Hall of Fame ballot includes five first-time finalists, including Everson Walls

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Four players in their first year of eligibility made the list of finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2018. Steve Hutchinson, Ray Lewis, Randy Moss and Brian Urlacher will have selectors discuss their cases during “Selection Saturday,” the day before Super Bowl LII.

In addition, Everson Walls, in his 20th — and final — year of eligibility, became a first-time finalist.

All five offensive linemen on the semifinal list made the cut to 15. Four defensive backs, including Walls, also are finalists.

The selection committee was given an initial list of 108 nominees, which was reduced to 27 semifinalists in a mail-in ballot. Roger Craig, Torry Holt, Hines Ward, Leslie O’Neal, Simeon Rice, Richard Seymour, Karl Mecklenburg, Steve Atwater, Ronde Barber, Leroy Butler, Don Coryell and Jimmy Johnson were the semifinalists failing to receive enough votes to advance.

The Hal of Fame already had announced the two seniors candidates — Robert Brazile and Jerry Kramer — and the contributor finalist — Bobby Beathard — who will join the 15 modern-era finalists on the ballot.

The 2018 Modern-Era Finalists with their positions, years and teams:

Tony Boselli, Tackle, 1995-2001 Jacksonville Jaguars

Isaac Bruce, Wide Receiver, 1994-2007 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 2008-09 San Francisco 49ers

Brian Dawkins, Safety, 1996-2008 Philadelphia Eagles, 2009-2011 Denver Broncos

Alan Faneca, Guard, 1998-2007 Pittsburgh Steelers, 2008-09 New York Jets, 2010 Arizona Cardinals

Steve Hutchinson, Guard, 2001-05 Seattle Seahawks, 2006-2011 Minnesota Vikings, 2012 Tennessee Titans

Joe Jacoby, Tackle, 1981-1993 Washington Redskins

Edgerrin James, Running Back, 1999-2005 Indianapolis Colts, 2006-08 Arizona Cardinals, 2009 Seattle Seahawks

Ty Law, Cornerback, 1995-2004 New England Patriots, 2005, 2008 New York Jets, 2006-07 Kansas City Chiefs, 2009 Denver Broncos

Ray Lewis, Linebacker, 1996-2012 Baltimore Ravens

John Lynch, Free Safety, 1993-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004-07 Denver Broncos

Kevin Mawae, Center, 1994-97 Seattle Seahawks, 1998-2005 New York Jets, 2006-09 Tennessee Titans

Randy Moss, Wide Receiver, 1998-2004, 2010 Minnesota Vikings, 2005-06 Oakland Raiders, 2007-2010 New England Patriots, 2010 Tennessee Titans, 2012 San Francisco 49ers

Terrell Owens, Wide Receiver, 1996-2003 San Francisco 49ers, 2004-05 Philadelphia Eagles, 2006-08 Dallas Cowboys, 2009 Buffalo Bills, 2010 Cincinnati Bengals

Brian Urlacher, Linebacker, 2000-2012 Chicago Bears

Everson Walls, Cornerback, 1981-89 Dallas Cowboys, 1990-92 New York Giants, 1992-93 Cleveland Browns

91 responses to “Hall of Fame ballot includes five first-time finalists, including Everson Walls

  1. I hated Urlacher. His career numbers mirror less famous linebackers like Fletcher. When I think back to watching him play though I just remember that he often made clutch plays or momentum changing plays. Def added speed to the concept of an inside backer. I now think he should get in but I don’t know about this year.

  2. It is preposterous that Kramer and Jacoby are not already in the HoF and that Dungy is but Coryell and Flores are not. Still it’s good to see so many lineman and dbacks in the running, it’s not easy for a dback to get in.

  3. This will finally by Ty Law’s year, anyone who disagrees go ask Peyton manning who scared the crap out of him (9 Ints off him for top on the list)

    Moss and Lewis are shoe ins. Urlacher and Dawkins can round out my 5 along with Kramer and Brazile getting in

  4. Biggest mistake the Seahawks made in the mid-2000’s was loosing Hutchinson to free agency to keep Sean Alexander. He & Walter Jones were unstoppable. We could’ve had a Goodyear blimp run through the holes they opened. Definitely a first ballot HOFer.

  5. Lewis should have to explain what happened in Atlanta before being inducted, then the hall may avoid having another OJ as a member

  6. All I can say is if you were a part of the Purple People Eaters back in the day and haven’t been inducted yet you’re being screwed. This isn’t Vikings biased post, just a reality of looking at those guys and comparing them with others..

  7. Anyone who joins the media gets in. Dungy, Steve Young…

    Faneca should be a lock but wont get in. I agree Jacoby should make it.

    T.O. Not close to HOFer

  8. Everson Walls. On the cover of Sports Illustrated after Wide Right. I can still see him jumping just as it was missing. He seemed to be the first to know. Also made that great tackle on Thomas.

    Like it was yesterday…

  9. commentawaitingdeletion says:
    January 2, 2018 at 8:58 pm
    It is preposterous that Kramer and Jacoby are not already in the HoF and that Dungy is but Coryell and Flores are not. Still it’s good to see so many lineman and dbacks in the running, it’s not easy for a dback to get in.
    _______________________________________________

    The most preposterous of all is Joe Namath being in the HOF. He got in being “BroadwayJoe”, not as someone who put up any appreciable career numbers and he defiantly did not dominate at his position for any majority of the time he played. He threw more interceptions that TD’s in his career. “Broadway Joe” was elected because he was from NY and he made the famous guarantee win over the Colts and Johnny Unitas. Vote him out and put Kramer in.

  10. Don Coryell and Tom Flores are not in the HoF and they waited til Stabler passed away to vote him in because of personal vendettas.

    Now personal vendettas are in play again instead of looking at their impact on the field and in the history of the sport.

    But Terelle Davis is in the HoF. Terelle. Friggin. Davis.

    HoF is nothing more than a bunch of egotistical punks on a power trip telling us who should be remember in the annals of football lore based on who they like and who ‘campaigns’ for it.

    What a joke.

  11. Where is Lester Hayes? You put in Dungy but still no Tom Flores? Dungy gets one ring and he is in and he isn’t the first minority to win the Super Bowl if you think that is why, Flores was. It’s not because I am a Raiders fan, I even think Tom Rathman deserves a shot. Roger Craig should have been in a long time ago. As for Lester, I know he used stickum, but so did Billetnikoff.Lester had 13 ints in 80 and 5 more in the playoffs, and a few called back. I really don’t think Boselli should get in, not enough tenure, but they let Terrell Davis in

  12. Moss and Lewis are automatics. Both are in the top 5 all time, in their respective positions. Everyone else on this list is debatable.

  13. It’s a disgrace that Coryell and Flores are not in already. You simply can’t tell the story of pro football without them. Personally, Roger Craig’s ommision is an injustice too. Good to see the trenches well represented, Jacoby is a massive standout on that list though, shock g he isn’t in already.

  14. Jerry Kramer and Jim Marshall should have been in long ago. What is wrong with the HOF Committee. I don’t get it.

  15. They will have representatives plead their case for the hall?

    Just have ray me me Lewis speak for himself. He was always good at telling people how good he thought he was.

    Lewis last 5 years were average play, he would be way down on the ladder in MLB position rankings but made the probowl every year for his mouth.
    Don’t get me wrong, he was a beast, but not the last five years of his career.
    The probowl is a joke. But often brought up in the resume for the HOF.

  16. Let T.O. in
    What he did n the field was top notch!
    Was he mentally unstable and problems off the field sure, but we only knew that because he was so good on it.

  17. Tony Boselli, Tackle, 1995-2001

    Wow, he only played seven years?? He was a dominant tackle, but not sure seven years takes his from great to HOF level.

    John Lynch has no business being on this list, ever. Certainly a very good player, but a HOF’er? No. Then again, Tony Dungy in the HOF is ridiculous, too, so why not more Bucs from that era. *ugh*

    All four modern-era finalists should get in, but other than Jacoby, I see no obvious names left out.

  18. The fact that you can build 3 SB winners as a GM and coach two of them, and the guy you destroyed (who had the teams built for him) is in and you’re not is a joke (Jimmy a Johnson/Marc Levy).

  19. Law needs to get in, but it might be tough sledding this year with Lewis, Moss, and Owens. Outside of Walls, all of them have a decent case to be there.

  20. How Jerry Kramer and Tony Boselli aren’t in the Hall Of Fame is hard to believe. Kramer is hurt by so many of his teammates already being in and Boselli is hurt by playing for the then expansion team Jaguars.
    Both are great linemen who were dominant in their eras.Another great “O” lineman who should have been in years ago is Joe Jacoby. He was an anchor on that great offensive line of the Redskins, affectionately known as The Hogs.
    John Lynch has to be there, too. He was one of the dominant safeties of his era.

  21. If you don’t think Urlacher should get in, you didn’t watch him play. He was the ultimate Linebacker/Safety hybrid. Strong enough to penetrate the line, yet fast enough to beat runners around the edge. Both a run stopper and coverage backer. Watch his 2006 game against the Cardinals of you want an example. His former teammates have said Brian often called out the play before the opposing quarterback could. An amazing player.

  22. It is disgraceful that Tony Dungy is in, and Jimmy Johnson is not. Johnson has the same amount of playoff wins in many less years. Dungy is a defensive coach who only won one Super Bowl with Peyton Manning. Johnson won two Super Bowls. Johnson also orchestrated the Herschel Walker trade which is one of the best moves in the history of the league.

  23. Jerry Kramer, Tom Flores, and Don Coryell are long overdue election into the Hall.

    Kramer’s book Instant Replay is terrific also. I encourage anyone who has not read it yet to do so.

  24. jxt2521..You hit the nail on the head. Urlacher should get in eventually..not for a couple years. As an Eagle fan I get disgusted with the HOF voters. Eagle greats like Clyde Simmons ( 120+ sacks) not even nominated? Seth Joyner the ONLY player in NFL History with 50+ sacks and 20+ ints and 1,000 + Tackles! Sorry Urlacher fans compare Joyner to Urlacher. Joyner: 1,056 Tkl Urlacher : 1,040. Joyner 52 Sks Urlacher 41. Joyner 24 Ints Urlacher 22 Joyner 26 FF Urlacher 11. Urlacher first ballet finalist. Seth Joyner not in top 150..??
    Brian Dawkins should go in NOW..John Lynch couple years. But I think Lynch will go because he is a GM now.
    T.O AND RANDY MOSS should both go this year !!
    Rodger Craig is being disrespected. He should already be in. Kurt Warner first ballet? Micheal Irvin first ballet? With drug arrests, and all his off field drama.. TO has like 400 more receptions and like 70 more TDs!
    HOF is a joke. If Dawkins and TO and Moss all don’t get in this year…Proof that the voters are voting on popularity over skill is there. The fans should have a 1/3 vote. Alot of media had personal feelings involved by players that wouldn’t talk to them ect…Too much power

  25. Joe Jacoby is a critical part of THREE Super Bowl titles on probably the best known OL of all time. A three-time-champion QB, RB, LB, is a slam dunk. But Jacoby has to overcome the position bias. Which sucks.

  26. I feel sorry for the people in charge of putting people in the hall of fame. I want to put almost everybody on that list in, but on the other hand it is important that they don’t just put anybody in. I get the hiccups when i eat something hot

  27. How can someone be one of the Top 50 Players of ALL TIME & not be in the H.O.F.

    It is a travesty Jerry Kramer isn’t in already, the H.O.F. is a disgrace & should be embarrassed & ashamed.

    If one of these OL stiffs who are nominated this year gets in before Kramer, the NFL H.O.F. will be a bigger joke than the Rock ‘n’ Roll H.O.F. already is.

    Do the right thing voters & elect Jerry Kramer.

  28. For some reason the voters feel like they have to elect five modern-era finalists every year; even though five are rarely deserving every year. This year we only have three that are clearly deserving (Lewis, Moss, Owens). So, who will be the additional questionable two or completely undeserving former players elected?

  29. It’s the year for the Purple! Moss will be in for sure, maybe Hutch. #84 will don his Gold Jacket while his former team is playing in the SB!

  30. rukiddnme29 says:

    The HOF sucks so bad I can’t take it. If you’re a Cowboy, it’s automatic.
    =========================================================

    They why has Walls been waiting 20 years?

  31. I still don’t understand why Cliff Branch is not being considered for the HOF. His stats are ahead of most of the receivers on this list. Unbelieveable.

  32. Tad Lipschultz says:
    January 3, 2018 at 1:00 am
    How can someone be one of the Top 50 Players of ALL TIME & not be in the H.O.F.

    It is a travesty Jerry Kramer isn’t in already, the H.O.F. is a disgrace & should be embarrassed & ashamed.

    If one of these OL stiffs who are nominated this year gets in before Kramer, the NFL H.O.F. will be a bigger joke than the Rock ‘n’ Roll H.O.F. already is.

    Do the right thing voters & elect Jerry Kramer

    //////////////////

    Well every year there is a better OL up for HOF. This year Hutchinson from Minnesota is twice the OL than Kramer.

  33. flviking says:
    January 3, 2018 at 8:39 am

    //////////////////

    Well every year there is a better OL up for HOF. This year Hutchinson from Minnesota is twice the OL than Kramer.
    ————————————

    Hutchinson did have a reputation as one of the best interior linemen in the league during his career, in spite of the fact not a single person outside of maybe Seattle or Minneapolis can name one particularly memorable block Hutchinson made. However…

    1. Kramer is not under consideration as a ‘Modern Era’ finalist, but as a senior candidate, and Kramer was considered one of the best interior linemen during his era.
    2. Kramer played on championship teams, something that unfortunately always eluded Hutchinson, although he came close with the Seahawks.
    3. Everyone on the planet can name a memorable block Kramer made.

  34. Tony Boselli is the only first team offensive player from the 90’s All Decade Team not in the HOF. Time to right that wrong. Big Bo should be in.

  35. It will be interesting to see if Moss gets in. He’s a first-ballot talent. So is Owens, and he’s been passed over twice. Good luck finding anyone who thinks Marvin Harrison is a better player than T.O.

    I guess we’ll find out which players didn’t sufficiently kiss the media’s ass during their careers.

  36. Put them all in, they all have better credentials than Terrell Davis who also took money under the table to circumvent the salary cap.

  37. Looks like some shady backgrounds history for a few of the ones most feel are in, what do you expect anymore this is the NFL.

  38. Edward Halverson says:
    January 2, 2018 at 10:16 pm
    Ray Lewis better, never make it!

    —————-

    Sorry to break it to you… Lewis is the only guy that requires no discussion at all. He’s in automatically.

  39. If Boselli’s career was too short, then Gayle Sayers and Dwight Stevenson should be out of the HoF also. Anthony Munoz is often said to be the greatest tackle in NFL history and he says that Boselli is the best that he’s seen. Boselli made the 90’s All Decade team 1st Team and he only played HALF the decade! That’s how dominant he was. He is very deserving.

  40. The most preposterous of all is Joe Namath being in the HOF. He got in being “BroadwayJoe”, not as someone who put up any appreciable career numbers and he defiantly did not dominate at his position for any majority of the time he played. He threw more interceptions that TD’s in his career. “Broadway Joe” was elected because he was from NY and he made the famous guarantee win over the Colts and Johnny Unitas. Vote him out and put Kramer in.
    __________________________________________________________________________________________

    Like many, you’ve made the critical error of confusing the Hall of FAME with the Hall of Stats. Happens all the time. And by the way, Earl Morrall was the Colts starting QB in 68/69 and in Superbowl 3. Unitas was the back-up.

  41. Gotta love the trolling comments. Zero of you (including myself) have any business deciding who gets in, or discussing the rules and such. Those who are in are HOFers, and those who aren’t, AREN’T. Don’t like it? TOUGH.

  42. bullcharger says:
    January 3, 2018 at 10:15 am
    Edward Halverson says:
    January 2, 2018 at 10:16 pm
    Ray Lewis better, never make it!

    —————-

    Sorry to break it to you… Lewis is the only guy that requires no discussion at all. He’s in automatically.
    ——————
    you are so right. I’ve been watching football since the seventies and he is the best inside linebacker I’ve ever seend. No one else is close.

  43. @rpbncb says: January 3, 2018 at 10:17 am What about Hines Ward!!! He should already be in. He has better numbers than Swan or Stallworth.
    ====================================================================================================================
    Hopefully that was sarcasm…..everyone has better #’s than Swann or Stallworth..

    I’d like to see Edge get in at some point—–he had several great years –

  44. I’m a die hard Vikings fan and I think Moss is one of the most talented receivers I’ve ever seen. However…

    I’ve also seen Mr. ‘I play when I wanna play’ stand with his hands on his hips after a team mate fumbled at his feet making no effort to go after the ball while the other 21 players on the field fought over it. I’ve seen him take plays off. I’ve seen him seemingly take games off.

    Does he deserve the HOF on production? No question. But I wouldn’t mind seeing that Prima Donna have to sweat it for a couple of years.

  45. I’m with lampcord on Randy Moss. The guy made Green Bay’s DB’s (and, well nearly everyone’s DB’s) look positively stupid early on in his career. I’m also with lampcord when he says he would like to see him sweat it out for a few years just like Owens. Those two were peas in a pod – to this day the reason I despise grand-standing, chest-beating NFL wideouts. In my opinion, those two did not respect ‘the game’. Notice, I did NOT say that they didn’t respect ‘the Shield’.

    Of course, I’m all about Jerry Kramer FINALLY getting in. As a boy, I idolized the guy for his toughness. As a grown man, I idolize Jerry Kramer for the man he is. I wore #64 for 7 of the 8 years I played organized football for a reason. As a frosh starting middle linebacker in the early 70’s, I literally had to BEG a bench-warming Senior for the number – and I’d do it again.

    Jacoby … if you were alive when the man played for that ‘Skins line, you’d be as hopping mad that he’s not in the HOF as Packers’ fans are about Jerry Kramer not being in. An earlier poster here said it best: “All Jacoby did was block LT and Reggie White in their prime..” I would only add that he did it twice, sometimes three times per season.

    Hutchinson … I’m a fan of line play. Always have been. Most fan’s eyes follow the snap to the QB’s next/first motion to see which “skill position” player is getting the ball (this is even truer in this day of “Fantasy Football”). If you played beyond grade school ball you full damn well that whomever wins the line of scrimmage, wins THAT play. My eyes stay on the L.O.S. as long as the camera allows. Hutchison, in my opinion, was a dominating player in ANY era. Just a dogged blocker who did some of his best work downfield. It was not unusual to see Hutchison blocking downfield when the play went to his opposite side – THAT is the epitome of a competitor.

    Urlacher … grrr… man, this guy was a P.I.T.A. If any MLB reminded me of Dick Butkus it was him. The guy just had the range and the tenacity. No disrespect to Lewis (as a player) intended. Fricking Urlacher just PLAYED the darn game and was never a distraction to his team.

    For all of me, this HOF class could be all linemen and linebackers. The remaining nominees are all “good” — not GREAT.

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