Hall of Fame releases initial list of 108 nominees for Class of 2018

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The Pro Football Hall of Fame released an initial list of 108 nominees for the Class of 2018. Eleven first-year eligible players highlight the list, including receiver Randy Moss, linebackers Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher and cornerback Ronde Barber.

The list includes 53 offensive players, 38 defensive players, five special teams players and 12 coaches.

The 48 selectors will reduce the list to 25 semifinalist with a mail-in ballot in November. In January, they will select 15 finalists to vote on the day before Super Bowl LII.

Fred Taylor, who went on Twitter rant this summer about not being nominated, was on the list for the first time in his three years of eligibility. Anyone, including fans or former players themselves, can nominate a player who has been retired for at least five years.

Here is the full list:

*Finalist in 2017; Italics indicates first year of eligibility.

QUARTERBACKS
(5) – Randall Cunningham, Rich Gannon, Donovan McNabb, Steve McNair, Phil Simms

RUNNING BACKS
(10) – Tiki Barber, Earnest Byner, Roger Craig, Corey Dillon, Eddie George, Edgerrin James, Lorenzo Neal, Fred Taylor, Herschel Walker (also KR), Ricky Watters

WIDE RECEIVERS
(13) – *Isaac Bruce, Donald Driver, Henry Ellard (also PR), Torry Holt, Chad Johnson, Randy Moss, *Terrell Owens, Sterling Sharpe, Jimmy Smith, Rod Smith, Steve Smith, John Taylor, Hines Ward

TIGHT END
(4) – Mark Bavaro, Ben Coates, Ferrell Edmunds, Jay Novacek

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN
(21) – Willie Anderson (T), Matt Birk (C), *Tony Boselli (T), Lomas Brown (T), Ruben Brown (G), Ray Donaldson (C), *Alan Faneca (G), Bill Fralic (G/T), Jay Hilgenberg (C), Chris Hinton (G/T), Kent Hull (C), Steve Hutchinson (G), *Joe Jacoby (T), Mike Kenn (T), *Kevin Mawae (C/G), Tom Nalen (C), Nate Newton (G), Bart Oates (C), Jeff Saturday (C), Richmond Webb (T), Steve Wisniewski (G)

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN
(11) – La’Roi Glover (DT/NT), Leonard Marshall (DE/DT), Keith Millard (DT/NT/DE), Leslie O’Neal (DE), Michael Dean Perry (DT/DE), Simeon Rice (DE), Richard Seymour (DT), Neil Smith (DE), Greg Townsend (DE/NT/LB), Kyle Vanden Bosch (DE), Bryant Young (DT)

LINEBACKERS
(15) – Carl Banks, Cornelius Bennett, Tedy Bruschi, Seth Joyner, Ray Lewis, Greg Lloyd, Wilber Marshall, Clay Matthews, Willie McGinest (also DE), Karl Mecklenburg, Sam Mills, Joey Porter, Darryl Talley, Zach Thomas, Brian Urlacher

DEFENSIVE BACKS
(12) – Eric Allen (CB), Steve Atwater (S), Ronde Barber (CB/S), LeRoy Butler (S), *Brian Dawkins (SS), Rodney Harrison (S), *Ty Law (CB), Albert Lewis (CB), *John Lynch (S), Dennis Smith (S), Everson Walls (CB), Darren Woodson (S)

KICKERS/PUNTER
(3) – Gary Anderson (K), Sean Landeta (P), Nick Lowery (K)

SPECIAL TEAMS
(2) – Brian Mitchell (KR/PR also RB), Steve Tasker (ST also WR)

COACHES
(12) – *Don Coryell, Bill Cowher, Tom Flores, Mike Holmgren, Jimmy Johnson, Chuck Knox, Buddy Parker, Richie Petitbon, Dan Reeves, Marty Schottenheimer, Clark Shaughnessy, Dick Vermeil

77 responses to “Hall of Fame releases initial list of 108 nominees for Class of 2018

  1. If Terrell Davis can get in for 2 good years of play, Tiki Barber should be a lock.

    McNair, Simms, Barber, Craig, Novacek, Moss, Owens, Saturday, Webb, Newton, Rice, Seymour, R. Lewis, Z. Thomas, McGinnis, Urlacher, Atwater, Lynch, Cowher.

    I know that’s too many, but these guys all deserve to be in.

  2. See that list above @scmems07 ? Cliff harris has more cred than all of them and his name isn’t even onnthe list which means once again i pat zero attention to anything hall of fame. And see that list of qb’s ? Romo was better than all of them

  3. None of those QBs deserve to be in. I know Phil Simms has a ring but so does Dilfer. This is the HOF, not hall of very good.

  4. Tiki because of TD…That’s laughable. I always hear Elway only got his rings because of TD. Never heard any of that directed towards Tiki. TD 2000YRDS, 2 rings, League and SB MVPs..Never heard Tiki even mentioned. Never heard any Defense say we have to stop Tiki to win and make the QB beat us. Only reason I knew of Tiki is because he had a twin brother so maybe that’s qualifications

  5. therealraider says:
    September 12, 2017 at 8:26 pm
    I hope Tom Flores gets in.
    __________________

    Amen!
    Think about it for a moment. Tom Flores, Don Coryell and Jimmy Johnson are not in the HoF but Tony Dungy is. That is an indefensible travesty.

  6. Sadly, Moss and Lewis should be first ballot guys. Many people can point to various issues with both of them but their production and success is very real. My ultimate criteria for a HOFer is if they impacted the sport and both of these guys were forcing opposing coordinators to change their game plans since they were rookies.

  7. Outside of kickers is there a more brutal position to make the HoF from than DB? Look at that list of them, 3/4 of them should be in already.
    =====

    O-line is just as brutal.

    Jacoby and Fralic should be in already. How is Boselli going to get in with Faneca, Mawae, Hutch and Larry Allen all having better cases.

    Insane!

    Crazy!

  8. I see a lot of marginal names, but that list of linebackers is killer. Induct five of six of those, and that would be a hell of a class.

  9. Get Jimmy Johnson in there, back to back years with Cowboys and I’m sure Jimmy will give a great speech especially about the split with Jerry.
    What is Michael Dean Perry doing on this list ?

  10. If Ellard was drafted by the Niners and Rice by the Rams…Ellard would be in by now and Rice would be waiting. Ellard never got his due. He put up amazing numbers despite playing a large portion of his career with QBs like Jeff Kemp, Dieter Brock, Steve Dils, Gus Frerotte and Heath Shuler. Does anyone even know he was #3 all time in receiving yards when he retired despite being in the same Rams draft class as Eric Dickerson? The Rams rarely passed his first four years in the league. He’ll probably never get in and it’s a shame.

  11. T.O., Moss, Lewis, Flores, B-Dawk, Atwater, Faneca.

    Is that John Taylor’s first time being nominated?

  12. Tony Dungy is in because he’s black. He’s got the same career numbers as Bill Cowher and Brian Billick and nobody is beating the drums for them to get in.

  13. I now realize why T.O. whined so much after not getting in last year…2018 is Randy’s first year of eligibility. Too bad for T.O.

    Fortunately, I think I can handle a couple more years of T.O. whining. It will continue to be like he never left.

  14. I just realized Clay Matthews is one of the eligible linebackers, and his name is not in italics. Didn’t he recently play against the Seahawks? Or is this due to his extraordinary hair?

  15. It says italics mean first year of eligibility. Wide receiver Steve Smith is italicized. Now obviously it’s not the former Panther as he isn’t eligable yet.

    The only other wide receiver Steve Smith is the ex Giant. Is that for real or a misprint???

  16. Jim Plunkett was terrific in the postseason, but his regular season play was average overall. Terrell Davis is in because of great regular seasons AND postseasons. I’m not a Broncos fan, but Davis may be the best postseason back ever.

  17. The lack of highlighted mention of beast Steve Hutchinson in this article (and, it seems, in these comments) is shameful. Dude was one of the most prototypical OGs we have ever seen. He’ll get in for sure one day, but it seems ignorance will make him wait.

  18. How can you be mad at Tony Dungy for getting in? That guy is the very definition of a house man. He’s kissed more butt and licked more boots to get in than anyone. Also built 3, maybe 4 SuperBowl teams and has an almost unmatched coaching tree in terms of success.

  19. Looks like they mixed up the Steve Smith’s. The one with HOF credentials isn’t eligible for another 5 years. The one listed has less than 2700 yards and 12 touchdowns for his career. It’s like the football version of the movie The Distinguished Gentleman.

  20. They say the key to election is nominating someone to the HOF that is an integral character in telling the NFL story.

    So this year I say Bruce, Bocelli, Lewis, Dawkins, Coryell and Vermeil.

    But how is Howard Cosell and Art Modell not in yet? You can’t tell the NFL (and MNF/TV) story without either of them.

    Mind boggling.

  21. Of all the names people are talking about are we gonna not mention Steve Smith is in this… not Sr but Giants Steve Smith haha what he have 2-3 good seasons?

  22. Steve Smith? Did someone make a mistake? The good Steve Smith who played for the Panthers and Ravens retired just last year. He is definitely worth of the HOF one day. The other WR Steve Smith who played for the Giants and retired five years ago had one good season out of a whopping six-year career.

    PFT needs to investigate whoever either nominated the Giants WR Steve Smith or didn’t remember Panthers/Ravens WR Steve Smith retired just last year, and publicly embarrass him!

  23. Marty Schottenheimer absolutely deserves to be in. Two hundred wins in 21 years as a HC. That’s 7th all-time and only Belicheat averaged more wins per year than Marty. Dan Reeves also should be in. Played in two SB’s, assistant coach in two more SB’s, and HC in four SB’s with two different teams.

  24. Gary Anderson should’ve already been in.
    No QBs no RBs.
    Moss gets in, TO waits a year b/c Moss was more likeable.
    Ray Lewis is a lock, Urlacher and Thomas wait
    John Lynch should but wont
    No coaches, maybe Cower, Coryell should be in but no ring so he won’t.
    Mawae and Faneca are in, Hutchinson waits, Birk never gets in but should imo.

  25. Love to see all these coaches make it
    Don Coryell (Air Coryell), Bill Cowher(BillCowher Powerhour), Tom Flores (Excellent Minority Coach most activists never mention), Mike Holmgren (Pac and Seahawks), Jimmy Johnson (90sDallasSBs), Chuck Knox (Ground Chuck)

  26. McNair will probably get in at some point but shouldn’t. He was drafted same year as Kerry Collins and they have similar numbers and both took a team to the Super Bowl and lost.

    Nobody thinks Collins should be in the HOF yet somehow people think McNair, who was mainly a game manager with Eddie George, is some all time great.

  27. Leroy Butler was the 3rd most important player on those dominant Packer teams of the 1990s. He should be in but won’t – most of these DBs should get in.

    Of the 10 RBs listed, about 20 of them are better than Bettis, but probably only 2 or 3 of them will ever get into the HOF.

  28. Kent Hull please. There would be no Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Andre Reed, Marv Levy or Bill Polian (all HOFers) without Kent Hull. He was the quintessential backbone of that offensive juggernaut for nearly a decade.

  29. How Eric Allen is never seriously considered blows my mind. Google his numbers fellas. He arguably should have been first ballot!

  30. I’d put none of those men in the Hall today. A small handful are on the “not yet” list. The rest, never. In my opinion, there are still at least a dozen greats from the 1960s and 1970s that need to be honored before anyone else gets in. Canton has grown incredibly weak, and top-heavy with recent players of marginal qualifications. What an uninspiring list…particularly the QBs!!!

  31. Matt Light is a surprising name to not be on the list of 108. 11 years protecting Brady’s blind side. Won 3 Super Bowls, went to 5, Played in 20 playoff games and averaged 16 games per season counting playoffs. Brady was pretty low on the sack percentage too. I know he gets rid of the ball quickly, but Light also helped Matt Cassel get 11 wins. His name should be on there.

  32. For anyone that watched football in the 1990’s Rodney Harrison defined the SS position.

    Harrison has more sacks (30.5) than any other DB to ever play the game.
    His 7 post season INT’s are a Patriots record (even more impressive since Ty Law is also on the above list)
    Rodney Harrison and Ray Lewis are the only two NFL players to record 30 INT’s and 30 sacks in a career.
    Harrison was a member of both the Chargers 50th anniversary team and the Patriots 50th anniversary team.

  33. I just feel that the Hall of Fame selects way to many players each year. It should be 1 or 2 as opposed to 5 or 6. Alot of good players in there…..it has lost its “Fame” characteristic.

  34. Its such a good chuckle that former Giants WR Steve Smith is nominated because everyone thought they were voting for Steve Smith Sr.. For that, I hope he makes it to the finals. #voteforSteveSmith

  35. Steve Smith Is worthy of inclusion on the list but Cliff Branch isn’t? Cliff better get in via the Seniors Committee, and soon. This is getting ridiculous.

  36. For anyone that watched football in the 1990’s Rodney Harrison defined the SS position.
    =====

    LeRoy Butler
    4x 1st team All-Pro
    1990 All-Decade team

    Steve Atwater
    2x 1st team All-Pro, 1x 2nd team
    1990 All-Decade team

    Brian Dawkins
    4x 1st team All-Pro, 2x 2nd team
    2000 NFL All-Decade team

    Ed Reed
    5x 1st team All-Pro, 3x 2nd team
    2004 NFL DPOY
    2000 NFL All-Decade team
    3x INT leader

    Troy Polamalu
    4x 1st team All-Pro, 1x 2nd team
    2010 NFL DPOY
    2000 NFL All-Decade team (2nd team)

    .. Harrison
    3x 1st team All-Pro, 1x 2nd team

    He’s is in line behind all of those guys. Charles Woodson and Champ Bailey jump over him when they are eligible as well.

  37. What bothers me is the players from the smaller market teams often get overlooked. Also too much emphasis is put on TEAM accomplishments like Super Bowl wins. Look at the PLAYERS accomplishments and don’t give extra credit for playing on popular teams or in big markets. Actually it’s harder to perform great on a poor team, you don’t get the benefit of great players beside you.

  38. Cunningham belongs in any HoF that includes Jim Kelly.
    He had more passing yards and passing TDs from 87 through 90 (only real direct comparison seasons)

    Cunningham missed 4 games due to a strike and 27 games in 91 and 93.
    He played like an MVP in 90 and 98. Players like Aikman and Namath and McNabb never played like regular season MVPs.
    Kelly was only an MVP level player in 90 and 91.

    If you combine yardage and TDs passing and rushing, Kelly and Cunningham have very similar statistics.

    Kelly had 13 TDs and 16 picks in those 4 Super Bowl season playoffs. He did have the clear best team in the AFC though.
    He is a career 21 TD 28 int playoff QB. ( this should not be extra credit)

    The teams that crushed Kelly in the Super Bowl made up 75% of Cunningham’s division rivals.
    Randall had to play in the same division as the Super Bowl winner for 7 seasons.
    His first talented offensive coach was Green in year 12.

    Cunninghams MVP level seasons, career stats, trail blazing aT his position, and incredible highlight reel should be enough to get him in the HoF. Why make him wait another 15 years for the veterans committee?

  39. Cunningham belongs in any HoF that includes Jim Kelly.
    He had more passing yards and passing TDs from 87 through 90 (only real direct comparison seasons)
    =====

    Kelly went to 4 Super Bowls. Voters put that above all else.

    I think the better comparison for Cunningham is Kurt Warner.

    At the top his game, both of those guys were special, special players. But the peak wasn’t sustained long enough. More like a shooting star. Then a sudden resurgance, and gone again.

  40. Many people consider the Hogs the greatest offensive line ever, yet only 1 of them is in the HOF?

    Joe Jacoby should be in.

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