Among other things, star power has been one of the reasons for the Super Bowl's popularity since the Chiefs and Packers played in the first big game 56 years ago. Super Bowls typically feature the biggest faces in pro football, players whose careers have been immortalized in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Super Bowl XIII, the first that featured two teams that had already won the Super Bowl multiple times, boasted a record 17 future Hall of Fame players. All the talent on the field in Miami that day resulted in one of the greatest Super Bowls ever played.
This year's Super Bowl may not match that tally, but rest assured that there will be representatives from both the Chiefs and the Eagles who will one day be fitted for a gold jacket. With that in mind, we decided to predict which players participating in Super Bowl LVII have already put together Canton-worthy careers, and which ones may need to add a little bit more to the resume before hanging up their cleats for good.
As good as gold
The soon-to-be two-time league MVP has already done enough to earn a gold jacket. The Super Bowl LIV MVP is also a five-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro in his five years as the Chiefs' starting quarterback. Mahomes' 64-16 regular season record and 10-3 record are a testament to his unique talents.
Mahomes' career has already put him among the greatest to ever play the quarterback position. He's currently just behind Matthew Stafford in Pro Football Reference's Hall of Fame Monitor and just ahead of Cam Newton and Hall of Famers Len Dawson, Troy Aikman and Jim Kelly, among others.
One of five tight ends with 10,000 career receiving yards, Kelce is also second to only Jerry Rice in postseason history in receptions and receiving yards.
A Pro Bowler each year since 2015, Kelce is also a four-time All-Pro and member of the NFL's All-2010s Team. The only question is whether or not he will be inducted in his first year of eligibility.
For some reason, it can sometimes can take a while for offensive linemen to get their due as far as the Hall of Fame is concerned. Dermontti Dawson, considered by many to be the greatest center in NFL history, wasn't inducted until his seventh year of eligibility.
While his younger brother is a slam dunk, Jason Kelce's Hall of Fame chances should be considered a layup. He's a six-time Pro Bowler, a four-time All-Pro and was the best player on the Eagles' first Super Bowl-winning team. His incredible run of longevity (he hasn't missed a game since 2014) is another feather on Kelce's Hall of Fame cap. Another Super Bowl ring would be icing on the cake.
Not quite there, but trending towards Canton
Jones will be remembered as the defensive cornerstone during this rich era in Chiefs' history. A Pro Bowler each year since 2019, Jones was tabbed as an All-Pro for the first time this year after matching his career high of 15.5 sacks. Jones' impact was felt in a big way in Kansas City's AFC title game win over Cincinnati, as he came up with two big sacks of Joe Burrow that helped the Chiefs pull out a 23-20 win.
Jones needs 35 more sacks to reach the century mark, which is the gold standard for pass rushers. At just 28 years old, Jones has time to pad his stats while collecting more individual accolades that will help his case. A big performance on Sunday would do wonders for his future Hall of Fame chances.
Great career that may come up short
Suh's had a remarkable albeit odd career. A former No. 2 overall pick, Suh was tabbed to NFL's 2010s All-Decade Team after racking up five Pro Bowls in his first seven seasons. And while his Pro Bowl selections have dried up since 2016, Suh played integral roles on a Rams team that went to the Super Bowl and a Buccaneers team that won it all in 2020.
Suh's numbers don't jump off a page, however. He has 71.5 sacks, five forced fumbles and nine fumble recoveries in 199 career games. He has 7.5 more sacks in 14 playoff games and is currently ranked No. 12 on Pro Football Reference's Hall of Fame Monitor as far as defensive tackles are concerned.
His chances of induction doesn't appear likely, but Suh's early Pro Bowls, his ring in Tampa, his all-decade team inclusion as well as his career longevity will merit a discussion when he is eligible for induction.
Speaking of 100 career sacks, that's the exact career total of Dunlap, who had four sacks during his first season in Kansas City after spending the majority of his career in Cincinnati. Dunlap, who will turn 34 later this month, is part of a group of several former Bengals whose careers were solid but may ultimately fall short of the Hall of Fame. That group of players also includes defensive tackle Geno Smith and receiver A.J. Green, who recently announced his retirement.
While he has the stats, two Pro Bowl selections and no All-Pro nods will surely be held against Dunlap when his career is considered for induction. The fact that he had just one season that saw him reach double figures in sacks won't help, either.
All of that being said, a big performance in a big game can do wonders for a player's career as far as the Hall of Fame is concerned. A big game against the Chiefs could springboard Dunlap's possible chances at induction.
As stated earlier, linemen have a tougher road regarding the Hall of Fame. But Johnson is building a case for himself as a four-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro. At 32, Johnson will need to continue to play at his current level for several more years in order to strengthen his case.
Early promise, but more work needs to be done
The former Cardinal and Panther saw his career trajectory skyrocket in 2022. He earned his first Pro Bowl selection while recording a career-high 16 sacks while also leading the NFL with five forced fumbles. He had 3.5 more sacks in the NFC playoffs while helping the Eagles reach the Super Bowl.
A former first-round pick, Reddick has made up for what was a slow start to his career. He now has 47 career sacks after posting just 7.5 sacks during his first three seasons. He's had at least 11 sacks over the last three seasons while establishing himself as one of the league's premier pass rushers.
At 28, Reddick will have to continue to play at this pace for several more years in order to strengthen his Hall of Fame case. Like other players on this list, a big performance on Sunday would fast track Reddick's future Hall of Fame odds.
Overlooked in the Super Bowl storylines is a matchup between two of the NFL's best centers. In only his second year, Humphrey is primed to take the baton from Kelce as the league's premier center. He made his first Pro Bowl this year after being a stabilizing force on the Chiefs' offensive line.
Receiver has become an increasingly hard position as far as Hall of Fame induction. Just ask Torry Holt, Hines Ward and Reggie Wayne, among others.
The changes made to the game over the past few decades has had the biggest impact on wideouts when reviewing their careers. A receiver who is playing in this era will need to accomplish more in his career than reaching 1,000 catches and 10,000 career receiving yards.
While it's a challenging road, Brown has helped his cause with a solid start to his career. He's a two-time Pro Bowler who enjoyed a record-setting first season in Philadelphia. Brown's Hall of Fame chances will only get better as long as he continues to play and develop his chemistry with Jalen Hurts.
Yes, including Hurts is probably premature giving that he is only in his second year as a starting quarterback. But because he plays quarterback, and given that he is about to play in the Super Bowl, it's fair to begin projecting his possible spot in Canton one day.
Hall of fame voters love quarterbacks that win. That's great news for Hurts, who is 25-12 as the Eagles' starter and 16-1 this season. His and the Eagles success as far as winning games will be what ultimately determines Hurts' future Hall of Fame fate.
His versatility will surely help his case, but Hurts can really help his future Hall of Fame chances by winning Super Bowl MVP on Sunday. An MVP performance against the Chiefs, with Mahomes on the opposite sideline, would catapult Hurts' early career to an even higher stratosphere than the one it currently occupies.