Pro Football Hall of Fame 2024 Enshrinement Class Recap

2024 Pro Football Hall of Fame Recap

Normally I would offer Pro Football Hall of Fame predictions. The enshrines used to be announced the Saturday before the Super Bowl. Yet nowadays, the NFL honors program the Thursday before the Super Bowl reveals the winners. 

So let’s just look at who was chosen and who got left out that should have been enshrined. 

Andre Johnson, Houston Texans wide receiver — He should have been a first ballot Hall of Famer. He was delayed one year but deservedly got in.

Devon Hester, Chicago Bears return man — This should never have been  question last year, but Hester was also denied in his first year of eligibility. He is the greatest return man in the history of the game. He changed the game. Opposing teams feared him. He absolutely had to get in and did. 

Dwight Freeney, Indianapolis Colts defensive end — He is yet another guy denied eligibility last year on the first ballot. He was a key cog in helping the Colts finally get over the hump in 2006. He deserved to get in and he did.  

Julius Peppers, Carolina Panthers defensive end. He retired as the fourth highest sack leader of all time. He made nine Pro Bowls and was an all decade winner in the 2000s and the 2010s. He of course got in on the first ballot.

Patrick Willis, San Francisco 49ers linebacker — He only played seven seasons. As great as he was, the entire 49ers defense when he played was great. He should have waited longer. Other more deserving nominees did not get in before him that should have.

Randy Gradishar, Denver Broncos linebacker — The Denver Broncos linebacker made seven Pro Bowls, but the Broncos defense only got them to one Super Bowl in 1977, which they lost. Senior nominees usually get in, but this one should have been a closer call than others. 

Steve McMichael, Chicago Bears defensive lineman — Again, most Senior nominees are rubber stamped. Again, this one is debatable. He was on the 1985 Bears, but was he really on the same level as Richard Dent, Mike Singletary or Dan Hampton? He is waging a brutal battle against ALS, but that should play zero role in whether or not he gets enshrined. This should not have been a guarantee. 

Eric Allen, Philadelphia Eagles cornerback — Allen was sensational with the eagles, and still played at a high level with the New Orleans Saints and Oakland Raiders. He was a true ball hawk who should not have been denied.

Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers tight ends — He has been unfairly denied for playing on a team that never reached the Super Bowl. For much of his career, he was the best tight end in the game. This was his first year of eligibility, and should get in next year.

Rodney Harrison, New England Patriots safety — It is ridiculous that one of the hardest hitting safeties in the game is not enshrined already. He did more than win three Super Bowls in the first leg of the Patriots dynasty. He anchored the defense. Remember, Tom Brady carried some of the teams in the later years. In the early years, especially the 2001 season, Brady was a game manager. Defense led the team and shocked the Greatest Show on Turf St. Louis Rams. Harrison needs to get in soon. 

Jared Allen, Minnesota Vikings defensive end — He has been a finalist in all four years of eligibility and keeps getting denied. He was also great with the Kansas City Chiefs. Not reaching a Super Bowl may have delayed his enshrinement, but he does deserve to get in at some point. This year there were just guys who were slightly more deserving for enshrinement right now.

Fred Taylor, Jacksonville Jaguars running back — Old reliable may get unfairly downgraded for playing in the MFL’s smallest market. Yet he also never got to a Super Bowl. He was a  steady workhorse who was more substance than excitement and style. Can the story of the NFL be told without him? Probably. He should get in at some point, but more crucial nominees essential to the story of football are ahead of him.


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