ESPN projects two Detroit Lions with possible HOF potential

Pro Football Hall of Fame (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Pro Football Hall of Fame (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

ESPN believes these two current Detroit Lions have a shot at the Hall of Fame

One of the biggest criticisms of the Detroit Lions for years has been a lack of overall talent on the roster. While many players have possessed potential, a precious few have been elected to the Pro Bowl or nominated as All-Pros.

And the fact not a single member of the current Lions was voted onto the NFL’s recent Top 100 list is just the latest example. Like comedian Rodney Dangerfield once coined, this team simply gets no respect, no respect at all.

So, when scouring the roster heading into the 2020 regular season, it might be an impossible task to try and find any potential future Hall of Famers in the bunch. Especially considering the Lions are coming off a depressing 3-12-1 season.

Yet, here’s what Bill Barnwell wrote on recently after giving both quarterback Matthew Stafford and rookie cornerback Jeff Okudah a 10% to 39% chance of making the Hall of Fame someday.

"“Stafford posted gaudy numbers earlier in his career when the Lions had him lead the league in attempts, but he has made it to one Pro Bowl and hasn’t won a playoff game in 11 seasons. If he can stay healthy, he’s probably going to retire in the top 10 for career passing yardage, but will that really be enough to get him in without more individual awards or team success?”"

Holding most of the Motor City’s passing records, Stafford seems to be the most likely candidate for a future Pro Football Hall of Fame bid. But his lone Pro Bowl appearance so far and a severe lack of playoff victories means he certainly has his work cut out for him. And postseason victories alone likely won’t get the job done. We might be talking Super Bowl or bust here.

As for Okudah, this mention is purely speculation radiating off of his post-draft hype. While everyone hopes the third overall selection in the 2020 draft lives up to lofty expectations, a lot of things have to go right for a player to make the Hall of Fame. And the 21-year old Okudah has yet to play a single NFL snap.

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If the recent NFL Top 100 list snub has confirmed anything, it’s that the perception of a player’s value is tied directly to their team’s success in the eyes of many. And that surely includes Hall of Fame voters. For players like Matthew Stafford and Jeff Okudah, their legacy will be forged, in large part, by the Detroit Lions’ win/loss column.