NFL HOF Class of 2021: Who Should Be In?

BaseballJones

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I don't know how many finalists will get voted in, but here's my thoughts:

The no-brainers:
- Peyton Manning
- Charles Woodson

The solid choices:
- Calvin Johnson
- Tony Boselli
- Alan Faneca

The guys with a legit argument:
- Torry Holt
- Reggie Wayne
- Richard Seymour
- Darren Woodson
- Cornelius Bennett

Thoughts?
 

InstaFace

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Charles Woodson should get admitted on the first ballot, but then they do a recount and reverse his admission on appeal.

Seymour and Rodney Harrison are both overdue, but especially Seymour. With respect to Ty Law, there's an argument that Richard Seymour was the best defensive player on 3 championship teams that were defense-led. Definitely at least 2, and even in 2001 he was drawing double-teams and opening things up even if McGinest probably made more impact plays that year.

I think there's a case for all 4 first-timers on the ballot, as Jared Allen had 4 first-team all-pro selections and was a one-man wrecking crew that dragged the Vikings to the playoffs in back to back years, and within an overtime asshair of the super bowl in 2009. His 126 AV would be the 2nd highest all-time for DLs who aren't in the HOF (behind only Jim "Wrong Way" Marshall; Julius Peppers and Suggs aren't yet eligible).

edit: my ballot:
- Manning Face
- Charles Woodson (you gotta put him in the same year as Peyton, just for the troll value)
- Richard Seymour
- Alan Faneca
- Ronde Barber

Barber over Megatron on career value / longevity / overall impact for me, but I think he'll get in eventually. Jared Allen would be 7th for me. I'm unmoved by Tony Boselli and his 7 years at OT.
 
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Seels

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I'd put in Manning, Charles Woodson, Alan Faneca, Richard Seymour, and Patrick Willis.

I get Calvin's case and I'm sure he'll get in, but he wouldn't get my vote. Just didn't play long enough, and while he was great for a few years, I'm not sure I buy that he was on the same level of receiver that Rice or Moss were. All the other receivers are firm no votes for me.
 

DJnVa

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I'd put in Manning, Charles Woodson, Alan Faneca, Richard Seymour, and Patrick Willis.

I get Calvin's case and I'm sure he'll get in, but he wouldn't get my vote. Just didn't play long enough, and while he was great for a few years, I'm not sure I buy that he was on the same level of receiver that Rice or Moss were. All the other receivers are firm no votes for me.
I'm not a fan, but Reggie Wayne is 10th in receptions and yards, and 25th in TD receptions. If he's a firm no, what's a yes?
 

Seels

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I'm not a fan, but Reggie Wayne is 10th in receptions and yards, and 25th in TD receptions. If he's a firm no, what's a yes?
He had one all pro and was rarely the best dude on his own team.
Also -- basically no black ink. He led the league in yards in 2007.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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I'm not a fan, but Reggie Wayne is 10th in receptions and yards, and 25th in TD receptions. If he's a firm no, what's a yes?
One thing in his favor is the tied for 2nd-most productive year of his career was at age 34 with Andrew Luck at QB. But otherwise a devil's advocate argument is some combination of Marvin Harrison making his job easier in his 20s combined with "system receiver" based on an inflated view of Peyton.
 

DJnVa

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He had one all pro and was rarely the best dude on his own team.
Also -- basically no black ink. He led the league in yards in 2007.
Numbers are still there though. To be clear, I'm not saying he's a definite YES, but a hard no on someone pretty high on some of those lists seems harsh.

But, he was a Colt, so fuck him.
 

Kliq

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I don't know how many finalists will get voted in, but here's my thoughts:

The no-brainers:
- Peyton Manning
- Charles Woodson

The solid choices:
- Calvin Johnson
- Tony Boselli
- Alan Faneca

The guys with a legit argument:
- Torry Holt
- Reggie Wayne
- Richard Seymour
- Darren Woodson
- Cornelius Bennett

Thoughts?
Boseli predates my football-watching days, but what is so compelling about his case? Six seasons, three-time All-Pro, career AV of 73...was he really just so dominant at his peak that he should get in? Matt Light played twice as long, has a career AV of 123, and did make one All-Pro team in addition to playing in five Super Bowls.

Peyton, Charles Woodson, Fancea are easy calls.

If Woodson is getting your vote, than Ronde Barber probably should as well. They had very similar careers, although Woodson was a bit better at forcing turnovers. Woodson played in 254 games, has a career AV of 159, and made 3x All-Pro. Ronde Barber played in 241 career games, has a career AV of 251 and made 3x All-Pro. Woodson was a better player because he was so great forcing turnovers (98 career INTs + Forced Fumbles) although Barber (62 career INTs + Forced Fumbles) is still strong in that category and Barber was a great tackler for his position, probably the best tackling CB for his era.

I'd also easily vote for Zach Thomas, long career, 5x All-Pro, career AV of 148.

The wide receivers are going to be interesting. The counter-argument against people like Wayne or Holt would be that the passing game has become so much bigger that the numbers they put up are not the same as the numbers put up by prior generations. However, it can also be argued that WR has become a more valuable position due to increase in passing, and that the modern WRs should not be penalized because they are now more important than their predecessors.
 

Rudy's Curve

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Willie Anderson was/is hurt by playing an unglamorous position for a shitty small-market team but he was the best RT of his era. Three-time first team All-Pro with 127 AV including a four-year stretch of 67 and led the whole league in 2005 while only allowing 16 sacks in 184 starts. He deserves serious consideration.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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But, he was a Colt, so fuck him.
This the right answer. But I agree if he was a Patriot, we would be touting Wayne for the HOF. And as Patriots fans, we only saw him for a short preseason stint on the wrong side of 36 yo so that taints our view as well. My main gateway into following him was as a fantasy football player in the early 2000s when Wayne was a value pick for several years before everyone properly treated him like a 1A instead of a 2.
 

Average Game James

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Obviously not a perfect metric, but looking at Pro-Football Reference's Hall of Fame Monitor (HOFm) stat which tries to predict who will (not necessarily who should) get into the hall says Manning (duh), Faneca, and Charles Woodson are locks, and I don't think there is much argument there.

Wayne and Holt are both right around average for a Hall of Fame WR, though as others have pointed out both benefited playing beside other HOF caliber players for most of their careers. Counting stats are somewhat inflated by era and relatively long careers. And the real strike for me is only once being 1st Team All-Pro. In general, I want to see guys who were the best at their position get in over guys who were top 5-10 but over a longer time period.

ILBs really get no love from voters. Thomas and Willis were basically in the top 1-2 at the position for the better part of a decade. Thomas and Willis are two of only four players to make 1st Team All-Pro 5 times since the merger that are not in the Hall of Fame (other two are Faneca - 6, and Kevin Williams).

Jaren Allen is one that stood out to me as looking fairly low. He was 1st Team All-Pro and is 12th in career sacks. Every player above him on the career sack list is either in the hall or not yet eligible (Peppers, Suggs, Ware).


36619
 

snowmanny

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Except for the fullbacks and special teamers, the only players on the first team all-decade team of the 2000’s not in the HOF are not-yet-eligible no brainers (Woodson, Brady, Freeney) and Faneca and Seymour. I’ll bet those two make it this year.
 

coremiller

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Boseli predates my football-watching days, but what is so compelling about his case? Six seasons, three-time All-Pro, career AV of 73...was he really just so dominant at his peak that he should get in? Matt Light played twice as long, has a career AV of 123, and did make one All-Pro team in addition to playing in five Super Bowls.

Peyton, Charles Woodson, Fancea are easy calls.

If Woodson is getting your vote, than Ronde Barber probably should as well. They had very similar careers, although Woodson was a bit better at forcing turnovers. Woodson played in 254 games, has a career AV of 159, and made 3x All-Pro. Ronde Barber played in 241 career games, has a career AV of 251 and made 3x All-Pro. Woodson was a better player because he was so great forcing turnovers (98 career INTs + Forced Fumbles) although Barber (62 career INTs + Forced Fumbles) is still strong in that category and Barber was a great tackler for his position, probably the best tackling CB for his era.

I'd also easily vote for Zach Thomas, long career, 5x All-Pro, career AV of 148.

The wide receivers are going to be interesting. The counter-argument against people like Wayne or Holt would be that the passing game has become so much bigger that the numbers they put up are not the same as the numbers put up by prior generations. However, it can also be argued that WR has become a more valuable position due to increase in passing, and that the modern WRs should not be penalized because they are now more important than their predecessors.
I felt the same way about Boselli looking at the numbers, but everyone who played or coached in his era just raves about Boselli.

Willie Roaf: "Tony Boselli was the man. When I was playing, he was the best lineman in the league.
Ryan Diem: "Growing up, I watched Tony Boselli quite a bit. He was a special player. He was the prototypical tackle in physique, strength, body size, and ability. He had it all. He was fun to watch. I can't say I was able to do everything he was able to do, but I tried to model myself after him.
Kyle Turley: "Man, there are so many guys. There are too many guys to name. And there are a lot of guys who aren't in the Hall of Fame who deserve to be there.
"Tony Boselli. The difference between the guys who make it to the Hall of Fame and the guys who don't is that one play, that one injury that ended their career and took away the years they could've played.
"I never saw anyone better than Boselli. Ever. A technician beyond anybody's capabilities. The best offensive lineman to play the game. Hands down.
"The most shocking punch I've ever seen from an offensive tackle was on the other side of the line from Boselli. Leon Searcy. Lethal.
"He had this thing where he would cock his arms back, lunge his arms forward at you, and punch a hole through your chest. He would give up one sack a game where the defensive guy had it timed just right and could pull on his jersey to get past him. But every other play in that game was a highlight reel."
 

snowmanny

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I’m sort of thinking that an offensive lineman who gives up one sack a game is not a good thing but maybe I’m off.
 

j-man

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manning woodson then i wouild put seymour in with Johnson and willis but the NFL will put in fanca lynch and r wayne
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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ILBs really get no love from voters. Thomas and Willis were basically in the top 1-2 at the position for the better part of a decade. Thomas and Willis are two of only four players to make 1st Team All-Pro 5 times since the merger that are not in the Hall of Fame (other two are Faneca - 6, and Kevin Williams).

Jaren Allen is one that stood out to me as looking fairly low. He was 1st Team All-Pro and is 12th in career sacks. Every player above him on the career sack list is either in the hall or not yet eligible (Peppers, Suggs, Ware).
This is where I'm at. Willlis was basically what Ray Lewis would have looked like had he retired halfway through his career. Same type of player, same dominant impact on the game. Bonus points for not murdering people and using "deer antler spray". He retired on his own terms, and I wouldn't be shocked if that's held against him by some voters. I guess you could say his career was too short (8 years) or dock him for not winning a SB. Still, being one of the most impactful players in the league at a non-glamour position for nearly a decade? Feels like a no brainer.

The Zach Thomas omission is just bizarre. Lengthy career, great peak, did everything well, and was a missile all over the field. Hell, he even has "the story" that a lot of voters like and remember (undersized and scrappy). Thomas, Taylor, and the Surtain/Madison combo made them a top 5 defense for the first half of the 2000's. Again, he wasn't wracking up sacks or INT's, but he was probably the most important player on a top 3-5 defense for half a decade. Solid in coverage, amazing against the run, super sideline-to-sideline speed. The Dolphins being such shit - didn't make the playoffs for the final 7 years of his career - may taint some folks memories.

Willis had a higher peak, Thomas had a better career. One (or both) really should be in the HOF.
 

tims4wins

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Surprised that it seems like basically nobody thinks Rodney Harrison is worthy.
Is he still the only player with 30 sacks and 30 picks?

Dude had 6 picks in 6 playoff games in the 2003-2004 title run. My favorite all time Pats defender.
 

amRadio

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I believe that Ray Lewis also had 30 sacks and 30 INTs but it's a super impressive stat that underscores his uniqueness as a defender. The playoff moments, the All-Pro teams, the imposing nature of his game. I would be interested in an argument against him beyond "his peers from his era don't like him because he concussed Jerry Rice and was a late hitter" because there are true savages in the HOF who existed only to inflict pain on folks whenever they could. Seems like he fits in.

E: spelling
 

Average Game James

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Surprised that it seems like basically nobody thinks Rodney Harrison is worthy.
I think it’s less about thinking he is or isn’t worthy, and more just thinking he won’t get in regardless. He was never well loved by the media or his peers, so he got far less Pro Bowl and All-Pro consideration than he deserved which kinda torpedoes his hall chances.
 

Vinho Tinto

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He retired on his own terms, and I wouldn't be shocked if that's held against him by some voters.

It wasn’t really his own terms. He wanted to keep playing, but his “turf toe” injury (which feels like you’ve broken it) undersold that his feet were fucked. Great player. I’d be happy for him if he got in. Loved watching him college and NFL.

That there aren’t more players in the hall from the mid 90s Bucs and Dolphins defenses makes little sense to me. A lot of great players on teams with some real pop gun offenses.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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It wasn’t really his own terms. He wanted to keep playing, but his “turf toe” injury (which feels like you’ve broken it) undersold that his feet were fucked. Great player. I’d be happy for him if he got in. Loved watching him college and NFL.

That there aren’t more players in the hall from the mid 90s Bucs and Dolphins defenses makes little sense to me. A lot of great players on teams with some real pop gun offenses.
Jesus, why did I forget that? I think I just combined him and Borland into a retired LB amalgam.
 

Vinho Tinto

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Jesus, why did I forget that? I think I just combined him and Borland into a retired LB amalgam.
You aren’t the only one who overlooks it. Whenever analysis of Harbaugh’s end with SF is discussed, his absence is overlooked. Harbaugh’s problems were greater than Willis, but he is the greatest ILB since Ray Lewis and is pretty impossible to replace.
 

Kliq

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You aren’t the only one who overlooks it. Whenever analysis of Harbaugh’s end with SF is discussed, his absence is overlooked. Harbaugh’s problems were greater than Willis, but he is the greatest ILB since Ray Lewis and is pretty impossible to replace.
It's crazy how similar Willis and Kuechly's careers are.

Kuechly
118 G
107 AV
7x Pro Bowl
5x All Pro
2012 DROY

Willis
112 G
106 AV
7x Pro Bowl
5x All Pro
2007 DROY

Kuechly does have a DPOY award, which Willis does not. I think Kuechly was better against the pass and Willis was better against the run, but it was interesting to see how close their resumes are, even down to both of them retiring early.
 

Seels

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Harrison's ACL tear and subsequent PED use probably ended any realistic shot he had. I'll believe until my death that Fisher had Wade take a cheapshot against Harrison to do a solid for Manning, and that with Harrison they win in 2006.
 

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Boseli predates my football-watching days, but what is so compelling about his case? Six seasons, three-time All-Pro, career AV of 73...was he really just so dominant at his peak that he should get in? Matt Light played twice as long, has a career AV of 123, and did make one All-Pro team in addition to playing in five Super Bowls.

Peyton, Charles Woodson, Fancea are easy calls.

If Woodson is getting your vote, than Ronde Barber probably should as well. They had very similar careers, although Woodson was a bit better at forcing turnovers. Woodson played in 254 games, has a career AV of 159, and made 3x All-Pro. Ronde Barber played in 241 career games, has a career AV of 251 and made 3x All-Pro. Woodson was a better player because he was so great forcing turnovers (98 career INTs + Forced Fumbles) although Barber (62 career INTs + Forced Fumbles) is still strong in that category and Barber was a great tackler for his position, probably the best tackling CB for his era.

I'd also easily vote for Zach Thomas, long career, 5x All-Pro, career AV of 148.

The wide receivers are going to be interesting. The counter-argument against people like Wayne or Holt would be that the passing game has become so much bigger that the numbers they put up are not the same as the numbers put up by prior generations. However, it can also be argued that WR has become a more valuable position due to increase in passing, and that the modern WRs should not be penalized because they are now more important than their predecessors.
I always thought that Woodson was overrated. He was hugely valuable, of course, but I saw him as a marginal HOFer rather than a pantheon guy like Champ Bailey, to whom he was often compared. So drawing the line somewhere between Charles Woodson and Ronde Barber sounds about right to me.
 

Kliq

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I always thought that Woodson was overrated. He was hugely valuable, of course, but I saw him as a marginal HOFer rather than a pantheon guy like Champ Bailey, to whom he was often compared. So drawing the line somewhere between Charles Woodson and Ronde Barber sounds about right to me.
Woodson had 98 INTS + Forced Fumbles in his career. How does that compare to other DBs?

Rod Woodson: 91
Ronnie Lott: 79
Charles Tillman: 78
Ed Reed: 75
Aeneas Williams: 63
Deion Sanders: 63
Ty Law: 60
Champ Bailey: 59
Troy Polamalu: 46
Darrelle Revis: 33

I won't go as far to say that Woodson is the all-time leader in that stat, because people like Paul Krause/Emlen Tunell/Night Train Lane probably have more except they didn't keep track of FF back then, but in the modern game, Woodson was the best turnover-producer in history. Obviously turnovers are not everything when it comes to being a DB, but Troy Polamalu is in the HoF thanks to his knack for making a "big play" and Woodson forced twice as many turnovers in his career.
 

Ralphwiggum

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Woodson had 98 INTS + Forced Fumbles in his career. How does that compare to other DBs?

Rod Woodson: 91
Ronnie Lott: 79
Charles Tillman: 78
Ed Reed: 75
Aeneas Williams: 63
Deion Sanders: 63
Ty Law: 60
Champ Bailey: 59
Troy Polamalu: 46
Darrelle Revis: 33

I won't go as far to say that Woodson is the all-time leader in that stat, because people like Paul Krause/Emlen Tunell/Night Train Lane probably have more except they didn't keep track of FF back then, but in the modern game, Woodson was the best turnover-producer in history. Obviously turnovers are not everything when it comes to being a DB, but Troy Polamalu is in the HoF thanks to his knack for making a "big play" and Woodson forced twice as many turnovers in his career.
I had to go check because I thought there was no way Polamalu was in. I must have slept through last years selections. I’m not saying he’s not deserving, but with the backlog of deserving guys out there I can’t believe he got in so quickly.
 

Mystic Merlin

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I had to go check because I thought there was no way Polamalu was in. I must have slept through last years selections. I’m not saying he’s not deserving, but with the backlog of deserving guys out there I can’t believe he got in so quickly.
Helps a defender to play for a team like PIT (BLITZBURGHZZZZ) and have a national brand by virtue of his playing style and hair.

If he played for the Browns and shaved his head he isn’t in yet.
 

DanoooME

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It's crazy how similar Willis and Kuechly's careers are.

Kuechly
118 G
107 AV
7x Pro Bowl
5x All Pro
2012 DROY

Willis
112 G
106 AV
7x Pro Bowl
5x All Pro
2007 DROY

Kuechly does have a DPOY award, which Willis does not. I think Kuechly was better against the pass and Willis was better against the run, but it was interesting to see how close their resumes are, even down to both of them retiring early.
And add Bobby Wagner (thru 2019 to keep the numbers about the same) in too.
119 G
112 AV
6x Pro Bowl
5x All Pro
Couldn't win DROY and hasn't won DPOY.

It's a nice group of ILBs.
 

snowmanny

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Wagner doesn’t have DROY or DPOY but he has one thing those other guys don’t, which probably helps his eventual case.
 

Vinho Tinto

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If he played for the Browns and shaved his head he isn’t in yet.
Yes, being drafted by a team with a long history of strong management matters in how a player develops. It’s not bad shampoo that’s preventing more Browns from Canton. If the Browns had drafted Polamalu, there’s no doubt they would have been unstoppable in screwing him up. Most of their notable players pre-date the moon landing.