On the night before Super Bowl LV, which features one sure-fire Hall of Fame QB and another signal-caller 18 years his junior on pace for a place in Canton, the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2021 is being revealed at NFL Honors.
The rolling announcement of inductees takes place over a two-hour window. Below are the names of the Class of 2021, added here as they are announced at NFL Honors on CBS:
Charles Woodson, Calvin Johnson, Drew Pearson.
Charles Woodson: The preeminent defensive back of his era, Woodson spent nearly two decades in the NFL, bookending his prolific career as one of my most respected defenders to ever play the game. The fourth-overall pick in the 1998 draft and reigning Heisman Trophy winner, Woodson immediately took home Defensive Rookie of the Year honors with the Raiders. Woodson was a three-time first-team All-Pro and nine-time Pro Bowler over the course of his career and also was named Defensive Player of the Year in 2009, his fourth of seven seasons with the Packers. Woodson won his lone Super Bowl with Green Bay the following season, his second appearance in the Big Game, though he was knocked out halfway through the victory with a broken collarbone. Woodson returned to Oakland for his final three seasons and retired following the 2015 season, with 65 career INTs (fifth all-time) and 13 defensive TDs (most all-time) and as one of three players in league history with at least 25 picks with two different franchises. In his first year of eligibility, the great corner-turned-safety was safely inducted into the Hall.
Calvin Johnson: No receiver was more consistently dominant or physically imposing during his time in professional football than Johnson. You’d be hard-pressed to find one with a better nickname, too: Megatron. Paired with Matthew Stafford, Johnson transformed a moribund Detroit franchise into a competitive one during his nine-year career, though the 2007 second-overall experienced more personal than team success (zero playoff wins) in Detroit. Megatron led the league in receiving yards (11,619) and TDs (83) during the span of his career and set the NFL single-season record for receiving yards (1,964) in 2012. A three-time first-team All-Pro and a member of the 2010s All-Decade Team — despite not playing in the decade’s final four years — Johnson finished his career second in NFL history with 86.1 receiving YPG, a testament to his reliable productivity. Despite his unusually short career, Megatron will enter the Hall in his first year of eligibility and at the age of 35, eight years younger than a certain QB playing on Sunday.
Drew Pearson: The recipient of the first Hail Mary didn’t need much of a prayer to enter the Hall this year after being selected this August as the senior finalist for the 2021 class. In a storied, 11-season career with the Cowboys, Pearson rose from undrafted free agent to become a three-time All-Pro, three-time Pro Bowler, member of the 1970s All-Decade Team and Super Bowl XII champion. He did so by catching 489 passes for 7,822 yards — both good for fourth-most in Cowboys history — and 48 touchdowns in 156 career games. Pearson was equally as effective in the postseason, exceeding his yards per game mark and catching eight additional touchdowns in 22 playoff contests over 10 postseasons.
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