I’m still confused as to why he wasn’t a first ballot Hall of Famer, but nonetheless, Wille Roaf was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday in Canton, Ohio. Roaf went into the Hall of Fame along side Dermontti Dawson, Chris Doleman, Cortez Kennedy, Curtis Martin and Jack Butler. Willie, who was born and raised in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, was presented by his father, Clifton Roaf.
Amazingly, Willie Roaf was lightly recruited out of high school. He ended up at Louisiana Tech where he became an All American and one of the top Offensive Lineman in the nation. He was then drafted 8th overall by the New Orleans Saints in the 1993 NFL draft. The Saints have the Detroit Lions to thank for Roaf wearing the black and gold, they traded that 8th pick to the Saints for the rights to a past-his-prime Pat Swilling.
Willie Roaf played the first nine of his thirteen NFL seasons with the Saints. In those nine seasons, Roaf appeared in seven Pro Bowls and only missed 12 games due to injury. The special mix of size, speed, blocking ability, mental toughness and durability made him one of the greatest offensive tackles to ever play the game.
After a knee injury sidelined him for nine games in the 2001 season, Roaf was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs for a conditional draft choice. Roaf would go on to play four more seasons with the Chiefs and was selected to the Pro Bowl each of those four seasons.
On top of the 11 Pro Bowl appearances, Willie Roaf was (6x First Team All Pro), (3x Second Team All Pro), and (8x All Conference). He won a spot on both 1990′s All Decade Team and 2000′s All Decade Team. Roaf was also elected into the Arkansas (2007), New Orleans Saints (2008), and Louisiana (2009) Hall of Fame’s.
Willie Roaf and Rickey Jackson are the only two New Orleans Saints players to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Sean Payton was on hand Saturday, with the NFL’s permission, to watch Roaf’s induction ceremony.