The Hall of Fame Class of 2018 is one of the best groups ever. Ray Lewis, Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Brian Dawkins and Brian Urlacher were the top guys entering this year. Before I get started, the reason Urlacher isn’t on the picture is for one reason and one reason only, I’m an EAGLES FAN!!!! Brian Dawkins has been one of my favorite players EVER and I’ll always show him love. These five guys brought something different to the table that made them great. These five guys are joined by Bobby Beathard, Robert Brazile and Jerry Kramer.
Dawkins was drafted out of Clemson in 1996 in the Second Round to the Philadelphia Eagles. Immediately, he made an impact and was named to his first Pro Bowl in 1999. He helped guide the Eagles to eight playoff appearances, a Super Bowl and four NFC Championship Games. Dawkins was voted to the NFL All-Decade Team of the 2000s and named to First All-Pro on five occasions. With Brian Dawkins, it wasn’t all about the numbers, but his toughness he always showed. You can tell he was the heart and soul of the defense as his play rubbed off on everyone. Dawkins is the first player in NFL history to record a sack, interception, fumble recovery and touchdown catch in same game (vs. Houston Texans, Sept. 29, 2002). Owner Jeffery Lurie thought so much about him, he even rewarded him a Super Bowl ring also.
Lewis was drafted out of the U in 1996 in the First Round to the expansion Baltimore Ravens. Many have called Ray Lewis one of, if not the greatest LB to ever play the game. Ray Lewis is known for his hard-hitting ability and instilled fear in anyone crossing the middle of the field. Lewis led the Ravens to four AFC Championship games and two Super Bowls, winning both of them. Lewis was named Most Valuable Player honors in Ravens’ 34-7 victory over Giants in Super Bowl XXXV after recording three tackles, two assists and four passes defensed. Doing that he became the second player in league history to earn NFL Defensive Player of the Year and Super Bowl MVP in same season. Named All-Pro eight times, Pro Bowl 12 times and NFL All-Decade Team for the 2000s. First player in NFL history with 40 sacks and 30 interceptions in a career.
Moss was drafted out of Marshall in 1998 in the First Round by the Minnesota Vikings. During the NFL Draft process, he was by far the best athlete in the draft, but his character was the issue. Moss was the NFL Rookie of the Year with over 1300 yards receiving and 17 TDs. For his size, Moss was one of the fastest and most explosive players to ever play the game. Randy Moss is so good, many people think he’s better than the original GOAT, Jerry Rice. Led the NFL in receiving TDs five times, All-Pro honors four, Pro Bowl six times and member of the All-Decade Team for the 2000s. Moss set an NFL record with 23 touchdown receptions in his first season with Patriots in 2007. Moss finished his career with 982 catches for 15,292 yards and 156 TDs. For me, he’s the 2nd or 3rd greatest WR.
Owens was drafted out of Tennessee-Chattanooga in 1996 in the 3rd round by the San Francisco 49ers. What can I say about T.O. that hasn’t been said? No matter what you thought about him, Owens always went hard on the field. As a member of my Philadelphia Eagles, he came back from a broken leg to almost lead us to a championship. His numbers are astounding as he finished with 1,078 catches for 15,934 yards, 14.8 yards per catch and 153 TDs. Proud member of the NFL All-Decade Team for the 2000s, six Pro Bowl selections, and named All-Pro five times. Led the NFL in TD catches three times, yardage total ranks second all-time and TD reception total is third most in NFL history. While in San Francisco he made the catch from Steve Young, which catapulted his career to eventually a Hall of Famer.
Urlacher was drafted out of New Mexico in the 1st round by the Chicago Bears with the 9th pick. In his rookie season, he registered 8 sacks and 2 INTs on his way to be named Defensive Rookie of the Year. Led the dominate 2005 Bears and it made him the Defensive Player of the Year. Brian Urlacher followed the great LBs in Chicago Bear history like Dick Butkus and Mike Singletary. Urlacher was a member of the NFL All-Decade Team for the 2000s, 8-time Pro Bowler and All-Pro five times. Urlacher is the all-time leader in tackles for the Bears as he led them in tackles eight times. Urlacher finished his career with 41.5 sacks, 22 INTs and 5 INTs, which included a receiving TD.
What do you think about the NFL Hall of Fame Class of 2018? What are your fondest memories of these guys? Leave a comment below about any of these All-Time Greats.