There’s a popular topic on these internets that kicks in usually right around a star football player’s sixth season or so.
We’ve seen it for Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones and Carolina Panthers ILB Luke Kuechly and Denver Broncos EDGE Von Miller and Arizona Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson and even our own Los Angeles Rams DL Aaron Donald.
It’s a conversation about the Hall of Fame.
Each of those players certainly has done enough in their early careers to warrant that kind of praise, but obviously more needs to come to make it a certainty. The trajectory though is pretty much undebatable.
Which is why it’s time to start asking the same of P Johnny Hekker.
I know, I know. Punters. They’re people too. Haha.
But with Ray Guy now having broken the seal on punters making the Hall of Fame, I think it’s fair to start putting it in the discussion. SB Nation even reached out to Hekk when Guy made the HOF, but it was too early to ask him the question then.
But now after six seasons and three consecutive top-tier outputs that have firmly established him as the best punter of his era, I think it’s fair to ask.
Is Johnny Hekker on the way to putting together a Hall of Fame career?
It’s almost unfair just like Donald or Gurley or any star whose individual talents at their position are so overwhelming. Anything less than Pro Bowl quality play would be a disappointment.
Chances Of Making Final Roster (10/10)
Obviously, but this is really about the Rams taking advantage of Hekk at his peak. In a Super Bowl or bust season, nobody’s going to lead off talking about punters. And that’s fair.
But if we’re framing 2018 around how well the Rams do in the postseason (and we should), I think it’s fair to include Hekker among the players who need to summon their best performances when they’re needed most.
The fact that I might trust Hekker more than anyone to deliver as much might be the very reason why we should be talking about him in those highest terms.