If this was any other year, the NFL preseason would be getting set to kick-off with the annual Hall of Fame Game.
Of course, the pandemic has forced the league to alter its plans and move the enshrinement ceremony to next year, when we will hopefully have some semblance of normalcy.
That won’t stop us from having some Hall of Fame talk. ESPN’s Bill Barnwell projected Hall of Famers from each team, and four San Francisco 49ers appeared on his list. Barnwell ranked the players by tiers, ranging from likely to get in (70% to 99%), in the running (40% to 69%), and work to do (10% to 39%).
It’s no surprise to see the lone player who Barnwell had in the “likely to get in” category. Cornerback Richard Sherman has been among the best corners in the game since entering the league and was named to the NFL All-Decade Team. Barnwell wrote that left tackle Trent Williams is “in the running to get in” when he hangs up the cleats. Williams is a seven-time Pro Bowl selection, who could very well end in Canton if he plays up the level we are accustomed to seeing from him.
“Tight ends have relatively short careers, which makes projecting their Hall chances exceedingly difficult. Kittle is the best all-around tight end in football right now, and if you could tell me this minute that he would have a 12-year career, I’d expect him to be a Hall of Famer. If his career lasts only six or seven seasons, though, he’ll have to be a perennial All-Pro to make it to Canton. Given his style, I worry about his aging curve versus that of tight ends who are basically glorified wide receivers.”
“Bosa won Defensive Rookie of the Year, which hasn’t been quite as big of a boon as you might think. Just six of 32 Hall-eligible winners made it to Canton, although that’s going to rise in the years to come as the likes of Charles Woodson and Julius Peppers win enshrinement. Both Bosa and Kittle could make this tier placement look stupid if they have big seasons in 2020.”
If you had to place on bet on which player will get in out of Kittle and Bosa, which one would you go with?