The next class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame has been announced with nearly 130 nominees as a dozen former Falcons were included. The team’s site included the full list of candidates, which are below, but I wanted to highlight a few notable players that spent most of their careers in Atlanta.
Specialist: K Jason Elam
RB Warrick Dunn
After being inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame earlier this year, Warrick Dunn now has the opportunity to join other NFL greats in Canton. He played six seasons with Tampa Bay, totaling 7,690 scrimmage yards and 28 touchdowns. Then, Dunn would join the Falcons for the next six years. He notched 7,616 scrimmage yards and 36 scores for Atlanta. After his career, Dunn would go on to become a minority shareholder in the Atlanta Falcons and solidify himself as one of the most extraordinary human beings of all time. He created the Warrick Dunn Family Foundation in 2002 but ramped up his off-the-field impact after he called it quits.
WR Andre Rison
Rison was a part of the trade that sent Chris Hinton and the wideout to Atlanta in exchange for the No. 1 overall pick in the 1990 NFL Draft. Rison was a perfect fit for the Falcons of the ’90s led by Jerry Glanville; it was one of the most fun teams in NFL history, and Rison did his part. He was named a Pro Bowler in his first year with Atlanta and was an All-Pro selection. Rison played five years with the Falcons and was selected four consecutive years to the Pro Bowl. He also led the league in receiving touchdowns in 1993 with 15, and he was the fifth receiver in NFL history to score 60 touchdowns in his first six seasons.
WR Roddy White
Roddy White’s name is littered in the Falcons record book, either first or second in nearly every receiving statistic. He’s in the top 40 in NFL history in receiving yards and receptions. He might not make it into Canton, but Falcons fans still love Roddy. He helped usher in a new era of Falcons football when the team moved away from Michael Vick and toward Matt Ryan. More importantly, he’s a Falcons lifer, never playing anywhere other than Atlanta.
DE John Abraham
Out of all these Falcons, John Abraham probably has the best shot to end up in the Hall, along with Warrick Dunn. He’s easily the best pass rusher in team history, outside of Claude Humphrey, finishing his career first all-time in sacks. There are some discrepancies among the all-time lists because of unofficial vs. official results. But Abe is still one of the best pass rushers in the game, ranking 13th in the NFL in all-time sacks. It would be nice if the team could find another pass rusher of Abe’s caliber.