Connect with us

Pro Football Hall of Fame

Evaluating Maurkice Pouncey’s Hall of Fame Credentials

Published

on

Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey retired after 11 seasons with the team late last week. The veteran departs after being one of the best centers in the NFL for most of his career, and that has many wondering if Pouncey’s next stop will be the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

So how does Pouncey’s stack up against those that have already been enshrined and those that have been left on the outside looking in? Let’s take a look.

The first strike against Pouncey is that there aren’t a whole lot of direct comparisons to players in Canton. Just 13 players ever have been inducted as a center and seven of them played all or most of their careers before the NFL/AFL merger. The six modern-era centers to make the hall are Jim Langer, Mike Webster, Dwight Stephenson, Dermontti Dawson, Mick Tingelhoff and Kevin Mawae. Here are their credentials that led to their enshrinement:

Jim Langer, Miami Dolphins & Minnesota Vikings
Seasons played: 12
Pro Bowls: 6
First-team All-Pros: 3
Second-team All-Pros: 3
All-Decade Team: 1970s
Super Bowl: 2 wins

Mike Webster, Pittsburgh Steelers & Kansas City Chiefs
Seasons played: 17
Pro Bowls: 9
First-team All-Pros: 7
Second-team All-Pros: 0
All-Decade Team: 1970s and 1980s
Super Bowl: 4 wins

Dwight Stephenson, Miami Dolphins
Seasons played: 8
Pro Bowls: 5
First-team All-Pros: 5
Second-team All-Pros: 1
All-Decade Team: 1980s
Super Bowl: 2 appearances


Dermontti Dawson, Pittsburgh Steelers
Seasons played: 12
Pro Bowls: 7
First-team All-Pros: 6
Second-team All-Pros: 0
All-Decade Team: 1990s
Super Bowl: 1 appearance

Mick Tingelhoff, Minnesota Vikings
Seasons played: 17
Pro Bowls: 6
First-team All-Pros: 5
Second-team All-Pros: 2
All-Decade Team: None
Super Bowl: 4 appearances

Kevin Mawae, Seattle Seahawks, New York Jets, Tennessee Titans
Seasons played: 16
Pro Bowls: 8
First-team All-Pros: 7
Second-team All-Pros: 1
All-Decade Team: 2000s
Super Bowl: none

Here’s Pouncey’s credentials, along with where he would rank amongst the other six modern-era inductees.

Seasons played: 11 (fifth)
Pro Bowls: 9 (tied-first)
First-team All-Pros: 5 (tied-fourth)
Second-team All-Pros: 2 (tied-second)
All-Decade Team: 2010s
Super Bowl: one appearance

It seems clear that Pouncey belongs with that group, if toward the back of it. One thing working in his favor is that there does not seem to be another player more deserving at the position waiting ahead of him. There were no semifinalists at center in the 2021 Hall of Fame class.

Only former Steelers guard Alan Faneca (who was voted in) and former Cincinnati Bengals tackle Willie Anderson and Jacksonville Jaguars tackle Tony Boselli were offensive linemen among the 25 semifinalists.

Perhaps if Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce ends up in the same pool as Pouncey, he could emerge ahead of the Pittsburgh lineman, but he has fewer Pro Bowls (four), first-team All-Pros (three) and was not part of an all-decade team. He did win Super Bowl LII with Philadelphia.

Alex Mack, the other center on the 2010s All-Decade team, is a six-time Pro Bowler and a three-time, second-team All-Pro.

Pouncey does not appear to be a slam dunk for the hall, but he is not out of place among the group of already inducted centers and there doesn’t appear to be a more deserving center candidate that will be considered any time soon.

The bad news for Pouncey is that enshrinement rarely comes quickly for centers. Langer was elected in his first year of eligibility. Webster went in seven years after his retirement — two more than the required five. Stephenson waited nine years, Mawae 10, Dawson 12 and Tingelhoff 37.

So even though Pouncey is eligible to be a part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2026, it’s a good bet this is a discussion that will go on even longer than that.

Steelers Now in Your Mailbox!

Enter your email address to subscribe and get notifications of new posts in your mailbox.

Moon Golf Club

Copyright © 2020 Pittsburgh Sports Now / Steelers Now. In no way affiliated with or endorsed by the Pittsburgh Steelers or NFL.

Steelers Now in your Inbox

Sign up and get all of our posts sent directly to your inbox!

Thank you!

Oops!

Send this to a friend