Pro Football Hall of Fame: Will Orlando Pace Get In?

Aug 9, 2015; Canton, OH, USA; General view of the Pro Football Hall of Fame logo. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 9, 2015; Canton, OH, USA; General view of the Pro Football Hall of Fame logo. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

For the second year in a row, former St. Louis Rams, now Los Angeles Rams, left tackle is a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Somehow, Pace didnt get in last year, but 2016 looks promising. The finalists in this year’s class include:

Morten Anderson

Steve Atwater

Don Coryell

Terrell Davis

Tony Dungy

Alan Faneca

Brett Favre

Kevin Greene

Marvin Harrison

Joe Jacoby

John Lynch

Terrell Owens

Orlando Pace

Kurt Warner

Ken Stabler

Dick Stanfel

Edward DeBartolo Jr.

Now, somehow the voters have to get that list of 17 names down to around five which is no easy task. These are all Hall of Fame players and are all equally deserving.

The case for Pace is pretty easy. In his 12 years with the Rams he went to seven Pro Bowls and helped protect the quarterback in an offense that finished in the top 10 seven times and led the league in total yards, passing yards and points three straight seasons. He had five All-Pro honors and landed a spot on the second team of the NFL’s 2000s All-Decade team. Without Pace on the blindside, there is arguably no greatest show on turf.

Looking at this year’s list of finalists, there are a few players that have to get in. At this point it is almost guaranteed. Those players are Brett Favre, Marvin Harrison, and Kevin Greene. Favre is without question a first ballot Hall of Famer as he holds some of the greatest records from a quarterback in NFL history. Harrison had to wait his turn behind Tim Brown last season. And finally, Greene’s 100+ sacks after the age of 30 speak for themselves

That leaves two spots left.

Faneca and Owens are intriguing names as well as Dungy, Stabler, and DeBartolo Jr. To put those names along with Pace, these are most likely the guys that will be “fighting” for the final two spots.

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The one player on that list however, that could give Pace some trouble is Faneca. What helps Pace’s case though is having to wait last year for Will Shields to get in. If Pace, a consensus first-ballot player had to wait, then it would seem logical that Faneca too would have to wait his turn.

While it looks like Pace will get in, unfortunately the feel is that Warner will have to wait yet another year. The former Rams quarterback was a finalist last year, but with Favre eligible, it doesn’t really help Warner’s case.

The Hall of Fame class of 2016 will be announced on the NFL Honors show on NFL Network Saturday night at 9PM ET.