Good morning, Broncos Country!
Eleven former Denver Broncos are now nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Among them are two guys who should already be in the Canton museum— Rod Smith and Tom Nalen. The other nine are Dre’ Bly, Seth Joyner, Simeon Rice, Wes Welker, Jason Elam, Mark Schlereth, Neil Smith, DeMarcus Ware and Al Wilson. To be clear, these are Modern-Era nominees for the class of 2023. This doesn’t include the Seniors list, where you would find Randy Gradishar.
Rod Smith and Tom Nalen should absolutely be in the Hall of Fame. https://t.co/nqNlWcdHb0— Ian St. Clair (@IanStClair) September 20, 2022
Of the 11 former Broncos and 129 nominees, Smith and Nalen should be locks to get in; especially Nalen. He’s one of the best, if not the best, centers of his era. Think of all the BS we heard prior to Terrell Davis getting inducted. “It was the system, not TD. You could plug any running back in that system and they rushed for 1,000 yards.”
Well, the reason for that was Nalen as the anchor of that offensive line and that incredible running game for the Broncos. Now that Davis has been conducted, crickets. Nalen gets no respect for how incredible of a player he was for so long.
And then there’s Smith.
He’s the best undrafted player in the history of the NFL.
In fact, Smith’s career stats compare to Hall of Famer Michael Irvin.
Irvin had 750 career receptions for 11,904 yards and 65 touchdowns.
Smith had 849 receptions for 11,389 yards and 68 touchdowns.
Irvin won three Super Bowls; Smith two.
Irvin is in the Hall of Fame; Smith can’t sniff induction.
You could also make case for Elam.
Smith and Nalen are the two most deserving Modern-Era nominees. Again, Gradishar is in the Seniors' class.
It’s time both of these legendary Broncos get their due as two of the best at their respective positions.
I joined Klahr and Kompany on Saturday morning for my weekly Broncos Blast segment on ESPN 1600 AM. This week we discuss whether Denver can turn it around against the Niners and if the Broncos have a shot on SNF.
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