This is who I think should be put in the Hall of Fame for the class of 2010. Every year, the Hall of Fame puts 4-8 finalists in a group and they are inducted into the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Out of the 25 semifinalists, these are the 8 players that I think most deserve to be put in the Hall of Fame.
1. Jerry Rice - The 6'2"/200 wide receiver out of Mississippi Valley State spent 20 glorious seasons in the NFL and made 13 Pro Bowls. He was drafted in the 1st round of the 1985 NFL draft 16th overall by the 49ers. He spent 16 years with San Francisco (1985-2000), 4 years with the Oakland Raiders (2001-2004), and spent partial time with the Seahawks in 2004. In this time, he became the most prolific receiver of all time. He caught 1549 passes for 22,895 yards and scored 197 TD's through the air and 11 otherwise for a total of 208 TD's. He is also a 4-time Super Bowl champion and MVP of SB 23. He owns several NFL records, as well. All this should earn him enshrinement into the Hall of Fame.
2. Emmitt Smith - The 5'9"/210 running back out of Florida spent 15 seasons in the NFL and made 8 Pro Bowls. He was drafted in the 1st round of the 1990 NFL draft 17th overall by the Cowboys. He spent 13 years with the Cowboys (1990-2002) and 2 seasons with the Cardinals (2003-2004). During that time, he became the all time leading rusher in the NFL. He ran the ball 4409 times for 18,355 yards and 164 TD's. He caught 515 passes for 3224 yards and 11 TD's for a total of 175 TD's. He was also a 3 time Super Bowl champion and MVP of SB 28. This should guarantee him enshrinement into the Hall of Fame.
3. Roger Craig - The 6'0"/222 running back out of Nebraska spent 11 seasons in the NFL and made 4 Pro Bowls. He was drafted in the 2nd round of the 1983 NFL draft 49th overall by the 49ers. He spent 8 years with the 49ers (1983-1990), 1 year with the Raiders (1991), and 2 years with the Vikings (1993-1993). In this time, he put up average numbers, but was a much better player than what his statistics tell you. He ran the ball 1991 times for 8189 yards and 56 TD' while catching 566 passes for 4911 yards and 17 TD's for a total of 73 TDs. He was also a 3-time Super Bowl champion. His greatest season was in 1985 when he ran for 1050 yards and 9 TD's and caught 92 passes for 1016 yards and 6 TD's. He has waited long enough for enshrinement, and this is the year that it should happen.
4. Shannon Sharpe - The 6'2"/228 tight end out of Savannah State spent 14 seasons in the NFL and made 8 Pro Bowls. He was drafted in the 7th round of the 1990 NFL draft 192nd overall by the Broncos. He spent 12 seasons with the Broncos (1990-1999) (2002-2003) and 2 seasons with the Ravens (2000-2001). In this time, he put up wonderful numbers, catching 815 passes for 10,060 yards and 62 TD's. He was also a 3-time Super Bowl champion (2 with Broncos 1 with Ravens). At the time of his retirement, he was the all-time leading tight end. 1 year was long enough to wait to enshrine Shannon and now is the time.
5. Richard Dent - The 6'5" 266 defensive end out of Tennessee State spent 15 seasons in the NFL and made 4 Pro Bowls. He was drafted in the 8th round of the 1983 NFL draft 203rd overall by the Bears. He spent 12 years with the Bears (1983-1993, 1995), 1 year with the 49ers (1994), 1 year with the Colts (1996), and 1 year with the Eagles (1997). He had good statistics: 137.5 sacks, 8 interceptions, and 671 tackles. He was the Defensive Player of the Year in 1985. He was a 1-time Super Bowl champion and was MVP of SB 20. Dent should have been inducted long ago, but this should be the year that he finally gets inducted.
6. Kevin Greene - The 6'3"/247 outside linebacker/defensive end out of Auburn spent 15 seasons in the NFL and made 5 Pro Bowls. He was drafted in the 5th round of the 1985 NFL draft 113th overall by the Rams. He spent 8 years with the Rams (1985-1992), 3 years with the Steelers (1993-1995), 3 years with the Panthers (1996, 1998-1999), and 1 year with the 49ers (1997). In this time, he became a dominant player with dominant numbers. He had 160 sacks (3rd all time), 5 interceptions, and 669 tackles. He has waited long enough for this, and he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.
7. Lester Hayes - The 6'0"/200 cornerback out of Texas A&M spent 10 seasons in the NFL and made 5 Pro Bowls. He was drafted in the 5th round of the 1977 NFL draft 126th overall by the Raiders. He spent all 10 of his seasons with the Raiders (1977-1986). He had good statistics, with 39 interceptions, and 4 TD's. He was Defensive Player of the Year in 1980, and deserves enshrinement into the Hall of Fame.
8. Dick LeBeau - The 6'1"/185 cornerback out of Ohio State spent 14 seasons in the NFL and made 3 Pro Bowls. He was drafted in the 5th round of the 1959 NFL draft 58th overall by the Browns. Despite being drafted by the Browns, he spent his entire 14 seasons in Detroit. He had great statistics: he had 62 interceptions, and scored 4 TD's. If this is not enough to get him in the Hall of Fame, then look at his 36 year (and counting) coaching career. He has been the defensive coordinator of 2 Super Bowl winning teams: the 2005 and 2008 Steelers. This astonishing NFL career of Dick LeBeau should have been inducted long ago and this is surely, finally the year that he is inducted into Canton.
Those were the players that I think should be inducted into the pro football Hall of Fame. Please tell me your opinions.