Fred Taylor took to Twitter to rant about not getting a sniff from Hall of Fame voters since he became eligible. He wasn’t among the 108 modern era candidates nominated his first year of eligibility (for 2016 class) or the 94 modern era nominees last year.
Fred Taylor probably has some gripes, and the same voters who only selected him to one pro bowl in his career (in 2007, at age 31) are largely the same ones selecting the Hall of Fame.
But was it a case of oversight, or an era where Taylor is just getting drowned out by association? If Taylor were able to put up the exact same numbers over the last eight years, he might be considered the 2nd-most likely back to reach Canton (behind Adrian Peterson) from the current generation.
Let’s use Fantasy Points as a comparison, since it combines yards and touchdowns scored. Fred Taylor had four seasons (1998, 2000, 2002, 2003) when he had over 220 fantasy points. Here’s a list of the most seasons with 215 or more fantasy points since 1970. There are only 12 players who have more such seasons than Taylor.
Nine of those 12, though, were contemporaries of Taylor’s and had (at least) one of their big seasons between 1998 and 2003. Some of them are also waiting.
Fred Taylor was a great talent. He had two seasons impacted by injuries–1999 when he missed five games and played hurt, and 2001, when he missed most of the season. When he was not hurt, he was one of the best running backs in the game, in an era deep at running back.
If voters look at how often they selected him to a pro bowl, he has no chance. If they grade on a curve, and consider that he was just behind Marshall Faulk and Edgerrin James (in 2000), or Terrell Davis and Jamal Anderson (in 1998), then maybe he’ll get a look someday. But there will probably be a lot of frustration for Fred Taylor.