ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- A congregation of Broncos greats are among the 126 modern-era nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2014, including four members from the Super Bowl XXXII and Super Bowl XXXIII championship teams.
Running back Terrell Davis, wide receiver Rod Smith, safety Steve Atwater, center Tom Nalen, linebacker Karl Mecklenburg, safety John Lynch and Head Coach Dan Reeves represent the former Broncos who are candidates for the Class of 2014.
The 126 nominees will be narrowed down to 25 semifinalists by the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee in late November, and ultimately the list will trim down to 15 finalists who will be announced in early January.
From those 15 finalists – as well as two senior nominees (former Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders punter Ray Guy and former Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Claude Humphrey) – the selection committee will vote on and name its Class of 2014 members on Feb. 1, 2014, the day before Super Bowl XLVIII.
There is no exact number for how many members will be enshrined, as the selection process by-laws define that between four and seven new Hall of Fame members will be chosen.
Davis, the MVP of Super Bowl XXXII, rushed for 7,607 yards and 60 touchdowns in his seven-year career, including 6,413 yards and 56 touchdowns in his first four seasons in the league alone. Davis also compiled an extraordinary postseason career, rushing for 1,140 yards and 12 touchdowns in eight career postseason contests.
Smith, an undrafted receiver from Missouri Southern State University, played 12 seasons with the Broncos, finishing his career with 11,389 receiving yards, 68 touchdown catches and three Pro Bowl appearances.
Atwater helped anchor Broncos defense throughout the 1990s, earning eight Pro Bowl selections and two first-team All-Pro selections.
A 2013 Broncos Ring-of-Fame inductee, Nalen earned five Pro Bowl nominations and three first-team All-Pro nominations during his tenure with the Broncos, which spanned from 1994-2008. He helped block for six different 1,000-yard rushers.
Mecklenburg was a six-time Pro Bowl section and three-time All-Pro, helping lead the defenses of the Broncos teams that appeared in Super Bowl XXI, Super Bowl XXII and Super Bowl XXIV.
Lynch was a member of the Broncos from 2004-2007, earning Pro Bowl selections in all four seasons. In his 15-year career, Lynch was selected to the Pro Bowl nine times and was a four-time All-Pro.
Reeves coached the Broncos to three Super Bowls – Super Bowl XXI, Super Bowl XXII and Super Bowl XXIV – during his 11-year run with the team. Reeves participated in eight Super Bowls as a player, assistant coach and head coach.