With the 2018 NFL Hall of Fame Class semifinalists being announced just over a week ago, it’s time for some fun-filled predictions on who will get in, which players will come close and which ones will be left on the outside looking in once again.
The 27 semifinalists will be narrowed down to 15 in a vote by the 48 Hall of Fame selectors over the next few weeks. Out of those 15, a maximum of five modern-era players and coaches can be enshrined when the Hall’s Class of 2018 is voted on in Minneapolis on February 3.
Six first-year eligible candidates – cornerback/safety Ronde Barber, guard Steve Hutchinson, linebackers Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher, wide receiver Randy Moss and defensive end/defensive tackle Richard Seymour – are among the 27 semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018.
Although Hall of Fame bylaws calls for the selection of 25 semifinalists they also allow that the semifinalist list includes all ties for the twenty-fifth and final position as is the case this year, making the total of 27 semifinalists. Four other players – LeRoy Butler, Leslie O’Neal, Simeon Rice and Everson Walls – although previously eligible for the Hall, are semifinalists for the first time.
All other individuals on the 2018 list have been a semifinalist in previous years. The Class of 2018 semifinalists includes 25 players – 12 offensive players (2 running backs, 5 wide receivers, and 5 offensive linemen) and 13 defensive players (3 defensive linemen, 3 linebackers, and 7 defensive backs). Also on the list are two coaches, but Terrell Owens and his Hall of Fame odds to get in are getting pretty much all the attention, so let’s dive into the candidate’s options!
NFL Hall of Fame 2018 Class Predictions
Ranking ProFootballHOF Semifinalists (via Gil_Brandt):
— Sports Treasury (@SportsTreasury) 26 de noviembre de 2017
- Position: Linebacker
- Team: Baltimore Ravens
- Notable achievements: 2 times Super Bowl champion, Super Bowl MVP, 2 timer NFL Defensive Player of Year
Seventeen seasons, two Defensive Player of the Year awards and one Super Bowl MVP make Ray Lewis an absolute lock selection. Sure, his 2000 off-field court case will bother some voters, but he was acquitted and will easily be voted in for his stupendous career.
- Position: Safety
- Teams: Philadelphia Eagles / Denver Broncos
- Notable achievements: 9 times selected to Pro Bowl, 4 times selected as First-team All-Pro
For me, Brian Dawkins is a sure-fire Hall of Famer. He was a member of the All-Decade team of the 2000s and was the top safety in pro football during the early part of the millennium for the Philadelphia Eagles. Dawkins could do it all too, from tackling opponents with vicious, but legal hits, to playing center field and covering tight ends and running backs straight-up.
Without Dawk, the Eagles would have never made the five NFC championship appearances they did during the Andy Reid era in Philly, he deserves a spot in the 2018 NFL Hall of Fame class.
- Position: Wide Receiver
- Teams: Minnesota Vikings / Oakland Raiders / New England Patriots / Tennessee Titans / San Francisco 49ers
- Notable achievements: NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, 5 times NFL receiving touchdowns leader, 4 times selected as First-team All-Pro
Moss was supremely gifted and put up some huge numbers by hauling in 982 passes for 15, 292 yards and 156 TD passes. While I’m going to predict that Moss gets in, I’m still bothered by the fact that Terrell Owens is not in the Hall of Fame despite catching 1,078 passes for 15, 934 yards and 153 touchdowns.
- Position: Tackle
- Team: Jacksonville Jaguars
- Notable achievements: 3 times selected as First-team All-Pro, 5 times selected for Pro Bowl
Boselli made the finalist list a year ago and should get in this year. He was the best left tackle in all of football during the late 1990s and more importantly, has the support of both, Hall of Fame players and the voters, especially seeing as how he played the same amount of years as Terrell Davis who got in a year ago.
Ironically, Boselli and Davis played the exact same seasons in the NFL: 1995-2001.
I don’t think so…
- Position: Cornerback
- Teams: New England Patriots / NY Jets / Kansas City Chiefs / Denver Broncos
- Notable achievements: 3 times Super Bowl champion, 2 times selected as All-Pro (1998, 2003), 5 times selected for Pro Bowl
Ty Law was a fantastic player, but he’s not getting in! This spot will go to either, safety John Lynch, guard Alan Faneca, T.O. or Owens or center Kevin Mawae.
I already said how I feel about Owens not being included because of his ‘team killer’ reputation, but all I know is that when the bright lights came on, Owens came to play and was the driving force behind the Eagles finally getting over the NFC Championship hump they never did without him.
- Position: Linebacker
- Team: Chicago Bears
- Notable achievements: NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Selected 4 times as First-team All-Pro, Selected 8 times for Pro Bowl
Urlacher made eight pro bowls in 13 seasons with the Bears and was a First-Team All-Pro four times while starting 180 games in his career and playing the full 16 games ten times.
Unfortunately, Urlacher will have to wait at least one more year before he gets in, if not more, so don’t include him in your 2018 NFL Hall of Fame bets.
Rest of the 2018 NFL Hall of Fame Class Candidates
- Steve Atwater (S)
- Ronde Barber (CB/S)
- Isaac Bruce (WR)
- LeRoy Butler (S)
- Don Coryell (HC)
- Roger Craig (RB)
- Alan Faneca (G)
- Torry Holt (WR)
- Steve Hutchinson (G)
- Joe Jacoby (T)
- Edgerrin James (RB)
- Jimmy Johnson (HC)
- John Lynch (FS)
- Kevin Mawae (C/G)
- Karl Mecklenburg (LB)
- Leslie O’Neal (DE)
- Terrell Owens (WR)
- Simeon Rice (DE)
- Richard Seymour (DE/DT)
- Everson Walls (CB)
- Hines Ward (WR)