Source: Bleacher Report
The Pro Football Hall of Fame released its list of 102 modern-era nominees Thursday, highlighted by a group of what should be surefire first-ballot players.
Safety Ed Reed, tight end Tony Gonzalez and cornerback Champ Bailey lead the group of nominees and should waltz their way into Canton when the committee meets in February. The list also includes a number of 2018 finalists, such as safety John Lynch, guard Alan Faneca and wide receiver Isaac Bruce.
Reed is one of the hardest-hitting and most well-rounded safeties in NFL history. He made nine Pro Bowls, was an eight-time All-Pro, led the NFL in interceptions on three occasions and won the 2004 Defensive Player of the Year award. The Baltimore Ravens have already inducted him into their Ring of Honor, and he and Ray Lewis are arguably the two greatest players in franchise history.
Gonzalez is the most decorated pass-catching tight end ever and is perhaps the greatest player to ever play the position. The 14-time Pro Bowler leads all tight ends in nearly every major receiving category and sits second at any position in receptions, sixth in receiving yards and seventh in receiving touchdowns.
He finished his career with 10 All-Pro selections and remained productive into his late 30s as a member of the Atlanta Falcons.
Bailey finished his career with 12 Pro Bowl selections and was an All-Pro seven times. He is 26th on the all-time list in interceptions (with 52), one behind Ty Law, who was a 2018 finalist. If Bailey has to wait a year—an unlikely scenario—it’ll likely be because the committee bumped Law in ahead of him.
Bruce seems likely to get in this time around with his competition at receiver having dwindled.
Lynch has been on the precipice of getting in for years and may wind up behind held out by Reed. Faneca is one of many offensive linemen who likely believe they should have gotten in years ago. Tony Boselli, Kevin Mawae and Steve Hutchinson were also finalists a year ago.