1. Career Yards/Touchdowns
If ranking prominently across the record books for your position doesn’t warrant a Hall of Fame election, then what does? On top of coming in 10th all-time in career receptions, Wayne also ranks 10th in league history in receiving yards (14,345) and 25th in receiving touchdowns (82).
When it comes to receiving yards, all five eligible players ahead of him in that category have already been immortalized, so that’s a positive sign for Wayne’s chances to get in next year. While the 42-year-old’s shortcomings in terms of regular season dominance — he led the league in receiving just once (2007) — he logged at least 1,000 receiving yards in eight of his 14 seasons and did so for seven consecutive years from 2004 to 2010.
Again, the fact that Wayne was able to lead the league even once while serving as the No. 2 option in the Colts’ passing game is remarkable in and of itself, and he shouldn’t be docked votes simply because he was drafted into a position where he had to compete for targets opposite Harrison.
The bottom line is that Wayne has the individual bling (seven Pro Bowls and one All-Pro nod), playoff success (a Super Bowl win), and the picturesque career statistics necessary to get into the Hall. It undoubtedly doesn’t sit well that he won’t be joining Manning and running back Edgerrin James at the induction ceremony in August, but make no mistake about it: Wayne deserves induction just as much as the other great receivers of his generation.