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2021 Hall of Fame Semifinalists Announced

The Hall of Fame has announced its 25 semifinalists for the Class of 2021. First-time eligible players include Peyton Manning, Charles Woodson, and Calvin Johnson. Rodney Harrison, a sentimental favorite of mine, is a semifinalist for the first time. (It's not just the Patriots; those 90s San Diego Chargers defenses were very good.) It's hard to imagine a situation where Manning, Woodson, and Johnson don't get in, and I've been told by one of the Hall of Fame voters that this year is probably Alan Faneca's turn, finally. So that would leave one open spot for 21 other guys. Getting into the Hall of Fame is tough.

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107 comments, Last at 29 Nov 2020, 9:49am

1 I figure CJ will wait a few…

I figure CJ will wait a few years, because his career was pretty short.

I mean, I bet it felt like forever, but the objective duration was short.

2 I gotta admit, I was a…

I gotta admit, I was a little unclear on who Willie Anderson was. At first, I thought they meant Flipper. 


3 "Getting into the Hall of…

"Getting into the Hall of Fame is tough."

To think there was a time (as recently as 2005ish) when they didn't even elect a full class.

And yet they threw coaches like Jimmy Johnson and Bill Cowher in there last year along with various owners and administrators.



5 Harrison deserves it IMO. He…

Harrison deserves it IMO. He was good enough for long enough to meet that merit. CJ is the opposite, short but man I don't think you can name more than 3 receivers better than CJ in his prime, though I am an unabashed CJ fanboy

45 Fitzgerald was/is the…

Fitzgerald was/is the epitome of being good forever without ever being clearly the best at his position in football. I'd take prime Johnson over prime Fitz without a second thought.

Whole careers, obviously, are a different story.

47 I'd say that was true for…

I'd say that was true for the first 12-13 years of his career, maybe a bit longer. At this point he's barely above replacement, with his godlike hands lengthening his career a long time after his legs should have killed it. Young Larry Fitzgerald was a lot different than the current version, being legitimately hard to cover.

Fitzerald does deserve some credit for going almost 10 years between Kurt Warner and his next serviceable quarterback, while still putting up multiple 1,000 yard seasons.

68 "Fitzerald does deserve some…

"Fitzerald does deserve some credit for going almost 10 years between Kurt Warner and his next serviceable quarterback, while still putting up multiple 1,000 yard seasons."

That's overstating it a bit.  2013-2016 Carson Palmer was way more than "serviceable" (his 2015 in particular was All-Pro worthy). 

But you are mostly correct outside of that.  Drew Stanton was a serviceable backup, but catching passes from the Max Halls, Ryan Lindleys, and Josh Rosens of the world should give Fitzgeralds' raw stats a significant upward adjustment.

67 The Fitzthulu run in the…

The Fitzthulu run in the 2008-2009 playoffs was God-like. 546 yards (an all-time record, over 100 yards more than #2) and 7 TDs in 4 playoff games. He was also a 1st Team All Pro that year and led all players in the regular season in receiving TDs. I'd say there's at least an argument that combining regular season and playoffs, he was the best WR in the league that year (although both conventional stats and DYAR place Andre Johnson higher for the regular season.)

Fitz's regular season plus playoffs combined total that year is 1,977 yards and 19 TDs in 20 games. Pretty good!

6 They haven't inducted the…

They haven't inducted the 2020 class have they yet?   And it was an extra big one (with average coaches, owners, administrators) to celebrate 100th year.

Wonder how's that going to work in 2021 if they have two year's worth to induct

7 Moar Spots

Gonna do my annual soapbox bit about how the NFL Hall of Fame needs to increase the number of inductees per year for the first time since the 1960s, when the league was less than half its current size.

9 But arguably expanding the…

In reply to by RickD

But arguably expanding the league has just brought in more lower echelon players, hasn't it?  If you added four franchises tomorrow, you'd be looking at adding 200 players who weren't good enough for the NFL today.


12 I personally have always…

I personally have always enjoyed the Hall of fame's exclusivity. I don't follow baseball or hockey but the NBA's Hall of Fame is way too generous in my opinion.


I can see where some of the gripes come from though. they simultaneously let borderline candidates in while making very qualified candidates linger for years for no apparent reason.

Ironically, I don't care to listen to almost anything Skip Bayless says, but I do agree with his Hall of Fame standard. if you have to sit and think about it and take a little bit of convincing, then that person probably doesn't belong in the Hall of Fame

66 I don't follow baseball or…

I don't follow baseball or hockey but the NBA's Hall of Fame is way too generous in my opinion.


There is no "NBA Hall of Fame". There is a hall of fame for basketball as a sport, which covers all levels of play, both amateur and professional.

18 "arguably"

Are you seriously arguing that the 100th best NFL player in 1964 was roughly comparable to the 100th best NFL player in the NFL today?

That's not really an idea that stands up to scrutiny.  The population of the country has nearly doubled, football is a far more active sport today than it was in 1964, players train much harder than they used to, players today are bigger, faster, stronger, more polished, etc.



26 I'm arguing that neither #25…

In reply to by RickD

I'm arguing that neither #25 in 1964 nor #25 in 2020 is worthy of the HoF.      Let alone the 800 or so players who've been added to fill out rosters since 1964



10 "It's hard to imagine a…

"It's hard to imagine a situation where Manning, Woodson, and Johnson don't get in"

Manning and Woodson yeah, but Megatron is a bubble guy. PFRef HoF Monitor has him sandwiched in between Drew Pearson, who waited 38 years, and Henry Ellard, who's been waiting 22 and has no buzz. Pearson, in particular passes the eye test as a comparison for me as well.

I think he should get in eventually, but it is easy to imagine a situation where he never gets in alone, let alone one where he isn't first ballot.

19 interesting argument

Clearly Megatron was on a high HoF trajectory, but he cut his career short, just as his predecessor Barry Sanders did.

Sanders, however, had about two seasons more worth of games, and was within one productive season of having the all-time rushing title at the time of his retirement.  (IIRC, he was ahead of Emmitt Smith when he retired.)

Also, the WR position has been clogged in recent seasons.  Is it really fair to put Johnson ahead of, say, Reggie Wayne?  Wayne's peak wasn't as high, but he stuck around much longer.  I do think they should both get in.  But Megatron has a much higher profile and for a while he was considered clearly the best WR in the game, a level Wayne never achieved.

Woodson is a lower profile player than Johnson, but his resume is definitely better.  And then there's Peyton, who should take 0.3 seconds of discussion.  

As for Drew Pearson - you can say they were different eras if you like, but his career is nowhere near Megatron's.  He also doesn't pass the eye test: I saw Pearson play and it never occurred to me that he was supposed to be considered the best WR in the NFL.  Teams didn't have to scheme to stop him, specifically.  Just not close in terms of talent.  Fine career, mind you.  But Megatron is on a short list of most athletically gifted WRs in NFL history, along with Moss and Rice. 

22 Reggie Wayne's position is…

Reggie Wayne's position is that he played for many years opposite a WR with an even bigger profile, and with  an obvious first-ballot HOF QB in a high pass volume offense. Herman Moore, despite being more similar to Marvin Harrison, hasn't even sniffed the HOF, despite not having Peyton Manning throwing to him.

Calvin Johnson, despite my great admiration, doesn't merit the HOF, simply because he walked away before establishing his case, unlike Barry Sanders. I don't blame him one bit, however. He experienced enough pain and decided to prioritize his family and future. The case for CJ is the same as for Terrell Davis, peak vs longevity. I hoped that he would have stayed long enough to get to 100 TDs.

24 Cj and more than three elite…

Cj had more than three elite years also played a position that wasn't fungible. On top of that it's not as if Calvin Johnson's replacements put up 1300 yard seasons in his absence the way Terrell Davis's replacements did, fair or unfair.


Even today there's a fair amount of debate as to what Terrell Davis is as a player in a vacuum. Calvin Johnson literally went to the worst team in football and still did well. If Calvin had had been drafted by the Packers or the Colts or the Patriots or the Saints, we might be talking about one of the top 10 all-time players in NFL history. I will maintain their simply was not another player who had Calvin Johnson's physique and matched his gracefulness. There may not be another Calvin Johnson in my lifetime and that's something I say about very very few NFL players.

39 Yet I have far more…

Yet I have far more confidence that CJ would be great in almost any context because he literally went to the worst situation in football and was still good. I have nowhere near the same confidence with TD who for the record I don't think is a HOF


44 The Lions were the worst…

The Lions were the worst team in football early in his career, but they were a very good situation for a wide receiver once Stafford came to town and figured out his made-of-glass problem.

I have a lot more confidence that CJ would be good anywhere than Davis because I think WRs have a much greater influence on their own production than RBs do. The question should be whether you have more confidence in CJ to plug into a random team and do well than, say, Reggie Wayne, Torry Holt, or Larry Fitzgerald.

62 This isn’t really true…

This isn’t really true. Receivers need a baseline level of competence at QB, but if they get that they should be able to produce. Jerry Rice for instance was great with Joe Montana and Steve Young....and Elvis Grbac and Steve Bono. Not with Jim Druckenmiller though.

70 Johnson should get credit…

Johnson should get credit for having two very productive seasons (2008 and 2010) with the likes of Jon Kitna, Dan Orlovsky, washed-up Culpepper, Drew Stanton, etc, as his quarterbacks.  Rookie Matt Stafford was also quite bad, and 2009 was actually one of CJ's (relative) down years.

96 I agree regarding TD.  I…

I agree regarding TD.  I think the production of Olandis Gary, Mike Anderson, and Clinton Portis after TD retired is enough to show that the Broncos made TD and not the other way around.  None of those guys rushed for 2k yards in a season, but Portis had 3k yards in his first two seasons, and none of Gary/Anderson/Portis got to play and start in the system for four straight years, with John Elway as the QB and the roster loaded, and before the rest of the league had figured out how to best defend Denver's offense.


As for the "gulf" between TD and Portis, there was a gulf between TD's 3rd and 4th seasons vs Clinton Portis's first two seasons, but not between TDs first two vs Portis's first two.  TD also had John Elway as his QB, and was on a Broncos team that was loaded and much better than the ones Portis was on, and by 2002 the league had seen Denver's offense for 8 years and had a better idea how to defend it.  

95 There was a gulf between TD…

There was a gulf between TD's 3rd and 4th seasons vs Clinton Portis's first two seasons, but not between TDs first two vs Portis's first two.  TD also had John Elway as his QB, and was on a Broncos team that was loaded and much better than the ones Portis was on, and by 2002 the league had seen Denver's offense for 8 years and had a better idea how to defend it.  

43 The case for TD involved…

The case for TD involved insane playoff production. The case for Johnson is more like the case for Priest Holmes (although probably a bit stronger, with a few more good years and a record breaking season).

51 Herman Moore

Moore is up there with Jimmy Smith in the “most underrated receiver of all time” discussions and they both deserve serious hall consideration. The weird thing is, Moore really *wasn’t* underrated in his time as far as All Pro teams went, he’s just been completely erased in retirement so that Barry Sanders can act like he “single handedly” carried an otherwise terrible team to respectability 

55 Sanders was Sanders before…

In reply to by Duff Soviet Union

Sanders was Sanders before Moore showed up.

The Lions had 5 really good players. Sanders, Moore, Brown, Spielman, and Ball.

Moore and Brown were borderline Hall guys that would be in if they played for GB instead of Detroit.

63 Agreed that Moore is (at…

Agreed that Moore is (at least) borderline and would be in if he played pretty much anywhere else. Brown struck me as a perfect example of how it can be harder for certain offensive linemen to get out of the Pro Bowl than get into it. The fact that he bragged about getting his QB injured on purpose doesn’t help him either

81 I don't think his peak was…

I don't think his peak was that short. His real problem is that his career numbers aren't that great because he basically had nothing at all outside of his peak years. The shape of his career looks a lot like Irvin's with a high peak and basically nothing outside those seasons. Irvin's peak was statistically better, but I'd chalk that up to the difference between Troy Aikman and....whatever Moore had at QB.

It's interesting to compare Moore and Tim Brown. They both had pretty similar peaks, but Brown had a heap of junk seasons at the beginning and end of his career that inflate his career totals. It's not a stretch to say that Brown's thoroughly mediocre 1988-1992 and post peak seasons are the reason he's in the Hall, which is pretty ridiculous.

91 Tim Brown is not the only…

Tim Brown is not the only guy in the HOF because of post-prime stat-compiling years added on to his peak years.  Calvin Johnson retiring before he could add on the stat-compiling years is the prime reason I think it's a decent chance he won't be a first-ballot.

73 Kevin Glover and Robert…

Kevin Glover and Robert Porcher were also really good for a long time.  Ray Crockett played very well for both Detroit and for those Denver Super Bowl teams.  

The Fontes-era Lions teams were pretty well-constructed outside of quarterback, despite what Sanders' proponents like to argue.

86 Yeah, you can't really argue…

Yeah, you can't really argue they didn't try and address the position either. They just picked the wrong free agent (Scott Mitchell instead of Vinny Testaverde who was on the market one year earlier) and drafted the wrong guy (Andre Ware). And the thing is, there really wasn't a *right* QB to draft early in the draft around that time. That era was just a horrible time to be drafting for a QB.

90 Yea, locking yourself in to…

Yea, locking yourself in to a FA QB that doesn't work out is just as bad as drafting one that doesn't work out.  And aside from 1995, Mitchell definitely didn't work out.  At the time, I wanted them to keep Erik Kramer (who also had an insanely good 1995 season with CHI), who would have been much cheaper (and turns out was much better liked by his teammates than Mitchell), but even his career was derailed by injuries.

Even with the benefit of hindsight, I don't know what the solution would have been.  Even if you used a time machine and mind-controlled the Lions GM to trade for Brett Favre in 1992, he probably would have floundered without Mike Holmgren's influence.

106 I’m not sure what the…

I’m not sure what the situation with Vinny Testaverde in 1993 was and how much he would have cost, but that would have been the perfect solution. His teammates would have been probably better than the 96 Ravens, who he led the league in DYAR with. That would have given them a 4-5 year window.

Also, was Mitchell known for being unpopular with his teammates? I know Lomas Brown kind of hated him, but was there anyone else?

107 I can't point to a specific…

I can't point to a specific article, but I definitely remember rumblings about Mitchell not being that popular with his teammates, not just Lomas Brown.  Kramer, on the other hand was a likeable and easy to get along with, and frequently praised by teammates for his leadership.

32 "he was ahead of Emmitt…

"he was ahead of Emmitt Smith when he retired."

By a good margin.


Through 1998:

1. Payton 16,726

2. Sanders 15,269

3. Dickerson 13,259

4. Dorsett 12,739

5. Smith 12,566

Smith didn't pass Sanders until 2001.

42 Agreed on most counts.  …

Agreed on most counts.


Among semi-contemporaries, I'd put Wayne or Holt in before Johnson.

I disagree on Pearson in that I think the comparison PFR spits out is reasonable.

I don't think there's a lot of merit in comparing "who was better" between players from the totally different eras of the 70s/80s and 10s. I don't have an opinion on whether Pearson or Johnson was the stronger player.

In terms of what the Hall voters seem to look at, Pearson and Megatron have similar resumes. Their careers were similar in length (143 games vs 130), each was thrice 1TAP (so, some folks who were watching clearly did think Pearson was a good shout for best WR in the NFL during the mid-70s), and while Johnson has three extra Pro Bowls, Pearson has a ring and some insane playoff highlights; perhaps Minnesota '75 and Atlanta '80 should have tried scheming to stop him.

I agree completely about Megatron's insane athleticism, but there's more to football and Canton than that.

50 Holt

Holt played in about the most favourable conditions imaginable for a wideout for most of his career. (At least) good qb play, pass happy offense, bad competition, over half his games in domes, other good targets which meant that defenses couldn’t just focus on him etc. once all these stopped working in his favour, he was done at a very early age for an alleged great receiver

38 Megatron vs. Larry.

Fitzgerald would have been in the same boat if he'd retired say 10 years ago.  With the duration he has as well as the statistical dominance, basically 2nd to Jerry Rice in everything, he's as close to a lock for a first-ballot HOF-er as there is.

One of the few players on the NFL 100 greatest players to still be active, along with Brady.



13 I'm stunned jared allen is…

I'm stunned jared allen is not a semi-finalist. Is there anybody who doesn't think he isn't a Hall of Fame player??? I mean what the hell!

17 Oh I guess I just assumed…

In reply to by LyleNM

Oh I guess I just assumed since Aaron didn't mention him that he wasn't. 


as much as it pains me to say I think he's more worthy of the Hall of Fame than Calvin Johnson I think both deserve to go in on the first ballot. 



16 Yeah that's strange. Even on…

Yeah that's strange. Even on the bare face of it: he's 12th on the all-time sack leaders list, and everybody above him is either in or certain to be soon. And he didn't lack for profile or personality.  

Edit: oops, seems this is incorrect.

21 Compiling a single stat,…

Compiling a single stat, especially one as overrated as sacks, isn't enough for me to consider a player HOF worthy. Else why not include the guy who holds the all-time record for tackles?

Did Allen change the game? Was he the acknowledged best pass rusher amongst his peers? I'd guess the answer is no. 

Profile and personality can work against a player too.

23 He recorded 20 sacks and was…

He recorded 20 sacks and was one of the most feared pass rushers in his era. Plus, when the chiefs traded him, they followed it up by setting a record for lowest sacks in a season.

Pff also routinely ranked him among the top pressure causing defensive linemen. 

If he's not transcendent, I'm not sure what standard we are using.


I'm happy to take names on edge pass rushers in his era that people think are absolutely better than Allen. There are certainly a couple that come to mind but none that I would argue are absolutely without a doubt better

25 Well as I suggested above,…

Well as I suggested above, the three guys above him in the all-time sack leader list, but not yet eligible, are Julius Peppers, DeMarcus Ware and Terrell Suggs. I wouldn't want to argue their merits against Allen's, but all 3 are surely no-doubt HOFers

Just below Allen lie John Abraham, Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis - all of whom feel like more borderline cases. Then you've got a guy like James Harrison, who had a shorter, but very high peak. 

Feel free to rank all those guys if you please!

28 I would put Allen below Ware…

I would put Allen below Ware, slightly above Peppers, and solidly above Suggs. I think he was flat out better than both Freeney and Mathis. I didn't watch enough of Abraham to comment.

Ware combined consistency with elite play. Peppers at his best was better than Allen but he was super inconsistent and his higher sack totals are in part from having a longer career, including several years as a hanger on.

Suggs was consistently very good, but I think a notch below as a pure pass rusher. The year he won DPOY I thought Allen had a better case. 

Freeney I am biased towards, but I think he proved his chops when he destroyed the legendary John Ogden. He was, however, a below avg run defender so there's that too. Mathis was Reggie Wayne in defensive end form. Very productive but played next to a better player in a very favorable situation.

29 I think you're overrating…

I think you're overrating pass rush ability over general ability.  Peppers was, to me, a better player than Allen, but I wouldn't argue strongly about Allen perhaps being a slightly more consistent pass rusher.


If it's possible that you're overrating Allen based on shading judgements towards pass rush, would that change your mind about understanding why some people might have reservations about Allen?

35 It would explain why Peppers…

It would explain why Peppers is a better player, I would concede though I thought peppers was generally more inconsistent.


I never heard Alan described as a bad run defender. Dr z who usually noted such things never mentioned it when he lauded Allen. 


I'm just surprised everyone is so tepid about him being a slam dunk Hall of famer. Whether I'm over rating pass rush is certainly possible, there is a reason such players get drafted high and get paid.

33 Jared Allen was named to 4…

Jared Allen was named to 4 All-Pro teams in a 5-year span (2007-2011).  From 2007-2012, Jared Allen was second only to DeMarcus Ware in sacks, he led the league in Tackles For Loss, he was second only to Ware in QB Hits (and they were both far ahead of Trent Cole and John Abraham).

Among pass rushers (including LB, DT and DE), Allen had 5 Pro Bowls in those 6 years (Ware and Patrick Willis had 6).  Ware had 4 All Pros and Willis had 5.

By many measures, Allen was certainly amongst the best pass rushers of his era.

27 Leroy Butler needs to be in yesteryear.

The hall of FAME denying the most FAMOUS TD celebration creator that was also a 4x Pro Bowl, 4x 1st team All Pro, SB champ, and all 90s team is sad. Definitely over Lynch. Was also better than recent inductees like Atwater and waited way longer than Troy P who got in first ballot over him despite starting after Butler had already retired. Yeah, he's waited too long and the slander is outrageous. I will die on this hill.

And like some have said Manning and Woodson are locks but going back Megatron was obvious super talented but such a short career and it didn't start out as really gangbusters as some would think. He'll get in but I don't think he can go on the same pedestal as the former two who had both peaks and longevity. 

Alan Faneca is another who should've been in a while ago. Somehow Steve Hutchinson passed him (both should've gotten in but Alan retired 2 years earlier with more accolades). 

30 Eh, arguing about which…

Eh, arguing about which safeties and guards belong in the hall is one step above arguing which punters belong, and not a particularly big step. 

I'm not disagreeing with your assessment of the relative merits of Butler, Polamalu and Lynch, or the order of Faneca and Hutchinson - I just don't care.  None of them were important enough to team success to go to the hall



34 That's where you're wrong

White and Butler were the cornerstones of the Packers defense in the 90s. If you don't care about guys that impact the passing games in a passing game, that's on you. And Faneca was a cornerstone of the Steelers OL. Not to be rude but you sound like a casual, especially on this site. They DEFINETLY were a significant impact on their teams, SB winning success. Cant imagine how boring it is not caring, especially about non ST. Not for me. They still should've been in years ago. 

40 I personally have a hard…

I personally have a hard time knowing for sure how good players were even 10 years ago for non skill positions. Guard play and safety play is complicated and we had far less interest in knowing player value that we do today. 

46 Well I'm here

telling ya it's quite easy. Look up the stats if you want. He and Favre were the only all pros on the GB SB teams in 96 & 97 seasons. Not even Reggie White was an all pro those years (but still extremely good, pro bowler). Faneca and Troy P were the only all pros during their SB run. They should already be in but there's definitely no excuse this year for why they shouldn't go in along side Manning and Woodson. Everyone else has more dings in their resume/havent been waiting as long. Megatron especially getting in 1st ballot when TO couldnt? Yeah nah, that'd just prove the voters are idiots (and they are regardless but it'd be 100% confirmation). 

Must be boring to only talk skill players. How do not even know HOF level non skill players and how they interact w/the rest of the game? Seems like a huge oversight when talking football in general, even if it's not your strong suite. Digging up old stuff is fun too. 

48 I would have more faith in…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

I would have more faith in All Pros except for the fact that the voting is pretty terrible even today. Did you know it wasnt even a few years ago that 3 voters voted Kyle Williams, DT, for one of the all pro guard spots. Its also rife with bias from voters. One of the voters for John Kuhn was a Packers beat writer and incidentally the only one who cast a vote for him.

All Pro votes tell us something, but I suspect they get pretty murky when you get to the non skill positions. Its simply much harder to do film analysis on them so I worry it becomes a kind of group think. Dr. Z used to poll GMs and coaches for a list of the best players besides the ones on their own teams. He would then cull the list, watch the tape on a handful and make his designations. That's the kind of analysis I trust, but I suspect most of the all pro voters did not do. 

And no it is not "quite" easy at all. Who are the best 5 guards in the NFL right now? What about the 5 best right tackles? There are no popular and available stats out there like receiving yards, tds, or sacks for linemen. Maybe you can get some holding penalty data and/or sacks given up, but that's also heavily biased by QBS. And there are assuredly NONE for players in Faneca's era. 

49 Ones offs are exceptions

And that's what you're basing everything off of?

If you cant tell, that's alright, just say it. But to say everyone else because of a few weird times, which you only hear of because they're weird, isn't...right. That's why there are multiple (major) publications made up of multiple people. Not to mention multiple awards (like all-decade). Instead of just 1 guy named...Dr. Z? Who only does it based off of group think first

All that to say what? Lets only put in skill players? because we can look at their stats? As if group think cant happen there? Idk what your ultimate goal is here though. Faneca and Butler need to be in. Idc if you, yourself, cant think/watch for yourself. That's on you. I only hope the voters dont think like that (but unfortunately they do, they'll see athletic freak Megatron and will get him in 1st ballot, meanwhile will hold grudges against same position players like TO). I encourage you to do your own research on the actual players though instead of saying "ehhhh....who cares, forget about them." That can't be the solution.

52 Um, I never said don't put…

Um, I never said don't put them in. You are misunderstanding me.


And since you know lineplay well, who are the top 10 guards in order? Please give me your in depth analysis since yours begins and ends with all pros it seems

53 Um, I never said don't put…

Um, I never said don't put them in. You are misunderstanding me.


And since you know lineplay well, who are the top 10 guards in order? Please give me your in depth analysis since yours begins and ends with all pros it seems

60 Again "Idk what your ultimate goal is here though."

Still have no idea what point you're trying to make other than "we cant box score scout therefore, it's iffy and by extension the voters are RIGHT for continually leaving them out but the all pro voters are WRONG because one time one guy voted for his team!"

That's the vibe. No point in giving you any analysis since you would just say it's not in depth enough. You can do that yourself and come back to with why you disagree w/me and agree w/the HOF voters.

61 Let me make my point more…

Let me make my point more clearly. I am NOT against putting more guard safeties other positions not cleanly measured by box scores in the Hall of Fame. In fact I'm probably in favor of adding more because they're likely to be underrepresented for the reasons I've just said.


Where I think you and I part company is that I don't have the certainty that you do about which particular players are deserving. Sure all pros and pro bowl may tell us something, but given that those awards are fraught with problems, it's no solace.


Ideally what would happen is we would grab a list of those players and interview other GMS and coaches and players that played in that era to verify the results. Under such circumstances, I would be most happy. But too often I feel people prefer the lazy narrative of so-and-so had a bunch of all pros therefore he is amazing.  That is all I'm saying.


Feeling that I suppose the next question would be, am I in favor of deferring to all pros if nothing else were available? Here I say no I'd rather not award lazy analysis and prefer people do the digging to verify the results

64 There are problems everywhere

At some point you gotta make a decision and the the decision(s) the HOF voters have made are...well also problem filled. The awards ARE verification from coaches, GMs, players, etc from their era (even though they are not always the best judges, but people in every medium are gonna have some blind spots). Like Khalil Mack shouldn't have made the pro bowl over Zadarius Smith last year (then Mack dropped out and Z was his replacement) but in general Khalil Mack is still a great player and at the end of his career is 5 vs 4 pro bowls that big of a difference? Eh...maybe? But probably not. He'll probably be/was deserving at some other point in his career and be bumped out by some other big name hotshot, so it more or less evens out by the time they're done. And even though he made the pro bowl, rightfully NO major publication even gave him a 2nd team all pro. PFF (one of the major publications) gave Z a 1st team all pro nod. Does that single award tho make him a HOF at the end of his career? No, unless he continues it but he'll probably get some sympathy/retroactive pro bowl and/or all pro votes this year for their oversight last year. Doesn't mean that'll continue for the rest of his career though, unless he keeps it up (hint he's not so far this year).

Me and others just saying a bunch of buzz words is pretty subjective and you have to take my, and whoever else's, word for it. The awards ARE from their time though. No mythos created years after the fact. They're as about objective as we can get without making up stories that you cant discredit because, "you just had to be there." And when ALL of the publications agree that a guy is a (1st team) all pro, maybe he really is! Otherwise it'd take a lot of coordination for all of them to agree to think a like (and humans are bound to disagree when they can, unless it's pretty obvious on the field).

Ideally sure you'd like to have analysis. But it seems yall really aren't willing to put in the work, for whatever reason. Which is what happens all the time by a lot of people. YOU most certainly can be one of those people to verify. But...why arent you? Well...probably because it's hard and you would rather just box scout, which is probably just as problematic as...award scouting, as you'd probably call it. Well that and you simply "just don't care" as the first response blatantly said. Which is fine, just dont end by saying something completely untrue about their importance like said first responder. Because if that were true, no RB would be in the HOF, it'd be all QBs. Which...hey if that's your thing...

72 Here's a linked article to…

Here's a linked article to chase Stewart talking about the All-Pro voting. sure you can call it an aberration if you'd like, but I suspect it's more of the norm than we care to admit.



75 Take a look at the voting…

Take a look at the voting for the AP 1981 Defensive Player of the Year award.  Joe Klecko had 20.5 sacks that year, and Mark Gastineau had 20 for the Jets.  Rookie Lawrence Taylor had 8.  Klecko and Gastineau were both on the Jets, and split the vote, so Taylor snuck in and won the award as a rookie even though he did not have a better year than either of them (he did end up with a better career though).  Sacks were not counted as an official statistic until 1982; the change probably was made because of Taylor and the NY Sack Exchange the year before.  According to official NFL statistics, Klecko only had 24 sacks, but he had 50.5 before 1982 to total 74.5.  Gastineau never had to switch to defensive Tackle or nose tackle, so he ended up with 74 official sacks, but if you include the 33.5 unofficial sacks before 1982, he ended up with 107.

But yeah, according to the Associated Press, Lawrence Taylor was the Defensive Player of the Year in 1981.

80 I have to keep repeating myself

I actually read that 6 year old article. And if you have to really nitpick specific years with freakin 2nd team all pros (the point of the article)...you're just straight up proving you dont really care. Just trying to discredit players at less herald positions when their success has already been proven by essentially all, during their era (like you wanted). Then at the end of the decade they confirmed AGAIN. No one cares about Eddie Lacys 1 2nd year all pro nomination. Vernon Davis and him aren't gonna be near the HOF. You gotta look at the whole picture.


All that's left is for you to verify. But you keep avoiding that for some reason and not providing a reason why. 

65 Did you know it wasnt even a…

Did you know it wasnt even a few years ago that 3 voters voted Kyle Williams, DT, for one of the all pro guard spots.

Do you have a source for this? I don't remember it happening, and a quick google search didn't turn up anything like this (the closest thing is that one year he got All Pro votes at both DE and DT).

69 Iirc , it came from a link…

Iirc , it came from a link on Chase Stewart's Twitter posts. I'm trying to find it but I cannot seem to.


Edit it's in chase Stuarts article that I linked above. Here's the line:

"Buffalo’s Kyle Williams was two votes shy of being a “second-team” choice at guard"


84 Looks like a typo (unless he…

Looks like a typo (unless he was using "guard" as in "nose guard" to mean "defensive tackle"). The sentence comes right after Chase lists all-pro voting totals at defensive tackle, where Kyle Williams had 6 votes and the last second-team all-pro had 8 votes. And that posts lists the vote totals for offensive guards (and centers and tackles) and the name "Kyle Williams" doesn't show up there.

And the main thing he highlights in that section is how voters were being inconsistent about who was a DE vs. a DT, e.g., "I have no problem if voters think 3-4 ends should be treated as interior defensive linemen, but then every voter needs to do that." If voters were treating 3-4 ends as interior offensive linemen, surely he would have had a problem with that and highlighted it a little more than he did.

85 My basic take on all-pro…

My basic take on all-pro awards:

The Associated Press All-Pro awards aren't really more meaningful than awards from other orgs like Pro Football Weekly or the Football Writers.

Second Team Associated Press All-Pro awards are less meaningful than first team awards, since the voting is really only designed for the first team, in a way that makes the second team awards kinda random (especially when first teamers are near-unanimous).

Some weird stuff came happen with positions with Associated Press All-Pro awards, in a way that disadvantages tweeners (like DT/DEs) and non-pass-rushing OLBs.

Awards are a pretty good summary of who was best at each position each year, and they're a pretty good starting point for identifying Hall of Famers (though obviously it's possible to do better by also looking at other things).

93 I'm worried the All-Pro…

I'm worried the All-Pro especially in prior years devolved into group think for the non-glamor positions. There's never been a serious audit of the non-glamor positions in the past.

Furthermore, non-glamor positions take a lot of effort to judge because as Ben Muth confirmed, it's hard to judge them in real time the way you can other position.

In other words to understand who deserves the all pro for a guard, you have to do meticulous film study and not just for your own team. Even Dr z acknowledge that his approach was biased in favor of good teams.

100 You're worried that the non popular positions are group think?

The ones that no one cares about who you voter for? Huh? But not the ones that casuals will crucify you for if you dont vote for whatever glamour position? No wonder you couldnt respond. 

You keep mentioning this Dr.Z but cant link him. It seems you dont want to do your own work and arent able to accept others that were from that ERA. 

103 Am I wrong?

Why do you want some analysis on non glamour position but reject it when it comes back? As if Pro Football Weekly, UPI, Associated Press, Pro Football Writers and Sporting News all convened in 1993 before to put Butler as 1st team, forgot about him the next two years because...screw him? Then did it again in 96? Your whole point is that they rely on each other and cant think for themselves. As if they aren't watching the games and relying on each to just...throw a name out there and agree on it? As if that doesnt happen to "non glamour" positions where the response would be MUCH more virulent because it's at a glamour position everyone sees therefore has a higher opinion on? Come on man lol

104 https://www…



Kyle Williams only received votes at DE and DT; by guard the author of the article meant "nose guard" not "offensive guard"

74 FWIW, I think TO should have…

FWIW, I think TO should have been first-ballot, but I think the voters (perhaps subconsciously) let their personal dislike of him influence their decisions.  Johnson should get in, but maybe not 1st ballot.  His peak was pretty insane, but he's missing both the rings and overall volume stats that helps others get in.

79 You're preachin

They definitely did and you're right on w/CJ. Doesn't make up sense to make TO wait but not CJ, when there are other deserving candidates like the ones I mentioned, UNLESS you're holding a grudge. 

92 I think there's a valid…

I think there's a valid argument against TO belonging in the Hall of Fame. I don't agree with this argument but it is a valid argument that's worth acknowledging.

Marvin Harrison, Ray Lewis, Lawrence Taylor, and others all had famous issues off the field. But their shenanigans never affected their play or the team's quality on the field.

TO on the other hand somehow managed to seep such divisiveness in the locker room that it actually materialized on the field.

If someone asked me do I want Hall of famer Ray Lewis in his prime on my team, that would be a no-brainer. But then if asked would I want TO on my team, especially if I had to commit a lot of years and a lot of money to him, I honestly would say no.

99 When did it affect his playing on the field??

Like, he'd be even better without the issues? As if a top 3 modern era WR isn't already good enough?

What materialized on the field? Slapping the Cowboys star?

If you wouldnt want prime TO on your team (especially over a possible murderer?) you're just really exposing yourself. Like, yikes. No wonder you're so against all pros. Because TO has a lot and you're trying to discredit him in any way. Yeesh

76 More teams wanted CJ to come…

More teams wanted CJ to come back than wanted TO.

TO was a rare talent, but every team he was on eventually considered him too much of a pain to continue with. He was the hot chick who couldn’t keep a boyfriend.

77 His interviews later are…

His interviews later are suggestive of a man who can't take any responsibility. It's always someone else's fault. Calling him a Diva is too soft a description. I think selfish and egotistical are more appropriate.

88 Of course I can't get into…

Of course I can't get into the head of NFL GM's/coaches, but simple observation suggests that it was more likely than not that multiple teams decided that he was not worth the headache of keeping around, despite being a productive player.  I don't think you'll get many people to agree with you if you want to keep arguing that this was not the case, and that there was some other issue (aside from personality) at play.

Whether or not that should influence HOF voting is a separate discussion (I for one don't think it should, but apparently a lot of HOF voters disagree with me).

98 Yet he kept getting jobs...

He left SF because he wanted out. SF even tried to contest that he didn't void his contract that'd allow him to be a FA. And they ended up trading him. Aka someone wanted him. That someone was Philly. Then Dallas, etc. 15 years is a long time for a buddy buddy league (aka they know what they're getting) that thinks he's a "headcase." Who cares? Apparently voters/people here. Not coaches/teams. 

41 Ken Anderson, QB: Joe Jacoby…

Ken Anderson, QB: Joe Jacoby, OT: Randy Gradishar, LB: Chuck Howley, LB: Jim Marsall, DE: Joe Klecko, DE/DT/NT.  I'm sure I forgot a bunch more.

So they pick Drew Pearson?  He's not even the best player from the Cowboys.