While watching the NFL, it is easy to let the years roll by without truly appreciating the greatest players in the game. Not every one of these players will make the Hall of Fame, but they either have been some of the greatest players of this generation or have the potential to be just that.
Arizona Cardinals – Larry Fitzgerald
Fitzgerald is second all-time in both receptions (1,378) and receiving yards (17,083), as well as sixth in receiving touchdowns (120). While the Cardinals lost Super Bowl XLIII, Fitzgerald had one of the greatest postseasons of all-time, posting a 30-546-7 stat line in four games.
Atlanta Falcons – Julio Jones
Jones is one of the best receivers in his generation and has had six seasons of 1,400 yards or more. A few more seasons are needed to cement his legacy, but Jones appears to be on his way to Ohio.
Baltimore Ravens – Justin Tucker
This one could be a bit of a shock to some, but kickers deserve love, and Tucker is on pace to be one of the best kickers ever. In just eight seasons, Tucker has made 265 field goals, and has a percentage of 90.8, currently the most accurate ever.
Buffalo Bills – Tre’Davious White
White is coming off of an All-Pro 2019 season in which he led the league in picks, and the 25-year-old should only get better. With the Bills looking to make significant January strides in the coming seasons, White could blossom into a consistent star at the NFL level.
Carolina Panthers – Christian McCaffery
While he had only spent three seasons in the league, McCaffery has been the ultimate dual-threat out of the Panther backfield, with over 300 receptions in his career, as well as 15 receiving touchdowns. Add that to his almost 3,000 yards and 25 touchdowns on the ground, and McCaffery could be on his way to one of the most productive dual-threat careers ever.
Chicago Bears – Khalil Mack
With three All-Pro nods and 61.5 sacks in six seasons, Mack appears well on his way to a Canton-worthy career. Mack also won the 2016 Defensive Player of the Year award.
Cincinnati Bengals – A.J. Green
While Green has struggled with injuries over the last two seasons, a return to form and a few more quality seasons could be enough to propel him to Canton. Green will likely soon pass the 10,000 yards receiving mark, and the 32-year-old still seems to have some left in the tank.
Cleveland Browns – Myles Garrett
In just 35 career games, Garrett has already racked up 30.5 sacks. Given that his pressure rate is one of the best in the game, this number should only increase over the course of his $125 million contract. Garrett has never won an individual award or been named an All-Pro, but that could certainly change given his potential and production this early in his career.
Dallas Cowboys – Zack Martin
Four All-Pros in six seasons tells you all you need to know about the productivity and consistency of Martin. Martin was also a member of the NFL 2010s All-Decade team.
Denver Broncos – Von Miller
A three-time All-Pro and Super Bowl 50 MVP, Millers resume and stats make him a lock for Canton. The 31-year-old already has surpassed 100 sacks (106) and was the Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2011. A Defensive Player of the Year would only further cement his status.
Detroit Lions – Matthew Stafford
Many football fans feel for Stafford and wonder what he could accomplish outside of Detroit. Even with a lackluster team around him for most of his career, Stafford Is top-20 in both yards and touchdowns. Whether that will be enough for Canton is soon to be seen, but a few great seasons could help his case.
Green Bay Packers – Aaron Rodgers
Rodgers has won two MVP awards and a Super Bowl and is considered one of the most talented quarterbacks to ever play the game. At times, the talent around him hasn’t been great, but the Packers are annual contenders with Rodgers under center.
Houston Texans – J.J. Watt
Despite missing 31 games over the last four seasons, Watt has totaled 96 sacks in just nine seasons in his career and has won three Defensive Player of The Year awards. In the six seasons in which he has played all 16 games, he has been named All-Pro five times. The only exception was his rookie year.
Indianapolis Colts – Quenton Nelson
In just two seasons, Nelson has established himself as one of the best offensive linemen in the game, earning All-Pro honors in each season. The 24-year-old is looking at a great career ahead and has already gotten off to a blistering start.
Jacksonville Jaguars – Josh Allen
With no true star on the roster, Allen shows the most potential after a stellar rookie season. Allen recorded 10.5 sacks and two forced fumbles and has the potential to be a stud on the Jaguars defensive line throughout the 2020s.
Kansas City Chiefs – Patrick Mahomes
Mahomes is off to an unprecedented start, and while Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce are also producing solid careers to this point, Mahomes is on track to be one of the all-time greats.
Las Vegas Raiders – Jason Witten
While he hasn’t played a down with the Raiders yet, the two-time All-Pro has the resume of a Hall of Famer, just under 13,000 yards and 72 touchdowns.
Los Angeles Chargers – Joey Bosa
Bosa has 40 sacks in 49 games and appears set to be one of the game’s best edge rusher for years to come. With many more seasons of his current production, Bosa could get a bust in Canton at the end of his career.
Los Angeles Rams – Aaron Donald
Donald has won two Defensive Player of the Year awards and has earned five straight All-Pro nods all before the age of 30. Add in his 72 sacks and the many years to add to it, Donald will more than likely be in the Hall of Fame down the line.
Miami Dolphins – Xavien Howard
Before an injury-riddled 2019, Howard led the league with seven interceptions in 2018. If the 27-year-old can return to form, multiple productive seasons could lie ahead for Howard.
Minnesota Vikings – Dalvin Cook
2019 was Cook’s best season in his short career, gaining over 1,600 yards from scrimmage. If Cook can improve and build upon his success, a string of successful seasons can follow for the soon to be 25-year-old. The potential is there, whether he can reach it or not remains to be seen.
New England Patriots – Cam Newton
Similar to Witten, while Newton hasn’t yet played a snap with his new team, the 2015 league MVP has the best shot on a team that recently lost both Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski. Newton has the most rushing TDs for a QB all-time with 58 and will try to regain his MVP form and return the Patriots to the Super Bowl.
New Orleans Saints – Drew Brees
Brees is the all-time leader in passing yards (77,416) and touchdowns (547) and will likely become the first QB to pass 80,000 yards. While he has somehow never won an MVP, he has consistently been one of the best QB’s in the league and was MVP of Super Bowl XLIV.
New York Giants – Saquon Barkley
Barkley has amassed over 3,400 yards from scrimmage in his first two seasons and will be the Giants best player for the foreseeable future barring a massive jump from second-year QB Daniel Jones. It’s early, but Barkley has the potential to reach Canton.
New York Jets – Frank Gore
Gore continues to play and is now third on the all-time rushing list. Gore now joins his fifth team with the Jets and will backup Le’Veon Bell. He is only 1,380 yards away from passing Walter Payton for second all-time.
Philadelphia Eagles – Jason Peters
While Wentz could go here, he hasn’t shown a Hall of Fame type season yet, only topping 4,00 yards once in a season. So Peters is the choice here, having earned All-Pro honors twice and being a consistent linemen for over 15 years.
Pittsburgh Steelers – Ben Roethlisberger
Roethlisberger is a two-time champion, and is top-10 in passing yards, touchdowns, and wins. Roethlisberger is just one of nine QB’s to take his team to three Super Bowls. Seven of the other eight are in the Hall of Fame, and the other is Tom Brady.
San Francisco 49ers – Richard Sherman
As a vital member of Seattle’s Legion of Boom, Sherman helped lead the Seahawks to Super Bowls XLVIII and XLIX. Sherman brought that talent over to San Francisco, earning second team All-Pro honors and helping lead the 49ers to Super Bowl LIV.
Seattle Seahawks – Russell Wilson
Wilson has quietly been one of the best quarterbacks in the league over the last eight years. He should have won back-to-back Super Bowls, but a questionable play call led to a pick on the one-yard line. With Wilson at the helm and Jamal Adams in the mix, the Hawks could return to the Super Bowl, cementing Wilson’s status.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Tom Brady
The rings (six of ‘em) and awards (four MVP’s) speak for themselves, and now Brady has a chance to win a seventh ring and add to his legacy by winning without Bill Belichick.
Tennessee Titans – Kevin Byard
In just four years, Byard has already nabbed 17 interceptions, including a postseason pick versus the top-seeded Ravens, and earned All-Pro honors in 2017. A small sample size but potential for greatness in the Tennessee secondary.
Washington – Ryan Kerrigan
Kerrigan has consistently been one of the most underrated pass-rushers in the league, having sacked the QB at least seven times in each of his first eight seasons in the league, including four double-digit sack years. With 10 sacks this season, Kerrigan would become just the 35th player to hit 100 career sacks and could build upon that at just 31 years old.