The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced the preliminary nominees for enshrinement today. Six Broncos made the cut: safety Steve Atwater, running back Terrell Davis, linebacker Karl Mecklenburg, head coach Dan Reeves, tight end Shannon Sharpe and corner back Louis Wright. Shannon Sharpe is the most likely player to reach Canton in 2011, but there are plenty of first-time candidates who will have good chance of taking the four to seven spots usually reserved for enshrinement.
Cornerback Deion Sanders and running back Marshall Faulk should certainly be first-ballot inductees. Curtis Martin was one of the quietest running backs in the NFL, but his 14,101 rushing yards rank him fourth all-time. Jerome Bettis will likely receive some support, as he's right behind Martin at fifth all-time in rushing yards with 13,662.
The Denver Post's Mike Klis reminds us that linebacker Randy Gradishar is now in the senior pool of candidates and was not selected earlier this year by that committee.