Pro Football Hall of Fame candidates 2023: Here are the best NFL players eligible for next year’s class

The Pro Football Hall of Fame is welcoming eight new members to its ranks on Saturday because it enshrines its Class of 2022.

The Class of 2022 could not have the similar star energy that the mixed Class of 2020 and 2021 had, with Peyton Manning taking heart stage, however there are nonetheless loads of high quality players being immortalized. This contains offensive deal with Tony Boselli, receiver Cliff Branch, security LeRoy Butler, linebacker Sam Mills and two defensive linemen, Richard Seymour and Bryant Young.

Also being enshrined are coach Dick Vermeil and former supervisor of officers Art McNally.

While this year’s Hall of Fame ceremony will intrigue many, others can be asking who could also be next to affix the choose group of NFL legends in Canton, Ohio. The Pro Football Hall of Fame hasn’t but introduced its modern-era nominees for the Class of 2023, however there are loads of intriguing first-year candidates on the poll, and some of them might be chosen for enshrinement in the not- so-distant future.

Who are the NFL candidates for the Hall of Fame in 2023? Here’s a take a look at the best first-time candidates on the market in addition to the senior and contributor finalists that the NFL has already chosen.

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NFL Hall of Fame candidates: Best first-year eligible players for 2023

The Pro Football Hall of Fame has not but introduced its modern-era finalists for the Class of 2023, however the league will face a troublesome process in choosing its best choices this 12 months.

There are almost a dozen first-time candidates that might draw consideration for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Below is a run-down of some of the best and the groups that they performed for throughout their NFL careers.

Joe Thomas, OT, Browns

Thomas looks as if a straightforward choice for the Hall of Fame. He was the Browns’ major beginning left deal with for 11 years and made six All-Pro groups whereas in Cleveland. He made a whopping 167 consecutive begins and performed in an NFL-record 10,363 consecutive snaps to start his profession.

Thomas was named to the Hall of Fame’s All-2010s staff, so that ought to give him an awesome probability of making it in throughout his first 12 months on the poll.

James Harrison, OLB, Steelers/Bengals/Patriots

Harrison is one other AFC North celebrity that terrorized players like Thomas for a decade and a half. He performed 15 NFL seasons — 13 and a half of which got here with the Steelers — and recorded 84.5 profession sacks. That ranks top-100 in NFL historical past.

Harrison was twice named an AP All-Pro, turned the solely undrafted participant to win Defensive Player of the Year in 2008 and received two Super Bowls throughout his time with the Steelers. He was instrumental in the staff’s 2009 Super Bowl win over the Cardinals, throughout which he returned an interception 100 yards for a rating simply earlier than halftime.

Dwight Freeney, DE, Colts/Chargers/Cardinals/Falcons/Lions/Seahawks

Freeney is one other fearsome go rusher who can have an awesome probability to make it into the Hall of Fame. He ranks twenty sixth in NFL historical past with 125.5 profession sacks and was named an All-Pro 3 times throughout his profession.

Freeney had seven seasons with a minimum of 10 sacks and demonstrated unbelievable longevity. He performed 16 years in the NFL and was prepared to tackle a task as a chosen go rusher late in his profession. Freeney received just one Super Bowl with the Colts, however the dynamic pass-rushing tandem that he created with Robert Mathis helped hold Indianapolis in rivalry 12 months in and 12 months out.

Darrelle Revis, CB, Jets/Buccaneers/Patriots/Chiefs

It’s simple for some to neglect simply how good Revis was in his prime as a result of his decline was so swift. Still, Revis was one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL for half a decade and was named an All-Pro 4 occasions. He logged 29 profession interceptions and 139 go defenses, together with a whopping six and 31 in 2009.

Revis by no means received a Defensive Player of the Year award however he simply may have in 2009. He additionally has a Super Bowl win on his résumé because of his time with the Patriots. He can be a Hall of Famer and stands a superb probability of making it in on the first poll.

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Jahri Evans, G, Saints/Packers

Guards do not get rather a lot of consideration throughout their careers, however there is no doubting that Evans was one of the best. The former fourth-round select of Bloomsburg in 2008 turned one of the league’s best inside blockers, incomes 4 consecutive All-Pro nods from 2009 by way of 2012 and making six consecutive Pro Bowls.

Evans did a superb job blocking for Drew Brees throughout the prime of his profession and spent his closing season blocking for Aaron Rodgers. He was a robust, regular starter for 12 years and made 183 begins general.

Elvis Dumervil, DE, Broncos/Ravens/49ers

Dumervil wasn’t fairly as constant as some of the different players on this listing, however he nonetheless has 105.5 profession sacks and recorded 17-sack seasons with two completely different groups (the Broncos and Ravens). Those seasons got here 5 years aside in 2009 and 2014.

Dumervil was a two-time All-Pro and performed 11 years in the NFL. The one blemish on his résumé is that he by no means received a Super Bowl. Still, he’ll draw consideration from the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Chris Johnson, RB, Titans/Jets/Cardinals

Any time a participant data 2,000-plus dashing yards in a season, they get consideration for the Hall of Fame. Johnson is one of eight players in NFL historical past to attain this feat and of the six Hall of Fame-eligible backs to do it, 5 have been enshrined. Jamal Lewis is the lone exception.

Of course, Lewis’ lack of enshrinement could also be a harbinger of dangerous information for Johnson, who failed to copy the high-end success of his 2,000-yard season throughout which he averaged 5.6 yards per carry. He had 4 extra 1,000-yard seasons after that however made only one Pro Bowl and solely earned the one All-Pro nod in 2009.

Johnson’s 2009 season was definitely Hall of Fame worthy, however it’s only a matter of whether or not the relaxation of his profession was. He completed it with 9,651 dashing yards (thirty fifth in NFL historical past) and 55 dashing touchdowns, so that won’t fairly be sufficient to get it accomplished.

Matt Forte, RB, Bears/Jets

I do know, I do know. If Johnson goes to have a tough time stepping into the Hall of Fame, then Forte most likely will not get in both. That’s definitely true. However, Forte’s general numbers are much like these of Johnson as you’ll be able to see under.

Player Rushing yards Rush TDs Receiving yards Receiving TDs
Matt Forte 9,796 54 4,672 21
Chris Johnson 9,651 55 2,255 9

So, in case you’re contemplating Johnson, you must think about Forte, particularly since the latter is a greater receiver. Still, in all chance, neither will get into the Hall of Fame — a minimum of not on the first poll in 2023.

Kam Chancellor, S, Seahawks

Chancellor was a key half of the Seahawks’ “Legion of Boom” and helped the staff take house a victory over the Broncos in Super Bowl 48. The hard-hitting security racked up 607 tackles, 12 interceptions, 44 go defenses and 9 pressured fumbles throughout his eight-year profession.

Chancellor’s profession was lower brief by a neck harm, so his lack of longevity and 0 first-team All-Pro nods could hold him out of the Hall of Fame.

Carson Palmer, QB, Bengals/Raiders/Cardinals

Palmer put collectively a stable profession enjoying for three completely different franchises. He had a 92-88-1 report, threw for 46,247 yards and recorded 294 touchdowns in comparison with 187 interceptions.

However, Palmer by no means was an All-Pro and by no means received a Super Bowl throughout his profession. His best season got here in 2015 when he completed as a runner-up in the MVP voting after recording 4,671 yards, 35 touchdowns and 11 interceptions whereas main the Cardinals to a 13-3 report.

Overall, Palmer was a stable quarterback, however that should not be sufficient to get him into the Hall of Fame.

Shane Lechler, P, Raiders/Texans

Lechler performed 18 years in the NFL and was one of the best punters the league has ever seen. He made six All-Pro groups and led the NFL in yards per punt 5 occasions throughout his profession. That included the 2009 season when he averaged a whopping 51.1 yards per punt.

Lechler is unquestionably one of the best punters ever and averaged beneath 45.9 yards per punt in only one season. The factor working in opposition to him right here is that Ray Guy is the solely pure punter in the Hall of Fame so far. It’s unclear whether or not the Hall of Fame would admit Lechler to provide him some firm.

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Pro Football Hall of Fame finalists 2023

The Hall of Fame can choose as much as 9 enshrinees with a most of 5 modern-era players, three senior players and one coach/contributor. The distinction between modern-era players and senior players is that seniors can have performed their closing NFL recreation no later than 1996.

The NFL has not but introduced its modern-era finalists, however it has accomplished so for its senior players and contributors. Below is a take a look at every of the recognized finalists for enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2023.

Senior finalists

Player Position Years performed
Ken Anderson QB 1971-86
Maxie Baughan LB 1960-70, 1974
Randy Gradishar LB 1974-83
Chuck Hawley LB 1958-59, 1961-73
Cecil Isbell RB/DB 1938-42
Joe Klecko DL 1977-88
Bob Kuechenberg OL 1970-83
Eddie Meador CB 1959-70
Tommy Novice LB 1966-76
Ken Riley CB 1969-83
Sterling Sharpe WR 1988-94
Everson Walls CB 1981-93

Coaches & contributors

Person Role
Roone Arledge TV govt who created “Monday Night Football.”
Don Coryell Former Cardinals, Chargers coach who created the “Air Coryell” offense.
Mike Holmgren Three-time Super Bowl winner (two as an assistant, one as Packers head coach).
Frank “Bucko” Kilroy Longtime NFL govt and former participant whose profession spanned from 1943 by way of 2007.
Robert Kraft Six-time Super Bowl-winning proprietor of the Patriots.
Art Model Former proprietor of the Browns and Ravens.
Buddy Parker Won two NFL championships as the Lions head coach.
Dan Reeves Participated in 9 Super Bowls as a participant and coach.
Art Rooney Jr. Owner of the Steelers who has overseen two Super Bowl wins.
Mike Shanahan Long-time NFL head coach who received three Super Bowls (two as a head coach, one as an assistant).
Clark Shaughnessy Former coach referred to as “the father of the T formation” who helped popularize the ahead go.
John Wooten Had a 10-year profession as a participant earlier than serving as a scout for the Cowboys, Eagles and Ravens from 1975 to 2003.

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