The Pro Football Hall of Fame will officially induct their new class this weekend, a group that includes former Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Tony Dungy. After Derrick Brooks and Warren Sapp in the last couple of years, and Lee Roy Selmon a while before, Dungy will be the fourth Hall of Famer who played or coached a significant part of his career in Tampa. He won’t be the last, though, and the Bucs may have a few future candidates on the roster. ESPN’s Bill Barnwell went through every team’s roster to find the best future candidates for the Hall of Fame.
Barnwell gives Lavonte David and Jameis Winston a 1 to 10% chance of making it into the Hall of Fame. That seems fair for Winston, who has a long career ahead of him in which many things could go wrong before he can be a Hall of Famer. For Lavonte David that seems somewhat pessimistic: he’s certainly played at a Hall of Fame level the past four years, and has shown no signs of slowing down. In theory, if he can keep this up for at least six more years, he should have a solid case for the Hall of Fame.
He gives one Bucs player a significantly higher chance, though: Gerald McCoy.
Gerald McCoy is perhaps unfairly compared to Suh by virtue of the two being taken second and third, respectively, in the 2010 draft, but McCoy is a hell of a player who stands on his own. The biggest difference between the two is injuries: Suh doesn't really ever miss time, while McCoy has been out for 17 games as a pro. Suh has 42 sacks in 94 games; prorate that to the 79 games in which McCoy has played, and you would expect the Oklahoma star to have generated 35.2 sacks. He actually has 35.5. If he continues to stay healthy, McCoy should rise up toward Suh. 30 percent
The problem for McCoy is that statistically, he hasn’t had any true standout seasons. That is: in terms of pure sacks. He’s had a few dominant seasons in terms of pressures, but those are not official stats, and the tracking sites are not uncontroversial among media members who vote on the Pro Football Hall of Fame. McCoy also needs a bit more longevity and health to make it there — a few ten-plus sack seasons should get him there eventually, though.
There’s one more player who’s on his way toward a potential Hall of Fame career: Mike Evans. With two 1,000-yard seasons to start his career, he’s off to a good start. If he can keep improving every year, and if Winston progresses alongside him, he should put up some ridiculous stats by the time he’s finished, especially given the fact that he’s just 23 this season. Like Winston, though, he has a long way to go before he can come close to the Hall of Fame.
My money, like Barnwell’s, is on Gerald McCoy, though. But there are a few highly talented players on this team who might make it there, if everything goes right. Who do you think will make it to the Hall of Fame?