The Pro Football Hall of Fame recently announced its finalists for 2023. In the list there are 3 first year eligible players and 15 modern era finalists overall. Lets take a deeper dive into the players and their history.
Class of 2023 Finalists
Freeney is one of the first year eligible players in this year’s class. The gifted pass rusher is almost certainly a first ballot hall of famer. You can find our detailed profile on him here. | Dwight Freeney Hall of Fame
Revis is another first year eligible player and has had a storied career. During his playing days, Revis was a lock down corner often referred to as “Revis Island”. He was one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL during his prime and was a pest for opposing receivers. Check out our detailed player profile on Revis here. | Darrelle Revis Hall of Fame
Thomas is the last first year eligible player in the list of finalists for 2023. The outstanding offensive tackle dominated many defensive linemen during his tenure with the Cleveland Browns. He is now a successful analyst for the NFL Network and would be a great in game analyst one day.
Hester is one of the best returners the NFL has ever seen. He was explosive with the ball in his hands and gave opposing defenders nightmares while in space. He was also a complementary wide receiver for the Bears during his time but was mainly the premier special teams ace. Does Devin Hester deserve to be in the Hall of Fame? It really depends on how important voters view special teams especially with the modern changes to the kickoff rules.
When you look a the stats it’s hard not to put Johnson up there with some of the greatest wide receivers of all time. He consistently was a problem for opposing cornerbacks with his route running ability. He wasn’t the fastest or the most athletic wide receiver we have seen but he had sure hands and rarely dropped a pass. Check out our detailed profile here on whether he will make it into the Hall of Fame. | Andre Johnson Hall of Fame
Holt was part of the “Greatest Show on Turf” and was a 7 time pro bowler. The speedster wide receiver caught 74 touchdowns during his career, was a first team All Pro and a Super Bowl champion. This is the 4th year that Holt is a finalist to get into the NFL Hall of Fame. Will this be the year he gets in? Personally I believe he should but in voters eyes he might not make the cut.
Ware is up for the 2nd time as a finalist. The big time Defensive End was a force to be reckoned with in his prime. He terrorized opposing NFC East quarterbacks with exceptional technique and strength. The former first round pick was a 9 time pro bowler and 3 time All Pro. It’s hard to ignore the stats with Ware and I think this is the year he gets in.
This will be the 4th time Wayne is a finalist for the Hall of Fame. While he was often overlooked due to the success of Marvin Harrison you can’t ignore the stats he put up. Wayne put up 100 career touchdowns during his career and I would argue he is just right behind Harrison as one of the top receivers of all time. Is this the year Reggie Wayne makes it in? Check out our player profile to find out more. | Reggie Wayne Hall of Fame
Woodson finally makes the list in his 15th year of Hall of Fame eligibility. The talented All Pro Safety played all 12 of his seasons for the Dallas Cowboys. The hard hitting Woodson was a 3 time Super Bowl champ and ended his career as the Cowboys all time leader in tackles. He was the total package at Safety with size, speed and the ability to quickly switch position to attack the ball. In my mind Darren Woodson should be in the Hall of Fame and this is the first step.
Arguably one of the hardest hitting Linebackers we have seen, Willis makes the list in his 4th year of eligibility. His career was cut short due to injury but he was no doubt one of the top linebackers in the league during his time. Along with his supreme tackling ability he had excellent lateral quickness that allowed him to close quickly on ball carriers. Willis may not make it in to the Hall of Fame due to his short career but there is no doubt the impact he had.
This is the 4th year Thomas has made it as an HOF finalist. Will this be the year he gets in? Thomas was an integral part of the Dolphins defense from 1996-2007. He was a bulldozer of a linebacker who was a 7 time Pro Bowler. He also tallied 17 interceptions during his career.
Lewis makes the cut as a first time finalist in his 20th year of eligibility. The talented cornerback may not be a household name to the modern football fan but he certainly had a worthy career. Although he may be a longshot to make the HOF its great to see him in as a finalist.
When you think of some of the best defensive backs in history it’s hard not to think of Barber. He is the all time leader amongst cornerbacks in sacks. He was a ball hawk with great instincts and could attack the ball with ease. I think Barber will soon make it into the Hall of Fame.
Anderson was a rock on the offensive line. The former 1st round pick was a key piece of the Cincinnati Bengals during his playing career. He is arguably one of the best right tackles we have seen in the NFL.
Allen was a beast on the defensive line. The charismatic defender hassled Quarterbacks in both the NFC and the AFC during his career. He was a 2 time sack leader and was first team All Pro 4 times. Allen played for 4 teams during his career and had an impact everywhere he went.
To go more in-depth on future Hall of Famers check out our Hall of Fame section here.