Projecting three future Hall of Famers for the Detroit Lions

Yardbarker

The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s class of 2024 will officially be inducted on Aug. 3.

With less than a month until the annual event in Canton, Ohio, we’re examining which players — past and present — on the league’s 32 teams we think will one day receive a similar honor. 

Here are three Detroit Lions who should eventually receive football immortality: 

Defensive end Al Baker 

Perhaps the only thing keeping Baker out of Canton is record keeping. Unfortunately for three-time Pro Bowler, his most compelling argument, sacks, didn’t become an official stat until 1982.

Baker had 65.5 unofficial sacks over his first four seasons in the NFL, but counting those before 1982, he recorded 131 throughout a 13-year career. Now, 34 years since hanging up his cleats for good, only 20 players have recorded more sacks, with all but four receiving a gold jacket.

In 1978, Baker earned Defensive Rookie of the Year honors, posting 23 sacks, a record that has yet to be surpassed. He also recorded double-digit sacks six times and led the league twice (1978, 1980).

Baker’s resume may not be as robust as others, but his body of work, which has held up against others for decades, makes him worthy of consideration. 

Quarterback Matthew Stafford

For a time, Stafford was a fringe Hall of Famer. But finally lifting the Lombardi Trophy in 2022, albeit with the Los Angeles Rams and not the Lions, could be enough to get him over the hump.

If a Super Bowl victory won’t do the trick, perhaps his numbers will.

Heading into the 2024 campaign, Stafford ranks 11th all-time in pass completions (4,834), passing yards (56,047) and touchdowns (357.) Of the 10 names with more in each category, only Aaron Rodgers is still active, meaning he still has time to climb up a list that includes Hall of Famers Dan Marino, Brett Favre and Peyton Manning, along with a slew of shoo-ins like Drew Brees and Tom Brady. 

Wide receiver Herman Moore

Moore hasn’t played in over 20 years, and the power of time has seemingly washed away some of his accomplishments. However, over an 11-year career, few rivaled his production.

A four-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro, Moore ranks 84th in touchdowns (62), 70th in receiving yards (9,174) and 67th in receptions (670). But, from 1991-02, only four receivers posted the same output or better, including Terrance Mathis and Hall of Famers Cris Carter, Tim Brown and Jerry Rice.

Meanwhile, Moore believes he’s Canton-worthy.

“Do I think I deserve it? Yes!” Moore said in a 2022 interview with the Detroit Lions Podcast.

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