Some enterprising young blogger wrote this back in 2006...
With all the buzz about the Hall of Fame this past weekend, I began to think about whether any Falcons would get in anytime soon. Now, unlike the Baseball Hall of Fame, players do not get inducted for a specific team per se, so there are already individuals in the Hall with Falcon connections. Norm Van Brocklin and Art Shell, both in the Hall as players, were Falcon coaches. Eric Dickerson played 4 games with the Falcons in 1993.
The big four Falcon greats on the bubble are of course Tommy Nobis, Claude Humphrey, Jeff Van Note, and Jessie Tuggle. I discount Deion Sanders because he’s a shoe-in to get in when he is able come 2011.
Humphrey notably has been a finalist 3 of the past 4 years, but has yet to get in. So of course he seems the most likeliest candidate to get his bust in Canton anytime soon. I decided to look at some of the accomplishments of these Falcons compared with their contemporaries already in the Hall. And by contemporaries I looked only at players that basically began their careers within three or so years of each other, assuming then that these players hit their primes at about the same time.
For Humphrey, he’s already close, and I think eventually will get in. His 122 career sacks is practically enough alone to get him in. Humphrey was not named to any All-Decade team, but currently only 4 contemporaries are in the Hall right now (Joe Greene, Alan Page, Jack Youngblood, and Elvin Bethea). But like Nobis, Humphrey is hurt by the small number of All-Pro teams he was voted to (only two) compared with the rest of his peers (Bethea had the lowest with four). Again, I think Humphrey can eventually get in, but it’s not going to be in the next few years. Jack Youngblood was a finalist 8 times over the course of 11 years before he finally was elected. If Humphrey was to follow a similar path, he would likely not be elected until 2013 or so.