It is no secret that Jahri Evans has been one of the most dominant offensive lineman in the league for the last half-decade. He's been an essential anchor on the Saints' offensive line and has been an integral piece of some of the most successful offenses in NFL history. It's because of this success that makes Evans one of the most decorated active lineman playing today. He's been selected to both the Pro-Bowl and All-Pro team each of the past 5 five years and continues to keep his Future Hall of Fame QB Drew Brees upright.
In light of his success, I wanted to know his chances of gaining the ultimate accolade any player can receive -- admittance into the Hall Of Fame. In doing so, I first looked up the accolades of the Offense Lineman that have already made into the hall. Then, I looked up comparable guards (most of which have recently retired) who have yet to make the Hall. So how does Evans stack up?
- 5x Pro-Bowler, 4x First-Team All-Pro, 1x Second-Team All-Pro, 1 Championship
Hall Of Famers
The following is a list of all Hall of Famers who played exclusively Guard in the modern era. (Note: Since there are no yardage stats, sacks, interceptions, ect. for Offensive Lineman, I will use their accolades for comparison purposes.)
- Joe Delamielleure - 6x Pro-Bowler, 6x 1st-team All-Pro, 2x 2nd team All-Pro, 0 Championships
- Rus Grimm - 4x Pro-Bowler, 4x 1st-team All-Pro, 4 Championships
- John Hannah - 9x Pro-Bowler, 10x All-Pro, 0 Championships
- Larry Little - 5x Pro-Bowler, 5x First-team All-Pro, 2 Championships
- Tom Mack- 11x Pro-Bowler, 4x First-Team All-Pro, 4x Second-Team All-Pro
- Mike Munchak - 9x Pro-Bowler, 10x All-Pro
- Gene Upshaw - 6x Pro-Bowler, 4x First-Team All-Pro, 4x Second-Team All-Pro, 2 Championships
- Larry Allen - 11x Pro-Bowler, 7x All-Pro, 1 Championship
Potential Hall Of Famers:
The Following is a list of recent guards yet to be inducted into the hall of fame.
- Steve Hutchinson - 7x Pro-Bowler, 7x All-Pro, 0 Championships (1 appearance)
- Logan Mankins - 6x Pro-Bowler, 5x All-Pro, 0 Championships (2 appearances)
- Alan Faneca - 9x Pro-Bowler, 9x All-Pro, 1 Championship
- Will Shields - 12x Pro-Bowler, 7x All-Pro, 0 championships
As you can see, the requirements into the Hall of Fame for an Offensive Lineman are steep. In order to gain admittance, a lineman probably ought to have a good balance of Pro-Bowl and All-Pro selections. In the cases the lineman is lacking those accolades, he probably ought to make up for it by winning championships as in the cases of Larry Little and Russ Grim (2 and 4, respectively).
As it stands now, Evans seems to compare best to Larry Little in terms of accolades. Both Little and Evans had 5 Pro-Bowl and All-Pro selections, while Little also boasts one more championship (2) than Evans. Little is best remembered for his time on the Dolphins from 1970-1980 in which he helped shore up a line that lead the team to two championships ('72, '73). Likewise, Evans has anchored the line for the Saints and has helped lead the team to one championship.
Though Evans may be optimistically compared to a few already in the Hall Of Fame, it seems that Evans has a lot of work ahead of him when compared to his relative contemporaries not yet in the Hall. Hutchins, Mankins, Faneca, and Shields all have more accolades in terms of Pro-Bowls and All-Pro selections, while Evans has the advantage over all but Faneca in championships. Still, it seems that Evans will be hard-pressed to make it into the Hall before these highly-decorated players get their chance.
With such stiff competition and lofty requirements, it seems to me that Evans has a ways to go before he can be strongly considered for the hall. For the sake of comparison to some of his contemporaries, it would serve him best to play at a dominant level for a couple more years, hopefully earning selections to both Pro-Bowls (even with its subjective and unauthoritative nature) and, more importantly, All-Pro selections. In addition and perhaps in place of the aforementioned selections, it would help Evans to add another championship to his resume. With this said, I think Evans has created an excellent foundation in his 8 years in the league. Furthermore, I think after showing sustained success for the past 5 years, he is well-capable of continuing his trend and, with Saints being a constant candidate for a championship, he has the potential to hoist the Lombardi a second time. All in all, with a couple more years at his current performance aided all the more by another potential championship, I think Evans can have a strong Hall of Fame resume when he does decide to retire.
What do you think?
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