Jaguars could get two former players inducted into 2022 Hall of Fame class
The Jacksonville Jaguars haven’t been great at acquiring talent in recent years but it wasn’t always that way. In the early years of the franchise and in the 2000s, they had playmakers such as wide receiver Jimmy Smith, running back Fred Taylor, and left tackle Tony Boselli just to name a few. The Pro Football Hall of Fame recently announced their 26 modern-era semifinalists for their 2022 class and both Boselli and Taylor made the cut. It’s time the two get in.
This is Boselli’s seventh time as a semifinalist and has been a finalist each of the last five years. Meanwhile, this is and Taylor’s third as a finalist. Boselli was a five-time Pro Bowl selection and earned three First-Team All-Pro designations during a seven-year career that was cut short by injuries. Furthermore, he made the Hall of Fame’s 1990 team.
On the other hand, Taylor was one of the best running back in the NFL during the 2000s. The ninth overall pick in the 1998 draft racked up 2,428 carries for 11,271 yards with 62 touchdowns during his 11-year stint with the Jaguars. He signed with New England Patriots in 2009 and spent the last two years of his career there. He appeared in 13 games and toted the rock 424 yards with four touchdowns. Taylor, Ricky Watters (San Francisco 49ers), and Eddie George (Tennessee Titans) were the only running backs among the 26 finalists.
Tony Boselli has a good chance to represent the Jaguars in the HOF.
Now, as worthy as Boselli and Taylor are of wearing a gold jacket, it’s not a given they will get in. In fact, they both may have a hard time getting enshrined. Players such as wide receiver Anquan Boldin or the late Sam Millers are as deserving as the former Jaguars. Torry Holt was an integral part of the Greatest Show on Turf back in the late 1990s and the early 2000s. Safety LeRoy Butler is also overdue, and outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware might be a first-year inductee.
There will always be disagreement about whoever ends up making the final cut but the truth is that it’s not easy the best out of a pool of worthy candidates. Some could make the case Boselli should get the nod over let’s say wide receiver Reggie Wayne, and others will argue it must be the other way around.
On the bright side, Boselli has support from prominent national writers (none of them are voters). Dane Brugler of The Athletic believes the former Jaguars left tackle should get in this year (you need to be subscribed to check this one), and so does Mike Tanier of Football Outsiders. Pete Prisco of CBS Sports also believes he was snubbed last year.
Boselli may have a better chance of making the hall but the fact that Taylor is still getting consideration shouldn’t be taken lightly. Either way, it will be interesting to see if they can advance to the next stage of the voting process and become finalists.