The Pro Football Hall of Fame will reveal a new set of members, those belonging to the class of 2024, during Super Bowl week next February. Turns out the Baltimore Ravens could be strongly represented then and there as four former players of the franchise have been named semifinalists to make it to the HoF.
Wideout and punt return specialist Devin Hester, offensive tackle Willie Anderson, and wide receivers Anquan Boldin and Steve Smith Sr. are part of the 25-man roster of performers to make it to the second-to-last round before getting inducted.
The former two, Hester and Anderson, had brief stints with the Ravens but can still consider themselves part of the Flock Nation. You know how it goes, Once A Raven, Always A Raven.
Now, obviously and honestly, Boldin and Smith Sr. are the legitimate Ravens part of this four-man group and select 25-player club ahead of the final reveal next February, with the two wide receivers making their third appearance at this stage of consideration for the Hall of Fame.
Smith Sr. had a 16-season career before calling it quits in 2016 having spent his last three active years in Baltimore. During his time in Maryland, Smith racked up 2,534 receiving yards to go with 14 touchdowns on only 195 receptions for a solid average of 13.0 YPR.
Just in his first season with the Flock, arriving from Carolina (where he played from 2001 through 2013), Smith went on to have his most productive year donning the purple threads by catching 79 receptions for 1,065 yards and six touchdowns.
Smith retired after the 2016 season ranking 8th all-time in NFL receiving yards with 14,731 and 12th in receptions with 1,031. He appeared in 219 games throughout his career, splitting those into 182 played for the Panthers and 37 more in Baltimore.
I don't think I need to tell you a lot about the other Super Raven about to (we hope) getting inducted in the Hall of Fame: 2012 Super Bowl champ Anquan Boldin.
After getting drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in 2003 and spending seven years in the desert, Boldin decided to join the Flock and after a couple of years of gearing up in 2010 and 2011, he exploded during the 2012 regular season to the tune of 65 receptions for 921 yards and four touchdowns on his way to clinching a postseason berth.
No need to mention that Boldin demolished those registers throughout the playoffs, catching 22 passes for 380 yards and four touchdowns ultimately helping the Ravens to win their second chip in franchise history.
Boldin had himself a day under the brightest lights (no pun intended) in the Super Bowl against the 49ers when he, somehow, grabbed six passes for 104 yards and a touchdown.
Boldin wrapped up his career with a one-year stint in Detroit putting an end to a life in the NFL that saw him rack up 1,076 career receptions for 13,799 yards and 82 touchdowns in 202 games played.
As of this writing, Boldin ranks 9th all-time in NFL receptions and 14th in receiving yards. He was named a Pro Bowler three times while he also went on to win the 2015 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in his second-to-last season in the league.