The Pro Football Hall of Fame named their 28 modern-era semifinalists for the 2023 class on Tuesday. This list was trimmed from 129 original nominees and will eventually be whittled down to 15, 10 and eventually 5 modern-era candidates who the selection committee will vote “Yes/No” on before the 2023 class is officially announced during the league’s “NFL Honors” broadcast in February.
Earlier this year, Sterling Sharpe and Cecil Isbell made the final six for the senior candidates but were unable to advance to the final three. That means if a Green Bay Packer is going to be enshrined in the 2023 class, it’s going to have to come from the modern-era pool. While modern candidates like safety Nick Collins, receiver Donald Driver and center Jeff Saturday were nominated back in September, the only former Packer to make the cut for the 28-man list was guard Jahri Evans.
Evans is best known for his time with the New Orleans Saints, who drafted him in the fourth round of the 2006 draft out of Bloomsburg, a Division II program. He spent 11 years with the Saints and earn six Pro Bowl nods and five All-Pro titles to go along with his 2010s All-Decade honor. In 2020, he was enshrined in the Saints’ Hall of Fame.
After his run in New Orleans, Evans spent one year with the Packers in 2017 and ended up making 14 starts for a team that saw Brett Hundley take nine starts from under center. Green Bay went 7-9 that year, missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008 due to Aaron Rodgers’ collarbone injury.
Evans was one of five players who made the semifinalist cut this year despite being in his first year of eligibility for the Hall of Fame. The other players to do so were tackle Joe Thomas, pass-rusher Dwight Freeney, linebacker James Harrison and cornerback Darrelle Revis. Evans and Thomas are two of the three semifinalist offensive linemen, with the other being former All-Pro tackle Willie Anderson.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame has a fan vote where you can pick which of the five candidates you believe should make the Hall of Fame, but it does not impact the committee’s decision on who advances into the final three rounds of the selection process.