Torry Holt deserves to be a Hall of Famer after years of waiting his turn

Torry Holt has been eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the last 10 years. He’s made it to the semifinalist stage each time and has even been a finalist for five years in a row.

Yet, in each of the last four years, he’s been left on the outside looking in, wondering what more needs to happen in order for him to make it to Canton. His resume speaks for itself. There’s no question he’s deserving of a spot in the Hall of Fame when you compare his numbers to those of many receivers already wearing a gold jacket.

But for whatever reason, he keeps getting passed over for other greats despite retiring as one of the best wide receivers in league history.

There are a lot of stats and accolades that back up Holt’s case for Canton. He was a seven-time Pro Bowler, which is one more than Randy Moss and Terrell Owens had. His 920 receptions are more than Hall of Famers such as Michael Irvin, Calvin Johnson, Steve Largent and James Lofton. He had more yards (13,382) than Andre Reed, Art Monk and Don Maynard, who are all Hall of Famers. He even had more first-team All-Pro selections (1) than his former teammate Isaac Bruce and another legend, Tim Brown.

From 2000-2010, no wide receiver in the NFL had more receiving yards than Holt (12,594). And it wasn’t particularly close. Second on the list was Moss, who had 11,739 yards during that span. And that’s without Holt even playing in the 2010 season like Moss did.

While team success certainly plays a role in some players making it to Canton thanks to the rings on their fingers, Holt has one of his own and he played in two Super Bowls during his career. Moss, Owens and Brown can’t say they have a Super Bowl ring like Holt, but that didn’t keep them from making the Hall of Fame.

Holt was the model of consistency during his 11-year career. He never had a season with fewer than 722 yards receiving. He never caught fewer than 51 passes in a season. He also went eight straight years with at least 1,100 yards receiving, making him the only player besides Jerry Rice to accomplish that, according to Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

Frederickson also pointed out perhaps the most significant stat that should get Holt into the Hall of Fame. From 1999 to 20009, which spans Holt’s career, he led the NFL in targets, receptions and receiving yards. Think about that for a second. No one during Holt’s career had more catches or yards than him.

It’s not as if Holt didn’t have high peaks in his career, either. He led the NFL with 1,635 yards in 2000, yet somehow wasn’t voted an All-Pro. He once again led the NFL with 1,696 yards in 2003, while also catching a league-high 117 passes that year.

When Holt retired, he was 10th all-time in receiving yards, 11th in receptions, 28th in touchdown catches and fourth in receiving yards per game. Even now, he still ranks 17th in receiving yards, 23rd in receptions and ninth in yards per game – and that’s with the NFL becoming much more pass-heavy than it was during his time.

Holt has waited long enough. He should’ve been voted into the Hall of Fame a few years ago. There’s no reason Reggie Wayne, Devin Hester or Andre Johnson – three other wide receivers who are finalists this year – should get into Canton before Holt.

The key members of the Greatest Show on Turf are all in the Hall of Fame, and it’s time for Holt to join them.

Story originally appeared on Rams Wire