Ray Lewis heads list of 108 for Hall of Fame’s Class of 2018


Ray Lewis photo courtesy of Baltimore Ravens

Eleven first-year players, including linebacker Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher, are among the 108 modern-era candidates for the Pro Football’s Hall of Fame Class of 2018.

Lewis, a 2000s’ first-team all-decade choice and two-time Super Bowl champion, is the most eligible of the first-year class — and the most likely to be a first-ballot choice. But not far behind are wide receiver Randy Moss and linebacker Brian Urlacher, also first-team all-decade selections.

All-decade choices Steve Hutchinson and Ronde Barber are also included.

The list consists of 53 offensive players, 38 on defense, five special teamers and 12 coaches, and will be reduced to 25 in November … and, from there, to 15 in January.

Eighteen finalists will be presented to the 48-member Hall-of-Fame committee at its selection meeting Feb. 3, the day prior to Super Bowl LII – with the list including 15 modern-era candidates, senior finalists Robert Brazile and Jerry Kramer and contributor finalist Bobby Beathard.

The senior and contributor finalists are voted with a simple “yes” or “no” for election and must receive at least 80 percent support of the committee. The modern-era finalists will be trimmed from 15 to 10 … and then from 10 to five. The remaining five finalists will be approved with a simply “yes” or “no” on each candidate, with 80 percent approval required.

THE CLASS OF 2018 CANDIDATES

QUARTERBACKS (5) – Randall Cunningham, Rich Gannon, Donovan McNabb, Steve McNair, Phil Simms.

RUNNING BACKS (10) – Tiki Barber, Earnest Byner, Roger Craig, Corey Dillon, Eddie George, Edgerrin James, Lorenzo Neal, Fred Taylor, Herschel Walker, Ricky Watters.

WIDE RECEIVERS (13) – Isaac Bruce, Donald Driver, Henry Ellard, Torry Holt, Chad Johnson, Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Sterling Sharpe, Jimmy Smith, Rod Smith, Steve Smith, John Taylor, Hines Ward.

TIGHT ENDS (4) – Mark Bavaro, Ben Coates, Ferrell Edmunds, Jay Novacek.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (21) – Willie Anderson, Matt Birk, Tony Boselli, Lomas Brown, Ruben Brown, Ray Donaldson, Alan Faneca, Bill Fralic, Jay Hilgenberg, Chris Hinton, Kent Hull, Steve Hutchinson, Joe Jacoby, Mike Kenn Kevin Mawae, Tom Nalen, Nate Newton, Bart Oates, Jeff Saturday, Richmond Webb, Steve Wisniewski.

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (11) – La’Roi Glover, Leonard Marshall, Keith Millard, Leslie O’Neal, Michael Dean Perry, Simeon Rice, Richard Seymour, Neil Sith, Greg Townsend, Kyle Vanden Bosch, Bryant Young.

LINEBACKERS (15) – Carl Banks, Cornelius Bennett, Tedy Brucshi, Seth Joyner, Ray Lewis, Greg Lloyd, Wilber Marshall, Clay Matthews, Willie McGinest, Karl Mecklenburg, Sam Mills, Joey Porter, Darryl Talley, Zach Thomas, Brian Urlacher.

DEFENSIVE BACKS (12) – Eric Allen, Steve Atwater, Ronde Barber, LeRoy Butler, Brian Dawkins, Rodney Harrison, Ty Law, Albert Lewis, John Lynch, Dennis Smith, Everson Walls, Darren Woodson.

KICKERS/PUNTERS (3) – Gary Anderson, Sean Landeta, Nick Lowery.

SPECIAL TEAMS (2) – Brian Mitchell, Steve Tasker.

COACHES (12) – Don Coryell, Bill Cowher, Tom Flores, Mike Holmgren, Jimmy Johnson, Chuck Knox, Buddy Parker, Richie Petitbon, Dan Reeves, Marty Schottenheimer, Clark Shaughnessy, Dick Vermeil.

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10 Comments

  1. Sports Fan
    September 12, 2017
    Reply

    TOM FLORES!

  2. bachslunch
    September 12, 2017
    Reply

    Steve Smith isn’t eligible yet. He just retired last year. Doesn’t belong on the list.

    • September 12, 2017
      Reply

      Wrong Steve Smith. Thought the same. But there were two Steve Smiths, one of whom played with Giants.

      • Jeff
        September 12, 2017
        Reply

        And how on Earth did a guy with barely 2500 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns in his career get nominated? (also, the fan voting list on NFL.com is using a photo of THE Steve Smith in Ravens uniform)

        • bachslunch
          September 13, 2017
          Reply

          Agreed here. Had forgotten all about the NYG Steve Smith. And as was rightly pointed out at another website, why him and not Irving Fryar, Derrick Mason, Muhsin Muhammad, or Keenan McCardell? Not that I’d push for any of these folks for the HoF either, but still.

          • September 13, 2017

            Agree with both of you. Someone must have nominated him. Bad idea. First time I saw the name I thought they have the wrong guy. He’s not eligible. So was going to call Hall. Then remembered there were two Steve Smiths. Still should call the Hall and ask why on earth …

        • September 13, 2017
          Reply

          Now that’s a good question. Have no idea. Shouldn’t be on here.

  3. 1976 Pitt Panthers
    September 12, 2017
    Reply

    Don’t know why Herschel Walker is on any HOF list, he had a disappointing NFL career.

    • bachslunch
      September 13, 2017
      Reply

      Walker’s best argument is as an all purpose back: rushing, receiving, kick returning. He still ranks 11th all time in all-purpose yards.

  4. bachslunch
    September 13, 2017
    Reply

    Looks like fewer bad omissions than previously. Even Richmond Webb finally got this far.

    The biggest issues other than the WR one (Taylor/NYGSSmith instead of Fryar/Mason/Muhammad/McCardell) are probably the omissions of Ray Childress and Pat Swilling. But at least it’s nowhere near as bad as the times Cortez Kennedy and Randall McDaniel somehow were left off, which did happen once each for them.

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