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Clayton: Terrell Davis’ Hall of Fame election helps Marshawn Lynch

Marshawn Lynch's career stats compare favorably to newly-elected hall of famer Terrell Davis. (AP)

The 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame class included Seahawks legend Kenny Easley, and it could also be good for another Seattle great: Marshawn Lynch

After a long wait, Easley was elected Saturday night on the strength of his seven dominating seasons at strong safety for the Seahawks from 1981 to 1987, when his career was upended at the age of 28 because of a kidney disease. His short but sweet career is representative of a relatively unusual Hall of Fame class that included an undrafted grocery-store checker who didn’t truly arrive in the NFL until he turned 28 (Kurt Warner), a defensive end who didn’t expect to be inducted (Jason Taylor), a placekicker (Morten Anderson), an owner (Jerry Jones), and former Broncos running back Terrell Davis.

Davis was a key component to Denver’s back-to-back Super Bowl championships alongside quarterback John Elway. He won the 1997 Super Bowl MVP award and the league MVP in 1998, rushing for 2,008 yards and 21 touchdowns that season. However, Davis also only rushed for more than 1,000 yards in four of his seven seasons, finishing his career with 7,607 total rushing yards and 60 touchdowns. He added 169 receptions for 1,280 yards and five touchdowns.

Those numbers are dwarfed by most of the 32 modern era hall-of-fame running backs, including his fellow 2017 inductee LaDainian Tomlinson, who is considered one of the most well-rounded running backs of all-time. Over 11 seasons, Tomlinson collected one MVP award and rushed for more than 13,684 yards (fifth all-time) and 145 touchdowns, plus 624 career catches for 4,772 yards and 17 touchdown receptions.

710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock Huard said Monday that Davis’ induction is great news for Lynch, whose numbers and postseason successes over nine seasons in the NFL compare favorably to Davis in rushing yards (9,112) and touchdowns (74).

“If Terrell Davis is a hall of famer, there is no question about Marshawn Lynch,” Huard said.

After Lynch’s retirement in early 2016, 710 ESPN Seattle’s John Clayton said Lynch had “borderline hall-of-fame credentials.” Clayton, who was added to the writer’s wing of the Hall of Fame in 2007 and is a member of the 48-person selection committee, said Monday that he did not vote for Davis but agrees with Huard that Davis’ induction puts Lynch in much better position.

“I would agree with you, it’s going to enhance his chances because he’s now going to be voted on in five years in a period where you’re not going to see any 10,000-yard running backs,” Clayton said. “Maybe LeSean McCoy will crack over 10,000 yards, but no, I think you make a valid point. Running backs now for the future are going to be judged differently and I think that’s gonna help Marshawn Lynch along. So, really, in many ways, Terrell Davis helps Marshawn Lynch.”