Eleven first-year players, including linebacker Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher, are among the 108 modern-era candidates for the Pro Football’s Hall of Fame Class of 2018.
Lewis, a 2000s’ first-team all-decade choice and two-time Super Bowl champion, is the most eligible of the first-year class -- and the most likely to be a first-ballot choice. But not far behind are wide receiver Randy Moss and linebacker Brian Urlacher, also first-team all-decade selections.
All-decade choices Steve Hutchinson and Ronde Barber are also included.
The list consists of 53 offensive players, 38 on defense, five special teamers and 12 coaches, and will be reduced to 25 in November ... and, from there, to 15 in January.
Eighteen finalists will be presented to the 48-member Hall-of-Fame committee at its selection meeting Feb. 3, the day prior to Super Bowl LII – with the list including 15 modern-era candidates, senior finalists Robert Brazile and Jerry Kramer and contributor finalist Bobby Beathard.
The senior and contributor finalists are voted with a simple “yes” or “no” for election and must receive at least 80 percent support of the committee. The modern-era finalists will be trimmed from 15 to 10 ... and then from 10 to five. The remaining five finalists will be approved with a simply “yes” or “no” on each candidate, with 80 percent approval required.
THE CLASS OF 2018 CANDIDATES
QUARTERBACKS (5) – Randall Cunningham, Rich Gannon, Donovan McNabb, Steve McNair, Phil Simms.
RUNNING BACKS (10) – Tiki Barber, Earnest Byner, Roger Craig, Corey Dillon, Eddie George, Edgerrin James, Lorenzo Neal, Fred Taylor, Herschel Walker, Ricky Watters.
WIDE RECEIVERS (13) – Isaac Bruce, Donald Driver, Henry Ellard, Torry Holt, Chad Johnson, Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Sterling Sharpe, Jimmy Smith, Rod Smith, Steve Smith, John Taylor, Hines Ward.
TIGHT ENDS (4) – Mark Bavaro, Ben Coates, Ferrell Edmunds, Jay Novacek.
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (21) – Willie Anderson, Matt Birk, Tony Boselli, Lomas Brown, Ruben Brown, Ray Donaldson, Alan Faneca, Bill Fralic, Jay Hilgenberg, Chris Hinton, Kent Hull, Steve Hutchinson, Joe Jacoby, Mike Kenn Kevin Mawae, Tom Nalen, Nate Newton, Bart Oates, Jeff Saturday, Richmond Webb, Steve Wisniewski.
DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (11) – La’Roi Glover, Leonard Marshall, Keith Millard, Leslie O’Neal, Michael Dean Perry, Simeon Rice, Richard Seymour, Neil Sith, Greg Townsend, Kyle Vanden Bosch, Bryant Young.
LINEBACKERS (15) – Carl Banks, Cornelius Bennett, Tedy Brucshi, Seth Joyner, Ray Lewis, Greg Lloyd, Wilber Marshall, Clay Matthews, Willie McGinest, Karl Mecklenburg, Sam Mills, Joey Porter, Darryl Talley, Zach Thomas, Brian Urlacher.
DEFENSIVE BACKS (12) – Eric Allen, Steve Atwater, Ronde Barber, LeRoy Butler, Brian Dawkins, Rodney Harrison, Ty Law, Albert Lewis, John Lynch, Dennis Smith, Everson Walls, Darren Woodson.
KICKERS/PUNTERS (3) – Gary Anderson, Sean Landeta, Nick Lowery.
SPECIAL TEAMS (2) – Brian Mitchell, Steve Tasker.
COACHES (12) – Don Coryell, Bill Cowher, Tom Flores, Mike Holmgren, Jimmy Johnson, Chuck Knox, Buddy Parker, Richie Petitbon, Dan Reeves, Marty Schottenheimer, Clark Shaughnessy, Dick Vermeil.