Bledsoe had a career worthy of being the No. 1 overall pick, but likely not Canton worthy. In nine seasons in New England, he led the Patriots from the bottom of the AFC East to perennial playoff contention. He made four Pro Bowls, threw for 44,611 yards and was part of the Patriots' first Super Bowl-winning team in 2001.
2 of 11Al Tielemans/SI
The bright side of Barber's failed comeback this year is he gets on the ballot after a durable career. Barber made three Pro Bowls and rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of his last five seasons after splitting carries with the likes of Tyrone Wheatley, Gary Brown and Ron Dayne early in his career. He finished with 10,449 career rushing yards, 22nd all-time between Jamal Lewis and Eddie George. Barber is very unlikely to make the Hall in his first year, and if he never makes it, chalk it up to a lack of longevity in the elite class of backs.
3 of 11Al Tielemans/John Biever/SI
Davis put up an extremely successful career for a fourth-round fullback. In 1999, he was finally bestowed bell-cow status by the Redskins, and he thrived. Davis ran for 1,405 yards and a league-high 17 scores. He tacked on three more 1,000-yard seasons before injuries cut down his career in Carolina. Davis finished with 8,502 career rushing yards, currently 41st all time.
4 of 11Walter Iooss Jr./SI
Considering neither Cris Carter nor Tim Brown made the Hall of Fame last year, Keyshawn may have a long (if not interminable) wait. The No. 1 overall pick out of USC, "Just Give Me the Damn Ball" described his talented yet tempestuous career. Johnson won the 2002 Super Bowl with the Bucs and was essentially kicked off the team a year later. He had four 1,000-yard receiving seasons and made three Pro Bowls. His career stats -- 814 catches, 10,571 yards, 64 TDs -- were a tier below the best of his generation.
5 of 11Robert Beck/SI
Smith's career was much quieter and a tad more productive in comparison to Keyshawn's. He went undrafted out of Missouri Southern State in 1994. Smith latched on with the Broncos a year later and developed a quick rapport with John Elway. His first career catch was a game-winning touchdown. He teamed with Ed McCaffrey as Elway's go-to receivers for two Super Bowls, notched eight 1,000-yard seasons and made three Pro Bowls. Smith was a consummate pro but perhaps not electrifying enough for the Hall.
6 of 11Robert Beck/SI
If any player from this group is enshrined in their first year, it ought to be Shields. He was a nine-time All-Pro, made 12 straight Pro Bowls and was named to the All-Decade team of the 2000s despite not playing the final three seasons. Shields didn't start his first game, but after that made 231 straight starts (including playoffs) to finish his career. He blocked for Joe Montana, Marcus Allen, Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson. Only Bruce Matthews has more Pro Bowl appearances for an offensive lineman with 14.
7 of 11Michael J. LeBrecht II/Bill Frakes/SI
Vincent's career as a cornerback is well-documented. He made five straight Pro Bowls for the Eagles from 1999-2003 and had 47 career interceptions. But his impact was profound off the field as an NFLPA President and Man of the Year award winner multiple times over. His enshrinement chances are not great, but Vincent played a major role in shaping today's league.
8 of 11Damian Strohmeyer/Bob Rosato/SI
The only man inducted solely as a kicker has been Jan Stenerud. Vanderjagt will not be the second, though his career was much more sterling than his reputation may suggest. For all his pressurized misses that drove Peyton Manning nuts, Vanderjagt retired as the most accurate field-goal kicker in NFL history at 86.47 percent. He also was a part of two Grey Cup winners and an ArenaBowl title team before joining the Colts.
9 of 11John Biever/Al Tielemans/SI
Rumblings swell every season about Cowher's potential return to the league. He's a popular commodity for a reason. Cowher succeeded Hall of Famer Chuck Noll at the Steelers' helm and kept their tradition thriving over 15 seasons with a ferocity befitting Pittsburgh. Cowher took his team to the Super Bowl in 1995 and, 10 years later, lifted the Lombardi Trophy. Cowher's career record is 149-90-1, a winning percentage better than Hall members Bud Grant, Joe Gibbs and Bill Walsh, among others.
10 of 11Jerry Wachter/SI
The Big Tuna made his presence known across football, coaching three franchises to conference championship games in a career that included three separate retirements as well as plenty of front-office duties. His best years were with the Giants, highlighted by Super Bowl wins in 1986 and 1990. The best reflection of Parcells' Hall-worthy talents may be seen in his rub off on the likes of Bill Belichick, Tom Coughlin and Sean Payton.
11 of 11Bill Frakes/SI
Schottenheimer doesn't have the rings that Parcells does. His coaching career finished with playoff flops in San Diego and a 5-13 career postseason coaching mark. Still, he finished 200-126-1 (a winning percentage better than Parcells) with the sixth-most wins in NFL history and eight division titles. That counts for plenty, and it could just count enough for a spot in Canton.
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