The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced on Tuesday its semifinalists for induction into the 2012 class. Two former Denver Broncos reached the semifinal round for the first time in their eligibility periods: safety Steve Atwater and linebacker Karl Mecklenburg.
Atwater played the first 10 years of his career with the Broncos and was always known for his hard-hitting ways. The highlight he is perhaps best known for is his punishing hit on Kansas City Chiefs running back Christian Okoye.
Mecklenburg played in 180 career games, all with Denver, and finished with 79 career sacks, second best in team history. He rose from being a 12th round draft pick in 1983 to a six-time Pro Bowler and a defensive leader on teams that went to the Super Bowls. He and Atwater are both members of the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame.
Also joining the those former Broncos is running back Terrell Davis, who has been a semifinalists dating back to 2007.
The ranks of the eligible players has been thinning to the point that there are no sure-fire players for this upcoming election. Guys like Tim Brown, Cris Carter and Curtis Martin are right at the top, but these three Broncos could possibly slip into the mix.