The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced its Modern Era nominees for the Class of 2017 on Wednesday, and a host of former Broncos made the first cut.
Terrell Davis, Rod Smith, Tom Nalen, Karl Mecklenburg, Steve Atwater, John Lynch, Dennis Smith and Brian Dawkins represent the Broncos as players. Former head coach Dan Reeves and three short-time Broncos, Seth Joyner (1998), Simeon Rice (2007) and Ty Law (2009), also got the nod among the list of 94 nominees.
The 2017 class marks the first time Dawkins, who played 13 years for the Philadelphia Eagles before joining the Broncos, is eligible for the Hall of Fame.
Several members of the Broncos delegation have previously been finalists, including Terrell Davis, Steve Atwater and John Lynch. Both Davis and Atwater are already in the Broncos' Ring of Fame, and Lynch is scheduled to be inducted this fall alongside Jason Elam and Simon Fletcher.
Four Hall of Famers were inducted for their Broncos contributions -- John Elway (2004), tackle Gary Zimmerman (2008), running back Floyd Little (2010) and tight end Shannon Sharpe (2011).
The list of nominees will be cut to 25 semifinalists in November and 15 finalists in January. The 15 finalists, along with Seniors Subcomittee nominee Kenny Easley and Contributors Subcommittee nominees Jerry Jones and Paul Tagliabue, will be presented to the full 48-member committee on Feb. 4, one day before Super Bowl LI.
Up to five Modern Era nominees can be inducted in this year's class, which can grow as high as eight if Easley, Jones and Tagliabue are selected for induction.