Sports News

Steve Smith, Andre Johnson headline 2022 Pro Football Hall of Fame first-time nominees

Since its inaugural 1963 class, the Pro Football Hall of Fame has inducted 346 members into Canton, Ohio, including the eight most recent members of the class of 2021.

The next group of hopefuls vying for a bust include 122 nominees from the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s initial list, none of whom has played a game within the last five years.

MORE: Bears name Fields Week 3 starter

That group will eventually get whittled down to 25 semifinalists in November, and 15 finalists in January, before the selection committee ultimately makes its choice on enshrinement.

Below are the list of first-time nominees, returning finalists and the rest of the field of nominees.

First-time 2022 Pro Football Hall of Fame nominees

Name Position Teams
Anquan Boldin Wide receiver Cardinals, Ravens, 49ers, Lions
Devin Hester Wide receiver/Return specialist Bears, Falcons, Ravens
Andre Johnson Wide receiver Texans, Colts, Titans
Steve Smith Wide receiver Panthers, Ravens
Jake Long Offensive lineman Dolphins, Rams, Falcons, Vikings
Nick Mangold Offensive lineman Jets
Antonio Cromartie Defensive backs Chargers, Jets, Cardinals, Colts
Robert Mathis Defensive lineman Colts
Vince Wilfork Defensive lineman Patriots, Texans
DeMarcus Ware Linebacker Cowboys, Broncos

At least one first-time nominee has been selected for induction into the Hall of Fame every year since 2013, including three — Calvin Johnson, Peyton Manning and Charles Woodson — last year.

MORE: Antonio Brown heads to COVID list

Another factor that could bode well for some of the first-time nominees is that both the class of 2019 (Ed Reed, Tony Gonzalez, Champ Bailey) and 2018 (Ray Lewis, Randy Moss, Brian Urlacher) have each seen three people inducted, setting a precedent should one of this year’s first-timers become a finalist.

Returning finalists from 2021

Name Position Times as Finalist
Torry Holt Wide receiver 3
Reggie Wayne Wide receiver 3
Tony Boselli Offensive tackle 6
Jared Allen Defensive end 2
Richard Seymour Defensive tackle 4
Sam Mills Linebacker 3
Zach Thomas Linebacker 3
Ronde Barber Cornerback/Safety 2
LeRoy Butler Safety 3

In addition to the 10 first-time nominees, there are nine returning finalists among the list of nominees looking to be inducted this year, plus coach finalist Dick Vermeil, senior finalist Cliff Branch and contributor finalist Art McNally.

Last year saw John Lynch (eight-time finalist) and Alan Faneca (six-time finalist) finally get inducted.

Mills’ potential induction will be done posthumously; he, Boselli, Holt and Thomas are all members of the College Football Hall of Fame as well.

MORE: Week 3 betting guide

Remaining Field of 2022 Pro Football Hall of Fame Nominees

  • Quarterbacks: Randall Cunningham, Jake Delhomme, Boomer Esiason, Jeff Garcia, Dave Krieg, Donovan McNabb, Steve McNair
  • Running Backs: Shaun Alexander, Mike Alstott (FB), Tiki Barber, Earnest Byner, Larry Centers (FB), Corey Dillon, Eddie George, Priest Holmes, Steven Jackson, Jamal Lewis, Eric Metcalf, Lorenzo Neal (FB), Fred Taylor, Herschel Walker (also KR), Ricky Waters, Brian Westbrook
  • Wide Receivers: Troy Brown, Donald Driver, Henry Ellard (also PR), Joe Horn, Chad Johnson, Derrick Mason, Muhsin Muhammad, Andre Rison, Jimmy Smith, Rod Smith, Hines Ward, Wes Welker
  • Tight Ends: Dallas Clark, Ben Coates, Brent Jones, Heath Miller, Wesley Walls
  • Offensive Linemen: Willie Anderson (T), Matt Birk (C), Lomas Brown (T), Ruben Brown (G), D’Brickashaw Ferguson (T), Kevin Glover (C/G), Jordan Gross (T), Olin Kreutz (C), Logan Mankins (G), Jesse Sapolu (C/G), Jeff Saturday (C), Chris Snee (G), Brian Waters (G), Richmond Webb (T), Erik Williams (T), Steve Wisniewski (G)
  • Defensive Linemen: John Abraham (DE also LB), La’Roi Glover (DT/NT), Casey Hampton (DT/NT), Leslie O’Neal (DE), Michael Dean Perry (DT/DE), Simeon Rice (DE), Justin Smith (DE), Neil Smith (DE), Greg Townsend (DE/LB/DT/NT), Justin Tuck (DE), Kevin Williams (DT), Bryant Young (DT)
  • Linebackers: Cornelius Bennett, Lance Briggs, Tedy Bruschi, London Fletcher, Seth Joyner, Willie McGinest (also DE), Hardy Nickerson Sr., Takeo Spikes, Pat Swilling (also DE), Patrick Willis
  • Defensive Backs: Eric Allen (CB), Dre Bly (DB), Nick Collins (S), Merton Hanks (S), Rodney Harrison (S), Albert Lewis (CB), Tim McDonald (S), Allen Rossum (DB), Asante Samuel (CB), Bob Sanders (S), Charles Tillman (CB), Troy Vincent (CB), Adrian Wilson (S), Darren Woodson (S)
  • Punters/Kickers: Gary Anderson (K), Jeff Feagles (P), John Kasay (K), Sean Landeta (P), Ryan Longwell (K), Reggie Roby (P), Matt Turk (P)
  • Special Teams: Josh Cribbs (KR/PR also WR), Mel Gray (PR/KR also WR), Brian Mitchell (KR/PR also RB), Steve Tasker (ST also WR)

Of the 122 nominees, 65 played primarily offense, 46 played primarily defense and 11 were primarily special teamers.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button