Days before the 2022 NFL Season is set to commence, we are pleased to unveil our Hall of Fame monitor of active players, ranked 1 through 150, and categorized by position.
This is the third year we have done this, and it is a fun task for us to follow the rises and falls of players as they make their way towards immortality, or in some cases, infamy.
Our Football Hall of Fame monitor for football looks at the following criteria:
The biggest factor we look at is how each active player measures up to the last five players at their position who were chosen. To reflect the modern era and how stats have changed, Senior Inductees will not be considered as part of the last five inductees. To keep everything simple, we are looking at Pro Bowl Selections, First Team All-Pro Selections, traditional statistics, games played, and approximate value.
Obviously, there are other intangibles, such as playoff success, content of character etc. and we have adjusted where we think necessary due to those considerations.
While we don’t see this as a perfect system, these are the points that people make when determining whether or not someone is a Pro Football Hall of Famer, it does put forth a good baseline for us to work with.
The entire section can be found here, but here is a basic look at the list by position.
We start off with the Quarterbacks, which is the only position that has seen passing yards and Touchdown Passes rise so much ever over the last generation, that we have active pivots with better numbers than legends who played into the 2000s (See Ryan, Matt).
The Quarterbacks Section can be found here, but here is a quick look at the future candidates.
There are currently 19 Quarterbacks ranked, with no change in the two top spots with future first ballot HOF entrants, Tom Brady (#1) and Aaron Rodgers (#2). Russell Wilson, who takes on his new challenge with the Denver Broncos, enters the top ten, with the #10 spot. Others in the top 25 are new Indianapolis Colts, Matt Ryan (#13), Cam Newton (#17), and Patrick Mahomes of Kansas City (#21).
Ryan has been at #13 for the third straight year, and Newton is a Free Agent. Both are former MVPs, both lost in the Super Bowl, and both have impressive numbers; Ryan in Passing Yards and Newton with his rushing numbers. Mahomes breaks the top 25 for the first time, and should climb at least five spots when we do this again next year.
Other notable notes from the QB section are Matthew Stafford’s rise (#59 to #37), and Josh Allen making his top 100 debut (#98).
The Running Backs Section can be found here, but here is a quick look at the future candidates.
Adrian Peterson is still ranked, as he has not yet retired, so let’s address one aspect of this list that might be confusing. We know in the NFL, most players, including stars, rarely have farewell tours and they often retire a year or two (sometimes more) often when NFL teams stop calling them. We have seen in the past players on this list (including Peterson), begin the year as a FA, only to see action during the year, so this is why AP is here (at #4), but this is not the most interesting fact about the RBs to us.
Frank Gore’s official retirement took him off of the list, and with Peterson not on a roster, the player with the most Rushing Yards who appears on a roster is Mark Ingram (7,878). When was the last time that there was not an active 10,000 Yard Rusher in the NFL?
This trickles down the list, as following Peterson, it takes until #33 for another RB, Alvin Kamara appears, and with Ezekiel Elliott at #47, there are only three rushers in the top 50. There are 15 in total on the list, and a lot of potent young Running Backs who will rocket up this list if they are healthy.
The Wide Receivers Section can be found here, but here is a quick look at the future candidates.
Like we saw in Running Backs, the top WR is a Free Agent, Antonio Brown, at #8, but there is a toxic stench around him, and we easily could have place him in our futures section instead. Right behind him is Julio Jones at #9, giving s two Wide Receivers in the to 10. There are 22 at this position on the list, with nine in the top 50.
Notably, Cooper Kupp, who had one of the best seasons by a WR ever, is the highest debut overall on this year’s list at #67.
The Tight Ends Section can be found here, but here is a quick look at the future candidates.
There are only four Tight Ends on this list, the highest being Travis Kelce, who shot up to #12. As long as Rob Gronkowski stays retired, Kelce will remain the top ranked TE.
The Offensive Linemen Section can be found here, but here is a quick look at the future candidates.
There are only 21 on the O-Line who are ranked, but four are in the top 20, with them all between 11 and 20; Zack Martin (#11), Jason Peters (#14), Tyron Smith (#16) and Trent Williams (#20) holding those spots. This is the first time that Martin is the top Lineman, overtaking Peters, who is currently a Free Agent.
The Defensive Linemen Section can be found here, but here is a quick look at the future candidates.
The top Defensive Lineman, and top defensive player is Aaron Donald, who holds he #3 overall spot, and will not be supplanted until he retires. How he is not a bigger name with all of his accomplishments and transcendent figure is behind us. He was ranked #5 last year.
The top ten also includes multi-time DPOY, J.J. Watt, who at #5, gives this group two top five players, the same as Quarterback. The lower portion of the top 25 has Free Agent, Geno Atkins (#22), Ndamukong Suk (#23) and Cameron Jordan, who at #25, is making a push that we did not see coming three years ago.
There are 23 players in this group on the top 150, which also includes a rising Joey Bosa, who at #60, we expect to make a jump to make the top 40 on the next list.
The Linebackers Section can be found here, but here is a quick look at the future candidates.
The highest ranked Linebacker is Bobby Wagner at #6, and like it is with Russell Wilson, it will be surreal to witness Wagner in a uniform that is not a Seattle one. Wagner overtook Von Miller (#7) as the top Linebacker, and it is not impossible for Wagner, who is now with Buffalo, to reclaim the top LB spot.
Notably, Khalil Mack, the third highest Linebacker is also with a new team, and the now-Charger is also in the top twenty for the first time with his #19 spot. The biggest jump was T.J. Watt, who jumped from #68 to #24, and we could see the reigning Defensive Player of the Year repeat in 2022.
There are 19 Linebackers overall, with many of them as showing potential to eventual make the top ten.
The Cornerbacks Section can be found here, but here is a quick look at the future candidates.
You have to go to #15 until we have our first candidate, Patrick Peterson at #15, and while we know Richard Sherman’s career seems to be over based on his current gig, he openly said he could come back, and as such, he remains on the list. He is the second highest Corner, and is #18 overall.
Overall, there are 14 Cornerbacks, but only three in the top fifty, with Jalen Ramsey holding the honor as the third, though only one of the three who has a bona fide shot at earning First Team All-Pro honors.
The Safeties Section can be found here, but here is a quick look at the future candidates.
Earl Thomas is the highest ranked Safety at #21, but like we have seen earlier with other top men at their position, Thomas is unemployed going into 2022, and we don’t see that changing. We expect that we will move him to the futures next year.
There are ten Safeties overall who are ranked, but only Thomas is in the top 25. It could be a half-decade or more before we have a serious Canton contender.
The Special Teams Section can be found here, but here is a quick look at the future candidates.
Please note that is comprises Place Kickers, Punters and all other Special Teams players. There are six on this list, with Baltimore’s Justin Tucker holding the top spot at #29. Ten-time Pro Bowl Selection, Matthew Slater, is also in a good spot at #34.
As always, we look forward to your feedback, and thank you for your support!