Next year’s Pro Football Hall of Fame class is one that could go down in the record books as the strongest one in history. At the same time, the 2019 class looks like it could end up consisting entirely of defensive players after the nominees were announced on Thursday. While guys like tight end Tony Gonzalez and wide receiver Isaac Bruce are nominated, the defensive players in this group are coming through strong.
ESPN announced some of those that stood out of the crowd of 102 modern-era nominations for the class of 2019 for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Many of them have been nominated in their first eligible year, but it isn’t difficult to see why that is.
Looking at some of the offensive names first, it is difficult to think that Gonzalez won’t make it in on this go-round. He retired in 2013 after 17 seasons in the NFL and ended with 1,325 receptions which are just second to Jerry Rice over the course of a career.
Isaac Bruce spent 16 years in the NFL with the majority of those with the Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams. He ended his career with the San Francisco 49ers and a total of 1,024 receptions for 15,424 yards and 91 touchdowns.
BREAKING: The Modern-Era nominees for the Class of 2019 has been released. The list is comprised of 102 players and coaches. Among the group announced are four first-year eligible players. #PFHOF19— Pro Football Hall of Fame (@ProFootballHOF) September 13, 2018
Learn About the Nominees: https://t.co/fc0erpDwPM pic.twitter.com/1JVArkingF
When looking at the list of nominations, though, it’s hard to ignore the fact that there are so many great defensive players listed. As a fan, it’s incredible to think that so many watched many of these greats playing on the field at the same time and in the same era of football.
Champ Bailey spent 15 seasons in the NFL with the Washington Redskins and Denver Broncos before retiring. He ended his career with more than 800 tackles, 52 interceptions, and four defensive touchdowns.
Ed Reed made his way around the league as well, but he always brought pure talent, brute strength, and an energetic smile to each locker room. No one can deny that he deserves this nomination and a spot in the Hall of Fame one day, especially with five All-Pro selections and a 2004 Defensive Player of the Year award under his name.
Other nominations include:
- London Fletcher
- Ty Law
- John Lynch
- Kevin Mawae
- Rod Smith
- Steve Hutchinson
- Alan Faneca
- Tony Boselli
- Edgerrin James
- Steve Atwater
This is going to be a very hard class to narrow down, but fans can be sure that the 2019 selections for the Pro Football Hall of Fame will be deserving. Ed Reed, Edgerrin James, Tony Gonzalez, and London Fletcher would all make one great class, but will they make it in this round? Offensive players are overly valuable in the NFL, but as the decades-old saying goes, it’s defense that wins championships.