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Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2021


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The list of semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2021 has been released.  Here's the list:

 

Eric Allen

Jared Allen

Willie Anderson

Ronde Barber

Cornelius Bennett

Tony Boselli

LeRoy Butler

Alan Faneca

Rodney Harrison

Torry Holt

Calvin Johnson

John Lynch

Peyton Manning

Clay Matthews Jr.

Sam Mills

Richard Seymour

Steve Tasker

Fred Taylor

Zach Thomas

Hines Ward

Reggie Wayne

Patrick Willis

Charles Woodson

Darren Woodson

Keep in mind that Tom Flores is the Coach Nominee, Bill Nunn is the Contributor Nominee, and Drew Pearson is the Senior Nominee for the Class of 2021.  As far as I'm concerned, besides Peyton Manning, the two other names that stick out are Calvin Johnson and Charles Woodson.  Who does everyone believe will be part of the Class of 2021?

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1 hour ago, Yogibear said:

The list of semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2021 has been released.  Here's the list:

 

Eric Allen

Jared Allen

Willie Anderson

Ronde Barber

Cornelius Bennett

Tony Boselli

LeRoy Butler

Alan Faneca

Rodney Harrison

Torry Holt

Calvin Johnson

John Lynch

Peyton Manning

Clay Matthews Jr.

Sam Mills

Richard Seymour

Steve Tasker

Fred Taylor

Zach Thomas

Hines Ward

Reggie Wayne

Patrick Willis

Charles Woodson

Darren Woodson

Keep in mind that Tom Flores is the Coach Nominee, Bill Nunn is the Contributor Nominee, and Drew Pearson is the Senior Nominee for the Class of 2021.  As far as I'm concerned, besides Peyton Manning, the two other names that stick out are Calvin Johnson and Charles Woodson.  Who does everyone believe will be part of the Class of 2021?

 

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I wanted to spotlight Barber who won't likely get in this year but for 5 years he was an All Pro, 3 of them 1st Team, they only name 2 of those and then 2 more as 2nd team for the entire NFL, vs like 8 of them from each conference for the Pro Bowls so you want to focus on the ALL Pro teams as voted on by the writers. 

Next, he has 12 defensive TDs by my count, another on a return and yet another that most remember vs the Eagles to propel the Bucs into the Super Bowl. Not many Cornerbacks have more TD returns than Barber but if there are you have to say names like Rod Woodson, Charles Woodson and Deion Sanders who are ahead of him. Barber is close to 50 career interceptions, teams didn't throw to his side of the field much from about 2000 thru 2010 and when they did they paid a price. 

Not a big hitter but not afraid to get his hands dirty. A model player by anyone's standard. I would happily vote him in. 

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2 hours ago, Yogibear said:

The list of semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2021 has been released.  Here's the list:

 

Eric Allen-I don't see much of a case here. Good career, but not HOF worthy. Was more of a top-10 CB during his career than an elite guy.

Jared Allen-I'd vote for him. He was the best pass rusher in the NFL for about 4-5 years. 

Willie Anderson-I'd vote for him. I think he's grossly underrated simply because the Bengals sucked for most of his career. Funny how when Palmer blew up, suddenly Anderson was a pro bowler. He didn't suddenly start playing better. Best RT of his generation.

Ronde Barber-I'd vote for him, 3rd best player on an all-time great defense. Was basically the prototype cover 2 CB. 

Cornelius Bennett-Don't see much of a case here. 2nd best defender on an offensive led 4 time AFC champion.

Tony Boselli-I'd vote for him. He's the OL version of Terrell Davis, short run, but highly elite.

LeRoy Butler-Really should have been in by now. Extremely underrated safety who was better in the same time frame than a few DBs who recently got in. Also invented the Lambeau leap.

Alan Faneca-Should have been a 1st ballot HOF'er. Best G of his generation in my opinion. Better than Allen, Shields or Hutchinson. 

Rodney Harrison-Hall of very good. Close, but no cigar. 

Torry Holt-I'd say no way, but Bruce got in, and Holt was better than Bruce in my opinion.

Calvin Johnson-He should get in. Might not be 1st ballot though.

John Lynch-Like Harrison, he's hall of very good, though I'd put him ahead of Harrison. Was less important than Barber in my opinion.

Peyton Manning-As easy a 1st ballot HOF'er as there can be.

Clay Matthews Jr.-Good, not great, player who played forever. Honestly, has no business being nominated. I'd vote for his son before him.

Sam Mills-Don't really see a case here. Though Rickey Jackson got in, and Mills was better than him in NO. Swilling was better than both and is never nominated, nor should he be.

Richard Seymour-I'd vote for him. personally, I'd argue he was the Patriots best defensive player through their run.

Steve Tasker-Nope

Fred Taylor-Not even close. Wasn't a top-5 RB from his own era. Frankly, he wouldn't be my 1st pick of Jaguars RBs.

Zach Thomas-Should have been in years ago, arguably 1st ballot. Was better than Urlacher according to this Bears fan. I think he gets overshadowed because he was never the clear cut best MLB in the NFL, but its not his fault he was drafted the same year as Ray Lewis.

Hines Ward-I'd say no way, but he's got his supporters. This feels like Bruce all over again, where he'll get in at some point over better WRs.

Reggie Wayne-I think he was never as good as his numbers, and would have been merely a solid starter if not for Manning. That said, the numbers put him ahead of Holt. I'd say no.

Patrick Willis-I'd vote yes as a 1st ballot HOFer. Best LB in the league for 5 great years. Another guy I thought was better than Urlacher.

Charles Woodson-I'd say yes to Woodson. The rare DB who peaked in his 30s. Was best defensive player on a Super Bowl champ.

Darren Woodson-I'd say yes to this Woodson as well, though not ahead of Charles. Safety is an underrepresented position in the HOF. 

Keep in mind that Tom Flores is the Coach Nominee, Bill Nunn is the Contributor Nominee, and Drew Pearson is the Senior Nominee for the Class of 2021.  As far as I'm concerned, besides Peyton Manning, the two other names that stick out are Calvin Johnson and Charles Woodson.  Who does everyone believe will be part of the Class of 2021?

Having to narrow it down to 6, I'd say:

1. Peyton Manning

2. Alan Faneca

3. Zach Thomas

4. Patrick Willis(not likely to get 2 MLBs in the same year, but I'm going by how I'd vote, not what I expect)

5. Jared Allen

6. LeRoy Butler

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2 hours ago, RealReactions said:

Think its Calvin, Manning, and Charles Woodson as shoe ins. Everyone else is fighting for the left over spots this year.

Charles Woodson is already in the HOF.    They are talking about Darren Woodson, who's also HOF-worthy.   

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27 minutes ago, dcgangstas said:

Charles Woodson is already in the HOF.    They are talking about Darren Woodson, who's also HOF-worthy.   

You must be thinking ROD Woodson, who was voted in the Hall of Fame in 2009.  CHARLES Woodson and DARREN Woodson are both semifinalists for the Class of 2021.  Get your facts straight.

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13 hours ago, travdogg said:

Having to narrow it down to 6, I'd say:

1. Peyton Manning

2. Alan Faneca

3. Zach Thomas

4. Patrick Willis(not likely to get 2 MLBs in the same year, but I'm going by how I'd vote, not what I expect)

5. Jared Allen

6. LeRoy Butler

LeRoy Butler over Charles Woodson physically hurts me.

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15 hours ago, travdogg said:

Having to narrow it down to 6, I'd say:

1. Peyton Manning

2. Alan Faneca

3. Zach Thomas

4. Patrick Willis(not likely to get 2 MLBs in the same year, but I'm going by how I'd vote, not what I expect)

5. Jared Allen

6. LeRoy Butler

Keep in mind that Drew Pearson is the Senior Nominee, Tom Flores is the the Coach Nominee, and Bill Nunn is the Contributor Nominee for the Class of 2021.  Up to 5 of the modern-day semifinalists can get in.  So, here's my list for the Class of 2021:

Peyton Manning

Calvin Johnson

Charles Woodson

Tony Boselli

John Lynch

Drew Pearson

Tom Flores

Bill Nunn

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16 hours ago, tangfoot said:

Calvin is going to need to wait several years.

Attitudes have softened around early retirements due to CTE and other injuries, but gotta figure some voters hold it against him especially with how out of the blue his announcement was. That plus the logjam of WRs waiting to get in makes it possible. I still think he gets in first ballot but wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t.

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22 hours ago, Ministry of Pain said:

Ronde Barber

Calvin Johnson

John Lynch

Peyton Manning

Zach Thomas

Charles Woodson

 

21 hours ago, travdogg said:

Having to narrow it down to 6, I'd say:

1. Peyton Manning

2. Alan Faneca

3. Zach Thomas

4. Patrick Willis(not likely to get 2 MLBs in the same year, but I'm going by how I'd vote, not what I expect)

5. Jared Allen

6. LeRoy Butler

You can only select 5 that are not in the special categories (Senior Nominee, Coach Nominee, Contributor Nominee). So you are both one over.

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Last year, I included these guys in my first tier (as well as Bruce and Polamalu, who were inducted):

  • Ronde Barber
  • Tony Boselli
  • Alan Faneca
  • Torry Holt
  • Zach Thomas

I also noted that I thought Atwater and Butler should make it, but both had been eligible for so long, I assumed it would have to be via the veterans committee. Atwater made it, but Butler didn't. I view Butler as a first tier guy in addition to the 5 guys named above. But I still assume he will have to make it via the veterans committee.

This year, there are a few obvious additions to my first tier:

  • Peyton Manning
  • Charles Woodson
  • Darren Woodson
  • Calvin Johnson

I think Manning and Charles Woodson are first ballot locks. I would feel compelled to include Darren Woodson and Calvin Johnson in my list. So I only have room for one of the others above. I would be okay with any of them, though I assume Johnson's inclusion will push Holt to next year. It is very close for me between Barber and Thomas. I'll go with Thomas. So my 5 non special nominees are:

  • Calvin Johnson
  • Peyton Manning
  • Zach Thomas
  • Charles Woodson
  • Darren Woodson

I think the voters are unlikely to choose Thomas or Darren Woodson and substitute others like Faneca and Lynch. I'm fine with Faneca, but I do not think Lynch is deserving... at least not before Barber, Butler, and Harrison (see below).

As for the special nominees:

  • I think Flores is undeserving and would not vote for him. I've posted my take on his case in multiple threads here over the years.
  • I support Pearson making it.
  • I have no knowledge or opinion on Bill Nunn.

One last note. For some reason, this is the first year Rodney Harrison has been a semifinalist. This highlights one of the issues in the process to me... nothing has changed about his HOF case, so why now? That said, I have said for years that I think he is a clear HOFer, and I would vote for him. I have assumed he would only get in via a senior nomination, and that still seems likely.

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On 11/24/2020 at 4:27 PM, travdogg said:

Eric Allen-I don't see much of a case here. Good career, but not HOF worthy. Was more of a top-10 CB during his career than an elite guy.

Jared Allen-I'd vote for him. He was the best pass rusher in the NFL for about 4-5 years. 

Willie Anderson-I'd vote for him. I think he's grossly underrated simply because the Bengals sucked for most of his career. Funny how when Palmer blew up, suddenly Anderson was a pro bowler. He didn't suddenly start playing better. Best RT of his generation.

Ronde Barber-I'd vote for him, 3rd best player on an all-time great defense. Was basically the prototype cover 2 CB. 

Cornelius Bennett-Don't see much of a case here. 2nd best defender on an offensive led 4 time AFC champion.

Tony Boselli-I'd vote for him. He's the OL version of Terrell Davis, short run, but highly elite.

LeRoy Butler-Really should have been in by now. Extremely underrated safety who was better in the same time frame than a few DBs who recently got in. Also invented the Lambeau leap.

Alan Faneca-Should have been a 1st ballot HOF'er. Best G of his generation in my opinion. Better than Allen, Shields or Hutchinson. 

Rodney Harrison-Hall of very good. Close, but no cigar. 

Torry Holt-I'd say no way, but Bruce got in, and Holt was better than Bruce in my opinion.

Calvin Johnson-He should get in. Might not be 1st ballot though.

John Lynch-Like Harrison, he's hall of very good, though I'd put him ahead of Harrison. Was less important than Barber in my opinion.

Peyton Manning-As easy a 1st ballot HOF'er as there can be.

Clay Matthews Jr.-Good, not great, player who played forever. Honestly, has no business being nominated. I'd vote for his son before him.

Sam Mills-Don't really see a case here. Though Rickey Jackson got in, and Mills was better than him in NO. Swilling was better than both and is never nominated, nor should he be.

Richard Seymour-I'd vote for him. personally, I'd argue he was the Patriots best defensive player through their run.

Steve Tasker-Nope

Fred Taylor-Not even close. Wasn't a top-5 RB from his own era. Frankly, he wouldn't be my 1st pick of Jaguars RBs.

Zach Thomas-Should have been in years ago, arguably 1st ballot. Was better than Urlacher according to this Bears fan. I think he gets overshadowed because he was never the clear cut best MLB in the NFL, but its not his fault he was drafted the same year as Ray Lewis.

Hines Ward-I'd say no way, but he's got his supporters. This feels like Bruce all over again, where he'll get in at some point over better WRs.

Reggie Wayne-I think he was never as good as his numbers, and would have been merely a solid starter if not for Manning. That said, the numbers put him ahead of Holt. I'd say no.

Patrick Willis-I'd vote yes as a 1st ballot HOFer. Best LB in the league for 5 great years. Another guy I thought was better than Urlacher.

Charles Woodson-I'd say yes to Woodson. The rare DB who peaked in his 30s. Was best defensive player on a Super Bowl champ.

Darren Woodson-I'd say yes to this Woodson as well, though not ahead of Charles. Safety is an underrepresented position in the HOF. 

Generally agree with your takes, with the exception of Harrison and Holt.

Holt had a 9 year career that was HOF worthy, then dropped off a cliff and did not attempt to hang on to compile. For those who favor peak over longevity, he is a poster child for a tier 2 or 3 HOFer. Note that he started with Warner but played most of his career with Bulger. I've posted his long list of accomplishments in other HOF threads previously.

Harrison spent prime years in San Diego playing on a lousy team, which completely undermined his recognition (Pro Bowls, All Pros, posteason). Then he went to the Patriots and was immediately recognized as one of the best safeties in the league. Somehow playing in San Diego did not hurt Junior Seau but it did hurt Harrison. Perhaps because Harrison had a reputation as a dirty player? Not sure. But he was a complete stud. He was better than Darren Woodson. Better than John Lynch. Better than other safeties currently in the HOF.

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