Fifteen finalists have been named for the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the Class of 2018. The list includes four players who are eligible for the first time.
On Tuesday night, the finalists for the modern-era were revealed and include Ray Lewis, Steven Hutchinson, Brian Urlacher and Randy Moss. The four finished their careers in the NFL with a total of 34 selections to the Pro Bowl and 20 All-Pro first team selections.
Isaac Bruce, Tony Boselli, Alan Faneca, Brian Dawkins, Joe Jacoby, Ty Law, Edgerrin James, John Lynch, Terrell Owens, Everson Walls and Kevin Mawae round out the list of finalists.
Class of 2018 Picked February 3
The Hall’s Class of 2018 is to be chosen during a February 3 meeting of the Board of Selectors in Minneapolis, the day prior to Super Bowl LII. During the meeting the list is to be whittled down to five players. The players selected to the Class of 2018 are set to be announced during Super Bowl LII played on February 4.
Those five are then be picked on a yes or no manner and those receiving 80% or more approval earn induction into the Hall next August.
Amongst the 15 finalists in the modern-era are some players who were the most dominating at their positions including two that are eligible for the first time.
The four in their first year of eligibility are a reflection of a tilt toward more recent players. Just two of the finalists – Walls and Jacoby played prior to 1993
Lynch, Dawkins, Mawae, Boselli, Law and Owens were finalists last year.
No coaches who were amongst the 25 semifinalists for the modern era reach the finalists’ cut. Don Coryell, who in 2017 was a finalist, as well as Jimmy Johnson were semifinalists this year but did not move on to the finalist stage.
Four Most Decorated
Lewis, who during his career started 227 NFL games, might be the list’s most decorated player. He was selected to 13 Pro Bowls, Defensive Player of the Year twice, and an MVP at the Super Bowl
Former Chicago Bears linebacker Urlacher was chosen to eight Pro Bowls and was the Defensive Player of the Year in 2005.
Moss played with five teams, including a short time with the Patriots, and gained 1,200 or more yards in eight seasons.
Hutchinson was picked to seven Pro Bowls.
In a game where offense and points scored are loved by the fan base. The list of finalists is filled with defensive standouts that may not always receive the same amount of attention as those on offense, but were just as responsible or more so for the success of their teams while playing in the NFL.
Players like Lewis, Walls, Urlacher, Dawkins, Law, and Lynch all were catalysts for their team making defensive stops on key plays, but often did not receive the attention given quarterbacks, running backs and receivers.
Who do you think should be chosen to enter the NFL Hall of Fame?