Former San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Bryant Young has never been a semifinalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The 1994 Super Bowl champion, four-time Pro Bowler, four-time All-Pro player and 1999 comeback player of the year has never even sniffed the top 25 players for Hall of Fame consideration in any of his five years of eligibility.
Fourteen years, 208 games, 89.5 sacks, 510 tackles, three safeties, 11 pass deflections, 12 forced fumbles and seven fumble recoveries. He was one of the most complete defensive linemen in history, equally great against the rush and pass. He had no holes in his game. So why isn’t he in the Hall of Fame?
Over at Talk of Fame, they asked this same question and have little in the way of answering. They mentioned Warren Sapp as a comparison, with their interviewee, NFL historian John Turney, suggesting that Young was a more complete and difference-making player than Sapp, who was a first ballot Hall of Famer.
“Sapp played the ‘three technique;’ Young had to play both the ‘shade’ tackle and the ‘three’ tackle. (And) he played the run better. Just solid in every way,” Turney said, via Talk of Fame.
One has to consider the fact that Sapp was a large personality who frequently made headlines for his work on the field and off the field. Does that play a factor in him making it on the first ballot while Young has never even sniffed being a potential finalist?
They also note that, as a defensive tackle, Young is playing something of an un-sexy position. Curley Culp, one of the best nose tackles to ever play the game, needed more than 30 years to make it into the Hall of Fame. Young doesn’t have the sexy sack numbers, and it’s likely that’s hurt him the most.
Give the full piece a read, as it has a lot to offer. But mostly, I want to know what you readers think about this. Should Young be in the Hall of Fame?