MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Two Minnesota Vikings greats have a shot at making the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year.
The NFL announced the 2018 Hall of Fame semifinalists Tuesday, and Randy Moss and Steve Hutchinson both made the cut.
Moss, arguably the most talented wide receiver of all time and inarguably the greatest Vikings receiver, is in his first year of eligibility.
Moss ranks third all-time in receiving yards with 15,292, behind only San Francisco 49ers great Jerry Rice and Terrell Owens. He has the second-most receiving touchdowns in NFL history with 156, again trailing Rice, who has 197. Moss’ numbers are especially impressive considering he doesn’t even rank in the top 10 of all-time receptions leaders. He sits at 15th with 982.
This is also Hutchinson’s first year of eligibility. He anchored the Vikings offensive line for half a decade after the team signed him away from the Seattle Seahawks. The guard kept pockets clean for a carousel of Vikings quarterbacks (including Brett Favre, who had his best statistical year as a Viking) and paved paths for Adrian Peterson until the team cut him in 2011.
Another former Viking, running back Roger Craig, is also a semifinalist, but he only played one year for the Vikings, spending most of his career with the 49ers.
There’s another Minnesota Hall of Fame connection this year – Karl Mecklenburg, who played college ball at the University of Minnesota, is a semifinalist. Mecklenburg played his whole NFL career with the Denver Broncos, amassing the third-most sacks in franchise history (79) despite being drafted in the 12th round.
Moss is the most likely to make the Hall, although his off the field — and, let’s be honest, sometimes on the field — antics, plus a clogged pipeline of eligible receivers, may hurt his chances. Hutchinson should also get in eventually, if not this year.
The 2018 Hall of Fame inductees will be announced the night before the Super Bowl and will be officially enshrined next August.