The Pro Football Hall of Fame just announced nearly 130 nominees for the 2023 Canton class, and a dozen of those players are former Atlanta Falcons. As always, we’re hopeful we’ll see a few make it all the way into the Hall of Fame when the dust settles.
We’ll have to wait a while, as the Pro Football Hall of Fame won’t cut down to semifinalists until November, but here I’ll spotlight three Falcons in particular who are on the list of a dozen, and share the full list below that.
WR Roddy White
A franchise legend, Roddy is either first or second in every significant Falcons receiving record, and he’s 39th in NFL history in receiving yards, as well as 35th in receptions. The fiery receiver had a slow start to his career but blossomed into a favorite target for Matt Ryan and played his entire career in Atlanta.
He may be a bit of a long-shot for Canton, but I’m thrilled he’s getting the consideration, as he was one of the best receivers in football during his era.
DE John Abraham
You have to think Abe has a real shot. The best pass rusher in franchise history not named Claude Humphrey, Abraham was a terror for the Falcons for years as the most intimidating pass rusher and sack artist on the field. He finished first all-time in sacks—second if you count unofficial results, in which case he’s behind Humphrey—as well as 18th on the unofficial sack list and 13th on the official one. There’s a good case to be made that he’s simply one of the best pass rushers in NFL history, period.
RB Warrick Dunn
An elusive and well-rounded threat, Dunn was stellar for a handful of years in Atlanta and had a spectacular career overall. A truly great man on and off the field, Dunn finished his career 20th in all-purpose yards from scrimmage, proving lethal as a runner and receiver. Like Abe, he has a strong case for the Hall.
In addition to these three, the Falcons also have longtime Ram Steven Jackson, multi-faceted threat Erick Metcalf, all-time great returner Devin Hester, longtime Saints wide receiver Joe Horn, franchise great receiver Andre Rison, storied former Colts and Falcons pass rusher Dwight Freeney, tremendous returner Allen Rossum, terrific cornerback Asante Samuel, and kicker Jason Elam.
It’s a great list with a lot of memories on it, and we wish some of our favorite former Falcons well.