Zach Thomas is further in the Hall of Fame process than ever before as he was named a finalist for the 2020 class.

The longtime Miami Dolphin and former Red Raider has been close for several years. Thomas is now one of 15 finalists of a class that's likely to be headlined by Troy Polamalu and Reggie Wayne.

Thomas is fifth all-time in NFL history in tackles with 1,727 in his 13 seasons. Three of the top six are already in the Hall of Fame, and the three that aren't already in are all nominees for this year's class. The other two are Jessie Tuggle and London Fletcher.

Tackles aren't everything, sure, but they are a large part of being a linebacker, and Thomas has better tackle per game numbers than both Derrick Brooks and Brian Urlacher. It helps if your team wins a Super Bowl, I guess.

Speaking of Urlacher, a great player and first ballot Hall of Famer, Thomas has similar identical forced turnover numbers and more than 400 more combined tackles in just one extra season. Urlacher had 41.5 sacks, while Thomas had 21. But that's the only glaring difference between the two. Sacks can't be the determining factor here because Derrick Brooks, another current Hall of Famer, only had 13.5.

Thomas is a 7-time Pro Bowler, a 5-time first team All Pro, a 2-time 2nd team All Pro, and a 2-time Linebacker of the Year. He was named AFC Defensive Rookie of the Year and was named to the All-Decade team for the 2000s.

There are a number of deserving finalists, but I believe that Zach Thomas should be inducted, along with Polamalu, Wayne and two others, to make up the 5-man class.

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