Former 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis and former defensive tackle Bryant Young should both wind up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Their inductions won’t come this year though.
Neither Willis nor Young were among the 15 finalists for the 2021 Pro Football Hall of Fame class. Both were on the list of 25 semi-finalists for the second consecutive year. Young was a finalist a year ago.
Willis’ career was short, but extremely impactful with seven Pro Bowl trips and five First-Team All-Pro nods in eight seasons. He starred in the middle of the dominant 49ers’ defense in the early 2010s, and twice led the NFL in tackles.
Young was a four-time Pro Bowler and once a First-Team All-Pro. He helped the 49ers win a Super Bowl during his rookie campaign in 1994. He posted 89.5 sacks in his career, including 6.0 as a 16-game starter his rookie year.
Both will be eligible for the modern-era class again next year.
Among the 15 finalists is 49ers general manager John Lynch, who’s on the list for the eighth straight season. He played for 15 seasons, won a Super Bowl with the Buccaneers, went to nine Pro Bowls and was a two-time First-Team All-Pro. It’s only a matter of time before he’s enshrined.
While it’s unfortunate for Young and Willis to miss out in 2021, the list of finalists is pretty loaded:
DE Jared Allen
CB Ronde Barber
LT Tony Boselli
S LeRoy Butler
OL Alan Faneca
WR Torry Holt
WR Calvin Johnson
S John Lynch
QB Peyton Manning
LB Clay Matthews
LB Sam Mills
DL Richard Seymour
LB Zach Thomas
WR Reggie Wayne
DB Charles Woodson
The 2021 class will be announced on Feb. 6.