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Mile High Morning: Will DeMarcus Ware be a first-ballot selection for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2022?

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The Lead

Thursday evening, the Pro Football Hall of Fame will unveil who has been elected to its Class of 2022. DeMarcus Ware is the only former Bronco among the 15 Modern-Era finalists, and his impressive career has him at the cusp of election as a first-ballot nominee.

Several analysts, including NFL.com's Adam Rank, expect Ware to make that uncommon leap.

"Ware checks a lot of boxes for being a first-ballot Hall of Famer," Rank wrote. "He's top 10 all time in sacks with 138.5. He's twice led the league in the category and had double-digit sacks in eight different seasons. Ware was also a key member of the Broncos' defense that led the team to a victory in Super Bowl 50. I'm not saying that it's an overwhelming résumé for a first-ballot guy, but in a class without huge stars -- outside of [Devin] Hester -- there is a good chance he will go in."

Former NFL wide receiver James Jones agreed in a discussion panel on "NFL Total Access."

"You're talking about a dude that's top 10 in sacks, but not only that," Jones said. "I played against Ware at the Cowboys, at the Broncos. I'm running down the field like, 'What's up? I'm open!' And he's right there, quarterback's on his back. There's nothing that we can do. This guy was a problem on the football field. If he wasn't double-teamed, he was gonna get after your quarterback. Double-team [or] triple-team, but he's a special player. You're talking about a dude — number one, he won a Super Bowl. Number two, he's top 10 in sacks. He really changed the game when he was in there playing. DeMarcus Ware, for me, like I said, top 10 in sacks, 138.5 sacks, that's big time."

The Class of 2022 will officially be unveiled Thursday night at 7 p.m. MT during the "NFL Honors" show on ABC.

Below the Fold

In case you missed the news on Wednesday, fullback/tight end Andrew Beck became the first Broncos player to win the NFL's prestigious Salute to Service Award, presented by USAA, in recognition of his work to support the men and women who have serves in the country's armed forces.

But what was just as special was how Beck learned he had won. In January, Beck visited UCHealth Training Center to observe a re-enlistment ceremony, but his parents surprised him after the event and then told him the good news. Be sure to check out the video and the photos that captured the moment.

The Unclassifieds

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