Devin Hester thinks he’s a first-ballot Hall of Famer, eager to get the call on Thursday

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The Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2022 will be announced on Thursday night, and Devin Hester believes his name should be called.

Hester told Mitch Goldich of Sports Illustrated that he thinks his status as the return man on the NFL’s 100th anniversary all-time team, he ought to be not just a Hall of Famer, but a first ballot Hall of Famer.

“So, in this situation, it’s not us being worried about making the Hall of Fame,” Hester said. “It’s about whether or not we’re gonna be picked on the first ballot.”

Hester said first ballot status matters to him.

“It does. First-ballot Hall of Famers are Hall of Famers that you don’t have no question that they should be a Hall of Famer. You think about the best of the best—best quarterbacks, best running backs, best receivers. I know we don’t have any [full-time] returners in the Hall of Fame, but I did things that have never been done before,” Hester said.

Hester said he is the best return man in NFL history “without a doubt.” But the reality is, there’s a lot of doubt about whether Hester will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. As great a return man as he was, Hester is probably not going to hear his name called on Thursday night.

44 responses to “Devin Hester thinks he’s a first-ballot Hall of Famer, eager to get the call on Thursday

  1. I’m biased but I’d put him in first ballot for the fact that by his second year in the league he’d already established himself as the greatest returner ever

  2. Interesting to see if he’s honored during a time they are trying harder than ever to take the kick/punt return out of the game.

  3. In terms of points scored, I’d rather see a lot of place kickers be inducted before Hester. Devin Hester scored 222 points in his career, Jason Hanson 2,150 points.

  4. All it took was punting out of bounds and he was completely neutralized as a player

    Yet they didnt…

  5. Sorry but there are nfl teams that have one or two players in the hall only. If Hester gets in as a special teams player that would be a huge slap in the face to those other teams who have multiple great full time players who’ve been patiently waiting for literally decades to get in.

  6. All of the finalists are deserving. So if Hester is left out, I would not be surprised. He was only on the field very few times per game. But he could impact the game in those few plays. That says alot. But there are many players who are deserving that wait years!

  7. Sorry bro – maybe one day you’ll make it.. and with who they’re letting in now – you probably deserve it.

  8. There is a reason no full-time returners are in the hall. He probably is the best ever, but it’s just not a position seen as being hall worthy.

  9. I think Dante Hall could have been the best return man, ever. You know, if he didn’t decide to go to St. Louis to try to be a receiver.

  10. Timmy Brown, Abe Woodson, Rick Upchurch, Billy Johnson, Eric Metcalf, Brian Mitchell were all considered the Best at one time … they havent made it yet either …

  11. mantastic54 says:
    February 8, 2022 at 5:43 pm
    I’m biased but I’d put him in first ballot for the fact that by his second year in the league he’d already established himself as the greatest returner ever

    Gayle Sayers demands an explanation

  12. MantisToboggan says:
    February 8, 2022 at 5:47 pm
    All it took was punting out of bounds and he was completely neutralized as a player
    You have any idea how many yards of field position that gave the Bears in those years? Kickoffs were going out of bounds regularly.

  13. Not a chance in hell. Unless they all of a sudden they put less than part time players in the joke..err hall.

  14. How long did it take for Ray Guy and Morton Andersen? I’m a Bear fan and no way should Hester be 1st ballot. He’ll get in but it would be a crime if he got in before Air Coryell or more deserving people.

  15. I do think he deserves a spot, because of the way he redefined that position. But he needs to remember that only so many get in each year, and many higher-caliber players have been waiting a long time… for some, this may be their last chance. So those names are gonna be picked before his, and he should be gracious enough to accept that and wait his turn.

  16. Hard for specialists to get in. He’s arguably the best at what he did (you could make a case for Brian Mitchell) but is that good enough to usurp an every down player? Usually it isn’t. I think he’s going to wait awhile

  17. At a time when the Bears offense could be counted on for nothing, he provided the highlight reel plays while the defense choked the other team’s offense out. He could change every game with a single play. Teams could stop him, but took the challenge and kicked right to him, time and time again. I doubt he gets in this year, but I certainly hope he gets in some day.

    Take Frank Gore for example. He’ll get in based on stats, but I’ve never heard one person ever revere the “great Frank gore” and his impact on the game. He was never the best at his position at any point in his career, but simply plodded and stayed healthy, adding up the stats. Hester dazzled his way into being a household name, on so, so many fewer touches. If Gore can plod his way into the HOF, then Hester ought to be able to dance his way into it.

  18. Tasker will never be a hall of famer EVER. Oh look at me I can make tackle. Million other people can. No one can be Devin Hester.

  19. Brian Mitchell goes in before Hester
    Brian Mitchell Kickoff return yards 14,014 (2,000 more than 2nd place and TWICE as many yards as 12th place Hester)
    Brian Mitchell Punt return Yards 4,999 (1,200 more than 2nd place and 1,300 more than 3rd place Hester)

    How can ANYONE argue Brian shouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame and Hester should?!
    By the way Brian has 19,013 combined return yards to Hesters 11,028 which means Brian has over 72% MORE yards than Hester.

  20. Brian Mitchell is 2nd in NFL history in Total Yards (rush/receive/return), behind only Jerry Rice and he’s not behind by much
    I believe he had the most return TDs in history when he retired, please
    Correct me if wrong
    Brian also played QB during the infamous “body bad” game
    He should already be in the HOF

  21. If they put punters in the HoF because of their ability to affect field position then I don’t see why they wouldn’t put a guy in that affected it–and probably more than punters. Every time he returned a punt you had to watch because he made almost every return exciting. Yes, you could punt the ball out of bounds to neutralize him but at the cost of field position. I’d argue that Hester was more valuable than any punter ever was.

  22. Bears fan here, Hester was absolutely electric on kicks and punt returns. Fastest player I can remember with the ball in his hands until recent years with the likes of Hill in KC and others. Not sure about HOF though, especially until Tasker gets in. Still the only player to ever return the opening kick in a Super Bowl for a TD. If he had enjoyed some success as a receiver or running back I might feel differently but I’ll be surprised if he’s first ballot.

  23. I had forgotten about Brian Mitchell, so yes Tasker and Mitchell need to go in before Hester. He was still the only offense/special teams player the Bears have had in all my years of watching them that scared other teams.

  24. By far, Steve Tasker the best special teams guy ever didn’t make it in, yet big ego Hester is almost demanding he should be? Oh please….

  25. Bears wasted a lot time trying to make him into a WR. Could not run routes, get open or catch.

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