NFL’s high 20 gamers not within the Corridor of Fame: Torry Holt, Zach Thomas, Ken Anderson headline all-time checklist

Persistence can be an acceptable phrase to explain the 2022 Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame induction class. Not like most induction courses, there was not a single member of this yr’s class that bought in on the primary poll. Cliff Department, who was posthumously enshrined on Saturday, had been eligible for 30 years earlier than his household acquired that long-awaited cellphone name. 

There are nonetheless a slew of eligible former gamers who’re nonetheless ready for his or her name to Canton, Ohio. Many deserving gamers have been handed over as a result of they performed for a small market group; different gamers had been overshadowed by extra celebrated teammates. For regardless of the cause, there are quite a few deserving gamers who’re nonetheless hoping to earn a spot in soccer immortality. 

With that in thoughts, we determined to place collectively a listing of the 20 finest NFL gamers who should not within the Corridor of Fame. Do not be stunned if a number of of those gamers obtain a bronze bust in Canton someday within the close to future. 

Honorable point out: WR Andre Johnson

Like one other receiver who cracked the checklist, Johnson was not chosen to the Corridor of Fame in 2022, his first yr of eligibility. It is protected to imagine that the longtime Houston Texans standout will finally be enshrined in Canton. A seven-time Professional Bowler and two-time All-Professional, Johnson is eleventh all-time in receptions and receiving yards. Johnson led the NFL in receptions and receiving yards on a number of events. 

20. WR Steve Tasker

Groups: Oilers (1985-86); Payments (1986-97)

One of many biggest particular groups gamers in NFL historical past, Tasker earned seven Professional Bowl nods from 1987-95. Throughout that span, Tasker helped the Payments grow to be the primary franchise to look in 4 consecutive Tremendous Bowls. Tasker’s brilliance was on show throughout the opening minutes of Tremendous Bowl XXVII. With the Cowboys punting from their very own 16-yard line, Tasker was lined up towards linebacker Robert Jones, a rookie who crammed in for an injured starter. Jones did not have an opportunity towards Tasker, who beat Jones on an inside transfer earlier than blocking Mike Saxon’s punt. Tasker’s play arrange the sport’s first landing. 

19. WR Otis Taylor 

Crew: Chiefs (1965-75) 

A participant who was really forward of his time, the 6-foot-3, 215-pound Taylor was one of many first receivers to totally use his physicality to his benefit. In 1965, Taylor spurned the NFL (he was drafted by the Eagles with the 203rd choose within the NFL draft) to play for the AFL’s Kansas Metropolis Chiefs. In his second season, Taylor led the AFL in common yards per catch whereas serving to lead the Chiefs to the first-ever Tremendous Bowl. The AFL’s chief in landing catches the next season, Taylor helped the Chiefs seize their first Tremendous Bowl win on the finish of the 1969 season. His 46-yard landing sealed Kansas Metropolis’s 23-7 win over the Vikings, the final recreation ever performed between the rival leagues. 

Taylor’s transition to the NFL was seamless after the 2 leagues merged in 1970. A yr after the merge, Taylor led the NFL in receiving yards whereas incomes All-Professional honors. He earned Professional Bowl honors once more in 1972 on the age of 30. 

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18. DE Jim Marshall 

Groups: Browns (1960); Vikings (1961-79) 

A valued member of Minnesota’s “Purple Folks Eaters” defensive position, Marshall holds quite a few NFL data, together with probably the most seasons performed by a defensive participant (20, together with Junior Seau and Darrell Inexperienced), most consecutive video games by a defensive participant (282), most consecutive begins by a defensive participant (270), and most profession fumble recoveries (30). Marshall, who was nonetheless a starter at age 42, helped the Vikings win three NFC titles together with the NFL championship in 1969. 

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17. LB Tommy Nobis

Crew: Falcons (1966-76) 

Atlanta’s first draft choose, Nobis performed on simply two successful groups throughout his 11-year tenure with the Falcons. Regardless of his group’s lack of success, Nobis earned the popularity of his friends, incomes 5 Professional Bowl choices and one All-Professional nod throughout his first seven seasons. 

Named the NFL’s Rookie of the 12 months in 1966 by Sporting Information, Nobis recorded a whopping 294 tackles that season. That whole will not be solely a Falcons’ franchise file, it’s unofficially the probably the most tackles ever credited to a participant in NFL historical past, in keeping with the Falcons’ group web site. Nobis’ early success earned him a spot on the NFL’s All-Decade Crew for the Sixties. 

Crew: 49ers (2007-14)

Willis packed rather a lot into a comparatively quick profession. Throughout his seven full seasons in San Francisco, Willis earned Professional Bowl honors every year whereas additionally receiving 5 first-team All-Professional nods. A member of the NFL’s All-2010s Crew, Willis twice led the NFL in tackles. Willis’ play largely contributed to the 49ers’ NFC title in 2012 in addition to the franchise’s three consecutive NFC title recreation appearances from 2011-13.  

15. Steve Smith Sr. 

Groups: Panthers (2001-13); Ravens (2014-16)

Smith’s excessive competitiveness greater than made up for his 5-foot-9, 195-pound body. A key member of the Panthers’ 2003 Tremendous Bowl group, Smith overcame a big harm in 2004 to win Comeback Participant of the 12 months after lading the NFL in receptions, receiving yards and landing catches in 2005. Smith tallied eight 1,000-yard seasons and is certainly one of 14 gamers with at the least 1,000 profession receptions. He is at present eighth all-time with 14,731 profession receiving yards. 

14. OL Joe Jacoby 

Crew: Washington (1981-93) 

A key member of the “Hogs,” Jacoby helped Washington win every of its three Tremendous Bowl titles. A Professional Bowler every season from 1983-86, Jacoby’s blocking helped John Riggins rush for a then Tremendous Bowl file in Washington’s win over Miami in Tremendous Bowl XVII. A member of the NFL’s All-Nineteen Eighties Crew, Jacoby helped defend Tremendous Bowl MVPs Doug Williams and Mark Rypien in Tremendous Bowls XXII and XXVI. 

13. WR Hines Ward 

Crew: Steelers (1998-11)

The Steelers’ all-time chief in receptions, yards and touchdowns, Ward can also be eighth all-time in profession postseason receiving yards (1,181). Three of Ward’s 4 consecutive Professional Bowl choices got here with totally different quarterbacks: Kordell Stewart (2001), Tommy Maddox (2002-03) and a rookie named Ben Roethlisberger (2004). In 2005, Ward gained Tremendous Bowl MVP honors whereas serving to lead Pittsburgh to its fifth Tremendous Bowl victory. He was the Steelers’ No. 1 receiver when Pittsburgh defeated the Cardinals three years later in Tremendous Bowl XLIII. Ward is taken into account probably the most bodily receiver of his period. 

12. DT Steve McMichael 

Groups: Patriots (1980); Bears (1981-93); Packers (1994) 

Considered one of finest gamers on the Bears’ vaunted 46 protection, McMichael earned his first of two first-team All-Professional honors in 1985 whereas serving to Chicago seize its solely Lombardi Trophy. A two-time Professional Bowler, McMichael had 92.5 profession sacks for Chicago, second in franchise historical past. McMichael and Dan Hampton (a 2002 Corridor of Fame inductee) fashioned one of many biggest defensive duos in NFL historical past, a unit that totaled 41.5 sacks from 1984-88. 


11. DE L.C. Greenwood 

Crew: Steelers (1969-81) 

A key member of Pittsburgh’s “Metal Curtain” protection, Greenwood earned six Professional Bowl nods (and two first-team All-Professional honors) from 1973-79. A menacing move rusher, Greenwood sacked Roger Staubach a file 4 occasions within the Steelers’ Tremendous Bowl X victory over the Cowboys. The 6-fo-6 Greenwood additionally had a penchant for batting down passes; he did that on three events throughout the Steelers’ Tremendous Bowl IX win over the Vikings.


10. LB Clay Matthews 

Groups: Browns (1978-93); Falcons (1994-96) 

A four-time Professional Bowler, Matthews spent 16 of his 19 NFL seasons with the Browns, serving to Cleveland win 5 AFC Central division titles throughout the Nineteen Eighties. Matthews retired with 69.5 profession sacks, 27 compelled fumbles and 14 fumble recoveries. He additionally led the NFL in tackles on 4 totally different events. Considered one of Matthews’ finest seasons didn’t end in a Professional Bowl choice. In 1984, Matthews led the league with 126 tackles whereas additionally posting 12 sacks and three compelled fumbles. Matthews’ play was a serious cause why the Browns appeared in three AFC Championship Video games from 1986-89. 

Whereas he has but to obtain the decision to Canton, Matthews was inducted into the Browns’ Ring of Honor in 2019. 

9. CB Ken Riley 

Crew: Bengals (1969-83) 

Riley retired with 65 interceptions, which is tied for the fifth-highest whole in NFL historical past. The participant Riley is commonly in comparison with is Charles Woodson, who will obtain a gold jacket this summer time. An extremely constant participant all through his profession, Riley picked off at the least 4 passes 9 totally different occasions, tallying a career-high 9 interceptions in 1976. A key member of the Bengals’ 1981 AFC championship group, Riley returned a league-high three interceptions for touchdowns throughout his ultimate two seasons. In 1983, his ultimate NFL season, the 36-year-old Riley recorded eight interceptions (returning two for scores) whereas incomes his first profession All-Professional choice. 

8. LB Randy Gradishar

Crew: Broncos (1974-83) 

With respect to Tom Jackson and Rod Smith, Gradishar stays the best Bronco who continues to be ready for his place in Canton. The 14th general choose within the 1974 draft, Gradishar earned Professional Bowl and All-Professional honors in 1977 whereas main Denver’s “Orange Crush” protection, a unit that helped spearhead the Broncos’ first Tremendous Bowl look. Gradishar earned 5 extra Professional Bowl choices (in addition to one other All-Professional nod) throughout his ultimate six seasons with the Broncos. A member of the Broncos’ Ring of Fame, Gradishar is credited with over 2,000 tackles throughout his 10-year profession. 

7. CB Lester Hayes 

Crew: Raiders (1977-86) 

Identified throughout his enjoying days as “The Decide,” Hayes was a dominant shut down defender who earned 5 straight Professional Bowl nods from 1980-84. Hayes gained Defensive Participant of the 12 months in 1980 whereas main the NFL with 13 interceptions. Hayes helped the Raiders win their second Tremendous Bowl that season. Three years later, he teamed up with Corridor of Fame cornerback Mike Haynes to close down Washington’s proficient receiving corps in Tremendous Bowl XVIII. Hayes is a member of the NFL’s All-Nineteen Eighties Crew. 

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6. RB Roger Craig

Groups: 49ers (1983-90); Raiders (1991); Vikings (1992-93) 

The one operating again on this checklist, Craig performed an integral function within the 49ers’ success throughout the Nineteen Eighties. A four-time Professional Bowler and member of the NFL’s All-Nineteen Eighties Crew, Craig grew to become the primary participant in league historical past to have 1,000 dashing and receiving yards in the identical season (1985). A 3-time Tremendous Bowl champion, Craig grew to become the primary participant to attain three touchdowns in a Tremendous Bowl throughout the 49ers’ win over the Dolphins in Tremendous Bowl XVI. 

5. WR Sterling Sharpe 

Crew: Packers (1988-94)

Whereas an harm minimize his profession quick, Sharpe did loads of injury throughout his seven-year profession. A five-time Professional Bowler and three-time All-Professional, Sharp led the league in receptions three totally different occasions. He additionally led the NFL in landing receptions on two separate events. In 1992, Brett Favre’s first season because the Packers’ beginning quarterback, Sharpe led the NFL in receptions (108), yards (1,461) and touchdowns (13). 

4. WR Reggie Wayne 

Crew: Colts (2001-14) 

A six-time Professional Bowler from 2006-10 and in 2012, Wayne led the NFL in receiving yards in 2007. His 53-yard landing catch throughout the earlier yr’s Tremendous Bowl helped the Colts win the franchise’s first Tremendous Bowl following their transfer from Baltimore to Indianapolis. Wayne was Peyton Manning’s No. 1 receiver when the Colts made it again to the Tremendous Bowl in 2009. And regardless of Manning’s departure in 2012, a 34-year-old Wayne earned Professional Bowl honors that season whereas catching passes from a rookie quarterback named Andrew Luck.  

3. QB Ken Anderson 

Crew: Bengals (1971-86) 

The Bengals’ all-time main passer, Anderson’s increase below Invoice Walsh’s “West Coast” offense set the stage for Walsh’s success with Joe Montana in San Francisco. A four-time Professional Bowler, Anderson led the NFL in completion share 3 times. He additionally led the NFL in passing yards in consecutive seasons. In 1981, Anderson gained each league MVP and Comeback Participant of the 12 months whereas main the Bengals to their first Tremendous Bowl. 

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2. WR Torry Holt 

Groups: Rams (1999-08); Jaguars (2009) 

A seven-time Professional Bowler and member of the NFL’s All-2000s Crew, Holt performed an integral function on the Rams’ 1999 championship group. The league’s main receiver on two separate events, Holt was the Rams’ No. 1 receiver when St. Louis made a return journey to the Tremendous Bowl in 2001. 

1. LB Zach Thomas 

Crew: Dolphins (1996-07); Cowboys (2008) 

The Dolphins have a slew of Canton-worthy gamers who nonetheless have not gotten the decision. Amongst these gamers are former offensive lineman Bob Kuechenberg, receivers Mark Duper and Mark Clayton and operating again Ricky Williams. Thomas, a seven-time Professional Bowler and five-time All-Professional, is on the high of that checklist. A former fifth-round choose, Thomas was one of many NFL’s best gamers throughout his dozen seasons in Miami. Thomas, who led the NFL in tackles on two separate events, retired with 1,734 profession tackles, 20.5 sacks, 17 interceptions, 48 passes defensed, 16 compelled fumbles and eight fumble recoveries. His play helped the Dolphins make the playoffs every year from 1997-01. 

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