The NFL announced Wednesday its list of modern-era nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 2017 class, with running back LaDainian Tomlinson and wide receiver Hines Ward among the more prominent names included in the list of 94 players and coaches.

Tomlinson was arguably best running back of 2000s

It can be argued that LaDainian Tomlinson stands out in a group of almost 100 modern-era nominees. The fifth-overall pick in the 2001 draft out of TCU, “LT” stepped up immediately as the San Diego Chargers’ first-string running back, rushing for 1,236 yards and ten touchdowns in his rookie year. His crowning achievement, however, came in the 2006 NFL season, where he set league records in rushing touchdowns with 28 and touchdowns from scrimmage with 31.

He also accumulated 1,815 yards on the ground and 508 yards in the air, and won MVP honors that season. All in all, Tomlinsonrushed for at least a thousand yards in his eight first NFL seasons, and played a total of 11 seasons in the NFL, nine with the Chargers and his final two with the New York Jets.

Ward won two Super Bowls with Pittsburgh Steelers

Hines Ward, on the other hand, wasn’t drafted as high as his college reputation had suggestedand didn’t kick off his NFL career with a flying start. The wide receiver out of Georgia dropped to the third round due to concerns about his lack of an ACL in one legand had a quiet first three seasons for the Pittsburgh Steelers. But in 2001, he had his first 1,000-yard receiving season and his first in a series of four straight Pro Bowls, as he developed into a preferred target for the likes of quarterbacks Kordell Stewart, Tommy Maddox, and for the majority of his career,Ben Roethlisberger.

He and Roethlisberger teamed up to lead the Steelers to wins at Super Bowl XL and XLIII, with Ward winning MVP honors at Super Bowl XL. Ward spent his entire 14-season NFL career with the Steelers, retiring as not just one of the best receivers of his era, but also as one of the best blockers at his position.

NFL to name 18 finalists for Class of 2017 on eve of Super Bowl LI

There may be a lot of nominees for the Class of 2017 now, but the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee will narrow that list down in the run-up to the selection of finalists in February 2017. 25 semifinalists will be named in November, while 15 will be named as finalists the night before Super Bowl LI.

These 15 players and coaches will join senior finalist and former defensive back Kenny Easley, and the two 2017 contributor finalists, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue.

The Hall of Fame Selection Committee is scheduled to meet in Houston on February 4 of next year to decide who gets into the Class of 2017. According to a press release from the NFL, there is no set number of inductees, but selection by-laws require four to eight individuals to be enshrined out of each group of finalists.

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