Let me start off by saying my picks will almost assuredly be different from the selection committee, because their selections are more of a popularity contest. If you do not believe me look at the men they have left out, guys like Robert Brazile, Eddie Meador, Joe Klecko, Ken Anderson and that is just to name a few. So let’s look at the Grueling Truth’s five hall of famers for the class of 2017.
1). LaDainian Tomlinson, running back: If Tomlinson is not a lock, he is the closest thing to it in this class. I don’t think this is an open and shut case with the voters, though. Since this class is absent of any other sure fire hall of famers, I believe that this is a no-brainer.Tomlinson is the NFL’s fifth all-time leading rusher, won a league MVP and is one of just three running backs (along with Matt Forte and Larry Centers) to ever post a 100-catch season. Not to mention, there aren’t any certifiable Hall of Fame running backs coming up whom voters must worry about cramming into the bust room. Tomlinson was an every down back that could put a team on his back and carry them to victory. I know he never even got to a Super Bowl much less won one, but a lot of running backs are in without rings.
2). Terrell Davis, running back: Forget the short-career argument. Davis has waited ten years to hear his name called, but this could be the year for the best-running back of the late-’90s. He is one of a minuscule group to gain 2,000-yards in a single season; he was a Super Bowl MVP and league MVP that should be enough to merit inclusion enough to merit inclusion. Davis was one of the most dominant running backs in NFL history, even if it was only for a short time, he was still one of the best that ever lived.
3). Kurt Warner, quarterback: We all know the underdog Cinderella story of Kurt Warner. But, Warner also owns a résumé that is tough for anyone to ignore: two MVPs, a Super Bowl MVP and leading the Cardinals to the big game in 2008. Leading the Cardinals to the Super Bowl is something no other QB can claim. Before the 2008 season, the Cardinals had won one playoff game the previous 60 years.
4). Terrell Owens, wide receiver: Owens should be a lock if you go by just his numbers. He’s second all-time in receiving yards and third in receiving touchdowns. Unfortunately for T.O., the Pro Football Hall of Fame doesn’t always simply boil down to numbers. Let’s face it T.O. rubbed a lot of people the wrong way, but that should not keep him from taking his rightful place in the Hall. He was one of the best to ever play his position.
5). Don Coryell, Coach: Coryell does not get the respect he deserves, he took a terrible Cardinals team and took them to the playoffs in back to back years. He then went to San Diego and turned the Chargers into a perennial contender. Coryell took the offense from a run-oriented game to a more pass oriented scheme. He took advantage of the rule changes the NFL implemented in the mid 70’s and took advantage of them by putting WR’s, RB’s and TE’s in motion which made them almost impossible to defend under the new rules. Coryell based his offense off the legendary hall of Fame coach Sid Gillman. Coryell never won a Super Bowl, but his innovations are still being used to this day.