The Pro Football Hall of Fame welcomed eight individuals who built their legacy in the NFL into their hallowed halls as part of the 2021 selection.
These men etched their names onto football immortality and will now consider Canton, Ohio as their home forever.
While it’s hard to argue against the illustrious credentials, some of them have a glitzier resume.
But how do we separate the great from the iconic?
Individual and team accolades come into play.
That said, here are the headliners for the Class of 2021.
3. Peyton Manning
Long-time Indianapolis Colts beat writer Mike Chappell took just 13 seconds to cement Peyton Manning’s case for induction.
After all, it did not take much pleading because his career spoke for itself.
Interesting fact: focusing on his statistics with the Denver Broncos alone still makes him Hall of Fame-worthy.
After suffering a career-threatening neck injury and enduring four surgeries, Manning set the single-season record for passing yards (5,477) and touchdowns (55) in 2013.
— NFL UK (@NFLUK) August 9, 2021
He also won a second Super Bowl title with the Broncos, nine years after he accomplished the same feat with the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLI.
There isn’t an individual NFL award or milestone that he hasn’t achieved in his career.
Five Most Valuable Player awards and two-time Offensive Player of the Year honors are just the start.
Manning is also a seven-time first-team All-Pro selection.
He is also a part of the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team and the NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team.
2. Alan Faneca
Offensive linemen are best assessed by the output of those they blocked for.
But Alan Faneca also racked up individual awards by being a nine-time Pro Bowler, a six-time first-team All-Pro, and a two-time second-team All-Pro.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 7, 2021
A member of the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team, Faneca was instrumental in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ championship run to Super Bowl XL.
A first-round draft choice from Louisiana State University, he started all but five games (201 out of 206) in his 13-year career.
Faneca also helped his teams get 11 Top 10 rankings in rushing offense and also blocked for five 3,000-yard passers.
1. Charles Woodson
It’s tough to leave out Calvin Johnson in this top three list for the Class of 2021.
However, Charles Woodson has the slight edge not just because he is the only defensive player in the group, but also because of the Super Bowl ring he got with the Green Bay Packers.
Meanwhile, as great Johnson is, the Detroit Lions never won a playoff game in three tries during his tenure.
If only collegiate football credentials counted, Woodson’s national championship and Heisman Trophy (the only primarily defensive player to win the award) is enough for Hall of Fame consideration.
Charles Woodson sang to his mom during his Hall of Fame speech ❤️
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 9, 2021
Good thing that his NFL CV is equally impressive.
For starters, Woodson is the 2009 NFL Defensive Player of the Year and 1998 Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Add to that his four first-team All-Pro distinctions and he deserves a spot in Canton.
Woodson is also a nine-time Pro Bowler, a four-time second-team All-Pro, and a member of the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team.
Leaving him off the Class of 2021 would be a travesty.