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Mile High Morning: Randy Gradishar should be Broncos' next player in Canton, CBS Sports says


The Lead

The Pro Football Hall of Fame has gotten quite the injection of orange and blue in recent years.

No team has more inductees in the last five years, as Denver has seen Terrell Davis (2017), Pat Bowlen (2019), Champ Bailey (2019), Steve Atwater (2020), John Lynch (2021) and Peyton Manning (2021) elected to receive their gold jackets.

But, as always, we want to see more Broncos in the Hall.

We’ve already taken a look at who could be next, but now CBS Sports is getting in on the fun. For each franchise, they picked one player that they think should be next to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. For Denver, that was legendary linebacker Randy Gradishar.

"While Tom Jackson and Rod Smith received consideration, Gradishar remains the greatest Bronco who is still waiting for his place in Canton," Bryan DeArdo wrote. "The 14th overall pick in the 1974 draft, Gradishar earned All-Pro honors in 1977 while leading Denver's "Orange Crush" defense, a unit that helped spearhead the Broncos' first Super Bowl appearance."

But the best testimonial was unquestionably a line from Hall of Fame former Bears defensive tackle Dan Hampton, quoted from a 2014 interview with the Talk of Fame Network’s Rick Gosselin.

"One time I asked Walter Payton who gave him the hardest shot in his career," Hampton said. "He told me one name — Gradishar. He was well-respected in Chicago."

Below the Fold

After his rookie season ended because of a wrist injury in training camp, 2020 fifth-round pick Justin Strnad is ready to get back in action, he told The Denver Post’s Ryan O’Halloran. "I was learning every day," he said of his first training camp. "Hopefully come OTAs and training camp, I can work my way up the depth chart and find a spot to help this team win."

The Unclassifieds

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