Offensive linemen are football players too. Without them, the quarterback doesn’t have a pocket to throw or the running back doesn’t have lanes to travel through. When I first started playing football, I was a left tackle. It was a struggle to adapt to at first, but I enjoyed it. If you’re a general manager, you always want that franchise offensive lineman that you can depend on for years. That’s exactly what Steve Hutchinson was. He’s been on the ballot for the Hall of Fame the last few years. He’ll no longer have to wait. In August, he’ll finally be inducted into football immortality.

The Seattle Seahawks drafted Steve in the first round of the 2001 NFL Draft with the 17th overall pick. He became a starter and had an immediate impact on the team. You couldn’t talk about the Seahawks offensive line without mentioning number 76. That’s how key of a piece he was to them. I always saw a guy that was more than willing to break the edge for his runners to travel through. He was phenomenal in run blocking. The one rule when blocking or trying to shed a block is always to remain low. That’s probably why he won a lot of his battles in the trenches. He was that component that helped lead the Seahawks to three straight playoff appearances from 2003-2005. Steve also paved the way for running back Shaun Alexander in 2005 who had a year to remember. He ran for 1,880 yards rushing. His final game with Seattle was in Super Bowl XL in a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

After his stint with the Seahawks, Steve signed a massive contract with the Minnesota Vikings. A seven-year/$49 Million deal which was the richest contract for a guard. He never missed a game for the Vikings. He opened lanes for Adrian Peterson and blocked for Brett Favre. In the first 11 years of his career, Hutch never missed a game. He started 157 consecutive games. Steve finished his career with the Tennessee Titans than retired. He gets into the Hall on his third try.

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