagree. Reason being? Larry Fitzgerald played in 263 games, Steve Smith played in 219, Reggie Wayne played in 211 and Andre Johnson played in 193. Let’s just take those four for instance.

This is what you get when you add up their career totals:

Larry Fitzgerald: 1,432 RECs, 17,492 YDs, 121 TDs

Steve Smith: 1,031 RECs, 14,731 YDs, 81 TDs

Reggie Wayne: 1,070 RECs, 14,345 YDs, 82 TDs

Andre Johnson: 1,062 RECs, 14,185 YDs, 70 TDs

Torry Holt: 920 RECs, 13,382 YDs, 74 TDs

What do you notice? Holt is last in receptions and yards and is second to last in touchdowns. So why don’t we take averages now and show you a little bit more fair of a comparison picture.

Larry Fitzgerald: 5.4 RECs/G, 66.5 YDs/G, 0.46 TDs/G

Steve Smith: 4.7 RECs/G, 67.3 YDs/G, 0.36 TDs/G

Reggie Wayne: 5.1 RECs/G, 68.0 YDs/G, 0.38 TDs/G

Andre Johnson: 5.5 RECs/G, 73.5 YDs/G, 0.36 TDs/G

Torry Holt: 5.3 RECs/G, 77.4 YDs/G, 0.42 TDs/G

It’s amazing how when you factor averages into the equation, Torry Holt is third in receptions per game, first in yards per game and second in touchdowns per game out of this focus group. See, this is the issue I have with using blind totals to depict who is better. This isn’t to discredit any of those receivers either mind you, they do deserve credit for playing longer but it’s not like an 11-year career is a cakewalk either.

Based on these averages, Holt ironically ends up with the second most touchdowns per game despite the touchdowns being the biggest reason people want to leave him out of the discussion.

Let’s move the discussion to just which receivers stand in Holt’s way in this class.

Reggie Wayne: 211 Games, 153 AV, 109.14 HOFm (Per Pro Football Reference)

Accolades: SB Champ, 1x All-Pro, 6x Pro Bowler

QBs: Peyton Manning (157 Games), Andrew Luck (38 Games), Curtis Painter (8 Games), Dan Orlovsky (5 Games), Kerry Collins (3 Games)

Career Totals: 1,070 RECs, 14,345 YDs, 82 TDs

Per Game Averages: 5.1 RECs/G, 68.0 YDs/G, 0.38 TDs/G

Andre Johnson: 193 Games, 124 AV, 93.91 HOFm (Per Pro Football Reference)

Accolades: 2x All-Pro, 7x Pro Bowler

QBs: Matt Schaub (73 Games), David Carr (56 Games), Ryan Fitzpatrick (11 Games), Case Keenum (10 Games), Sage Rosenfels (9 Games), Matt Hasselbeck (8 Games), Marcus Mariota (8 Games), Andrew Luck (7 Games), TJ Yates (5 Games), Tony Banks (3 Games), Dave Ragone (2 Games), Ryan Mallet (2 Games), Matt Leinart (1 Game), Josh Freeman (1 Game)

Career Totals: 1,062 RECs, 14,185 YDs, 70 TDs

Per Game Averages: 5.5 RECs/G, 73.5 YDs/G, 0.36 TDs/G

Steve Smith: 219 Games, 139 AV, 98.91 HOFm (Per Pro Football Reference)

Accolades: 2x All-Pro, 5x Pro Bowler, Comeback Player of the Year

QBs: Jake Delhomme (71 Games), Cam Newton (47 Games), Joe Flacco (37 Games), Chris Weinke (18 Games), Rodney Peete (14 Games), Matt Moore (12 Games), Jimmy Clausen (8 Games), Vinny Testaverde (5 Games), David Carr (4 Games), Matt Lytle (1 Game), Randy Fasani (1 Game), Brian St. Pierre (1 Game)

Career Totals: 1,031 RECs, 14,731 YDs, 81 TDs

Per Game Averages: 4.7 RECs/G, 67.3 YDs/G, 0.36 TDs/G

Anquan Boldin: 202 Games, 118 AV, 80.02 HOFm (Per Pro Football Reference)

Accolades: SB Champ, 3x Pro Bowler, OROY, Walter Payton Man of the Year

QBs: Kurt Warner (50 Games), Joe Flacco (45 Games), Colin Kaepernick (39 Games), Matthew Stafford (16 Games), Josh McCown (15 Games), Matt Leinart (14 Games), Jeff Blake (13 Games), Blaine Gabbert (7 Games), Shaun King (1 Game), John Navarre (1 Game)

Career Totals: 1,706 RECs, 13,779 YDs, 82 TDs

Per Game Averages: 5.3 RECs/G, 68.2 YDs/G, 0.40 TDs/G

Hines Ward: 217 Games, 119 AV, 74.67 HOFm (Per Football Reference)

Accolades: 2x SB Champ, SB MVP, 4x Pro Bowl

QBs: Ben Roethlisberger (109 Games), Kordell Stewart (60 Games), Tommy Maddox (31 Games), Charlie Batch (6 Games), Mike Tomczak (5 Games), Kent Graham (5 Games), Dennis Dixon (3 Games)

Career Totals: 1,000 RECs, 12,083 YDs, 85 TDs

Per Game Averages: 4.6 RECs/G, 55.7 YDs/G, 0.39 TDs/G

Torry Holt: 173 Games, 123 AV, 107.22 HOFm (Per Football Reference)

Accolades: SB Champ, 1x All-Pro, 7x Pro Bowler, HOF All-2000s Team

QBs: Marc Bulger (87 Games), Kurt Warner (50 Games), David Garrard (15 Games), Trent Green (6 Games), Jamie Martin (5 Games), Ryan Fitzpatrick (3 Games), Gus Frerotte (3 Games), Chris Chandler (2 Games), Scott Covington (1 Game), Brock Berlin (1 Game)

Career Totals: 920 RECs, 13,382 YDs, 74 TDs

Per Game Averages: 5.3 RECs/G, 77.4 YDs/G, 0.42 TDs/G

Now, I’m not going to pretend Holt dealt with bad quarterback his whole career but if you really look at it only really Reggie Wayne has consistently elite quarterback play. Wayne played 157 games with Peyton Manning and 38 games with Andrew Luck. Andre Johnson has a legitimate argument but he still ended up playing with Matt Schaub for 73 games. Steve Smith had stability right when he reached his prime in Jake Delhomme and then he had Cam Newton before finishing his career with Joe Flacco. Anquan Boldin had a great crop of talent from Kurt Warner, Joe Flacco and Colin Kaepernick to finishing his last year of his career with Matthew Stafford. Hines Ward had by far the best after Wayne when you consider he played over 100 games with one quarterback and that quarterback was Ben Roethlisberger, even still his per game numbers and Hall of Fame monitor just fall short of the other receivers.

This all brings me back to the point that many make of how Torry Holt played with an elite quarterback. Yes, Kurt Warner was arguably the best quarterback in football during the Greatest Show on Turf. What many fail to realize however, is that the run was short-lived. Holt caught the majority of his passes from Marc Bulger. While Bulger looked very good at times, in the grand scheme of things he was a solid quarterback like Matt Schaub who finished with a career 84.4 passer rating which is accurate to what he was. Torry Holt didn’t get a crazy production boost because of the quarterback play. He stayed consistent no matter who was throwing him the ball but he did get a production hit playing alongside Isaac Bruce and Marshall Faulk during that time as the two did most of the scoring.

If you want to use the argument that he is lacking the hardware department here are the years he had in which he didn’t receive All-Pro or even Pro Bowl honors...

Non-Pro Bowl season:

2002: 91 Receptions, 1,302 Yards, 4 Touchdowns (Played with three different quarterbacks)

Non-All-Pro seasons:

2000: 82 Receptions, 1,635 Yards, 6 Touchdowns (Led the league in yards and yards per reception)

2001: 81 Receptions: 1,363 Yards, 7 Touchdowns (5th in receiving yards)

2002: 91 Receptions, 1,302 Yards, 4 Touchdowns (7th in receiving yards)

2004: 94 Receptions, 1,372 Yards, 10 Touchdowns (4th in receiving yards and receptions)

2005: 102 Receptions, 1,331 Yards, 9 Touchdowns (3rd in receptions and 6th in receiving yards)

It’s not to say he was snubbed every single season but it’s a reminder only two receivers each year are going to get picked and the voters obsessed over touchdown production which is something Holt wasn’t going to have with Marshall Faulk and Isaac Bruce cutting into the production.

In my honest opinion, Holt is not the best receiver of all time and he might be in the top five but it’s at least an argument based on his numbers, the eye test and who he was sharing the spotlight with. Is he a Hall of Famer? Absolutely. Should he have to wait another year so guys like Hines Ward, Reggie Wayne, Andre Johnson, Steve Smith and Anquan Boldin can get in? Not at all. I do believe Holt is one of the best five in this class and should be in the inducted class. The argument could be made for Reggie Wayne to be in there with him this year since they both have waited and they both are beyond deserving. However, if you are using the argument of Holt playing with top players as a reason to keep him out then you cannot ignore it when you are voting for Wayne who again played with maybe the greatest regular season quarterback of all time and maybe the greatest quarterback prospect of all time.

I don’t have a say and unfortunately, I cant go to Canton and pitch in Holt’s favor. I will say this. If Holt misses the Hall again, it’s an abject failure on the part of the committee, voters and whoever is representing Holt in the pitch meetings before the vote. Receivers can get overrated and have their numbers inflated which I understand. However, Holt is different and the averages and consistent production over the course of his 11-year career show that.