Originally posted on The Hair of the Dog Sports Blog  |  Last updated 5/30/12

Guest Post by Abby Evans

You love to see your favorite players get recognized in Canton, NY at the NFL Hall Of Fame, but unfortunately, not all the best are seen as deserving of this coveted spot. While we all have our opinions on who deserves what, there is a list of 5 players that make the general collective vote of being someone who deserves to be inducted.

Jim Plunkett

Plunkett is the only quarterback to win multiple Super Bowls but is still left out of the Hall of Fame. His numbers and winning contributions, however, making him the perfect candidate for this desirable position. As a quarterback, he was 72-72 and had a 52.5 completion percentage, followed with a resounding 164 touchdowns. If he wasn’t competing plays on his side, he was hassling the opposing team – with 198 interceptions. Numbers like this can put an NFL player in the hall of fame, but speculation shows that he’s missed out thanks to a positive, working relationship with the media.

Cliff Branch

Though a Super Bowl win by no means guarantees you a spot in Canton, NY, I think 3 just might do the trick. However, that is clearly not the case. Branch, an Oakland Raider, won 3 Super Bowl titles and has a long list of other achievements that make him a no brainer for being inducted into the Hall of Fame. He boasts over 50 receptions, and almost 70 touchdowns. His numbers are impressive in general, not to mention when measured against other greats of his time. His hard work, winning resume and presence in the NFL should have already won him this honorable spot.

Eli Manning

Though Manning still qualifies as a young player, potentially on his way to the Hall of Fame, he has already found Hall of Fame worthy success in his short career. As the winner of 2 Super Bowls, he’s in line with Jim Plunkett as winning quarterbacks not represented by the Hall. With 119 starts and an 82 pass percentage, he falls right into line as a deserving quarterback. As RotoAnalysis.com suggests, “The improvements Eli has made throughout his career have been impressive, and with the young receivers he has and his durability, it looks as if little will slow him down.”

Darren Sharper

Being a defensive back automatically puts Sharper at the back of the pack for Hall of Fame candidates. However, it’s impossible to ignore his career recognitions and achievements. He was named to 5 pro bowls, not to mention his 6 All-Pro recognitions. His in-game achievements and numbers speak highly of why he deserves to be found in the Hall of Fame. 63 interceptions prove his value as a member of the defense team and 13 defensive touchdowns only brings more to the table.

Mark Clayton

Clayton, who spent the bulk of his career with the Miami Dolphins – 10 seasons – finished as a Green Bay Packer and made an impression with both teams during his time as an NFL player. Though he is often referenced in conversation about Dan Marino, as his right hand man on the field, Clayton has numbers to earn him a spot with the greats. He caught 582 passes, and scored a notable 84 touchdowns.

While we can all debate who deserves to be in the Hall of Fame and who doesn’t, it’s widely believed that these players are have a spot with their name written all over it. Unfortunately, not everyone can be recognized, despite their invaluable contributions to their teams and league.

Abby Evans is an avid blogger and loves writing about sports and sports related injuries that may or may not require a hinged knee brace. In her spare time she is training for half marathons and finding the perfect knee braces to get her through her races.

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