Who says players in the trenches don’t get the credit they deserve?
Seven-time Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis and seven-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman Dwight Freeney headline the list of nine first-year eligible players for the 2023 Pro Football Hall of Fame class.
Joining Revis and Freeney as first-year hopefuls seeking induction in Canton are offensive tackle Joe Thomas, running back Chris Johnson, offensive lineman Jahri Evans, linebackers NaVorro Bowman and James Harrison, safety Kam Chancellor and punter Shane Lechler.
A total of 129 players from the modern-era were announced as nominees for the upcoming class.
All nine of the players who were nominated in their first year of eligibility earned All-Pro honors during their NFL careers, with some even earning a nod on an All-Decade team.
Here’s a look at each of the first-year eligible nominees.
Chris Johnson, Running Back
Career stats: 9,651 rushing yards, 55 rushing touchdowns, 307 receptions, 2,255 receiving yards, nine receiving touchdowns.
Accolades: NFL Offensive Player of the Year (2009), rushing yards leader (2009), first-team All-Pro (2009), three-time Pro Bowler (2008-10).
Fun facts: Johnson is the only player in NFL history with a touchdown of 50 yards, 60 yards and 90 yards in one game (2009 vs Texans). He is also the only player in NFL history to top 2,500 yards from scrimmage in a single season (2,509 in 2009).
Jahri Evans, Guard
Career stats: Started all 183 games he played in.
Accolades: Super Bowl champion (XLIV), NFL 2010s All-Decade Team, four-time first-team All-Pro (2009–2012), second-team All-Pro (2013), six-time Pro Bowler (2009–2014).
Fun facts: Evans is one of just three offensive guards who started playing in 2000 or later to make at least four first-team All-Pros (Zack Martin, Steve Hutchinson). His 183 starts are the 12th-most among guards in NFL history.
Joe Thomas, Offensive Tackle
Teams: Cleveland Browns, 2007-17
Career stats: 10,363 consecutive snaps played (NFL record).
Accolades: NFL 2010s All-Decade Team, six-time first-team All-Pro (2009-11, 2013-15), two-time second-team All-Pro (2008, 2012), 10-time Pro Bowler (2007-16).
Fun fact: Thomas is the only offensive lineman in NFL history to make 10 consecutive Pro Bowls.
Dwight Freeney, Defensive End
Career stats: 125.5 sacks (26th-most ever), 47 forced fumbles (third-highest in NFL history).
Accolades: Super Bowl champion (XLI), NFL 2000s All-Decade Team, three-time first-team All-Pro (2004, 2005, 2009), second-team All-Pro (2003), seven-time Pro Bowler (2003–2005, 2008–2011), NFL sacks leader (2004), NFL forced fumbles co-leader (2002).
Fun facts: Freeney is one of just four defensive players in NFL history with 125 sacks and 40 forced fumbles. He’s also tied for fifth in NFL history with 11 postseasons sacks.
NaVorro Bowman, Linebacker
Career stats: 798 tackles, 14 sacks, nine forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries, five interceptions, one defensive touchdown.
Accolades: Four-time first-team All-Pro (2011–2013, 2015), three-time Pro Bowler (2012, 2013, 2015)
Fun facts: Bowman’s four first-team All-Pro selections are tied for the third-most among third-round picks all-time. He’s one of just two 49ers players to post 150-plus tackles in a season (2015, 154 tackles).
James Harrison, Linebacker
Career stats: 811 tackles, 84.5 sacks, 34 forced fumbles, nine fumble recoveries, eight interceptions, one defensive touchdown.
Accolades: Two-time Super Bowl champion (XL, XLIII), NFL Defensive Player of the Year (2008), two-time first-team All-Pro (2008, 2010), two-time second-team All-Pro (2007, 2009), five-time Pro Bowler (2007-11), NFL forced fumbles leader (2008).
Fun facts: Harrison is the first undrafted player in NFL history to win Defensive Player of the Year. He is also one of just four undrafted players to record 80-plus sacks in his career (84.5).
Kam Chancellor, Safety
Teams: Seattle Seahawks (2010-17)
Career stats: 607 tackles, 12 interceptions, nine forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, two sacks.
Accolades: Super Bowl champion (XLVIII), two-time second-team All-Pro (2013, 2014), four-time Pro Bowler (2011, 2013-15).
Fun Facts: Chancellor is the only player in NFL history to have at least 10 tackles and a 90-plus yard interception return for a touchdown in a playoff game. He was also the starting safety for the Seahawks defense that led the NFL in scoring defense for four straight seasons.
Darrelle Revis, Cornerback
Career stats: 497 tackles, 139 pass deflections, 29 interceptions, six forced fumbles, three defensive touchdowns, two sacks.
Accolades: Super Bowl champion (XLIX), four-time first-team All Pro (2009-11, 2014), seven-time Pro Bowler (2008-11, 2013-15), NFL 2010s All-Decade Team.
Fun Facts: Revis is the only player in Jets history to eclipse 100 passes defensed (139). He is also one of only five cornerbacks in NFL history with four-plus first-team All-Pro selections.
Shane Lechler, Punter
Teams: Oakland Raiders (2000-12), Houston Texans (2013-17)
Career Stats: 1,444 punts, 68,678 punting yards, 47.6 average yards per punt, 469 punts inside the 20.
Accolades: Six-time first-team All-Pro (2000, 2003, 2004, 2008-10), three-time second-team All-Pro (2001, 2007, 2011), seven-time Pro Bowler (2001, 2004, 2007-11), four-time NFL punting yards leader (2003, 2008, 2009, 2017), NFL 2000s All-Decade Team, NFL 2010s All-Decade Team.
Fun Facts: Lechler is the NFL all-time leader in yards per punt (47.6). He is also the only kicker or punter with more than five first-team NFL All-Pro selections (six).
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