Fifteen former NFL legends are one step away from being enshrined into football immortality. The NFL announced the following 15 men are finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s class of 2015: K Morten Andersen; RB Jerome Bettis; WR Tim Brown; coach Don Coryell; RB Terrell Davis; coach Tony Dungy; DE/LB Kevin Greene; DE Charles Haley; WR Marvin Harrison; coach Jimmy Johnson; S John Lynch; OT Orlando Pace; GM Bill Polian; LB Junior Seau; OG Will Shields; C Mick Tingelhoff; QB Kurt Warner; GM Ron Wolf.
All 15 of those guys are deserving of a spot in the hall, but the following five are who I personally think will get the call to the hall on Jan. 31:
1. Junior Seau, LB (Chargers, Dolphins, Patriots)
Seau is, in my opinion, a more surefire lock to be inducted into the hall of fame than any other finalist. The hall of fame is a complete sham if this guy isn’t a first-ballot hall of famer. He’s widely regarded as one of the best linebackers of all-time. He was named to 12 consecutive Pro Bowls in his 20-year career, finished with 1,522 tackles, 56.5 sacks, 18 interceptions, 18 fumble recoveries. He was also named to the 1990s All-Decade team. There’s no doubt, Seau will be posthumously inducted.
2. Orlando Pace, OT (Rams, Bears)
Pace was the anchor of the offensive line and a critical reason why Marshall Faulk is a hall of fame running back. Pace, surrounded by other greats (Kurt Warner, Torry Holt, Issac Bruce, Faulk), made each of them better with his undeniable, elite blocking skills. The left tackle was a seven-time Pro Bowler and blocked for three consecutive MVPs and was a massive part of the team’s Greatest Show on Turf nickname.
3. Kurt Warner, QB (Rams, Giants, Cardinals)
Warner will be joined by Rams teammate Orlando Pace in Canton. Throughout his career, Warner won two MVPs. Every other two-time MVP award winner has gone on to to be inducted into the hall of fame on the first ballot. He finished his career with 32,344 yards and 208 touchdowns. He also has a Super Bowl ring with St. Louis. His journey to the league, alone, is hall of fame worthy. He went from being a bag boy to a Super Bowl winning QB. He also entered the league at 27! When looking back on his career, it’s incredible what he accomplished.
4. Marvin Harrison, WR (Colts)
Harrison is one of the most-dominant receivers in recent history. He had eight consecutive seasons of 1,100 yards, is third in receptions (1,102), fifth in reception TDs (128) and seventh in receiving yards (14,580 yards). He also had the luxury of playing with one of the best QBs of all-time, Peyton Manning, but there’s no denying that Marvin Harrison is and was beyond elite and deserves a spot in Canton.
5. Tony Dungy, coach (Buccaneers, Colts)
He was the first African-American head coach in NFL history to win a Super Bowl, which he acquired in 2006 with Indianapolis. His coaching pedigree is highly impressive. He took Tampa and Indy to 10 straight playoff appearances and finished his coaching career with an incredible 139-69 record.
My next three who can possibly get in:
RB Jerome Bettis; WR Tim Brown; PK Morten Andersen