NFL Hall of Fame Running Backs

Out of curiosity and the Reggie Bush hype machine, I looked at the NFL Hall of Fame members at Running Back. I wanted to see if there is any correlation between draft position and success at that position. Here is what I found:
Total Modern Era HOF RB/FB/HB: 24Marcus Allen (RB) 1982-1997
Jim Brown (FB) 1957-1965
Earl Campbell (RB) 1978-1985
Larry Csonka (FB) 1968-1979
Eric Dickerson (RB) 1983-1993
Tony Dorsett (RB) 1977-1988
Frank Gifford (HB-FL) 1952-1960, 1962-1964
Franco Harris (RB) 1972-1984
Paul Hornung (HB) 1957-1962, 1964-1966
John Henry Johnson (FB) 1954-1966
Leroy Kelly (RB) 1964-1973
Ollie Matson (HB) 1952, 1954-1966
Hugh McElhenny (HB) 1952-1964
Lenny Moore (HB) 1956-1967
Marion Motley (FB) 1946-1953, 1955
Walter Payton (RB) 1975-1987
Joe Perry (FB) 1948-1963
John Riggins (RB) 1971-1979, 1981-1985
Barry Sanders (RB) 1989-1998
Gale Sayers (HB) 1965-1971
O.J. Simpson (RB) 1969-1979
Jim Taylor (FB) 1958-1967
Charley Trippi (HB) 1947-1955
Doak Walker (HB) 1950-1955

First Round Picks:
Marcus Allen (10), Jim Brown (6), Earl Campbell (1), Larry Czonka (8), Eric Dickerson (2), Tony Dorsett (2), Frank Gifford (11), Franco Harris (13), Paul Hornung (1), Ollie Matson (3), Hugh McElhenny (9), Lenny Moore (9), Walter Payton (4), John Riggins (6), Barry Sanders (3), Gayle Sayers (4), O.J. Simpson (1), Charley Trippi (1), Doak Walker (3)

Second Round Picks:
John Henry Johnson (18), Jim Taylor (15)

Eighth Round Picks:
Leroy Kelly (110 Overall)

Undrafted:
Marion Motley, Joe Perry

Possible Future Hall of Fame Players:
Mike Alstott (rd2 – 35 overall), Jerome Bettis (10), Terrell Davis (rd6 – 196 overall), Corey Dillon (rd2 – 43 overall), Warrick Dunn (12), Marshall Faulk (2), Priest Holmes (undrafted), Jamal Lewis (5), Curtis Martin (rd3 – 10), Emmitt Smith (17), Thurman Thomas (rd 2 – 40 overall)

In summary it looks as though at this position, the talent is usually realized before they ever step foot on the NFL field. Sure there are plenty of busts that aren’t listed here (Salaam, Thomas, etc.) but there aren’t many players drafted outside the first round on this list. In this case Reggie Bush may have a chance at Canton.

Summary
(Including My Speculation on Future HOF’ers)
1st round picks: 24
2nd round picks: 5
3rd -7th round picks: 2
8th round picks: 1
Undrafted: 3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>