5 NFL players who cement their Hall of Fame legacy in 2020

Geno Atkins, Cincinnati Bengals. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Geno Atkins, Cincinnati Bengals. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /
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Zack Martin, Dallas Cowboys
Zack Martin, Dallas Cowboys. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

These five star players will be Canton bound after the 2020 NFL season.

Pro Football Hall of Fame careers just don’t come together overnight.

What has to transpire for an NFL star to become worthy of Canton enshrinement is consistency and success at the highest level. Every Super Bowl week, a handful of players are elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. When the friendly giant known as David Baker comes knocking on your door, you’ve never been happier to answer the door in your entire life.

There are plenty of players in the game today who will one day have a bronze bust in Canton, Ohio, as well as a gold jacket to wear around as part of this special fraternity. There are several players who have already firmly punched their tickets into Canton. From Tom Brady to Frank Gore to Julio Jones to Aaron Donald to J.J. Watt, these will all be first-ballot guys six years after they hang it up.

As for others, they might have to wait a few years. Philip Rivers may have to wait his turn. The voters will have to figure out what to do about Antonio Brown and his off-field antics. And who knows how quickly Adam Vinatieri will be rightfully enshrined. The point is guys like this have seemingly crossed that threshold of they’re probably getting in at some point in the future.

What’s always cool is when a guy crosses that invisible barrier between in and out. It usually starts with a conversation between friends along the lines of, “You know what? I think he’s a Hall of Famer now.” Assuming they play up to their normal standards, these five perennial Pro Bowl talents will have achieved inevitable Canton enshrinement after completing the 2020 NFL season.

Here are five NFL players who earn their eventual gold jackets in 2020.

Pick Analysis. Dallas Cowboys. 5. player. 123. Scouting Report. G. Zack Martin

If you really think about it, the Dallas Cowboys offensive line of the last five years will likely send three players into the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Left tackle Tyron Smith, center Travis Frederick and right guard Zack Martin. With Baltimore Ravens legend Marshal Yanda retiring, Martin just might be the best guard in all of football. He’s well on his way towards being Canton bound.

Pro Football Reference has Martin with a 66.93 score on their Hall of Fame Monitor. Though it’s well below the 103 threshold of an average hall of fame guard, his becomes the best among active guards after Yanda’s retirement. Only five guards ahead of him haven’t been enshrined in Canton, including three players who aren’t even eligible for induction yet. Yanda is one of them.

Martin will turn 30-years-old this season. The former first-round pick out of Notre Dame has made the Pro Bowl every season of his career and has been named First-Team All-Pro four times. Martin made the NFL 2010s All-Decade Team along with Smith. Frederick didn’t make it as a center and has already had to retire from the NFL for health reasons. He may not get in after all.

While Smith has felt like a Hall of Famer for a few years now, Martin will be right there only a few draft classes behind him. It’s mind-boggling Smith was a Cowboy four years before Martin was and they both have late 1990 birthdates. That’s crazy, but not as much as how this Cowboys offensive line will get maybe three players into Canton but not to an NFC Championship game.