By Bryan Dietzler
The list of Hall of Fame eligible players is out and it contains six tight ends that are eligible for the Hall of Fame. Most of these guys are well known and will bring back memories of great play from a long, or not so long, time ago.
We are going to take a look at these six players, check out their stats and games played and theorize whether or not they are going to make it into the Hall of Fame or not. Do they have the numbers to get in? Do they have the pedigree?
Let’s find out as we look at the six tight ends that are eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame vote this year.
Keith Jackson played for three teams during his nine years in the league. He played for the Philadelphia Eagles, Miami Dolphins, and the Green Bay Packers. Jackson participated in 129 games catching 441 passes for 5283 and 49 touchdowns.
Jackson was a go-to guy that could catch the ball when it mattered most and get that critical first down or key yardage to help keep the ball moving. He was on some decent Eagles and Packers’ teams which could help him get in but he’s been eligible for a while and hasn’t been able to get into the Hall.
Is now finally his time?
Indianapolis Colts fans will remember Dallas Clark fondly as one of the better players of the Peyton Manning years. Clark played 11 years in the NFL, most of them with Indianapolis but he also played for Tampa Bay and Baltimore. He played a total of 143 games catching 505 passes for 5665 yards and 53 touchdowns.
Clark was a beast and should be a near-lock to get into the Hall of Fame. The issue is, he has a lot of competition, mostly at other positions, to get in. He has the numbers and the background, in terms of playoff wins, etc., to get in, but can he? We will find out soon.
This former San Francisco 49er is up for induction into the Hall of Fame and has a slight case to gain entry. Jones played his entire 11-year career with the San Francisco 49ers. He played in 125 games and had 417 catches with 5195 yards. He grabbed 33 touchdowns.
While his numbers may not be spectacular, Jones played for some great San Francisco 49ers teams. It might be that he gets in for being part of those winning 49er franchises. We will see but for right now, he isn’t a strong candidate for the Hall just yet especially with the other tight ends that are eligible for the Hall.
Wesley walls was a journeyman tight end who played for four teams. Those four teams include San Francisco, Carolina, Green Bay, and New Orleans. During the 14 years, he was in the NFL, he played in 196 games catching 450 passes for 5291 yards. Walls grabbed 54 touchdowns.
Walls not sticking to one team may work either for or against Walls. He had an impact on four teams but he didn’t get to see the playoffs that much (he was in the playoffs in nine games). But, having an impact across the four teams may be good enough for Hall of Fame voters. Consider his status making the Hall up in the air but don’t be surprised if he does make it eventually.
Ben Coates was best known for his work with the New England Patriots. He spent nine years with New England and one year with the Baltimore Ravens. In the 158 games that he played, Coates caught a total of 499 passes for 5555 yards. He was credited with 50 touchdowns.
Having a winning pedigree, with New England, will help Coates. He played in 11 playoff games and that gives him a lot of credibility. Look for Coates to be a member of the Hall of Fame at some point soon, if not next year.
Everyone remembers the ultra-popular Jeremy Shockey who had a successful career both with the New York Giants and the New Orleans Saints. He also played one season with the Carolina Panthers. During his ten-year career, Shockey played in 136 games catching 547 passes for 6143 yards. He scored 37 touchdowns.
His touchdown numbers are not exactly strong, but Shockey was a player on some successful teams and was consistent. His injury history might knock him down a little bit, but the Hall of Fame voters should like him for his spirit and game-changing ability.
Shockey should get into the Hall sometime down the road.