The NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 2010s. The team is voted on and unveiled by the Pro Football Hall of Fame and its selection committee, the same group of people who will one day vote some of these players into the Hall of Fame.
While there are no officially guidelines when it comes to making the Hall of Fame, there are a few specific things that certainly help to have on your resume. Gaudy stats, Pro Bowl and All-Pro selections, MVP honors and championships won all certainly help your cause, along with being part of an all-decade team. Of the 35 offensive and defensive members of the 2000s All-Decade Team that are currently eligible for enshrinement, 21 are already enshrined in Canton, with three more getting inducted this summer. Several more (Peyton Manning and Charles Woodson among them) are expected to be inducted as soon as they are eligible.
Here’s a look at the current Hall of Fame chances for each offensive and defensive member of the 2010 All-Decade Team, broken down into categories.
As good as gold
RB Aaron Rodgers: Two league MVPs, a Super Bowl MVP and a slew of Pro Bowl/All-Pro nods makes Rodgers a Hall of Fame lock. He’s also convinced enough people that, if the Packers had surrounded him with more help this past decade, he would have added to his ring total.
RB Frank Gore: Gore is third all-time in rushing and was the best offensive player on a 49ers’ team that played in one Super Bowl and three consecutive title games. His incredible durability is also part of his Hall of Fame story.
WR Larry Fitzgerald: Fitzgerald is second all-time to Jerry Rice in receptions and receiving yards. Throw in his epic 2008 postseason (30 catches, 546 yards and seven touchdowns in four games), and his place is Canton is secure.
WR Calvin Johnson: Like Barry Sanders, this Lions early retirement will also not deter him from entering Canton. Megatron was simply too good to be forgotten by the voters. In nine seasons, he led the league in touchdown receptions once and receiving yards in consecutive years. His 1,964 yards in 2012 remains unmatched.
TE Rob Gronkowski: When you’re considered arguably the best player ever at your position, as Gronk is, you’re a Hall of Fame lock. Brady’s most important teammate this past decade, Gronkowski caught 79 touchdowns during the regular season (leading the league with 17 touchdown grabs in 2011) and another 12 during the postseason. HIs three rings and six Super Bowl appearances don’t hurt his case, either.
OL Joe Thomas: A 10-time Pro Bowler and six-time All-Pro, Thomas was considered the best left tackle in football during his time with the Browns. His streak of 10,363 consecutive snaps played is the icing on his Hall of Fame cake.
DE J.J. Watt: Three Defensive Player of the Year awards is all you need to say to make Watt’s Hall of Fame argument.
DE Julius Peppers: Also a member of the All-2000s team, Peppers’ 159.5 career sacks (fourth all-time) is his ticket to Canton.
DL Aaron Donald: Donald could retire today and would be inducted into Canton five years from now. That’s how it works when you earn six Pro Bowls, five All-Pros, Defensive Rookie of the Year, two NFL Defensive Player of the Year and are the best player on a Super Bowl team during your first six seasons.
OLB Von Miller: Eight Pro Bowls, three All-Pros and being a member of the 100 sack club would make Miller a fringe Hall of Famer if his career ended today (think Charles Haley, who had similar numbers but was a member of five Super Bowl championship teams). Miller’s MVP performance in Super Bowl 50 puts him over the top.
CB Richard Sherman: Like Miller, Sherman’s individual accolades (five Pro Bowls, three All-Pros) don’t necessarily make him a lock. It’s the fact that Sherman was the face of Seattle’s Legion of Boom defense, along with his role in the 49ers‘ Super Bowl run in 2019 (at the somewhat advanced age of 31-years-old) that solidifies Sherman’s case.
On the doorstep
RB Marshawn Lynch: If his number was called during the final minute of Super Bowl XLIX, Lynch likely would have won Super Bowl MVP while leading the Seahawks to back-to-back titles, all but punching his Hall of Fame ticket in the process. Instead, he’ll have to settle for an extremely impressive four-year stretch that included leading the league in rushing touchdowns in consecutive seasons while helping lead Seattle to one Super Bowl win. It may not be enough, but Lynch’s success in Seattle gives him a fighting chance.
WR Julio Jones: The Falcons‘ all-world receiver just needs a few more big seasons to punch his Hall of Fame ticket. While his current body of work already gives him an argument, Jones will significantly help his argument by moving up the career lists in receiving yards (he’s currently 25th) and touchdowns (tied for 96) in the coming years. Another Super Bowl run wouldn’t hurt, either.
OL Joe Staley: Staley’s durability, six Pro Bowl nods and impact on two different 49ers Super Bowl teams may be enough to land him in Canton someday. Voters will likely hold his zero All-Pro nods against him, which is why he is not currently considered a Hall of Fame lock.
OL Marshal Yanda: It’s extremely hard for offensive lineman — especially guards — to receive Hall of Fame induction (see: Alan Faneca). That being said, Yanda’s versatility, eight Pro Bowls, two All-Pros and Super Bowl win with the Ravens in 2012 should be enough to get him inducted … eventually.
C Maurkice Pouncey: A Pro Bowl selection in each of his eight healthy seasons, Pouncey’s current body of work is probably already convincing enough for enshrinement. But considering the position he plays, Pouncey would help his case by racking at least two more Pro Bowl nods.
ILB Luke Kuechly: Sans winning a Super Bowl, Kuechly did everything else (seven Pro Bowls, five All-Pros, the Defensive Rookie and Player of the Year, best defensive player on a Super Bowl participant) a pro football player can accomplish in his eight seasons. He’ll probably get in eventually, but voters will likely hold his “short” career against him for at least a couple of years.
ILB Patrick Willis: Like Kuechly, Willis played eight seasons at inside linebacker, was a seven-time Pro Bowler, five-time All-Pro and the best defensive player on a Super Bowl participant. But that wasn’t enough to get him inducted this past winter, his first year of eligibility.
CB Darrelle Revis: Revis’ reputation as arguably the best cover corner of his era will probably help voters overlook his quick decline. His nickname (Revis Island) and contribution on New England’s 2014 championship team will also help his Hall of Fame argument.
S Earl Thomas: A vital piece of Seattle’s Legion of Boom defense, Thomas, who earned Pro Bowl honors in 2019 a year after sustaining a serious lower body injury, is a few more Pro Bowl seasons away for being a Hall of Fame lock.
Currently on the outside looking in
RB LeSean McCoy: Six Pro Bowls, two All-Pros and a rushing title helps McCoy’s cause, but a lack of eye-popping receiving numbers and his 22nd all-time rushing ranking would be held against him.
WR Antonio Brown: Brown’s self-destruction over the past year has overshadowed his incredible numbers from 2013-18, when he became the first receiver in league history to catch at least 100 passes six consecutive years. His 35th all-time ranking in career receiving yards also doesn’t help his case.
FLEX Darren Sproles: The 5-foot-6 Sproles played 15 years, made three Pro Bowls and won a ring with the ’17 Eagles. That being said, it’s hard for utility players to make the Hall of Fame (just ask Brian Mitchell).
TE Travis Kelce: While five consecutive Pro Bowls and a Super Bowl ring helps his case, the 30-year-old Kelce will need at least a few more productive seasons to strengthen his Hall of Fame argument.
OL Tyron Smith: A seven-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro, Smith will likely need a few more Pro Bowl nods to help strengthen his argument.
OL Jahri Evans: Evans’ six straight Pro Bowl and four consecutive All-Pro nods (along with his role on the 2009 Saints Super Bowl championship team) may be good enough to get him into Canton. But given how hard it is for lineman to get enshrined, he may be waiting for a considerable amount of time.
OL Logan Mankins: While seven Pro Bowls is impressive, just one All-Pro nod will likely be held against him. It’s also unfortunate that Mankins left New England after the 2013 season, a year before the Patriots won their fourth Super Bowl of the Brady-Bill Belichick era.
OL Zack Martin: A Pro Bowler in each of his six NFL seasons (along with being a four-time All-Pro), voters will have look past Martin’s abbreviated career when looking over his Hall of Fame credentials.
OL Alex Mack: While six Pro Bowls is impressive, zero All-Pro nods would be held against Mack in a Hall of Fame discussion.
DE Calais Campbell: A late bloomer (he earned his first Pro Bowl nod at age 28), Campbell would significantly increase his Hall of Fame odds by helping lead the Ravens — his new team — to a Super Bowl win.
DE Cameron Jordan: Still just 30-years-old, Jordan, a Pro Bowler each of the past three years, will need to continue to pile up numbers over the next few years to improve his argument. A Super Bowl win with the Saints wouldn’t hurt, either.
DT Geno Atkins: An eight-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro, Atkins’ position and lack of team success would probably keep him out of Canton if his career ended today. Fortunately for him, Atkins, who turned 32 in March, still has time to add to his career resume.
DT Fletcher Cox: Like several players in this category, Cox, a Pro Bowler each of the past five years, can increase his Hall of Fame stock with several more productive seasons.
DL Ndamukong Suh: One of the better defensive lineman of his era, Suh’s lack of eye-popping numbers, along with the fact that he’s played on four different teams, hurts his Hall of Fame argument.
LB Chandler Jones: While his three Pro Bowl selections aren’t terribly impressive, Jones’ 96 career sacks are. And, at just 30-years-old, he should improve his future Hall of Fame stock over the next few seasons.
LB Khalil Mack: A five-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro, the 29-year-old Mack will need a bounce-back season in 2020 to help put his career back on a possible Hall of Fame projection.
LB Bobby Wagner: A Super Bowl champion and five-time All-Pro, Wagner, who will turn 30 in June, will likely jump up this list with a few more big seasons.
CB Patrick Peterson: An eight-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro, Peterson, who will also turn 30 this summer, will need to continue to play at a high level into his 30s in order to increase his Hall of Fame odds.
S Eric Berry: A Hall of Fame talent, Berry’s health didn’t allow his career to have the longevity Hall of Fame voters like to see. That being said, voters who remember Berry’s prime may look past his 89 career games while giving him a place in Canton.
S Eric Weddle: A six-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro, the recently-retired Weddle was a very good safety throughout his career. Is being a “very good” player good enough for Canton? We’ll find out when Weddle’s name is on the ballot somewhere down the line.
DB Chris Harris Jr.: Four Pro Bowls, an All-Pro and a Super Bowl ring helps Harris’ cause. That being said, his resume currently falls short of Hall of Fame standard.
DB Tyrann Mathieu: The Honey Badger likely improved his credentials by helping the Chiefs win Super Bowl LIV. Mathieu, who will turn 28-years-old before the start of this season, will need to start racking up more Pro Bowl and All-Pro selections (he currently has two All-Pros and one Pro Bowl to his credit) over the next several years to help strengthen his case.