Originally posted on The Sports Rocker  |  Last updated 9/18/12
I was watching the Broncos at Falcons game last night and I had a few thoughts. My first thought was I can't wait for Skip Bayless to say the Broncos should have kept Tim Tebow. Among other thoughts, I wondered if Willis McGahee could end up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Let's examine.


McGahee is 30 years old, and is playing in his ninth season in the NFL. I'm not counting the season after he was drafted, 2003, because he was still recovering from his knee injury in the Fiesta Bowl.

He has 7,543 yards, including this seasons total, for his career.

McGahee is currently 48th in all-time rushing yardage. It's safe to assume he'll move up that list. If he gets 800 yards this season, he'll pass Herschel Walker and Earnest Byner, neither of whom are in the Hall of Fame.

The most recent running backs enshrined in Canton are Emmit Smith, Marshall Faulk, Thurman Thomas, Curtis Martin, and Barry Sanders. Of that group, Thomas has the lowest career total with 12,074 yards. Keep in mind that Thomas played in three Super Bowls. His awards include two First-Team All-Pro selections, 1991 Associated Press NFL MVP, and Offensive Player of the Year, and was selected to five Pro-Bowl teams.

McGahee has one Pro Bowl.

McGahee might amass enough yards for serious consideration. If he can average 800 yards for the next 5 seeasons, that would put him ahead of John Riggins. Riggs was also only a Pro-Bowler one time in his career, but he has a Super Bowl MVP award as well. Riggins had five 1,000 yard rushing seasons, and even sat out the 1980 season due to a contract dispute. Keep in mind McGahee also missed a season, for a different reason of course.

For McGahee to make the Hall, or even be realistically considered, I think he needs have one great season for people to really notice him, make a Pro-Bowl team, and probably crack the 12,000 yard career mark. That would put him in company with Franco Harris, Thurman Thomas, Marcus Allen, and Marshall Faulk. Great company all around. And in today's pass-happy league, that would be quite an accomplishment.
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