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Current NFL players heading for the Hall of Fame: Locks, almost there & on the radar

Home » NFL » Current NFL players heading for the Hall of Fame: Locks, almost there & on the radar

Even if players have to wait until they’re retired to get to Canton, we know with certainty that there are active NFL Hall of Famers in 2023.

After all, legendary players secure their place in the Hall of Fame long before they retire. In fact, some of the current NFL Hall of Fame locks who are still in the league are probably more deserving of a spot in Canton than some of the worst football Hall of Famers of all time.

Active NFL Hall of Famers 2023

With that in mind, who are the active NFL Hall of Famers in 2023 and what players are close?

For some players, the answer to that question is obvious while for others, the conversation is still ongoing. That got us thinking about current NFL players’ Hall of Fame chances and current NFL Hall of Fame locks.

Let’s take a look at the current NFL players who are already bound for Canton and those who are close to making themselves a member of the Hall of Fame.



Aaron Rodgers

Even before he won MVP honors in 2020 and 2021, Aaron Rodgers was going to be a Hall of Famer. To call him among the active NFL Hall of Famers in 2023 would be an understatement.

Those last two MVP awards merely moved him from a no-brainer for the Hall of Fame to being a legitimate part of the conversation for the best quarterback of all time. In addition to his four MVPs, Rodgers holds multiple all-time records, including the lowest interception percentage and the best touchdown to interception ratio.

Aaron Donald

When he eventually retires, Aaron Donald will go down as the best defensive player of his generation.

He could even end up on the shortlist for best defensive player of all time. Donald has never missed a Pro Bowl in his career and has won Defensive Player of the Year three times. Those two facts alone will get him to Canton.

Bobby Wagner

Is there a better or more consistent tackler of his generation than Bobby Wagner? He anchored some all-time great defenses in Seattle and has been an All-Pro selection nine times.


Don’t forget that Wagner has twice led the league in tackles and went to eight straight Pro Bowls. Given everything that he’s accomplished, Wagner is surely among the active NFL Hall of Famers in 2023.

Travis Kelce

There isn’t much else that Travis Kelce can do to become a Hall of Famer other than play a few more seasons. He’s already gone to the Pro Bowl in eight straight seasons and made a strong case for being the best tight end of all time.

Kelce already owns several all-time records for tight ends. With seven straight 1,000 yard seasons under his belt, there isn’t much more that Kelce can do to show that he’s worthy of a place in Canton.

Von Miller

Von Miller is arguably the most impactful pass rusher of his generation. The eight Pro Bowls and seven All-Pro honors on his resume, not to mention Super Bowl 50 MVP, are impressive, but just watch the tape.

Since he entered the league in 2011, no edge rusher has been more feared, and with 123.5 sacks and counting heading into the 2023 season, Miller is a lock for Canton.

Almost there

Russell Wilson

If his 2022 season had gone as well as his previous 10, we might call Russell Wilson a lock for the Hall of Fame. Last year might have created a little bit of doubt that Wilson has a reserved spot in Canton.

On the other hand, the guy is a nine-time Pro Bowler and one of the most consistent quarterbacks of the last decade. As long as the 2022 campaign isn’t a sign of things to come, Wilson should get to Canton one day.

Trent Williams

It’s sometimes tricky putting offensive linemen in the Hall of Fame. However, there isn’t much else that Trent Williams can do.

Since 2012, he’s missed just one Pro Bowl while barely missing a game. In 2021, the 49ers made him the highest-paid offensive lineman in league history. If he can at least come close to living up to that contract, Williams should have a place in the Hall of Fame.

Justin Tucker

Historically, the Hall of Fame is a little stingy when it comes to letting kickers into the club. But Justin Tucker has to be one of the few exceptions.

He currently holds the records for longest field goal at 66 yards and best field goal percentage. The guy is in a league of his own when it comes to kicking. If ever there was a kicker who deserved a spot in Canton, it’s Tucker.

Patrick Mahomes

The fact that he’s only been in the league for six years is the only thing preventing Patrick Mahomes from being among the active NFL Hall of Famers in 2023. If he retired today with two MVPs and two Super Bowl rings, don’t you think Mahomes would be put in the Hall of Fame?

He’s been that good.

Of course, we’ll never know because there’s almost no chance that Mahomes doesn’t continue to be the NFL’s best player for another five to 10 years, making him a Hall of Famer and one of the best of all time.

Derrick Henry

If he’s not there yet, Derrick Henry is awfully close to being a Hall of Famer. Over the last four or five seasons, he’s certainly been the most dominant and feared running back in the league.

In the last four years, Henry has led the league in rushing attempts three times, rushing yards twice, and rushing touchdowns twice. Is four years of domination enough to get to Canton? It might be, but Henry should keep it going for a few more years just to be safe.

On the radar

Julio Jones

While no longer in his prime, Julio Jones is still hoping to play in 2023. The question is how much more he can improve his Hall of Fame resume.

He’s definitely a strong candidate with seven Pro Bowls and five All-Pro selections. However, there are a lot of good wide receivers who had to wait a long time to get to Canton and some who are still waiting. Jones isn’t necessarily going to leapfrog those players despite a strong resume.

Jason Kelce

As a sixth-round pick, Jason Kelce became a starter as a rookie and has been a stalwart on Philadelphia’s offensive line ever since. He has six Pro Bowl selections and five First-Team All-Pro selections on his resume.

But as impressive as his career has been, Kelce might need to maintain a high level of play for a few more years to become a no-doubt Hall of Fame candidate.

Patrick Peterson

During his prime, there were few cornerbacks on Patrick Peterson’s level. From 2011 to 2018, he went to eight straight Pro Bowls, playing at a high level as a rookie and maintaining that level for a long time.

Peterson’s presence on the NFL 2010s All-Decade Team and his punt return skills surely help his case. But it’s still not obvious that he stacks up against some of the best corners of all time.

Jason Peters

Going from undrafted to the Hall of Fame would certainly be a great story for Jason Peters to write.

To date, only 17 undrafted players have made it to Canton. Peters has nine Pro Bowl selections and six All-Pro selections helping his case. He was also a member of the 2010s All-Decade Team. With well over 200 starts, Peters has given voters a lot to think about.

Tyron Smith

Between 2013 and 2021, Tyron Smith only failed to make it to the Pro Bowl once. He’s been an elite offensive lineman for a long time.

However, injuries started to enter the picture in 2021, costing him most of the 2022 season. While he’s an excellent candidate, it remains to be seen if Smith has done enough to be considered a Hall of Famer or if he needs to fight through the injuries and continue to state his case for a few more years.

Khalil Mack

There’s no doubt that Khalil Mack has been one of the most disruptive defensive players of his generation.

He’s been to seven Pro Bowls and took home Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2016, helping to make the NFL 2010s All-Decade Team. For a guy who wasn’t a top prospect coming out of high school, Mack has had an impressive career.

But it’s hard not to think that he still has some work to do. He’s another season or two from eclipsing 100 career sacks, which would be a nice milestone to help Mack solidify a spot in the Hall of Fame.

Matt Ryan

Voters will certainly have their work cut out for them when it comes to Matt Ryan. He’s a former Rookie of the Year and a former MVP who was nothing but consistent for more than a decade.

However, he only made the Pro Bowl four times and never led the league in passing yards or touchdowns during his career. Ryan’s record as a starter is also just a little above average. He certainly deserves to be on the radar and warrants serious Hall of Fame consideration. But Ryan is far from a lock to be a Hall of Famer after he retires.

Chandler Jones

At first glance, Chandler Jones is someone who could get lost in the shuffle when it comes to the Hall of Fame. His four Pro Bowls and two All-Pro selections don’t quite measure up compared to most Hall of Fame resumes.

On the other hand, he’s already had seven seasons with at least 10 sacks and was chosen for the NFL’s 2010s All-Decade Team. If he can put together a few more good seasons late in his career, Jones could turn himself into a Hall of Famer because his current resume may not be enough.

Tyrann Mathieu

When he burst onto the scene at LSU as a player they called “the Honey Badger,” who knew that we would one day be talking about him as a potential Hall of Famer?

Nevertheless, Tyrann Mathieu has put together a career that warrants such a discussion. He’s been an undersized yet fearless player throughout his career, earning a spot on the 2010s All-Decade Team and being a First-Team All-Pro three times.

Mathieu has done a little bit of everything during his career and is still going strong. He’s one of those players whose longevity and persistence could earn him a trip to Canton.

Matthew Stafford

It’s certainly going to be a tough call for voters one day with Matthew Stafford. Obviously, winning a Super Bowl with the Rams helped his case considerably.

It’s also hard to argue against some of the numbers he put up during his time in Detroit, albeit in a lot of losses and disappointing seasons. To date, Stafford has been to just one Pro Bowl and has long had a problem with turnovers. To be fair, there is a case to be made for Stafford being in the Hall of Fame. However, the case against him might be a little stronger at the moment.

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