Each NFL team’s biggest Hall of Fame omission

The Pro Football Hall of Fame is closing in on 400 members but there are still plenty of deserving players who haven't yet made it. Here is the biggest omission for every team.
Jan 28, 1990; New Orleans, LA, USA; FILE PHOTO; San Francisco 49ers running back Roger Craig (33)
Jan 28, 1990; New Orleans, LA, USA; FILE PHOTO; San Francisco 49ers running back Roger Craig (33) / USA TODAY Sports
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Denver Broncos: LB Randy Gradishar

It was the last time the franchise made a playoff appearance. Back in 2015, the Denver Broncos sported one of the better defensive units in recent memory. It was a unit that catapulted them to their third NFL title, a 24-10 conquest of the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50. However, the call here goes back to the days of the original “Orange Crush” of the 1970s.

This was a group that burst onto the national scene in 1977. It was led by standouts such as defensive end Lyle Alzado, nose tackle Rubin Carter, play-making outside linebacker Tom Jackson, cornerback Louis Wight and safety Billy Thompson. It was a big-play defense that often doesn’t get the credit it truly deserves and it was the key to the club’s first Super Sunday appearance (XII).

The main man inside was linebacker Randy Gradishar. The one-time Ohio State Buckeye star and the 14th overall pick in the 1974 NFL Draft would play 10 seasons for Denver head coaches John Ralston, Red Miller and Dan Reeves and was named to the Pro Bowl seven times. He also earned All-Pro honors twice and was the 1978 NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

He was a tackling machine but also showed his range. Gradishar racked up 20 interceptions and 13 fumble recoveries and didn’t miss a game during his impressive career.

In late August, it was announced that he, as well as defensive tackle Steve McMichael and wide receiver Art Powell, are the Pro Football Hall of Fame Seniors’ Committee’s three Finalists for the Class of 2024. Gradishar’s induction would be a fitting tribute to those Broncos’ defenses of that era.