Top Ten 2015 NFL Hall of Fame Finalists
Which Pro Football HoF Finalists Have the Best Chance of Getting In?
2014 NFL Postseason
Last night, the finalists for the 2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame class were announced. There are eighteen names on this year’s list, including popular picks like Tony Dungy and Junior Seau. To wind down the week, we’re going to look at the top ten most likely inductees from this year’s potential honorees.
USA TODAY Sports
1. LB Junior Seau - Seau spent 20 seasons in the NFL, playing for the San Diego Chargers, the Miami Dolphins, and the New England Patriots during that time. It’s difficult, if not next-to-impossible, for a lineman to have two decades of positive production in the league, but Seau managed it with aplomb. The now-deceased linebacker is a deserving shoo-in for the Hall this year. In fact, I’d say the odds of Seau not getting in are akin to those of the Jacksonville Jaguars winning the Super Bowl next year.
2. QB Kurt Warner - Warner, the quarterback who was never supposed to have the career he did, once again proved people wrong when he made the list of finalists his very first year of Hall of Fame eligibility. The thing I find most intriguing about Warner is that he was 8-22 as a starter between 2002-2006, yet his earlier MVP seasons and three Super Bowl appearances seem to more than make-up for it in the public eye. The Hall hasn’t had many quarterbacks voted in lately. I’m willing to wager that Warner will change that.
3. Coach Tony Dungy - Dungy became one of the NFL’s most well-known head coaches during his tenure with the Indianapolis Colts, though he also spent time turning around the Tampa Bay Buccaneers early in his coaching career. Dungy led the Colts to their Super Bowl XLI victory and became the first African American head coach to ever take home the Lombardi Trophy. While “social issues” of this nature aren’t supposed to be considered, I’m sure it will be on the minds of voters as they prepare their final ballots.
4. T Orlando Pace - Pace spent the bulk of his 13 year career with the St. Louis Rams, but finished with one final season on the Chicago Bears roster in 2009. Pace, a seven-time Pro Bowl selection, was arguably one of the best left tackles the league has seen in the past two decades. The biggest reason he’ll get into the Hall this year? Walter Jones and Jonathan Ogden (the other two standout tackles from recent history) were inducted in 2014 and 2013, respectively.
5. K Morten Andersen - There are few kickers who actually have Hall of Fame worthy careers. Andersen, I believe, is among them. In his 22 seasons in the NFL, Andersen scored over 90 points every single year, which is impressive by any standard. Andersen’s shining moment? A game winning field goal in the 1998 NFC Championship game, which sent his Atlanta Falcons to Super Bowl XXXIII.
6. RB Jerome Bettis - Bettis, who has the sharpest sideburns in all of football analysis, spent his entire 13 season career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, winning Super Bowl XL along the way. During 8 of those seasons, Bettis racked-up over 1,000 rushing yards. At the time of his retirement in 2005, The Bus had the 5th most rushing yards in NFL history.
7. Coach Jimmy Johnson - I, for one, find it a little bit hard to believe that Jimmy Johnson has yet to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In 1989, Johnson left college football to take over the reins of a Dallas Cowboys team that was struggling to stay afloat. In the end, the ‘Boys won two Super Bowls in five seasons under Johnson. Following his success in the Big D, Johnson took his talent to the Miami Dolphins, where the team made the playoffs all three years of his tenure there.
8. DE/LB Charles Haley - Haley is the only player in the entire history of the NFL to play on five Super Bowl winning teams, with the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers. Not even Tom Brady can claim that, people. Over the course of his career, Haley amassed over 100 sacks.
9. DE/LB Kevin Greene - Greene played 15 seasons in the NFL, posting double-digit sacks during 10 of them. Green is on the NFL’s 1990s All-Decade Team roster and is currently the 3rd leading sacker of all-time with 160.
10. WR Marvin Harrison - One of only two wideouts on this year’s list of Hall of Fame finalists, Harrison was part of one of the most magical quarterback-wide receiver duos ever seen. Harrison and Peyton Manning combined for dozens of plays that are forever etched in football history. Among many impressive stats, No. 88 still holds the all-time single season reception record with 143.