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Predicting the HOF Class of 2022

Now that we know the Hall of Fame class of 2021, it's time to start debating the class of 2022. Our own Mike Tanier has his picks, seeing it as a year where the voters will be able to clear some logjams at positions including the offensive line, linebacker, and safety.

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22 comments, Last at 11 Feb 2021, 2:30pm

1 Butler was better than Atwater too.

And was the second best defender on the Packers for a majority of his career behind only the late great Reggie White. And a good argument can be made for him over Troy P too. So he and Lynch retired after him but got in before despite not being as good. Unacceptable. Way too long of a wait. 

10 Being the second best…

Being the second best defender on the Packers gets you into the Packers ring of honour - getting into the HoF takes a slightly higher bar - otherwise we'd be inducting 32* players every year


(32 teams * (offense+defense) * top two players)/average length of career in years (4)

13 Oh I'm sorry

Everyone worse than Reggie shouldn't get in then. Sorry...like literally everyone else. 

Those defenses weren't elite just because of White. Butler was a big enough factor Shanahan gameplanned around HIM not White. He is very deserving. There were times he was better than White as well. Dude led the league in AV in 96...he was a safety! That's how good he was! Those were the 2 unquestioned studs on those great defenses. 

14 Which player?

Blind test:

Player A: 12.5 sacks, 14 FF, 7 FR for 120 yards and 2 TDs, 35 interceptions for 456 yards and 4TDs in 173 games 

Player B: 23.5 sacks, 13 FF, 12 FR for 76 yards and 2 TDs (1 that created the most famous TD celebration), 39 interceptions for 547 yards and a TD in 195 games

Very arguable case for Butler. Even if he's not, it didn't warrant Troy leapfrogging him....THIRTEEN YEARS



15 Stats, especially counting…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

Stats, especially counting stats, especially traditional counting stats, are a pretty terrible way to measure the quality of players in the secondary.  Do you have any other arguments by any chance?

I'm not suggesting that Butler isn't worthy of the HoF.  Just that I can't imagine any good argument that Troy P wasn't as good, as you said in your op.

17 I dont want to repeat myself

but what else do you want me to say? I don't wanna tell you to put on the tape but what is me saying he was better gonna change anything? Troy has the hair, yes, the hair, that makes him instantly more recognizable and more popular. But Troy never led the league in AV. Butler has two better years ('93: 19 & '96: 21) than Troys best ('08:18).

But it's not like Butler amassed those counting stats by playing a ton more. They played both played from their age 22 season through their 33rd, 12 seasons each. Both 4x AP 1st team all pros, both on all decade teams. But Butler was Troy before Troy. The archetype of the modern SS. Good in both the run and pass. 

What's the argument for Troy being THAT much better that he can leapfrog Butler by that many years? Neither one is Charles Woodson.

19 1: you were the one that…

1: you were the one that said a good argument can be made.  Seems crazy to me that there is one but if there is I'd be really interested in hearing about it.


2.  Counting stats aren't bad for secondary players because they overvalue long careers.  They are bad for secondary players because part of their job is to prevent the play from coming their way.  Lots of great players have very low counting stats precisely because they are good.  ROBOCORNERBACK would have zero passes defensed and nearly no interceptions.


3.  Your reference to Charles Woods on makes me think I'm talking to an irrational homer.  So I guess I'll just tip my fedora and wish you well.  This place is pretty unique because it is full of football fans first and homers second.

20 I've made it.

1. Like I said I gave you the info. You can go back and confirm it or not if you want. But I highly doubt you will/want to because...screw that old guy, you don't have time for that. 

2. These aren't robots though. And guys have to make decisions offensively on where to throw the ball and sometimes they throw into coverage. Sorry I don't have the coverage numbers for back then but he was good in it. Again, watch it for yourself if you want but you wont. 

3. You think they're as good as Woodson? Is that the hot take that makes you think incorrectly? Yeesh, didn't know that was the line. I like football but apparently if you think Woodson (referenced because he was a DB that can leapfrog from this class) is great...you're a homer. 

Again, this isn't me definitively saying he was better. I made a case. It's up to you for a rebuttal of substance on why he's not just worse but THAT much worse to leapfrog Butler. I haven't heard one yet. Let alone one for Lynch. 

2 I'm surprised Ware is not a…

I'm surprised Ware is not a clear first ballot guy. He was basically among the very best defenders in the entire NfL, has a sterling reputation, played for high profile Cowboys, and was a key contributor to winning a ring. That's usually enough of a resume to make your case iron clad.

I guess it's going to become my cross to bear, but Allen does not deserve to languish as a finalist year after year. Maybe there was too much competition this year? Fine. But this whole, we put one defensive end in already now let's put in a questionable guard for variety is ridiculous.


And for the record, longevity matters! Boseli should not be in. I didn't think TD deserved it either.

3 Your cross to bear can hang…

Your cross to bear can hang out with mine, as I'd have put Ronde Barber in over John Lynch every single time, but Barber gets slagged as a "just a zone corner", even though he was an incredibly versatile player who was great at coverage, a solid tackler, a great blitzer, and is near the top of the non-offensive TD lists, plus he has the signature moment that put the Bucs into the first Super Bowl with his pick of McNabb.

6 One thing I think that's…

One thing I think that's worth pointing out. If its never been easier to play qb or receiver in the nfl, the corollary should also be - its never been harder to be a good DB. Yet for some reason, the Hall continues to pretend that a DBs job has changed since the 70s. 


4 Wide Receivers

At their peak's, Holt was better than Wayne. He was arguably the best receiver in 2003 and he was up against TO, Moss, and Harrison all in their primes. His career didn't extend very long so I understand why that makes him a borderline case.

Reggie was never in the conversation for best receiver in football and it wasn't because everyone above him was some obvious hall of famer. He is definitely a hall of very good candidate, but his longevity is such that I understand why he's being considered.

Steve Smith was better than both and part of his relatively pedestrian numbers is because his coach was John Fox, the same coach who preferred to punt on every single drive en route to scoring 0 points on offense. Steve Smith's performance against the top ranked Bears defense on the road was legendary and one of the very few individual performances that you'll ever see topped if at all. It was magic. But we don't do this context adjustment for everyone and so it feels unfair to selectively do so for players who happen to play certain positions or be outspoken. 

Andre Johnson to me was better than all of these guys. He played in crappy situations and he played in ok one's. He was regarded as either the best or second best receiver in the NFL and a true powerhouse. Maybe his career totals don't scream first ballot HOF, but I think he's definitely deserving enough that it would be a crime if he had to wait for 5-7 years. I think he should be in either next year or within a few after. 

18 Agreed. I rank those…

In reply to by theslothook

Agreed. I rank those receivers Johnson-Smith-Holt-Wayne, and I think the first two definitely belong and the second two could get in or not and it wouldn't bother me either way. Seymour and Butler should go in; Boselli should not. Ware is probably the easiest choice of the whole lot.

8 Seymour as a "system guy"?

Dismissing Richard Seymour as a "system guy" would be mind-boggling.  Seymour was the opposite of a system guy.  When I think of "system guy", I think of a guy who has one assigned role that he's good at, but doesn't have a lot of flexibility.  Seymour was a great run-stopper and a pass rusher in a team that didn't emphasize the pass rush.  I cannot fathom taking the sack total accumulators over a guy who played defense in a much greater variety of ways.

Not that Seymour's in the same tier, but I've even seen people dismiss Laurence Taylor because his sack totals weren't high enough.  I feel like these critics don't understand football at all.

When Seymour was dispatched to Oakland, the decline in the defense was noticeable.  And the Patriots still haven't found anybody who can do all the things on the D-line as well as Seymour could.  

9 the Patriots D also lost…

the Patriots D also lost Tedy Bruschi, Junior Seau, Mike Vrabel, Ty Warren, Asante Samuel, and Rodney Harrison around the same time so that's also going to factor into the d's decline at that time

11 Shaun Ellis did about…

Shaun Ellis did about everything Richard Seymour did, and collected 16 more sacks.  I doubt he gets a sniff of the Hall, because he didn't play for the Patriots.  

21 Does Devin Hester deserve to…

Does Devin Hester deserve to get in?  He'll be eligible.  I hope so, but I admit that it is a tough argument to make vs. every-down players.

22 ST DVOA has the Bears' 2007…

ST DVOA has the Bears' 2007 return teams worth about 4 points per game. That has got to be up there with offensive & defensive players.

Hester was lined up as the returner on (almost?) all their KR & PR plays that year, although with the "kick away from Hester" game other guys fielded a bunch of kickoffs.

ST DVOA has them at:

18.0 for punt returns
13.8 for kick returns
33.0 for hidden value (opposing field goals, kickoff distance, and punt distance)
=64.8 points of value, or just over 4 per game

That year, hidden value was mostly due to Hester. Bears' opponents were a big worse than avg on FGs & XPs, so maybe more like 3.5 points per game above average for their return units.

Hester had 6 return TDs that year, and the Bears offense had the best average starting field position in the NFL (3.8 yards/drive better than average). Across 201 drives, that comes out to 764 total yards better than avg (and that's excluding the touchdown returns). So it seems plausible that the touchdowns plus the field position were worth 3.5 points per game.

That's just one year, and it wasn't all due to Devin Hester, but it at least casts some doubt on the idea that a returner's value can't compare to an offensive player.