Only two classes before 1991 have no Hall of Famers

We noticed earlier today an interesting item on the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Twitter feed.

Running back Emmitt Smith, whose bust will be talking with John Madden’s bust about getting “blowed out” when the lights go out in Canton beginning on August 7, becomes the first player enshrined from the draft class of 1990, the most recent draft year with a player who has made it into the Hall of Fame.

Prior to 1990, only two drafts have yet to produce a Hall of Famer:  1986 and 1943.

Charles Haley, taken 96th overall by the 49ers, gives the Class of 1986 the best chance at getting a Hall of Famer.  Other possibilities include Pat Swilling (60th overall) and Pepper Johnson (51st overall).

First overall pick in 1986 Bo Jackson saw his brief but promising career derailed via a routine tackle that required a hip replacement.  The best of the rest include Jim Everett, Leslie O’Neal, Keith Byars, Tim Green, Will Wolford, Neal Anderson, Ernest Givins, Webster Slaughter, John Offerdahl, Tom Rathman, Rueben Mayes, John Taylor (the wideout, not the CFT chief cook and bottle washer), Tim Harris, Napoleon McCallum, Brent Jones, Super Bowl XXVI MVP Mark Rypien, Clyde Simmons, and Vai Sikahema.

UPDATE:  A couple of you have noted in the comments the absence of any 1984 draft picks.  The Pro Football Hall of Fame lists three players as Hall of Famers from the Class of 1984:  quarterback Steve Young, tackle Gary Zimmerman, and defensive end Reggie White.

37 responses to “Only two classes before 1991 have no Hall of Famers

  1. I wonder how relevant this is given many more kids are leaving school prior to a full four years.
    Kids leaving earlier means less maturity and less information in regards to their talent and abilities.
    In 1943 we were in the middle of a war. Who knows how that skewed the data and 1986 may have seen a lot of kids come out early or been in a year in between where a lot of kids came out early. I think scouts had to have time to catch up to better evaluate talent.
    Sikahema may get in jsut for kicking Jose Canseco’s ass in a boxing match. Or was that MMA? Whatever.

  2. I think the bar to get into the NFL HOF has been set too low. There are so many really good but not great players who have gotten in recently. Maybe I’m being harsh but Art Monk epitomizes this. Nothing against him but I think the Hall should be for the truly superb players. Suddenly having many many solid seasons instead of ever achieving true dominance for a few becomes the criteria. I know I’m biased toward my team but I think Sterling Sharpe should get more consideration in this respect because he had 3 or 4 very good seasons and two other seasons where he was truly the most dominating receiver in the game. So he missed out on racking up a few 60-70 catch/ 1000 yards ho-hum seasons that could have padded his resume, big deal. You know what we’ll get instead? We’ll get freaking TO in the hall who had a couple great seasons and then piled up the slightly above average seasons so his career stats suddenly look really impressive. What do you think is more Hall worthy, quantity or quality?

  3. The three in the HOF from that draft – Young, Zimmerman and White – were actually taken in the supplemental draft and not the “regular draft”.

  4. “The three in the HOF from that draft – Young, Zimmerman and White – were actually taken in the supplemental draft and not the “regular draft”.”
    I think those three all played in the USFL too making it even more complicated.

  5. nothumbs: “1958 doesn’t seem to have one either according to the HOF’s site.”
    Thats wrong 1958 has Jim Taylor, Ray Nitschke, Bobby Mitchell, and John Madden (as a coach).

  6. Napoleon McCallum
    ———————
    Wasn’t he the RB who had that terrible injury, hyper-extending his knee THE OTHER WAY…when he got stood up in a tackle?
    That was one (like JT from Washington) you turn away from the TV…

  7. steely devil hab says:
    July 10, 2010 9:57 PM
    Napoleon McCallum
    —————– —-
    Wasn’t he the RB who had that terrible injury, hyper-extending his knee THE OTHER WAY…when he got stood up in a tackle?
    That was one (like JT from Washington) you turn away from the TV…
    ——————————————-
    Yes.. and if you really want to relive it, you can find the video out there.. was against the 49ers… Ken Norton tackled him and then I saw the most disturbing injury I’ve ever witnessed live on television….. Hell of a running back though.. damned shame after serving the country… he was a Navy guy, that his career finally had a chance to blossom…. Not HOF worthy by any stretch in my opinion… but I don’t agree with most of who goes in the Hall anymore….

  8. Some of you seriously think Vai Sikahema is a Hall of Famer? Come on. Nothing against the guy. An exciting special teams player. An excellent return man. But you need to re-check what it takes to get into the Hall of Fame. Look at Charles Haley there for one. An elite pass-rusher of his era with 5 SB rings and he’s not in yet. Cris Carter, Ken Stabler, Lester Hayes, Ray Guy, Ricky Watters, Roger Craig and many others who dominated the game have not yet been inducted and may never be.

  9. Without a doubt, the greatest RB ever was Bo Jackson…too bad he got injured. Besides, did you ever try tackling him in Super Tecmo Bowl? Good Luck…but then again, Marion Butts was good in that game.

  10. I am lost on this. Didn’t the 1989 class have like 3 big names? QB Troy Aikman, RB Barry Sanders and LB Derrick Thomas? I’m pretty sure those guys are before the 1991 draft. Well unless 3 different guys came from the 89 draft just had the same superstar names lol.

  11. That was one (like JT from Washington) you turn away from the TV…
    OUCH! I remember that one you could hear the bone snap over the crowd noise! No Joke

  12. Of the players you list from that draft, the one who stands out for me as Hall of Fame material is Tom Rathman. Arguably the best at his position for many years, multiple Super Bowl rings etc. He probably won’t get considered because they didn’t have Pro Bowl blocking fullbacks back then and because blocking fullback isn’t considered an important position.

  13. Offerdahl is always overlooked, I think he went to five probowls in his first 6 years before he had some sort of injury. I think he tore his abdomen muscles of something weird like that….imagine if say he put in 9-10 years in the league? He would have had 7-8 probowls and been a lock in my mind. Classic middle linebacker.

  14. FWIW, the 1984 players you listed were all part of the USFL supplemental draft, not the standard NFL draft.

  15. Art Monk?!?!?!
    Of all people in the hall you could question you choose Art Monk?!?! This proves you either know nothing about football or you are a kid that never watched Monk play.
    15 seasons which include Three Super Bowl wins and only three losing seasons. When he retired in 1992 he held every record available for a reciever! He was the first reciever ever to log 900 catches. Over his career he converted 2/3 of his catches into first downs. According to NFL films his induction to the hall of fame got the longest standing ovation of anyone in history at over 4 min.

  16. Bo Jackson was amazing, and he did what he did playing football part-time. It would have been great to see what he could have done if he had dedicated himself football.
    Otherwise, a lot of good players joined the league in ’86, but none of them quite good enough for the Hall of Fame. The surprising thing for me is there aren’t more years like that.

  17. Complaining about Art Monk getting into the HoF is like complaining that Walter Payton got in.
    If you do either, then you simply don’t know anything about football.

  18. i’m with GB fan…the nfl hall is quickly becoming a joke….art monk? Michael Irvin? great players but not HALL OF FAMERS!

  19. doesnt Haley have the most super bowl rings .. or 5 in a ow or something ?? as a Cowboy fan .. the man is the #1 reason that pushed us to get those rings in the 90’s..

  20. Can we lose the “Bo Jackson was the greatest” talk? Yes he was big and fast. So what? Total number of 1,000 yard seasons? Zero! Career rushing total? 2,752 yards or to put it differently only a few hundred yards more in his career than Eric Dickerson had in ONE season and an average below 700 yards a season. High water mark for TDs in a season? 5 with a career total of 16. There’s a handful of RBs who bested 16 TDs in one season. It’s a shame he got hurt, but a handful of highlight reel runs doesn’t make you one of the greatest ever.

  21. Big Tex:
    Great of you to not mention that Bo holds the record for yards per carry. No, not you. You only mention total yards even though he only played part time.
    He would have been the best, deal with it.
    Bo Jackson 5.4
    Jim Brown 5.2
    Barry Sanders 5.0
    Walter Payton 4.4
    Emmitt Smith 4.2

  22. First overall pick in 1986 Bo Jackson saw his brief but promising career derailed via a routine tackle that required a hip replacement.
    It’s the Hall of Fame. Bo was famous. He was so good Marcus Allen had to block for him. If it was really about fame, Bo would be in. The NFL should start the Hall of Longevity, move guys like Warren Moon over there, and replace them with guys like Jackson.

  23. Big Tex:
    Great of you to not mention that Bo holds the record for yards per carry. No, not you. You only mention total yards even though he only played part time.
    He would have been the best, deal with it.
    —————-
    You take his avg yds per carry from his only 4 years which were prime years and call him the best? Felix Jones has an avg of 7.4 yds per carry his first two years in the league. Are you going to call him one of the greatest too? Funny stuff.

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