Sports

People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame 

Blake Edwards
Originally by
Updated March 1, 2020 84k votes 4.7k voters 35.8k views 350 items

List Rules Only include professional football players, coaches, & team owners who have NOT yet been inducted in the Hall of Fame

People who should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame include those talented and legendary NFL players, coaches, owners and other team members who have been snubbed for induction in the hall. Be it from a competitive induction class, off-field issues or just a lack of love from the voters, these men are all deserving of that bronze statue in Canton, Ohio, but as of 2013, have yet to receive that honor.

For a great many of these NFL greats, enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame hasn't happened yet, but likely will as the years pass on. Many times a legendary player, coach or owner will be nominated for induction multiple times before they are selected. Michael Strahan, Charles Haley, Jerome Bettis and Andre Reed are all players who fall into that category. They've each received nominations and were even selected as finalists but were not inducted through 2013.

Other NFL players, owners and coaches never received a single nomination or were voted as a finalist several times before dropping out of contention completely. These include many of the greatest football players of all time such as quarterback Ken Anderson, running backs Terrell Davis, Larry Brown and Tiki Barber, and even legendary punter Ray Guy, who despite being called the greatest punter to ever play the game and earning a finalist nod seven times, has yet to be inducted.

But this list is not just limited to star players who were snubbed by the Pro Football Hall of Fame. There's many coaches, owners and other prominent figures deserving of enshrinement. Robert Kraft, Art Modell, Edward DeBartolo, Jr. and even Paul Tagliabue all changed the game of football in one way or another yet they've not so far seen their bust in Canton.

While we can hope that many of these fine men are inducted in future classes, if history serves right, there will always be mistakes and those overlooked. On the other hand, there are also plenty of undeserving members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame too to balance things out, though not for the better.
list ordered by
1
Ed Jones is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame
bojanthebest added Age: 68

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Jackson, Tennessee, United States of America

Teams: Dallas Cowboys, Tennessee State Tigers football

More Ed Jones 

#143 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #8 of 80 The Best NFL Player Nicknames #46 of 542 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History

2
Steve Atwater is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame
JamesOuellette added Age: 53

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois

Teams: Denver Broncos, New York Jets, Arkansas Razorbacks football

More Steve Atwater 

#109 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #33 of 542 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History #7 of 107 The Best Denver Broncos of All Time

3
Jim Marshall is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame
MoJoVo16 added Age: 82

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Danville, Kentucky

More Jim Marshall 

#179 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #57 of 542 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History #43 of 87 The Best Ohio State Buckeyes of All Time

4
Sterling Sharpe is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame
willyboymcoy added Age: 54

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States of America

Teams: Green Bay Packers, South Carolina Gamecocks football

1965

More Sterling Sharpe 

#108 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #9 of 248 The Best Wide Receivers of All Time #11 of 26 NFL Players Whose Careers Ended Too Soon

5
Adam Vinatieri is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame
shaneomac123 added Age: 47

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Yankton, South Dakota, United States of America

More Adam Vinatieri 

#139 of 147 The Greatest Chicago Bears of All Time #81 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #4 of 17 The Most Clutch Athletes in Sports Today

6
Marvin Harrison is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame
WineSippingCowboy added Age: 47

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Teams: Indianapolis Colts, Syracuse Orange football

More Marvin Harrison 

#87 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #11 of 248 The Best Wide Receivers of All Time #23 of 59 The Best College Football Wide Receivers of All Time

7
Roger Craig is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame
Age: 59

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Davenport, Iowa, United States of America

Teams: San Francisco 49ers, Minnesota Vikings

8
Ray Lewis is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame
voting closed at #12 Matthew Plowman added Age: 44

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Bartow, Florida, United States of America

Teams: Baltimore Ravens

Inducted in 2018

More Ray Lewis 

#1,269 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #12 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #43 of 80 The Best NFL Player Nicknames

9
L. C. Greenwood is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame
L. C. Greenwood Dec. at 67 (1946-2013)

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Canton, Mississippi

10
Jack Tatum is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame
Dec. at 62 (1948-2010)

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Cherryville, North Carolina

Teams: Oakland Raiders, Ohio State Buckeyes football, Houston Oilers

More Jack Tatum 

#165 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #13 of 80 The Best NFL Player Nicknames #49 of 542 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History

11
Isaac Bruce is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame
WineSippingCowboy added Age: 47

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Teams: San Francisco 49ers, St. Louis Rams, Memphis Tigers football

More Isaac Bruce 

#1,755 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #158 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #24 of 248 The Best Wide Receivers of All Time

12
Lester Hayes is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame
Lester Hayes Age: 64

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Houston, Texas

Teams: Oakland Raiders, Texas A&M Aggies football

More Lester Hayes 

#236 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #56 of 542 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History #14 of 72 The Best Texas A&M Football Players of All Time

13
Cliff Branch is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame
willyboymcoy added Cliff Branch Age: 71

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States of America

More Cliff Branch 

#299 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #43 of 248 The Best Wide Receivers of All Time #22 of 36 The Best NFL Wide Receivers of the '80s

14
Randall Cunningham is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame
Age: 56

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Santa Barbara, California, United States of America

Teams: Dallas Cowboys, Baltimore Ravens, Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, UNLV Rebels football

More Randall Cunningham 

#31 of 257 The Best Quarterbacks Of All Time #125 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #14 of 92 The Most Overlooked Quarterbacks of All Time

15
Alex Karras is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame
bojanthebest added Dec. at 77 (1935-2012)

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Gary, Indiana, United States of America

More Alex Karras 

#232 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #102 of 542 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History #12 of 124 The Best Detroit Lions of All Time

16
Ken Anderson is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame
Age: 70

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Batavia, Illinois

Teams: Cincinnati Bengals

More Ken Anderson 

#79 of 257 The Best Quarterbacks Of All Time #273 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #7 of 92 The Most Overlooked Quarterbacks of All Time

17
Peyton Manning is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame
AlanNadeau added Age: 43

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America

Teams: Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts

More Peyton Manning 

#132 of 274 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World #208 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Timelisted on Athletes You Didn't Know Were Conservative

18
Jim Plunkett is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame
Age: 72

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: San Jose, California, United States of America

Teams: New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders, Stanford Cardinal football

More Jim Plunkett 

#1,678 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #29 of 257 The Best Quarterbacks Of All Time #224 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever

19
Steve Sabol is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame
willyboymcoy added Steve Sabol
20
Brian Dawkins is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame
voting closed at #21 Matthew Plowman added Age: 46

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Jacksonville, Florida, United States of America

Teams: Denver Broncos, Philadelphia Eagles, Clemson Tigers football

Inducted in 2018

More Brian Dawkins 

#836 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #85 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #38 of 542 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History

21
Ty Law is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame
voting closed at #25 HUT_Players_69 added Age: 45

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, United States of America

Teams: New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, New York Jets

Inducted in 2019

More Ty Law 

#176 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #91 of 542 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History #4 of 91 The Best Michigan Football Players of All Time

22
Don Coryell is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame
camille-bendle added Dec. at 86 (1924-2010)

Birthplace: Seattle, Washington

23
Ken Stabler is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame
voting closed at #1 Al Sobrante added Age: 74

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Foley, Alabama

Teams: New Orleans Saints, Oakland Raiders, Alabama Crimson Tide Football, Houston Oilers

Inducted in 2016

More Ken Stabler 

#1,737 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #23 of 257 The Best Quarterbacks Of All Time #101 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever

24
Torry Holt is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame
WineSippingCowboy added Age: 43

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Gibsonville, North Carolina

Teams: New England Patriots, St. Louis Rams, Jacksonville Jaguars, NC State Wolfpack football

More Torry Holt 

#190 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #60 of 80 The Best NFL Player Nicknames #27 of 248 The Best Wide Receivers of All Time

25
Calvin Johnson is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame
AlanNadeau added Age: 34

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Newnan, Georgia

Teams: Detroit Lions

More Calvin Johnson 

#1,966 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #19 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #1 of 80 The Best NFL Player Nicknames