Middle linebacker may be the most contested position in this year’s Pro Football Hall of Fame vote with two-time Defensive Player of the Year Ray Lewis and one-time Defensive Player of the Year Brian Urlacher both first-time eligible. In today’s podcast our Hall of Fame voters, Ron Borges, Clark Judge and Rick Gosselin, debate their merits.
Ron says “both players have resumes worthy of first- ballot election’’ but then adds “it’s rare that this committee enshrines two players at the same position from the same class.’’ He adds the more ominous fact that Hall of Fame electors have never enshrined two middle linebackers in the same draft class since the Hall was opened in 1963. So why would it start now?
Rick Gosselin thinks it’s possible though but Clark disagrees. He thinks Lewis is the only slam dunk on the 2018 list and is going with history on how the electors will vote.
The guys then delve into each man’s resume and remind us that both were under sized for the position when they first came into the NFL, Urlacher having to be converted from a college safety while Lewis was a sideline-to-sideline performer who some teams projected more as an outside linebacker than as a middle linebacker because of his speed and relatively slight frame when he came out of the University of Miami.
Clark also raises a long-term point about these two. Are they destined to become the last of a long line of middle linebackers in the Hall of Fame?
“Is the middle linebacker in a 4-3 scheme looming as the potential dinosaur position on defense that the fullback position has become on offense?’’ Clark asks.
To hear the guys’ view on the future of the middle linebacker in the NFL and the Hall of Fame future of two of that position’s best – Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher – just download our free podcast or better still subscribe and it will come to you automatically by 10 a.m. each weekday morning. To hear it all just click on either one of the links below.