The Pro Football Hall of Fame will enshrine its latest group of legends on Aug. 6, but it’s never too early to look ahead to next year’s class. Which players will be among the Hall of Fame selections in 2023?
Projecting the 2023 Pro Football Hall of Fame Class
On Saturday, safety Leroy Butler, linebacker Sam Mills, defensive linemen Richard Seymour and Bryant Young, and offensive lineman Tony Boselli will be inducted into the Pro Football Hame of Fame. Which former NFL players will join that illustrious group in 2023?
The shoo-in of all shoo-ins, Joe Thomas was the best offensive tackle of his generation and one of the best OTs in NFL history. He earned a Pro Bowl nod in each of his first 10 seasons in the league, and he’s the only offensive lineman to be selected to 10 consecutive Pro Bowls. Thomas also received eight All-Pro nods (six first-team) and was a member of the NFL’s 2010s All-Decade Team.
An absolute iron man, Thomas’ streak of 10,363 consecutive snaps is the longest run in the NFL since the league started tracking snap counts in 1999. Unfortunately, the Browns hardly experienced any team success during Thomas’ tenure (2007-17). During his career, Cleveland had just one winning season, never made the playoffs, and posted a 48-128 record.
Selected 11 picks after Thomas in the 2007 NFL Draft, Darrelle Revis is also on the 2010s All-Decade Team. “Revis Island” became a place where no opposing wide receiver wanted to get stranded as the former Pitt Panther shut down passing attacks en route to seven Pro Bowls.
Revis never posted gaudy interception totals, but that was because quarterbacks were afraid to throw at him. Throughout his career with the Jets, Buccaneers, Patriots, and Chiefs, Revis was named a first-team All-Pro four times. A Super Bowl champion with New England, Revis’ best season was probably 2009, when he finished second in Defensive Player of the Year voting.
Steve Smith spent an astounding 16 seasons in the NFL and was productive all the way to the end, posting 70 receptions for 799 yards and five touchdowns in his final campaign (2016). He spent the first 13 years of his career with the Panthers before joining the Ravens in 2014.
Smith is currently eighth on the NFL’s all-time receiving yardage list (14,731), and every player above him is already in the Hall of Fame (except Larry Fitzgerald, who will be a first-ballot HOFer when eligible).
At 5’9″, 195 pounds, Smith brought a tenacity to the field that can’t be quantified, and he also won the receiving triple crown in 205 after putting up a 105-1,563-12 line.
After being snubbed in 2022, DeMarcus Ware should enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2023. His 138 1/2 sacks are ninth all-time on the NFL’s official list, and he led the league in sacks twice (2008 and 2010). A four-time first-team All-Pro and nine-time Pro Bowler, Ware was named to the NFL’s 2000s All-Decade Team.
Ware, who spent nine seasons in Dallas to begin his career, would join an illustrious list of Dallas Cowboys in the Hall of Fame, including Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irvin. While he never won a Super Bowl with the Cowboys, Ware did pick up a ring with the Denver Broncos after the 2015 season.
Like Ware, Torry Holt was snubbed by the Hall of Fame this year but should have a good chance at enshrinement in 2023. Every other member of the Rams’ electric early-2000s offense is already in the HOF, so it only makes sense that Holt will join Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk, Isaac Bruce, and Orland Pace in the Hall.
A member of the NFL’s 2000s All-Decade Team, Holt earned seven Pro Bowl nods and a Super Bowl ring during his 11-year career. He’s currently 16th all-time in receiving yardage, and he posted eight consecutive seasons with at least 1,110 yards. Holt led the NFL in receiving yards in both 2000 and 2003.