The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced 129 initial nominees for its 2023 class, and nine former Detroit Lions made the cut.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced 129 initial nominees for the Class of 2023. The list will be cut to 25 in November, then 15 in January and eventually, finally, five. Nine former Detroit Lions made initial list of 129.
K Jason Hanson
OT Lomas Brown
C Kevin Glover
CB Dre Bly
QB Dave Krieg
QB Jeff Garcia
WR Anquan Boldin
OLB Pat Swilling
DE Dwight Freeney
Purely from a what they did with the Lions perspective, the headliners are Hanson and Brown followed by Glover. Krieg and Garcia are two of the five oldest quarterbacks to ever start a game for the Lions, so there’s that for them as a bit of franchise lore.
Hanson played 327 games for the Lions, which is the most in NFL history by a player for one team. He’s the franchise’s all-time leading scorer (2,150 points). He’s fourth all-time with 495 made field goals. He owns the league record for most 40-yard field goals (189), most consecutive makes from 40 yards (24), game-winning kicks in overtime (nine). He was the first player in NFL history to score 2,000 points.
Brown is currently the game color analyst for the Lions’ flagship radio station. But he of course was a six-time Pro Bowler and a three-time All-Pro in 11 seasons (1985-1995) as the Lions’ left tackle; consistently among the best left tackles in the league during his prime in Detroit. Overall Brown made seven Pro Bowls over 18 NFL seasons, and he capped his career with a Super Bowl ring playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2002.
Glover stands as one of the most underrated players in Lions history. Drafted the same year as Brown, 1985, he spent the first 13 of his 15 NFL seasons and earned three Pro Bowl selections (1995-1997) in Detroit. He spent his final two seasons with the Seattle Seahawks.
None of these former Lions made the cut to 25 semifinalists in 2021. Hanson, Brown, Boldin and Freeney are the most likely eventual Hall of Famers of the nine.