Jaguars HOF candidates now and in the future

Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey (20) reacts after a play during the second quarter against the Buffalo BillsPhoto: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Boselli, Ramsey top prospects for Hall call

Retired

--Tackle Tony Boselli has been on the cut-line each of the last two years of voting for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, having made it to the final 10 nominees in each of the last two years, but falling short of nomination both times. That could change for the 2019 class. The biggest argument against Boselli is his shortened career with the Jaguars. He played in 91 regular-season games plus six playoff games for a total of 97.

But there are 32 players with less than 100 games played already in the Hall which is about 12 percent of the total number of players already inducted. His credentials are Hall of Fame worthy. Taken with the second overall selection of the 1995 draft, Boselli quickly established himself as one of the league's premier left tackles. He started the last 12 games of the Jaguars' inaugural season and was named to the All-Rookie team that year.

He was All-Pro three times and was named to five Pro Bowls. He was named to the first All-Decade Team of the '90s, despite only playing five years in the decade. He helped lead the Jaguars to post-season play four times in his five seasons, including a pair of trips to the AFC championship game. Jacksonville never made it that far again until this past season.

Boselli's career overlapped with that of four other left tackles who have been voted into the Hall: Willie Roaf, Jonathan Ogden, Walter Jones and Orlando Pace. Boselli is attempting to become Jacksonville's first Hall induction with the Jaguars currently the only NFL team without a member in the Hall of Fame.

Still playing

--Defensive back Jalen Ramsey. It's highly unusual to project a player after just two NFL seasons, but Ramsey is highly unusual. Originally drafted fifth overall in the 2016 draft, Ramsey became an instant starter in the Jaguars secondary. He started all 35 games since, including the team's three playoff games a year ago. It took just two seasons for Ramsey to be recognized as one of, if not the top, cornerbacks in the league.

He was named first-team All-Pro by the Associated Press, PFWA and Sporting News. He was the leading vote-getter at his position for All-Pro honors, leading a Jaguars secondary that was ranked the No. 1 pass defense in the NFL.

In only two years his career totals include 128 tackles, 31 passes defensed and six interceptions. Targeted 92 times in coverage, Ramsey allowed just 51.1 percent of those throws against him to be caught. He has the size (6-foot-1, 206), talent and confidence to be an elite player for the next decade.

He asks, and is usually granted, the opportunity to cover the opposing team's No. 1 receiver each week. He's known as one of the league's best trash-talkers and does his best to get into a receiver's head to disrupt his concentration. If Ramsey continues his play for the next 10 years, there's little doubt he will one day be included in the Hall of Fame.

Comments