Dent_Kennedy_700_RTC

Road to Canton (via South Florida)

Dent_Kennedy_700_RTC
10/20/2009

On the day before Super Bowl XLIV in South Florida next February, the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Board of Selectors will meet to hold its annual selection meeting to elect between four and seven individuals who will comprise the Class of 2010. The 44-person committee will debate the merits of 17 final candidates. Two of those finalists are this year’s senior nominees, former Detroit Lions defensive back Dick LeBeau and Denver Broncos running back Floyd Little.

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The other 15 finalists will be selected from the initial list of 131 preliminary modern-era nominees that was announced on September 19. The selection process calls for a reduction to 25 semifinalists in November before the finalists are determined in January.

Between now and Thanksgiving Weekend, Profootballhof.com will profile the groups of players who comprise this list of nominees for the 2010 class.


THIS WEEK:

Defensive Linemen

NEXT WEEK: Running Backs

PREVIOUS WEEKS:
First-Year Eligibles | QBs | Special teams, Coaches & Contributors
 

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Last year, the NFL’s all-time sack leader Bruce Smith became the 27th defensive linemen of the modern era to earn a spot in Canton. There’s a likely chance the honor roll of defensive linemen will grow again in 2010. Sixteen of the 131 preliminary nominees played on the defensive front line during their NFL careers. Only two of the past 10 classes of enshrinees, in 2005 and 2007, have not included a defensive lineman.

Five of the 16 defensive linemen nominees have been semifinalists and three of those have made it to the list of final 15 modern-era nominees in the past. Leading the way is former Chicago Bears standout Richard Dent. Since the process of trimming the list of preliminary nominees to 25 semifinalists was added to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s selection process, Dent has made that group each and every year. He has been among the finalists all but once year since 2004.

Two other defensive linemen, Cortez Kennedy and John Randle were finalists last year. Chris Doleman has been a semifinalist twice and Charles Haley has been a semifinalist three times.


Here’s a closer look at the entire list of DLs under consideration for 2010 and how they stack up against each other.

Al “Bubba” Baker (DE) – 1978-1982 Detroit Lions, 1983-86 St. Louis Cardinals, 1987, 1989-1990 Cleveland Browns, 1988 Minnesota Vikings

Ray Childress (DT/DE) – 1985-1995 Houston Oilers, 1996 Dallas Cowboys

Richard Dent (DE) – 1983-1993, 1995 Chicago Bears, 1994 San Francisco 49ers, 1996 Indianapolis Colts, 1997 Philadelphia Eagles

Chris Doleman (DE/LB) – 1985-1993, 1999 Minnesota Vikings, 1994-95 Atlanta Falcons, 1996-98 San Francisco 49ers

Charles Haley (DE/LB) – 1986-1991, 1999 San Francisco 49ers, 1992- 96 Dallas Cowboys

Ed “Too Tall” Jones (DE) – 1974-78, 1980-89 Dallas Cowboys

Cortez Kennedy (DT) – 1990-2000 Seattle Seahawks

Joe Klecko (DE/DT/NT) – 1977-1987 New York Jets, 1988 Indianapolis Colts

Dexter Manley (DE) – 1981-89 Washington Redskins, 1990 Phoenix Cardinals, 1991 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Charles Mann (DE) – 1983-1993 Washington Redskins, 1994 San Francisco 49ers

Steve McMichael (DT/NT) – 1980 New England Patriots, 1981-1993 Chicago Bears, 1994 Green Bay Packers

Leslie O’Neal (DE) – 1986, 1988-1995 San Diego Chargers, 1996-97 St. Louis Rams, 1998-99 Kansas City Chiefs

Michael Dean Perry (DT/DE) – 1988-1994 Cleveland Browns, 1995-97 Denver Broncos, 1997 Kansas City Chiefs

John Randle (DE/DT) – 1990-2000 Minnesota Vikings, 2001-03 Seattle Seahawks

Clyde Simmons (DE) – 1986-1993 Philadelphia Eagles, 1994-95 Arizona Cardinals, 1996-97 Jacksonville Jaguars, 1998 Cincinnati Bengals, 1999-2000 Chicago Bears

Fred Smerlas (NT) – 1979-1989 Buffalo Bills, 1990 San Francisco 49ers, 1991-1992 New England Patriots

Defensive Linemen Nominees for 2010 Election
     
Player Years Position All Pro All Conf. Pro Bowls Div. Conf. League
Al "Bubba" Baker 13 Defensive End 1 1 3 2 0 0
Ray Childress 12 Def. Tackle/End 3 4 5 3 0 0
Richard Dent 15 Defensive End 2 5 4 7 2 2
Chris Doleman 15 Def. End/Linebacker 3 4 8 3 0 0
Charles Haley 12 Def. End/Linebacker 2 3 5 10 5 5
Ed "Too Tall" Jones 15 Defensive End 2 2 3 5 3 1
Cortez Kennedy 11 Defensive Tackle 3 4 8 1 0 0
Joe Klecko 12 Def. End/Def. Tackle/Nose Tackle 2 3 4 0 0 0
Dexter Manley 11 Defensive End 1 1 1 4 3 2
Charles Mann 12 Defensive End 0 2 4 5 4 3
Steve McMichael 15 Def. Tackle/Nose Tackle 3 2 2 6 1 1
Leslie O'Neal 13 Defensive End 0 3 6 2 1 0
Michael Dean Perry 10 Def. Tackle/End 5 4 6 3 1 1
John Randle 14 Def. End/Tackle 6 6 7 4 0 0
Clyde Simmons 14 Defensive End 2 1 2 1 0 0
Fred Smerlas 14 Nose Tackle 3 4 5 4 0 0

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