Walter Payton

Will Brian Urlacher be a first ballot NFL Hall-of-Famer?

Will Brian Urlacher be a first ballot NFL Hall-of-Famer?

On Tuesday night Brian Urlacher was among the 108 players nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2018. Joining the Bears legend as first-time nominees were names such as Randy Moss, Ray Lewis, Steve Hutchinson and Ronde Barber.

Urlacher eventually will be enshrined into the Hall of Fame, that's without a doubt. But whether Urlacher gets in on his first try is another story.

Looking at the raw numbers, in 13 seasons Urlacher amassed 1,353 tackles, 41.5 sacks and 22 interceptions. He was named a Pro Bowler eight times, earned First Team All-Pro honors four times, won NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2000 and NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2005. In 2010 he was named to the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team, and he led the Bears to Super Bowl XLI, where they were defeated by Peyton Manning and the Colts.

A maximum of five modern day players can be enshrined each season, and it's safe to say Lewis and Moss will be among those players. That leaves three slots for players such as Urlacher, Tampa Bay's Ronde Barber, as well as the players who missed out last season such as John Lynch, Terrell Owens, Brian Dawkins and Hines Ward.

Here's a list of linebackers who gained entry on their first try:

2015: Junior Seau
2014: Derrick Brooks
1999: Lawrence Taylor
1998: Mike Singletary
1990: Jack Lambert
1988: Jack Ham
1979: Dick Butkus
1978: Ray Nitschke

Along with Singletary and Butkus, first ballot Bears included Gale Sayers, Walter Payton and George Blanda.

Will Urlacher be next?

The nominees will be reduced to 25 semifinalists in November and to 15 finalists in December.

41 Days to Kickoff: Walter Payton College Prep


41 Days to Kickoff: Walter Payton College Prep preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting Jul. 31, we’ll unveil the @CSNPreps Top 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 25.

School: Payton Prep

Head coach: George Klupchak

How they fared in 2016: 8-3 (5-0, CPL Illini Heartland Conference), made the 2016 Class 5A playoff field and lost to Marian Central Catholic in opening-round action.

[RELATED: 42 Days to Kickoff - St. Edward]

2017 regular season schedule:

Aug. 25 – vs. Whitney Young (Lane Stadium)

Sept. 1 – @ Lincoln Park (Lane Stadium)

Sept. 8 – vs. Kenwood (Lane Stadium)

Sept. 15- vs. Marshall (Lane Stadium)

Sept. 22 - @ Linblom (Linblom Park)

Sept. 29 – @ Robeson (Stagg)

Oct. 6 - @ Clark (Rockne)

Oct. 14 - vs. Uplift (Stagg)

Oct. 20 - CPL Playoffs

Biggest storyline: Can Payton Prep get back into the state playoffs and advance in 2017?

Names to watch this season: senior WR/LB Eli Geleerd, senior OL/DL Ben Lohman

Biggest holes to fill: Who will play quarterback for the Grizzlies this fall?

EDGY's early take: Payton Prep welcomes back 14 starters (seven offense, seven defense) from last year's playoff team. Look for the Grizzlies to rely on its running game and offensive line as they break in a new quarterback. Payton Prep should have a great shot at a second straight conference title and a state playoff bid in 2017.

Dan Hampton thinks Bears would have done more Super Bowl shuffling in 80's with Jay Cutler

Dan Hampton thinks Bears would have done more Super Bowl shuffling in 80's with Jay Cutler

The 1985 Bears will go down in history as one of the greatest teams to ever step foot on an NFL field.

However, one Hall of Famer from the '85 team thinks a dynasty could've formed if a recently exiled Bears quarterback was around in the 80's.

During a trip to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday morning, Dan Hampton proclaimed that Jay Cutler was the missing ingredient that would've led the Bears to multiple Super Bowls.

Is Hampton out of his mind? Not necessarily.

While Jim McMahon was a solid quarterback for the Bears, he was known more for his antics off the field and ability to manage the game, which is all that head coach Mike Ditka really asked for with Hall of Famer Walter Payton in the backfield and Buddy Ryan leading the greatest defense of all time.

The thought of the Bears collecting four trophies seems to be a bit of a stretch, but it wouldn't have been surprising to see the organization win more than one Lombardi if a more talented quarterback such as Cutler was around in the 80's.

There's one thing we can all agree on: it's been way too long since the Bears won a Super Bowl.