Though the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2018 was just announced a few days ago, it's not too soon to look ahead to how the Class of 2019 could shape up.
After years of underrepresentation in the Hall, 2019 could finally be the year when the organization sees multiple former Broncos elected in the same class. And though not all of the deserving members will be inducted come August 2019, it could certainly be a step in the right direction.
As we head toward that class, which will take shape over the course of the coming year, here are several Broncos who could ultimately be enshrined in Canton in 2019.
*Contributors Committee candidates
Owner Pat Bowlen
The man who changed the nature of the NFL through his work in broadcast negotiations will again be eligible to be nominated as a Contributors Committee finalist. Several prominent NFL analysts argued recently that Owner Pat Bowlen — whose team has seen more Super Bowl appearances (7) than losing seasons (6) during his 34 years of ownership — will see his Pro Football Hall of Fame wait come to an end this year.
Seniors Committee candidates
**Cornerback Louis Wright
**Wright is not just a Broncos Ring of Famer and a former two-time First-Team All-Pro, he was also a key piece of the Broncos' very first Super Bowl team. He will once again receive consideration from the Seniors Committee for the 2019 class as the group nominates a sole individual.
Linebacker Randy Gradishar
The Broncos' all-time leader in tackles headlined the "Orange Crush" in the late '70s and is one of Denver's all-time greats. He joins Wright as a potential candidate for the Seniors Committee's nomination.
Cornerback Champ Bailey
In his first year of eligibility, the three-time First-Team All-Pro and 12-time Pro Bowler could very well end up as a first-ballot Pro Football Hall of Famer.
Safety Steve Atwater
Atwater, a member of the NFL's 1990s all-decade team, was a semifinalist in 2018 and could get over the hump in 2019.
Safety John Lynch
Again a finalist in 2018, Lynch faced tough competition in Brian Dawkins, another former Bronco. That won't stop in 2019, as Ed Reed gets added to the ballot at the safety position. The group continues to receive more recognition, which could lead to Lynch's inclusion in 2019.
Linebacker Karl Mecklenburg
This three-time First-Team All-Pro was also a semifinalist in 2018 and could make a push in his final year of eligibility before his case is referred to the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Seniors Committee.