JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – For the second straight year, Tony Boselli was among the final 10 candidates for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. For the second straight year, he fell just short.
The Hall does not release exact voting information, but it is clear that the first-ever Jaguars draft pick has been highly considered for enshrinement. So what about his chances for next year?
There will be some candidates, who, like Boselli, are holdovers from this year's voting. Three of them are offensive linemen with Alan Faneca, Steve Hutchinson and Kevin Mawae missing the final cut with Boseli and cornerback Ty Law. Joe Jacoby was among those discarded in the cut to 10. It was his last year to be selected by the committee. Now, he will be considered as a senior candidate.
The five who were the final cuts will be joined next year by shoe-in first timers Tony Gonzalez, the all-time leading receiver among tight ends, and safety Ed Reed, who was a five-time All Pro selection and 2004 defensive player of the year. Cornerback Champ Bailey is also a first-time candidate. He was chosen for 12 Pro Bowls, more than any cornerback in league history. He should get some serious consideration in his first year, but I can see a scenario where he has to wait his turn to be selected.
Others who will be in the conversation will include safety John Lynch, wide receiver Isaac Bruce and running back Edgerrin James, who were eliminated in the cut to 10.
It's impossible to project what 48 selectors will take into consideration next year, but I can see a 2019 class that includes Gonzalez, Reed, Faneca, Law and Boselli. News4Jax sports director Sam Kouvaris will again be tasked with making the presentation of Boselli and he said that he may tweak his approach in an effort to sway a few more voters to pick Boselli.