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2014 Hall of Fame Class Serves as a Reminder of Approaches to Building Winners in the NFL

[fa icon="calendar'] August 06, 2014 / by Chris Barry posted in NFL Players

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Seven Inductees, Seven Paths to Greatness

 

Derrick-Brooks-Pro-Football-Hall-of-FameThe NFL is a star-driven league.

Yes, obscure players and career journeymen can leap to prominence at any time, like Chase Blackburn in SB XLVI. Blackburn, a seven-year NFL journeyman, was about to begin a second career as a math teacher in Ohio in 2011 before the Giants called mid-season to bring him back due to injuries to linebackers Michael Boley and Mark Herzlich.

Two months later, he intercepted Tom Brady 50 yards downfield in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl in a (the?) pivotal play in the Giants’ 21-17 upset win.

But Blackburn’s case is the exception, not the rule. Even the most successful NFL teams are made up mostly of mediocre players – journeymen, developmental young players, backups whose primary contributions come on special teams, and players who general managers and coaches intend to replace as soon as a better option exists.

What makes the most successful teams stand above the others is 1) having a “franchise” quarterback and 2) having elite players – real difference-makers – at as many other positions as possible.

The ultimate measure of “elite” is induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. This past weekend, seven new members joined the Hall, swelling its population to 287. Each of these players took a different path to NFL immortality, but each provides a lesson on how a successful NFL General Manager can find cornerstone players to put a top team on the field.

 

Heart of a Lion

 

LB Derrick Brooks – R1/28, 1995 NFL Draft. Brooks, though only 6’0”, never missed a game in 14 NFL seasons, and started every game in his career after the first three. He was a tackling machine and an 11-time Pro Bowler. The Bucs’ defense during his heyday had stars at all three levels of the defense, with Warren Sapp at DT, Brooks at MLB, and Jonathan Lynch at safety.

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NFL Team Needs | Five Things: Luck's Going to Be Great, Broncos Will Be a Threat

[fa icon="calendar'] August 30, 2012 / by Doug Brogowski posted in NFL Teams, NFL Players

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NFL Team Needs | Five Things: Luck's Going to Be Great, Broncos Will Be a Threat

By Pete Prisco, CBS Sports

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NFL Transactions | NFL Cuts to 53 & the Importance of a Strong Defense

[fa icon="calendar'] August 26, 2012 / by Doug Brogowski posted in NFL Transactions, NFL General Managers, NFL Players

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NFL Transactions | NFL Cuts to 53 & the Importance of a Strong Defense

By Ted Sundquist, The Football Educator

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NFL Team Needs | 6 NFL Stats Fans and Media Don't Understand

[fa icon="calendar'] August 25, 2012 / by Doug Brogowski posted in NFL Teams, NFL General Managers, NFL Players

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NFL Team Needs | 6 NFL Stats Fans and Media Don't Understand

By Scott Kacsmar, Bleacher Report

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NFL Team Needs | Blaine Gabbert: Why 2012 Can Be Breakout Year for Jaguars QB

[fa icon="calendar'] August 22, 2012 / by Doug Brogowski posted in NFL Teams, NFL Players

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NFL Team Needs | Blaine Gabbert: Why 2012 Can Be Breakout Year for Jaguars QB

By Gary Davenport, Bleacher Report

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NFL Team Needs | Cam Newton Going To Great Lengths To Avoid Sophomore Slump

[fa icon="calendar'] August 17, 2012 / by Doug Brogowski posted in NFL Teams, NFL Players

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NFL Team Needs | Cam Newton Going To Great Lengths To Avoid Sophomore Slump

By Pete Prisco, CBS Sports

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NFL Draft Prospects | Breaking Down Areas Where Andrew Luck, RG3 Must Improve Most

[fa icon="calendar'] August 16, 2012 / by Doug Brogowski posted in NFL Draft Prospects, NFL Players

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NFL Draft Prospects | Breaking Down Areas Where Andrew Luck, RG3 Must Improve Most

By Alen Dumonjic, Bleacher Report

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NFL Team Needs | New NFL Football With Synthetic Laces Already Drawing Complaints From QBs

[fa icon="calendar'] August 15, 2012 / by Doug Brogowski posted in NFL Teams, NFL News, NFL Players

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NFL Team Needs | New NFL Football With Synthetic Laces Already Drawing Complaints From QBs

By Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports

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NFL Team Needs | Who Is the NFL's Best Overall Running Back?

[fa icon="calendar'] August 14, 2012 / by Doug Brogowski posted in NFL Teams, NFL Players

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NFL Team Needs | Who Is the NFL's Best Overall Running Back?

By Chris Trapasso, Bleacher Report

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NFL Salaries | Terrell Owens Makes Great Economic Sense for Seattle Seahawks

[fa icon="calendar'] August 09, 2012 / by Doug Brogowski posted in NFL Salary Cap, NFL Teams, NFL Players

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NFL Salaries | Terrell Owens Makes Great Economic Sense for Seattle Seahawks

By Josh Zerkle, Bleacher Report

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2019 Draft Prospects Uploaded 11/2/18

We have uploaded our initial list of 861 2019 NFL Draft prospects. The top 99 are from CBSSports.com (they include projected underclass entries,) and the rest are from NFLDraftScout.com. We will periodically add and delete as the class shapes up. Good luck with your scouting!

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