This is the 8th consecutive year in which a first-time-eligible player is among the newest candidates for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Troy Polamalu, the former Pittsburgh Steelers safety, has impressed many early on in his career.
Here’s a look into the Class of 2020:
Steve Atwater – Safety
Denver Broncos, 1989-98; New York Jets, 1999
A fierce tackler and a winner of 2 Super Bowls with the Broncos, Atwater closed his career as an 8-time Pro Bowl Selection and 2-time first-team All-Pro. He was one of the biggest yet most mobile safeties in his time. His selection was more of a nod to the physical side of the game.
Isaac Bruce – Wide Receiver
Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 1994-2007; San Francisco 49ers, 2008-09
As his first career catch, Bruce scored a 34-yard touchdown and went on to 4 Pro Bowls. Once Isaac Bruce retired, he was second all-time as he had 15,208 receiving yards. Bruce and Jerry Rice were the only two receivers at the time to have topped 15,000 yards. As the first player in NFL history to have 3 consecutive games with at least 170 receiving yards, he definitely stood out to be a Hall of Fame winner. Throughout his career, he had 3 200-yard receiving games.
Steve Hutchinson – Guard
Seattle Seahawks, 2001-05; Minnesota Vikings, 2006-11; Tennessee Titans, 2012
Hutchinson was selected to be on the leagues’ all-rookie team in 2001, went to 7 Pro Bowls, and was on the All-Decade team of the 2000s. He had been to a part of 5 first-team All-Pro bowls and had played 44 straight games without having an accepted penalty called on him.
Edgerrin James – Running Back
Indianapolis Colts, 1999-2005; Arizona Cardinals, 2006-08; Seattle Seahawks, 2009
James was offensive rookie of the year in 1999 and during his first 2 seasons, he won the league’s rushing title. He was a versatile player that could “do it all.” James was quick, had a lot of power, and a vision that could be a problem for defense teams he played against.
Troy Polamalu – Safety
Pittsburgh Steelers, 2003-14
Troy Polamalu helped the Steelers win 2 Super Bowls during his time. He forced 14 fumbles, recovered 7 fumbles, and also had 32 interceptions. Polamalu was picked for 8 Pro Bowls and was a 4-time All-Pro player. He also won Player of the Year in 2010.
The five Hall of Fame players selected will be enshrined on August 8th in Canton, Ohio.