The Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2011 was lead by Marshall Faulk, Shannon Sharpe, and Deion Sanders and included Richard Dent, Chris Hanburger, Les Richter, and Ed Sabol. Though it was a star-studded Hall of Fame class, several Hall of Fame "locks" were excluded, making this years Hall of Fame race all the more interesting.
This year the only newly eligible Hall of Fame locks are coaches Bill Parcells and Bill Cowher, and guard Will Shields. Cowher won't get in this year because it is widely anticipated that he'll be on the sidelines next year. Bill Parcells may have wait one more year, though I think he'll get in this year.
Will Shields deserves to get in first ballot having never missed a game in 14 seasons and being selected to 12 Pro Bowls.
So of the newly eligible candidates that gives us Bill Parcells and Will Shields. Now onto the logjam that is the other three or so players that will be inducted.
Here's a look at some of the future Hall of Famer's who are eligible and have still yet to hear their name called: Tim Brown, Cris Carter, Curtis Martin, Jerome Bettis, Andre Reed, Willie Roaf, Cortez Kennedy, and Dermontti Dawson. If I had to guess what this years Hall of Fame class is going to look like I would say Bill Parcells, Will Shields, Curtis Martin, Jerome Bettis, and Dermontti Dawson. It's hard to choose one of those three receivers, though if I had to I'd pick Reed. Shields and Dawson were dominant at their position and while it's hard to get into the Hall of Fame as an offensive lineman, those two deserve it.
Next year Michael Strahan, Larry Allen, and Warren Sapp will secure three spots in the Hall but that could be the year that Reed and Carter sneak in.