A Hall of Fame Comparison – WAYNE HAWKINS

There is a feeling among AFL fans that the American Football League players are consistently overlooked for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  In truth there are many players, the bulk of whose careers were spent in the AFL, that deserve serious consideration, if not outright induction.  In an effort to spark some discussion regarding their hall of fame worthiness, I will occasionally compare AFL players to their NFL (and Hall of Fame) counterparts.

autographed 1964 topps wayne hawkins

#140 – Wayne Hawkins

The first such comparison is between Wayne Hawkins of the Oakland Raiders, and two HoF offensive guards, Tom Mack and Mike Munchak.

Wayne Allen Hawkins – Selected by the Raiders in the 1960 AFL draft, played all 10 seasons of the AFL…  Played in 136 of 140 regular season games during 10-year career…  Five-time AFL All-Star (1963-67)…  AFL champion in 1967…  Member of the Oakland Raiders All-Time Team…  Three-time First-Team All-AFL member…

Thomas Lee MackRams’ first round draft pick, second player overall in 1966 NFL draft. . .One of only two rookies on veteran-laden team. . . Earned starting role as rookie and held left guard position for next 13 seasons. . .Extremely durable, never missed a game during 184-game career. . .Named to 11 Pro Bowls. . .All-NFL five times. . . All-Western Conference once, All-NFC eight times…

Michael Anthony MunchakOilers’ first-round draft pick, eighth player overall and first offensive lineman selected, 1982 … Earned starting left guard position, rookie season … Devastating blocker, anchored Oilers line that helped team perennially rank near top of NFL’s offensive statistical categories … Named first- or second-team All-Pro ten times … All-AFC seven times … Elected to nine Pro Bowls …

Unfortunately for Wayne Hawkins, the Raiders Jim Otto, and later Art Shell and Gene Upshaw on their offensive lines in the AFL years.  Hawkins tends to be overshadowed by those well-deserving Hall of Fame members.  However, he was a testament to steadiness and reliability.  Sadly, today Hawkins is battling the post-football brain issues that have made life miserable for so many former players.  Thoughts?

Todd Tobias (790 Posts)

Todd Tobias's interest in the American Football League began in 1998, when he wrote my master's thesis about Sid Gillman. He created this site to educate and entertain football fans with the stories of the American Football League, 1960-1969. You can follow Todd and get more AFL history on Twitter @TalesfromtheAFL.

7 Responses to A Hall of Fame Comparison – WAYNE HAWKINS

  1. Howard says:

    Put Hawkins in, but also put in Jerry Kramer. Amazing how above average but not great QB’s such as Namath, Kelly, Moon and Aikman get in. But great players like Hawkins and Kramer have to wait decades to get inducted (if at all).

  2. Raiderboz says:

    Or you could be like Joe DeLamielleure and Art Monk and just keep bitching until the Hall voters elect you to shut you up.

    • How’s it going? I’ve followed Monk closely, and I don’t ever remember him complaining. In addition to being a great player, he was the consummate professional. He should have gone in sooner, and many people spoke up for him, including a number of fellow wide receivers–Largent, Irvin, Rice, and Andre Reed. Irvin, who was elected a year before Monk, said his induction was somewhat diminished because Monk wasn’t there.

      I don’t see where Monk himself complained. Can you fill me in? I ask that respectfully.

      As for your boys, there are quite a few Raiders who should be in the Hall, starting with Cliff Branch. Lester Hayes gets my vote, too.

  3. billd says:

    Not only Wayne Hawkins, but other AFL guards are sadly overlooked for HOF. Walt Sweeney, Bob Talamini, Ed Budde, and Dave Herman deserve serious consideration. Herman was asked to switch to tackle for the last few games of 1968 and the job he did on Bubba Smith in SBIII is under publicized. And Matt Snell running left behind Talamini and tackle Winston Hill is Super Bowl lore. All three of them deserve HOF consideration.

  4. charles yerby says:

    the afl keeps getting snubbed–that guy who thought namath was an average quarterback is full of it””””””start with the guys who made the afl in 60 ang go from there”’

    • Howard says:

      I have no ax to grind. In fact I wish that I could have “scored” off the field as much as Broadway Joe. The reality is that if you look at Namath’s numbers objectively, he is at most an above average quarterback. So here are the facts:
      Namath- Completion 50.1%, TD-173, Int- 220, QB Rating- 65.5
      Montana- Completion-63.2% TD- 273, Int- 139, QB Rating- 92.3
      Starr- – Completion 57.4%, TD- 152, Int- 138, QB Rating- 80.5
      Dawson- Completion 57.1%- TD- 239, Int. 183, QB Rating- 82.6

      I threw in Montana, which may be unfair. He played in a more favorable passing environment. So, he may rank as the apex passer in efficiency.

      But, look at Starr and Dawson! Lenny Dawson was a far better quarterback than Joe Namath! Unlike Namath, Dawson actually threw more TD’s than INT! His ratings were light years ahead of Namath.

      Obviously the signing of Namath in 1965, along with the TV contract with NBC insured that the AFL was going to survive. But, to say Namath was great is putting his swagger and cool ahead of his results!

  5. Kizer says:

    Screw Jerry Kramer, Gale Gillingham was twice the player he was

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