Who’s the next cornerback to reach the Hall of Fame?


Photo courtesy of the New England Patriots

With Ronde Barber joining the Class of 2018 candidates, there is bona fide competition for the Pro Football Hall of Fame at cornerback.

A year ago there was only Ty Law, and he was a Top 10 finalist for the Class of 2017. But now we add Barber, and in 2019 former Denver star and all-decade choice Champ Bailey will be eligible.

But they’re not the only Hall-of-Fame worthy candidates at cornerback, as NFL historian John Turney of Pro Football Journal explains in his latest post. Turney adds the names of guys like Albert Lewis, Charles Tillman and, of course, Charles Woodson, who could be a first-ballot addition when he’s eligible in 2021.

Woodson and Bailey were first-team all-decade choices for the 2000s; Barber and Law were second-teamers.

The last cornerback chosen for Canton was Aeneas Williams in 2014, the first modern-era inductee at cornerback since Deion Sanders in 2011. But there are plenty of qualified candidates out there, and to see how they compare with Hall of Famers, read this:

http://nflfootballjournal.blogspot.com/2017/08/corners-on-hall-of-fame-market.html

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12 Comments

  1. Sports Fan
    August 8, 2017
    Reply

    “The JUDGE”
    (not Clark Judge)

    Lester Hayes!

    If he played today with his Size/Speed, I wonder!

    • August 8, 2017
      Reply

      Will get no argument from me. I covered the Chargers. Saw the guy twice a year.

    • P-diddy
      October 23, 2017
      Reply

      I don’t like comparing players from too many years back. Remember, players have gotten bigger and faster over the years so to ask how they would fair in today’s game is not so easy to say. If given the same training today’s athletes, maybe… maybe not.

      Also remember Lester was big for a corner in his day, 235 lbs. Don’t forget he was a linebacker in college and converted to corner which make it even more remarkable. How many linebackers would you even think about converting to a corner?

  2. Rob
    August 8, 2017
    Reply

    Clark, do you think Ty Law will be elected in 2018? Do you think Champ Bailey is a first ballot hof?

    • August 8, 2017
      Reply

      Yes to both questions.

    • Jeff
      August 8, 2017
      Reply

      I always thought Bailey was somewhat overrated (thought he got burned a little too often when he played for Washington…he was past his prime, but he was kinda horrendous in the playoffs in 2012 and in the Super Bowl against Seattle). But, I could be wrong and can’t really argue with the accolades so I’d be surprised if he isn’t first-ballot. Of the others mentioned in the link, Charles Woodson is first-ballot material. I really like Ty Law and Ronde Barber but they might have to wait a long time unfortunately. Charles Tillman was underrated but don’t quite see him as HOF quality. Albert Lewis is interesting. I also see him as underrated but not so sure about HOF, but when you factor in the special teams play his case strengthens.

  3. Joseph Wright
    August 8, 2017
    Reply

    You can’t have Mike Haynes without Lester Hayes. He shuts down Art Monk on the biggest stage in football–the Super Bowl–and in other matchups, yet he’s on the outside of the Hall of Fame while Monk (he of the stat-padding 3-yard receptions) in in there? Madness.

    • August 8, 2017
      Reply

      I’m with you. If I were senior committee, I’d give Lester a l-o-o-o-n-n-n-g-g-g look.

      • Jeff
        August 8, 2017
        Reply

        In fairness, Art Monk averaged 13 yards a catch (not 3) with nearly 1000 of them and I think his election was overdue…but I agree that Hayes and Haynes shut the Redskins down that day and that Haynes was great. I’d be pleased to see him come up as a senior nominee (although as far as senior cornerbacks go, I’m more partial to Lemar Parrish). His career was rather brief if I recall, which probably hurts him, and he was criticized for stickum (a red herring, I think). I also wonder if he’s hurt by that old “we can’t elect the entire team to the Hall of Fame” sentiment.

  4. bachslunch
    August 9, 2017
    Reply

    If we’re talking Senior eligibles who just played CB, would put emphasis on these folks, for me in about this order:

    Lemar Parish (3/8/none)
    Bobby Boyd (4/2/60s)
    Abe Woodson (5/5/none)
    Lester Hayes (4/5/80s)
    Louis Wright (4/5/70s)

    Parish and Woodson were world-class KRs as well. Hybrid types (played a good bit at both CB and safety) would include, again in about this order:

    Dave Grayson (6/6/allAFL)
    Cornell Green (4/5/none)

    with Grayson also being a fine KR.

    Question: how come the folks who push hard for ex-Raiders never mention Grayson? One could argue that he’s the worst ex-Raider snub of them all.

  5. bachslunch
    August 9, 2017
    Reply

    My guess as to the next regularly eligible CB to get elected would be Ty Law (2/5/00s), especially as he’s already made the finals and reached the first cutdown to 10. No question Champ Bailey (6/12/00s) and Charles Woodson (4/9/00s) will get in quickly, perhaps first ballot depending on the competition. Ronde Barber (3/5/00s) probably will get in but wait a good while.

    Albert Lewis (2/4/none) is one of those folks who reportedly looks a lot better on film than his honors suggest (reportedly excelling in man coverage), plus he was a fine special teams player (blocked kicks, etc.). He’s probably going to fall into the Senior pool, though.

  6. P-diddy
    October 23, 2017
    Reply

    Lester Hayes, to me one of the biggest snub in HOF history. Listening to those in the known they will tell one of if not the greatest cover corner in the history of the game. And forget about the stick’um, I myself thought he went overboard with it BUT… it was legal. And, in 1980, the year stick’um was banned he had 13 interceptions during the regular season and added 5 more during the playoffs. I saw an interview with other defensive teammates of Lester’s talking about how he made the rest of the defense look better. They said they did not have to worry about whatever side of the field he was on and could roll their defense to the other side. And I’m old enough to recall other team coaches telling their QBs not to throw in Lester’s direction. As one said, “one of two things will happen throwing in Lester’s direction and neither one is good”… incomplete pass or interception. And I never will forget the post game interview of Gregg of Cleveland… reporters kept asking what’s wrong with Bernie Kosar… he kept saying nothing. Finally after going back and forth with question and in particular, “he did not play after he threw the interception (by Lester) in the first quarter… why”… coach said, “I told him if he threw the ball in Lester’s direction I was going to bench him… he threw the ball in Lester’s direction… I benched him.” If that does not profoundly state how much talent he and and he was feared by other teams nothing does. Put this man in the HOF where he belongs.

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