Offensive linemen tend to do their best work in a crowd. Fittingly then, Saturday five Hall of Fame worthy linemen will form the most crowded field of Hall of Fame nominees when the new class of inductees are voted on the day before Super Bowl LII.
Tony Boselli, Joe Jacoby, Alan Faneca, Steve Hutchinson and Kevin Mawae will be vying with 10 other modern era candidates for an optimum of five slots but in many ways they will be in a battle with each other. So which is most likely to emerge? Our Talk of Fame Network hosts Ron Borges, Rick Gosselin and Clark Judge have a combined 40 years as Hall of Fame voters. They understand how the process works and how the debate may go.
In today’s Talk of Fame Network podcast our Hall of Fame guys debate the credentials of each but first discuss a larger issue. Will the five of them cancel each other out? Will the vote be so splintered that none will be able to reach the final cut down or will several of them reach the final five?
Many consider left tackle the cornerstone of every offensive line because they protect the quarterback’s blindside. Two of the five, Boselli and Jacoby, played that position so well they were All-Decade selections. But each is facing a difficult circumstances.
Boselli had an injury-shortened career that many felt would preclude him ever becoming a Hall of Famer but with the election a year ago of Terrell Davis, whose career was also injury plagued, the door was opened. But will it let an offensive linemen in?
As for Jacoby, he is in the final year of eligibility. Will that lead voters to lean toward him?
And what of the others, guards Faneca and Hutchinson and center Mawae? Who do our three experts feel is the most deserving? And which is the most likely?
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