Predicting a player to enter the Hall of Fame at a relatively early point in his career can be considered an exercise in futility. It can also place a ton of pressure on a young player attempting to make his name known around the NFL.
With that said, just a few short years of sample size can give us an idea of where a player stands and whether he’s destined for the Hall of Fame.
Take offensive tackle Tyron Smith of the Dallas Cowboys as an example. He’s only 26 years old and likely has another decade ahead of him in the NFL. Does this mean that Smith shouldn’t already be looked at as a potential Hall of Famer? No. Based on his level of dominance, Canton already seems to be calling.
That’s the point of this article. We give you 10 relatively young players around the NFL who are already destined for the Hall of Fame once their careers come to an end.
Tyron Smith, offensive tackle, Dallas Cowboys
The best tackle of his generation, if Smith continues at this pace he will become one of the best tackles in the history of the NFL. We’re talking Jackie Slater and Anthony Munoz level stuff. That’s not hyperbole. What Smith has done since he entered the league as a 20-year-old rookie is nothing short of amazing.
Not only has Smith anchored an offensive line that’s ranked in the top 10 in rushing each of the past three seasons, his pass-protecting ability is completely off the charts.
Tyron Smith is in there to start. pic.twitter.com/WRKqQRgBWz
— Nathan Jahnke (@PFF_NateJahnke) January 15, 2017
Here’s a guy that’s earned four consecutive trips to the Pro Bowl and has found himself recognized as a first-team All-Pro two times. He’s just 26 years old with what could be considered nearly another decade of elite-level play ahead of him.
Dallas didn’t know what they were getting when they selected Smith No. 9 overall back in 2011, but he’s acted like nothing less than this generation’s version of Larry Allen for the team. That’s Hall of Fame-caliber stuff right there.