Just a little over two weeks ago, the Pro Football Hall of Fame unveiled the six new members who will be enshrined in Canton, Ohio in August.
Each year, the Hall of Fame announcement is followed by debate over which candidates for induction were snubbed. How about some more debate while we count down the days to the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis?
Mike Beacom of Pro Football Weekly ranked the probability of current NFL players' chances of one day sporting the gold jacket. Beacom broke down the prospects into five different categories - from locks (virtually guaranteed) to 75 percent chance to 50/50 to 25 percent and, lastly, too early to tell.
Four Eagles were listed on Beacom's list. Let's see who they are and where they were placed.
Michael Vick - Maybe, Maybe Not (50/50 chance)
"Will voters see him as the most exceptional athlete ever to suit up, or as a quarterback who was merely good on as many Sundays as he was elite?" Beacom wrote.
Quick Take: What is interesting is that Beacom has Vick at the top of the 50/50 group. One of the most exciting players in league history, Vick has been an elite talent in both of his eras - in Atlanta and in Philadelphia. In Atlanta, Vick earned three Pro Bowl nominations and became the first quarterback to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. He also took the Falcons to an NFC title game appearance and handed the Packers its first-ever home playoff defeat.
"In Philadelphia, Vick has another Pro Bowl and earned the AP Comeback Player of the Year Award in 2010. He also had two of the most brilliant single-game performances – the Monday Night win over Washington and the Miracle at the New Meadowlands - that season in leading the Eagles to a division title. In all, Vick holds eight NFL records.
Asante Samuel - Don't Hold Your Breath (25 percent chance)
"Probably would have a stronger résumé had he stayed in New England," Beacom wrote.
Quick Take: By far, the most interesting note is that Samuel is fourth among active NFL players with 45 career interceptions. The three players ahead of Samuel - Ed Reed, Charles Woodson and Champ Bailey - are each considered "locks" for the Hall of Fame. Samuel has four Pro Bowl invites and is the only player in NFL history to return an interception for a touchdown in each of his first six seasons. With seven career postseason picks, Samuel is tied for fifth in NFL history. Since he first arrived in Philadelphia four seasons ago, Samuel has only led the NFC in interceptions twice for a team that has been to the playoffs three times in that span.
Nnamdi Asomugha - Need More Data (Incomplete)
"Last year's big-name free agent didn't make much of a splash," Beacom wrote. "Expect a bounce-back campaign in 2012."
Quick Take: Since Asomugha registered eight interceptions in 2006, opposing quarterbacks have avoided him like the plague. In 76 games over the past five seasons, Asomugha has allowed a measly 1,281 yards and six touchdowns. Again, those numbers are over the past five years. From a dominance standpoint, six seasons - with four All-Pro selections - is right on the cusp of a lengthy reign. The lack of interceptions due to teams avoiding him - Asomugha has 14 in nine seasons - will be the one criticism.
Jason Babin - Need More Date (Incomplete)
"Players are not supposed to make the jump to elite status after the age of 30," Beacom wrote. "Can Babin keep up the pace? Eh, probably not long enough."
Quick Take: The fact that Babin's name is even in the conversation is outstanding. The former first-round pick of the Texans in 2004 couldn't find his niche in the league until Jim Washburn turned Babin into a pass-rush force in Tennessee in 2010. Babin earned Pro Bowl honors with 12.5 sacks that year. He returned to Philadelphia - one of four teams he played for prior to Tennessee - and was in the mix for the NFL sack title until the end of the season, finishing the 2011 season with 18.0 and a second straight Pro Bowl invite. That single-season sack total was third in Eagles history and only 17 players in NFL history can claim they had more sacks in a single season than Babin. He's someone who keeps diligently takes care of his body so maybe Babin can put together a few more illustrious seasons.
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