Hall of Fame

Predicting the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2021: Who'll get the Canton call on Saturday?

The Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2021 will be revealed during NFL Honors on Saturday night (9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS) -- and what a night it will be. Mostly because Tom Flores and Drew Pearson are likely to be inducted as Coach and Senior Finalists, respectively. And if they somehow aren't, I'm going to have to lecture my 5-year-old about how Flores is one of the only eligible coaches with two Super Bowl wins to not be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. How he's a pioneer, the first Latino quarterback in pro football and one of the first Latinos to be a head coach. Did I mention that he won a pair of Super Bowls as coach of the Raiders? To those of you who aren't great at math: The Raiders have three Super Bowl titles, and Flores owns two of them, which means he's got more than John Madden. And Tom is also on these sick Coors Light cans, too. As for Pearson, it was kind of rude to not include him in last year's mega class. Let's correct that.

But my main job here today is to predict which modern-era finalists will be included in the Class of 2021. And I would like to take a second to remind you that this is my prediction. I've already hit you with my picks for the Hall of Fame, those I'd choose if it were up to me.

Peyton Manning, QB

Indianapolis Colts, 1998-2011; Denver Broncos, 2012-15

There are some who consider Manning to be the best quarterback who ever lived. I'm not one of those people. Still there is no denying he's going into the Hall this season. There is no point even wasting your time talking about it, because it's automatic. He won Super Bowls with two different teams. He owns multiple passing records. It's a lock. Let's move on.

Charles Woodson, CB/S

Oakland Raiders, 1998-2005, 2013-15; Green Bay Packers, 2006-2012

There are always automatic candidates every year, and I would consider Woodson the other one in this year's class. He's going to be one of those rare people who can lay claim to a Heisman Trophy, a Super Bowl championship and now a gold jacket. Roger Staubach, Tony Dorsett, the late Paul Hornung and Marcus Allen are the only other guys who could make that distinction. I mean, Jim Plunkett should be able to, too. But we're getting Tom Flores into the Hall this year, so we'll leave it at that for now.

Calvin Johnson, WR

Detroit Lions, 2007-2015

This one is a little risky. The voters seem to favor guys who have a bit more longevity than Johnson, whose NFL career lasted nine seasons. But I feel like they'll give him a pass out of sympathy, because he spent that time giving his all for a Lions franchise that recorded just two winning seasons in his tenure. He was too dominant during his NFL career to ignore. I mean, the guy had nearly 2,000 receiving yards one year. I would be shocked if he didn't make it in.

And the bad part is that Johnson's inclusion will likely keep Reggie Wayne out. And I know you're thinking: Hey, why wouldn't Reggie go in the same year as Manning, his quarterback? But it's rare that QB/WR combos get in as part of the same class. I'm thinking of Troy Aikman being inducted in 2006, with his receiver, Michael Irvin, getting in the following year.

Richard Seymour, DE/DT

New England Patriots, 2001-08; Oakland Raiders, 2009-2012

I didn't have Seymour in the top five of my personal list, but it feels like there's a swell of support for one of the early anchors of that Patriots dynasty. He was a member of New England's first three Super Bowl-winning teams; he's like the Dave Mustaine of that group, a guy who crushed it early on before leaving to do his own thing.

Tony Boselli, OT

Jacksonville Jaguars, 1995-2001; Houston Texans, 2002 (injured reserve)

This is another one that has been tough to predict. Boselli was one of the best at his position, but his career was cut short because of injuries. Then again, there seems to be more buzz for Boselli this year than in previous years, and if they are going to give a spot to Megatron, who only played two more seasons than Boselli, the left tackle could end up also making it.

If Boselli gets in, that means Clay Matthews, in his final year of eligibility as a modern-era candidate, is likely going to have to wait for the Seniors Committee. I also suspect voters will have a hard time pushing Jared Allen in on the first ballot. So, sadly, I predict Allen -- whom I'd vote for -- will have to keep waiting.

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