Eleven first-year players, including WR Randy Moss, LB Ray Lewis, LB Brian Urlacher and DB Ronde Barber highlight the list of 108

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Courtesy of the Pro Football Hall of Fame

modern-era nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s class of 2018.

Other first-year candidates include WR Donald Driver and (the other) Steve Smith; OL Matt Birk, Jeff Saturday, Steve Hutchinson; and DL Richard Seymour and Kyle Vanden Bosch.

Of the first-year guys, the first four would seem to be locks for enshrinement – presumably Lewis as a first-ballot HOFer and the rest in years to follow (Moss had a first-ballot career, but likely falls into the trap Terrell Owens and others have with logjams and politics).

Without spending a great deal of time studying their respective cases, my inclination is that Driver and Smith are solid nos, Hutchinson is a yes, Birk and Saturday are maybes, Seymour is a yes and Vanden Bosch is a no … your thoughts?

The entire list can be found here. It consists of 53 offensive players, 38 defensive players, five special teamers and 12 coaches.

As you can see by the link, there has been a fair amount made of the nomination of Smith. In reality, as most of you are aware, anyone can nominate a player for this stage of the process. Thus, over the years, many non-candidate candidates have had their names brought forward.

The group will be reduced to 25 semifinalists in November and then to 15 finalists in January.

Those 15 finalists along with Senior Candidates Jerry Kramer and Robert Brazile and Bobby Beathard, who was nominated as a contributor, will be voted on during meetings held during Super Bowl weekend.