Let’s get right down to business. The 15 finalists for this year’s Pro Football Hall of Fame class include:
S Brian Dawkins
DE Jason Taylor
RB LaDainian Tomlinson
K Morten Anderson
HC Don Coryell
QB Kurt Warner
RB Terrell Davis
WR Isaac Bruce
WR Terrell Owens
OT Tony Boselli
OG Alan Faneca
OT Joe Jacoby
CB Ty Law
SS John Lynch
C Kevin Mewae
AMONG THE 15 FINALISTS, THERE ARE ONLY TWO LOCKS
1) RB LaDainian Tomlinson
No discussion necessary.
2) WR Terrell Owens
The only argument against putting Owens in the Hall of Fame is that some people don’t like him as a person. As a football player, it is not even a discussion.
Owens ranks third all-time in receiving touchdowns (153) and second all-time in receiving yards (15.934), trailing only Jerry Rice. He played throughout his entire career and was 17 yards away from 1,000 receiving yards in his last season in the NFL at age 37. Owens also led the league in receiving touchdowns three times (2001, 2002, 2006).
This is also interesting… when you take a look at “Similar Players” for his career on Pro Football Reference, Owens is in the same league as some soon-to-be Hall of Famers and current Hall of Fame wide receivers.
Terrell Owens is a Hall of Famer.
AND THEN THERE’S TWO THAT WILL GET IN, BUT HAVE THEIR WEAKNESSES
3) QB Kurt Warner
The strange thing about Warner is that besides the two Super Bowl appearances at the beginning and end of his career, the middle years were very shaky. However, he took two teams (Rams, Cardinals) to the Super Bowl that were laughing stocks of the National Football League for decades.
Not to mention, Warner has one of the most fascinating stories of any player in NFL history. After being released by the Packers in 1994, he went back home to Cedar Falls, IA and took a job stocking shelves at Hy-Vee for $5.50 per hour. He then worked his way back into the NFL through the Arena Football League and the NFL Europe League, where he dominated the competition.
Warner spent the 1998 season as the Rams’ third-string quarterback and became the backup quarterback before the 1999 season. But when starter Trent Green tore his ACL in a preseason game, Warner became the starting quarterback. What followed was one of the greatest seasons by a quarterback in NFL history.
He led “The Greatest Show on Turf” to the playoffs for the first time since 1989 and threw for 4,353 yards and 41 touchdowns on his way to winning the 1999 NFL MVP award. In the playoffs, Warner led the Rams to a victory in Super Bowl XXXIV, throwing for a Super Bowl-record 414 yards and two touchdowns, including a game-winning 73-yard touchdown to Isaac Bruce with less than two minutes left in a tied game.
Despite the ups and downs, Kurt Warner is a Hall of Famer.
4) Terrell Davis
Here’s a hypothetical question… after rushing for 2,008 yards in 1998, what if Davis had rushed for at least 700 yards in the following three seasons?
ANSWER: He’d a lock for the Hall of Fame.
Unfortunately, injuries plagued Davis during those three seasons and as a result, he retired after just seven seasons. However, it would be foolish to ignore how great Davis played in his first four NFL seasons.
On top of rushing for over 2,000 yards in a single season, Davis won two Super Bowls and a Super Bowl MVP award for his performance in Super Bowl XXXII. In just EIGHT career playoff games, put up 1,140 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns in just EIGHT career playoff games. If you do the math, David rushed for about 143 yards PER GAME in the postseason.
Despite the injuries and lack of longevity, Terrell Davis is a Hall of Famer.
Oh, did I mention he ran for 2,000 yards in a single season?
Let me know what you think in the comment section below or send me a tweet (@danny_shin131). Who else do you think is worth of enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame?