Tyreek Hill has taken the league by storm over his first five seasons, and there is no indication that he plans to slow down any time soon. “The Cheetah” as he is affectionately yet accurately called, has changed the NFL forever, as defenses can do little to curb the blazing fast quickness and speed of the K.C. Chiefs wide receiver.
After putting up five seasons consisting of impressive catching stats, it begs the question: are Tyreek Hill’s statistics indicative of a Hall of Fame campaign?
Tyreek Hill hit the ground running…really fast.
Drafted in 2016, it didn’t take long before Hill made a name for himself as one of the most explosive return specialists in football. Though only racking up 593 yards over his rookie season, he was poised to explode the following one. In Hill’s sophomore season he forced fans and players around the league to ask the now answered question: who is that guy?
It was in 2017 that Hill began to piece together other elements of his game in addition to his lighting fast speed. He began to incorporate crisp route running, impressive hops and sticky hands. This scary combination turned him into one of the most dynamic and dangerous receiving threats the league has ever seen.
In 2017, Hill recorded his first 1,000+ yard season, recording 1,183 receiving yards. The following year, the first year with NFL phenom Patrick Mahomes at the helm for the Chiefs, Hill took full advantage of his new gunslinger QB by obtaining 1,479 yards in 2018.
Sadly, Hill suffered an injury against Jacksonville in his first game to start the 2019 season, causing him to miss four games following the season opener. Despite this, Hill still tallied 860 receiving yards in the regular season that eventually lead to Kansas City’s first Super Bowl in 50 years.
Though last years’ season didn’t end as planned for the team, a healthy Tyreek Hill bounced back with his third 1,000+ yard season in terms of 1,276 receiving yards.
No need to take out your calculator. Over his first five seasons, Hill recorded an impressive 5,391 receiving yards. He also hauled in 47 touchdowns over this stretch while averaging a daunting 14.6 yards per catch, and an equally impressive 72.9 yards per game. This is all fine and good, but how does this compare to his potential-rivals that are already enshrined in the halls of Canton?
A look at four legendary HOF WRs
If the case is to be made for Tyreek Hill becoming a Hall of Famer, it is necessary to observe the start of the careers for those that are already there, or are certain to end up there. Take Michael Irvin for example. Drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 1988, Irvin recorded 4,364 yards and 27 touchdowns over his first five seasons. This amounted to 17.98 yards per catch and 65.32 yards per game. Irvin was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007.
If you think of the provocative yet talented receivers that graced the league over the years, it shouldn’t take long for Terrell Owens to come to mind. “T.O.” was drafted in 1996 by the San Francisco 49ers. Owens put up 4,758 receiving yards and 43 touchdowns over his first five years in the league. He averaged 15.92 yards per route and 76.74 yards per game during this period. Owens was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2018.
Another generational receiver who’s bust now resides in Canton is the always-dangerous Calvin Johnson. “Megatron” was drafted by the Detroit Lions in 2007 and quickly made a name for himself as one of the most lethal deep threats in the NFL. Over his first five seasons, Johnson documented 5,872 yards and 49 touchdowns, while averaging 15.92 yards per route and 76.74 yards per game. Johnson was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year.
Though his future in the league is currently in question, nearly every fan of the game agrees that Larry Fitzgerald will surely earn his place in Canton as a first-ballot Hall of Fame receiver. Possessing the second most receiving yards of all time tends to have this effect. Drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in 2004, “Larry Legend” has been a model of consistency over the years, continuing to add to his running total for over a decade and a half. In his first five seasons however, Fitzgerald totaled 5,975 receiving yards with 46 touchdowns, averaging 13.96 yards per catch and 78.6 yards per game.
Tyreek Hill has a strong HOF case if he continues on his trajectory.
Having taken a brief look at the career stats over their first five years of four iconic and decorated wide receivers, Tyreek Hill’s chances of joining the Hall of Fame seem pretty darn high. Over his first five seasons, his numbers are certainly comparable to Michael Irvin, Terrell Owens, Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald.
Something else they all have in common is the fact that, in their primes, these receivers presented as matchup nightmares for opposing defenses who could only hope to slow them down. Luckily, it’s been shown that Tyreek Hill is not someone who enjoys slowing down, a trait that should surely add him to the list of only 29 receivers to be honored in the Pro Football Hall of Fame at this point in time.