Does Tony Boselli belong in the Hall of Fame? Can a seven season 91 game career qualify? Yes, because the Jacksonville Jaguars great was that good.
A brief but brilliant career
One of the main knocks on Boselli getting in is the ‘brevity’ of his career. Putting aside how many people on Earth have ever even made it to the NFL, let alone over seven seasons, there are incredibly few who had the dominance, level and sustained quality that Boselli brought to the Jags.
Boselli was undoubtedly one of the greatest lineman of his generation. There is a reason why he earned five Pro Bowl selections and three All-Pro picks from 1996-2000. Sustained excellence.
A giant in Jacksonville
Boselli was the second overall pick in the 1995 NFL draft. He was the first player drafted in Jaguars history.
It was a great pick for Jacksonville as From 1996 to 2000, Boselli was selected to five consecutive Pro Bowls.
After Boselli was selected the Jaguars immediately improved. Following a 4-12 first ever year, they were in the AFC championship game in 1996/7 & went 45-19 over his first 4 years with the team.
Quality over quantity
Despite only playing for half of the 1990’s, Boselli is a member of the 1990’s All-Decade Team. He was that good.
This isn’t the Hall of Longevity. It’s the Hall of Fame. Which is about being the best and at an elite level. There is no doubt Boselli was an elite player. He was unquestionably the best tackle in the NFL for a time.
There are players who have played less games in the Hall too. I don’t believe that if a player’s career was cut short it should count against him. Injuries are a matter of chance as to who has a career-ending injury and who does not. It could happen to any player in any game or practice.
What does matter is the sustained quality Boselli put out during his career. Take Terrell Davis. Drafted in the same year as Boselli, he made the Hall in 2017 despite only having a 7 season, 78 game career. Short but sustained excellence – exactly like Boselli.
Now Jimbo Covert will be inducted as part of the centennial class we have another lineman who played ‘only’ 8 seasons but at a sustained high level making the Hall too.
It seems the longevity argument is losing traction. Which is as it should be. Every fan and team would rather have a short but sustained brilliant career than long-term average pieces I am sure.
All of which means Boselli is entirely well qualified for the Hall. Let’s hope we see that brilliance rewarded & have the first Jaguar to make it to Canton.
Banner Image: Tony Boselli up for the Hall. Image from bigcatcountry.com