The induction of the class of 2010 into the Pro Football Hall of Fame was hailed by some as the best ever. All-Time leading receiver Jerry Rice and All-Time leading rusher Emmitt Smith are considered two of the best players ever and were sure-fire first ballot Hall of Famers.
What about the players that have had to wait their turn to get in? Fellow inductees Dick Lebeau and Floyd Little had to wait 33 and 30 years respectively to finally earn their place in Canton.
There are many players that have had outstanding careers that have yet to hear their names called in Canton. Some are more obvious than others.
An entire team of players could be named separate from this one.
The call to canton is tough and sometimes takes a bit of luck. Playing in the right era with the right team and situation is often the key to getting in.
Which of these players will finally get inducted remains to be seen. Some will definitely hear the call, while others will never be so fortunate.
All of these players are among the NFL's all-time greats.
Stabler was one of the faces of the NFL during the 1970's. He has been a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame three times and a semi-finalist six times. The Snake was a four time Pro-Bowler and earned All-Pro once.
He finished his career with a 96-49 career record. He led the NFL in completion percentage and touchdown passes twice and yards per game and quarterback rating once. He was twice named the AFC player of the year and Stabler led the Raiders to a win in Super Bowl XI. That was the franchise's first Super Bowl.
Like Hall of Famer Gale Sayers, Davis' brilliance was short lived. A knee injury early in his fourth season hindered him the rest of his career.
Davis finished his career with an average of 97.5 yards per game rushing. His three year streak from 1996-98 was one of the greatest in NFL history. TD finished with 5,296 yards rushing and 49 touchdowns.
Most importantly in '96 and '97 Davis led the Broncos to back to back Super Bowl titles, their first ever. That comes out to an astonishing 112.6 ypg and just over one touchdown per game.
He was a three time All-Pro player and three time pro-bowler. His 7,607 career rushing yards places him 45th all-time in just six seasons. He was also twice the AP Offensive player of the year. If not for his career ending injury, TD would be considered among the NFL's all-time greats.
Roger Craig is one of the most versatile players in NFL history. He is considered the original ultra-back by many. In 1985, he became the first player in NFL history to finish with 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in the same season.
Craig finished his career as a four time pro-bowler and once was a first team all-pro. He had three 1,000 yard rushing seasons.
Most importantly, he was a key player in three 49er Super Bowl titles.
There are few players in the game today as versatile as Craig was. Craig also earned a spot on the 1980's All-Decade second team.
In baseball earning enshrinement into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot is considered the ultimate form of respect.
How Cris Carter wasn't a first ballot Hall of Famer defies logic. He was cut by the Eagles and Buddy Ryan because all he did was score touchdowns.
Carter finished his career fourth all time in receiving touchdowns and eighth in overall touchdowns. He also finished his career third all time in receptions, eighth in receiving yards, 25th in yards from scrimmage and third in two-point conversations.
Carter led the NFL three times in touchdown catches with Minnesota and also led the league once in receptions.
He earned eight pro bowl trips and was all-pro twice. Carter was the "other" WR on the 1990's All-Decade team with Jerry Rice.
He has carved a nice post career as announcer for various networks. There is no question that at some point he will be beckoned by Canton, the fact that is still waiting is puzzling.
Reed was Jim Kelly's favorite receiver during the Bills glory years. He was a key to the success of the K-Gun offense.
Reed finished his career eighth in receptions and playoff games started and eleventh in receiving yards and touchdown catches. He earned seven trips to the Pro-Bowl. The fact that he never led the league in a category and wasn't a self promoter might hurt him.
Brown entered the NFL as the winner of the 1988 Heisman trophy for Notre Dame. It took him a few years before he truly made an impact at receiver.
Once he did, he began an ascent to become one of the league's most proficient wide receivers ever.
He finished his career in the top ten in six categories including fourth in receptions and receiving yards and sixth in receiving touchdowns.
From 1993-2001, Brown posted nine consecutive 1,000 yard seasons and seven consecutive years of eighty or more receptions. He appeared in nine pro bowls during his 17 seasons. Playing half of his career across the bay from Jerry Rice might have hurt his pub.
At the time of his retirement, Sharpe held most of the major records at tight end. They have since be exceeded by Tony Gonzalez.
Sharpe compiled better statistics in his career than any of the tight ends that are in the Hall of Fame.
Sharpe was the tight end on the 1990's all-decade team. He finished his career 21st all-time in receptions. He earned eight pro bowl trips and made four all-pro teams. Add in two Super Bowl titles with Denver and one with Baltimore, and Sharpe earned the credentials required for enshrinement.
Stanfel was a mainstay of the Detroit Lions offensive line in the 1950's. He helped lead the Lions to three straight division championships and two NFL Championships. They haven't won an NFL title or Superbowl since.
Stanfel is one of only six players from the 1950's All-Decade team to not earn enshrinement in Canton. He was selected All-Pro five times and to five pro-bowls.
Blocking for Bobby Layne and Doak Walker, he helped them get to the Hall. Stanfel has been a long time NFL assistant coach post career. He was the offensive line coach for the Super Bowl XX champion Chicago Bears
Jerry Kramer is another player that the veterans committee needs to push for enshrinement. With his accomplishments its astonishing that Kramer has yet to take his place in Canton.
He was the only guard selected to the NFL's 50th anniversary team and the only player on that team yet to receive the call to the Hall.
Kramer played in three pro-bowls during his career and was named to five all-pro teams. He was named the 1960's All-Decade team, was a part of five Packer NFL Championship teams and the first two Super Bowl Champions.
He threw what might be the most famous block in NFL History. Kramer sprung the block that cleared Bart Starr's way into the end zone on a quarterback sneak for the game winning touchdown in the Ice Bowl.
Other than Carter, Dawson might be the biggest snub on this list. He was a seven time pro-bowler and six time all pro player In his 13 seasons. The Steelers won five division titles and made seven playoff appearances during his tenure.
Dawson partnered with four qb's during his tenure in a Steeler uniform. They advanced to three AFC Championship games and Superbowl XXX with Dawson snapping the ball.
The Steelers finished in the top ten in points twice and yards four times in Dawson's 13 years in the Steel City. Dawson was named All-Pro more often than current Hall of Fame Centers Dwight Stephenson and Mike Webster. He has proven in every way he belongs in the hall.
One of the mainstays of the Browns offensive lines from 1959-1971. He blocked for Hall-of-Fame running backs Jim Brown, Leroy Kelly and Bobby Mitchell and blocked against 29 Hall-of-Fame defensive players.
Schafrath was selected to seven Pro-Bowls, four All-Pro teams and was the Browns MVP in 1963.
After his playing career, Schfrath was an assistant coach with the Redskins from 1975-77 and also served as a representative in the Ohio State House from 1987-2000.
Tyrer was one of the first All-Stars for the Kansas City Chiefs.
He earned All-AFL six times and NFL All-Pro twice. He was a key in the Chiefs 23-7 upset victory over the Vikings in Super Bowl IV. That game was a key component for the AFL earning respect before the merger the next season.
He was named the AFL’s offensive lineman of the year following the 1969 season. He was voted to ten pro-bowl/afl all- star games and was all-league/all-pro six times.
Tyrer's stellar play throughout the ten year history of the AFL earned him a spot on the league’s all-time team. Tyrer played 13 seasons in Kansas City before concluding his career with the Washington Redskins in 1974.
Tyrer would play in 180 consecutive games for KC. He was inducted into the Chiefs Hall-of-Fame in 1971.
Sadly, Tyrer was unable to translate his success off the field. After a series of poor business investments, Tyrer shot his wife and then committed suicide in 1980 leaving behind four children.
The ‘Tez was part of the 1987 and 1989 National Championship Miami Hurricanes where he earned All-American Status. Kennedy was selected as the third pick of the 1990 NFL Draft by the Seahawks.
Kennedy became a dominant force by his third season. He recorded 14 sacks and was named the 1992 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Kennedy retired following the 2000 season. He finished his career with Eight Pro-Bowl appearances, three first team All-Pro selections and was named to the 1990’s All-Decade team. Kennedy accumulated 58 sacks during his career.
His entire 11 year career was spent with Seattle and he was inducted into the Seahawks' Ring of Honor in 2006. Sports Illustrated honored him as the best athlete to ever wear number 96 in 1997.
Dent was one of the most feared pass rushers in NFL History.
He finished his career ranked third in sacks at the time of his retirement and finished his career with 137.5 sacks during 15 seasons with the Bears, 49ers, Colts and Eagles.
Dent had 2.5 sacks in Super Bowl XX leading the Bears defense as they set the record at the time for largest margin of victory with a 46-10 win. Dent earned MVP honors in the process.
During the Bears Super Bowl winning season, Dent led the NFL with 17 sacks and returned an interception for a touchdown. He was named to four Pro-Bowl teams and was selected First Team All-Pro twice during his career.
Doleman led a great Vikings defense in the late 1980’s and 1990’s that was usually overshadowed by division rival Chicago. He played in eight pro-bowls and was selected all-pro twice.
His 150.5 career sacks rank fourth all-time. His 21.5 sacks in 1989 ranks as the third highest single season total in NFL History. Six times Doleman finished in the top ten in sacks.
He was a versatile player that started his career as an outside linebacker in the 3-4 before switching to defensive end in the 4-3. He also started 17 career playoff games.
Charles Haley holds the distinction of being the only player to win five Super Bowls. He helped the 49ers to win the last two of their five titles in the 1980's and won three with the Cowboys dynasty in the early 1990's.
Haley finished his career with 100.5 sacks, good enough for 22nd all-time. He was selected for five pro-bowls and two All-Pro teams. He started in 17 career playoff games.
Greene ranks third all-time behind only Bruce Smith and Reggie White on the all-time sack list.
He is a five time Pro Bowler and two time first team All-Pro that twice led the National Football League in sacks. Eight times in his career Greene finished in the top ten in sacks. He was a member of the Steelers 1995 AFC Champions. Greene was named to the NFL's 1990's All-Decade team.
Mecklenburg was the heart and soul of the Broncos defense that made three Super Bowl appearances in the 1980's.
He was named six times to the Pro Bowl and three times as a first team All-Pro. He finished his NFL career with 79 sacks and eight times had seven or more in a season.
Williams was named second team All-Decade in the 1990's. The other cornerbacks on that list are Hall-of-Famers Rod Woodson, Darrel Green and future HoFer Deion Sanders.
He finished his career with 65 interceptions, good enough for fifth all-time. Everyone ahead of him on the interception list is in the Hall. He finished his career with four top ten finishes in interceptions.
Shell was a part of the famed Steelers' Iron Curtain defense of the 1970's that won four Superbowls.
He finished his career with 51 interceptions and had 19 fumble recoveries. At the time of his retirement that ranked first among strong safeties. Shell was named to five Pro-Bowls and was named first team All-Pro three times.
Harris earned a starting spot with the Cowboys as an undrafted rookie.
He was on the 1970's NFL All-Decade team. Harris played in five Super Bowls, winning two. He played in six straight Pro-Bowls in the 1970's and earned All-Pro status three consecutive times.
Atwater was one of the most feared hitters of his generation.
He was the heart of the Broncos defense from 1989-99. He led them to three Super Bowl appearances and two wins during his tenure in the Mile High City.
He finished with over 100 tackles in each of his first five seasons and finished with an average of 104 per season. He was selected ahead of Ronnie Lott as first team All-Decade for the 1990's.
Guy is the unquestioned best punter in NFL History.
He was selected to six consecutive Pro-Bowls and three consecutive All-Pro teams during the 1970's. He was the punter on the 1970's all-decade team.
A punter can often be the most underrated player on the field. They often dictate field position. During Guy's 14 seasons in the NFL, the Raiders only had two non-winning seasons.
He led the NFL is punting three times and finished in the top three seven times in a 14 year career. He had a streak of 619 consecutive punts without being blocked, from 1979-until the end of his career in 1986- without having a punt blocked.
The collegiate award to the best punter is named for Guy.
The most accurate kicker of his generation.
Anderson ranks in the top five in five career categories including games played, field goals made and attempted and points scored.
He will sadly be remembered more for a field goal he missed instead of a made kick.
Anderson had arguably the best season a kicker ever had in 1998. He connected on all 35 of his field goal attempts and all 59 of his PAT's during the 1998 season. He was the first kicker in NFL history to go through an entire season without missing.
In the 1998 NFL Championship game, the Vikings held a 27-20 lead against Atlanta with about five minutes remaining.
An Anderson Field Goal would have likely iced the game, putting the Vikings in their first Superbowl since SB XI. Anderson missed and the Falcons won the game in overtime advancing to their first Superbowl.
Mitchell is a versatile player that was most well known as a kick returner. Mitchell was also a key player as a third down running back with the Redskins, Eagles and Giants. Four times during his career, Mitchell led the NFL in All-Purpose yardage.
He holds the career record in six return categories and ranks in the top five in three others.
Reeves is only one of three coaches to take franchises from both conferences to a Super Bowl appearance. Don Shula and Bill Parcells are the others.
He led the Broncos to appearances in Superbowl XXI, XXII and XXIV. He also took Atlanta to Superbowl XXXIII.
What might be holding him back is that in three trips to the Super Bowl with Denver and one with Atlanta, Reeves never won.
His 201 career wins place him seventh on the all-time list. All of the coaches ranked ahead of Reeves in career wins are enshrined in Canton.