Jonathan Ogden’s march to Canton has officially begun.
The NFL announced its 2013 Pro Football Hall of Fame nominees Thursday afternoon and Ogden is one of 13 first-year eligible modern-era candidates.
The 12-year pro in many ways defined the left tackle position. The Ravens’ first-ever draft pick was a towering figure at 6-foot-9, 325 pounds, and he dominated countless pass rushers in his day.
Ogden came in at No. 72 on the NFL Network’s Top 100 Greatest Players list. He’s long been considered a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
The complete list of candidates for the Class of 2013 consists of 127 nominees. From that list, the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee will choose 25 semifinalists in late November. That will be reduced to 15 modern-era finalists in early January.
The final vote for the Class of 2013 will be at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee’s annual meeting on Feb. 2, the day before Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans. The election results will be announced immediately following the meeting.
The selection process by-laws provide that between four and seven new members will be selected for the Hall of Fame each year.
Ogden is joined by three other former Ravens as first-year candidates: quarterback Steve McNair, running back Priest Holmes and defensive tackle Sam Adams.
McNair played in Baltimore for his final two seasons and led the team to the playoffs in 2006. He threw for more than 3,000 yards and posted 16 touchdowns that year. The longtime Tennessee Titan died in a shooting on July 4, 2009.
Holmes came to the Ravens as an undrafted rookie free agent in 1997. He had one 1,000-yard season with the team in 2008, but mostly played a reserve role, including on the Super Bowl squad. He did most of his damage in Kansas City, including a record-setting 2003 season with 27 rushing touchdowns.
Adams spent 14 years in the NFL, including two with the Ravens in the middle of his career in 2000 and 2001. He and Tony Siragusa combined to be a critical part of Baltimore’s run-stuffing defense that helped carry the Ravens to win the franchise’s first Super Bowl.
Here’s the full list of first-year eligible nominees:
Quarterback – Steve McNair
Running Back – Priest Holmes
Wide Receiver – Keenan McCardell
Offensive Linemen – Larry Allen (G), Tom Nalen (C), Jonathan Ogden (T)
Defensive Linemen – Sam Adams (DT), Warren Sapp (DT), Michael Strahan (DE), Ted Washington (DT/NT), Bryant Young (DE)
Defensive Back – John Lynch (S)
Kicker – Morten Andersen