5 former 49ers who should be Hall of Famers before Julian Edelman

Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
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Dwight Clark, SF 49ers
Dwight Clark #87 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

No. 3: 49ers Wide Receiver Dwight Clark

Two-Time Pro Bowler, One-Time First-Team All-Pro

OK, let’s toss up some quantifiable stats now. It’s one thing to view a defender or offensive lineman and then wonder if he can outmatch Julian Edelman for Hall of Fame status. It’s another to look directly at wide receivers.

And in the case of the late great, wide receiver Dwight Clark, one should be able to point out any argument in favor of Edelman getting in should also involve Clark, too.

For starters, let’s take a look at the all-time regular-season receiving yards for both:

  • Julian Edelman — 6,822 (156th)
  • Dwight Clark — 6,750 (160th)

How about playoff receiving yards:

  • Julian Edelman — 1,442 (2nd) over 19 games
  • Dwight Clark — 726 (44th) over nine games

OK, so Edelman’s 1,442 playoff-receiving yards is second only behind the greatest NFL player of all time, wide receiver Jerry Rice, so maybe there’s an argument to be made there. But let’s not overlook the fact Clark’s play in the 1982 NFC Championship game, otherwise known as “The Catch,” is widely viewed as the greatest postseason moment in NFL history. Clark also has two Super Bowl rings, too.

49ers bias here, but still.

Yet what props Clark back up into the conversation is the fact he owns two Pro Bowl nods and one first-team All-Pro selection. Edelman has neither.