11.  Roger Craig
Roger Craig
A very strong case can be made to justify the induction of Roger Craig to the Football Hall of Fame.  This makes it all the more bizarre that the powerful Running Back had to wait ten years to even get nominated.

There could be no doubt that during his prime that Roger Craig was an integral part of every offensive play.  Craig initially was a fullback in the pro ranks, but it became clear that he was equally adept at carrying the ball as blocking for others.  In 1986 he became the first football player to both rush and catch for 1,000 yards each.  Opposing defenses feared his high knee running style and had to keep all eyes on Craig during every play.

He was a major part of three Super Bowl Championship teams.  Despite his groundbreaking style, Craig is often overlooked as he played on some of the most prolific offenses in football and critics have said he was the beneficiary of the great offensive stars (Montana & Rice) around him.  Regardless, Roger Craig was a brilliant weapon for the 49ers offense and though placing him into the Hall is very much open for debate, he should have received way more consideration than he has thus far.

The Bullet Points:

Country of Origin:
Davenport, Iowa, U.S.A.

Eligible Since:

Running Back/Fullback

Played for:
San Francisco 49ers
Los Angeles Raiders
Minnesota Vikings


2nd Round, 49th Overall in 1993

Major Accolades and Awards:
NFL Offensive Player of the Year (1988)
Pro Bowl Selections (4) (1985, 1987, 1988 & 1989)
First Team All Pro Selection (1) (1988)
Second Team All Pro Selection (1) (1985)
NFL 1980’s All Decade Team
Most Receptions (1) (1985)
Most Yards from Scrimmage (1) (1988)
Super Bowl Rings (3) (San Francisco 49ers, Super Bowl XIX, XXIII & XXIV)

Other Points of Note:
Top Ten Finishes: Rushing Yards (3) (1987, 1988 & 1999)
Top Ten Finishes: Rushing Touchdowns (2) (1985 & 1988)
Top Ten Finishes: Yards/Rushing Attempt (2) (1985 & 1988)
Top Ten Finishes: Rushing Yards/Game (1) (1988)
Top Ten Finishes: Receptions (4) (1985, 1986, 1987 & 1988)
Top Ten Finishes: Touchdowns (2) (1983 & 1985)
Top Ten Finishes: Yards from Scrimmage (5) (1985, 1986, 1987, 1988 & 1989)
Top Ten Finishes: All Purpose Yards (3) (1985, 1987 & 1988)

Notable All Time Rankings:
36. Rushing Yards: 8,189
44. Rushing Touchdowns: 56
35. Yards from Scrimmage: 13,100
71. Touchdowns: 73
51. All Purpose Yards: 13,143
72. Receptions: 566

Years Nominated for the Hall of Fame:
Finalist: 2010
Semi Finalist: 2009

Should Roger Craig be in the Hall of Fame?

(You must be registered and logged in to vote!)
Definitely put him in! - 46.7%
Maybe, but others deserve it first. - 26.7%
Probably not, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. - 20%
No opinion. - 0%
No way! - 6.7%
Last modified on Sunday, 08 March 2015 02:43


0 #5 cka2nd . 2015-08-10 17:18
Dan K., there have been all-purpose backs around for decades so I can't see how Roger Craig was "THE forerunner [emphasis added]" for guys like Thurman Thomas and Marshall Faulk anymore than Walter Payton was. In the 70's, besides Foreman you had Lydell Mitchell, Greg Pruitt and Terry Metcalf. In the 50's and 60's, the AFL had Abner Haynes and the NFL Frank Gifford (R.I.P.), Jim Brown and the incredible Lenny Moore, arguably the greatest dual threat in the history of the game. Craig was a very fine player, but he is at roughly the same level as Foreman, Mitchell, Pruitt and Haynes, just below that of Hall of Famers like Faulk, Brown and Moore.
0 #4 cka2nd . 2015-08-10 16:50
I'm sorry, but no. In reviewing the stats for Roger Craig's four Pro Bowl and/or All-Pro seasons and those for Chuck Foreman's five PB/AP seasons I find them pretty even:

Craig has an advantage in yards/rush, Foreman in yards/catch and yards per touch, i.e., combined rushes and receptions. Foreman has a clear advantage in touchdowns per run, reception, game and season while Craig had the better playoff stats, although not by an overwhelming margin.

I'm a Vikings fan but as much as I loved Chuck Foreman, I don't think either he or Roger Craig earned a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
+1 #3 Craig in Canton 2014-11-15 00:07
Lets get him in! We are working with #33 to get him inducted in Canton where he belongs. Follow our Facebook page and share!

+1 #2 Roger Craigin Canton 2014-11-15 00:05
We are working with #33 to get him inducted FINALLY! Share our Facebook page with your fans and followers!

+4 #1 Dan K. 2013-08-16 01:09
He has to get in, he was the first to have 1000 yards both rushing and receiving. He was the forerunner of the likes of Thurman Thomas and Marshall Faulk. Critics are wrong, he didn't benefit from playing with the other stars: He helped the team not to be one dimensional and he had a good SB performance in XIX, before Rice was drafter

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