Tommy Nobis may finally get the recognition he deserves as an all-time NFL great


The Pro-Football Hall of Fame announced their class for their Special Centennial Class and the Atlanta Falcons first-ever draft pick, Tommy Nobis, could finally be immortalized in Canton.

Tommy Nobis is an all-time great NFL player, you will not find anyone, other than Hall of Fame voters, that disputes that. The former number one overall pick in 1966 deserves to have a plaque with the games other greats.

For those that are new to the Falcons fan base, let’s get you caught up. Tommy was the team’s first-ever draft pick in 1966 and was the second linebacker all-time to be drafted number one overall when he came out of the University of Texas.

Not only was Tommy the first pick in the NFL draft, but he was also the fifth overall selection of the AFL draft that same year by the Houston Oilers. He chose to be an Atlanta Falcon instead of staying in Texas. He spent ten years with the Falcons and took home numerous accolades.

He was a five-time pro-bowl selection, NFL Rookie of the year, one first-team all-pro selection, won numerous awards in college and both Texas and the Falcons have retired his number 60 jersey. In 2018, called him the greatest Falcons player not in the Hall of Fame.

The biggest knock on Tommy Nobis and the reason that he is not in the Hall of Fame was lack of success by the Atlanta Falcons franchise. During his decade in Atlanta, they had a winning season just twice (1971 & 1973) and never made the playoffs. Nobis is being penalized because Rankin Smith Sr was in over his head and had no idea how to build a franchise.

The Hall of Fame has an opportunity to right a major wrong in the case of Tommy Nobis. While he is no longer with us to have the opportunity to see his face be immortalized with the rest of the greats, his family deserves to see his name and his face in Canton as do all of the thousands of football fans that visit Canton every year.

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There are several other Falcons players that deserve this honor as well, **cough cough** Jessie Tuggle **cough cough**, putting Tommy Nobis in will be a step in the right direction.