Following last night’s Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, which included Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson, I got to thinking: What players on the Chargers team could make the Hall when they hang up their cleats?
While there are some obvious locks and some that seem to be well on there way, they could have a few that could surprise if they can continue their current career trajectory. I will be giving these players a percent chance out of 100 as to what their odds of getting into the Hall of Fame are.
I think Philip Rivers has done enough statistically to warrant a gold jacket, but there is one thing that might hold him back: no rings. While no Chargers player has one, it’s less inexcusable for a quarterback than any other position. Philip has had a better career by the numbers than Eli Manning, but Eli almost has an easier case for the Hall because of his Super Bowls. Regardless, I think the next couple of years will just pad to his good enough stats.
Chance of making the Hall of Fame: 80%
Melvin Gordon & Tyrell Williams
I lumped these two together because they both had very forgettable rookie years but took a giant leap their second year. If they take a similarly sized leap into years three and four, both of them will be at the top of their craft for years to come. Staying healthy is also very important, which is why I didn’t consider Keenan Allen.
Chance of making Hall of Fame: 5%
Barring a catastrophe, Gates will break the all-time TD record for tight ends. Not enough? He’s one of the best tight ends and undrafted players (regardless of position) of all time. He is a class act and should be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
Chance of making the Hall of Fame: 100%
The hype for some sophomore Chargers is reaching deafening levels. Henry had a great rookie year, but, similar to Gordon and Tyrell, he will have to make a big jump or two and get into the same class Antonio has occupied for nearly a decade and a half. He has a lot of potential, but only time will tell.
Chance of making the Hall of Fame: 15%
I considered Melvin Ingram for half a second, but would put him in the same tier as Keenan Allen (and eventually Jason Verrett): he simply hasn’t been on the field long enough to even be considered. Plus, I would then be essentially rehashing my article about what Chargers could make the Pro Bowl. Bosa seems poised to win multiple DPOYs and make the Pro Bowl and All-Pro teams for years to come. Let’s hope.
Chance of making the Hall of Fame: 50%
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I had to have one “out there” selection. If you’ve read any of my articles, you know I’m a Jatavis Brown junkie. I think he is a perfect modern-day, hybrid linebacker for today’s NFL. Gus Bradley could make him even better. He just needs to stay on the field and he is electrifying.
Chance of making the Hall of Fame: 1%
If he continues to shut down number one receivers like he did last year, Hayward is building a strong case. He creates turnovers and follows the team’s primary weapons. With Verrett returning, it could damage how much credit he gets, but he is still a great defender.
Chance of making the Hall of Fame: 5%
The Hall of Fame is a fraternity of the best football players the world has ever seen. The Chargers, much like any team, have provided their fair share of players into it. Rivers and Gates are fun to watch because you know you’re watching players that could don gold jackets within a decade. It’s also fun to think about players like Bosa or Henry. Guys that have all the opportunity in the world to be the “next guys up” in the sanctuary of the NFL.