Posted Thu Feb 2nd by Jon Heath
For years, legendary quarterback John Elway was the only player representing the Denver Broncos historic franchise in Pro Football’s Hall of Fame. That all changed when offensive lineman Gary Zimmerman, running back Floyd Little and tight end Shannon Sharpewere enshrined during a four-year span.
The Broncos now have four players in the HOF and that number will grow in the coming years. Running back Terrell Davis, safety Steve Atwater and linebacker Randy Gradishar are expected to eventually get the nod, preferably sooner rather than later.
Joining Davis, Atwater and Gradishar as eligible (and deserving) HOF candidates over the next two years will be receiver Rod Smith, center Tom Nalen, kicker Jason Elam and safety John Lynch. There are four players representing the Broncos in Canton, Ohio, and seven more that will all be eligible by the year 2014.
- Davis is the only running back in NFL history who has won a League MVP, Super Bowl MVP, rushed for 2,000 yards in a single season, won back-t0-back Super Bowls, and rushed for 100 yards in seven consecutive playoff games (winning all seven of them).
- Atwater started in fourteen postseason games (including two Super Bowls), was selected to seven consecutive Pro Bowls and was the most-feared safety of his time.
- Gradishar, the 1978 Defensive Player of the Year, helped lead the Broncos to Super Bowl XII, was selected to seven Pro Bowls and was a two-time All American.
- Smith went undrafted in 1994 and would go on to have eight 1,000-yard seasons in Denver, leading the NFL in receptions in 2001. A two-time Super Bowl champion, Smith was selected to three Pro Bowls and was on the receiving end of an eighty-yard touchdown catch in Super Bowl XXIII.
- Nalen helped six different Broncos running backs rushed for 1,000 yards in a single season, and Terrell Davis rushed for over 2,000 yards in 1998. Taking snaps of Nalen, former Broncos quarterbacks John Elway, Jake Plummer and Brian Griese posted career-highs behind Nalen’s pass protection. A five-time Pro Bowl selection, Nalen won two Super Bowls.
- Elam is one of just three players who have ever kicked a 63-yard field goal and was selected to three Pro Bowls during his career. No player in NFL history has scored more points for one team than Elam did with Denver. Elam won two Super Bowls with the Broncos.
- Lynch earned nine Pro Bowl selections during his career and won a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before joining the Broncos. Lynch was twice named to the All Pro team and was one of the most feared tacklers of his time.