The 2019 Pro Football Hall of Fame class is down to its final 25 modern semifinalists. Suffice to say the list is fairly stacked, especially on defense.
The hard part as always is somehow whittling the group down to a handful of names. That leaves a bunch of questions to answer. Who are the locks that should get it right away? Who are the strong contenders that have the biggest cases or have waited for the longest? Last but not least, who might be getting a bit overlooked?
Taking all these things into account, here are all the names separated by category.
Tony Gonzalez (TE)
He’s the all-time leading tight end in every receiving category. The man is a 14-time Pro Bowler who was consistently excellent from the beginning of his career to the end of it. A true gentleman of the game as well. An ideal role model. That’s first ballot material.
Ed Reed (S)
He’s not only in the conversation for the greatest safety of his era, but the greatest to ever play. Reed retired with 73 career interceptions, over 1,100 tackles, 10 defensive touchdowns, nine Pro Bowls, a Defensive Player of the Year award and a Super Bowl ring.
Champ Bailey (CB)
Cornerbacks don’t go to 12 Pro Bowls in their career. None are supposed to last that long. Yet Bailey did. He was one of the two or three best cover corners in the game for over a decade, had 54 interceptions and knocked down 212 other passes in his career.