San Francisco 49ers wide receivers coach Wes Welker is among 14 first-time eligible nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Welker joins a list that includes 13 other nominees with 49ers ties, including general manager John Lynch and defensive tackle Bryant Young, both of whom were finalists this year for the Hall of Fame.
Lynch, a hard-hitting safety during his years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Denver Broncos, has been a finalist for seven consecutive years. He would appear to head into the next selection process as one of the favorites. Young was a first-time finalist in 2020.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame on Wednesday announced 130 nominees for the Class of 2021.
The list also includes these other former 49ers: Quarterback Jeff Garcia, running back Ricky Watters, tight end Brent Jones, defensive lineman Justin Smith, linebackers Patrick Willis and Takeo Spikes, defensive backs Merton Hanks and Tim McDonald, kicker Gary Anderson and punter Reggie Roby.
The top first-year eligible candidates for the Hall of Fame are quarterback Peyton Manning, wide receiver Calvin Johnson, defensive lineman Jared Allen and defensive back Charles Woodson.
The list of modern-era nominees will be reduced to 25 semifinalists in November. Then, 15 finalists will be selected in January.
The selection committee is scheduled to meet Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021 in Tampa, Florida, to elect the Class of 2021. There is no set number for any class of enshrinees, but the selection process by-laws mandate from four to eight new members will be selected.
Eighteen finalists will be considered on the eve of Super Bowl LV. The finalists will consist of 15 modern-era finalists and the recently named senior finalist, Drew Pearson; contributor finalist, Bill Nunn; and coach finalist, Tom Flores.
The senior, contributor and coach finalists are voted “yes” and “no,” and each of those individuals must gain at least 80-percent support from the committee to be elected.
Here is the complete list of modern-era finalists (*-indicates finalist in 2020):
QUARTERBACKS (8): Drew Bledsoe, Randall Cunningham, Jake Delhomme, Jeff Garcia, Dave Krieg, Peyton Manning, Donovan McNabb, Steve McNair
RUNNING BACKS (17): Shaun Alexander, Mike Alstott (FB), Tiki Barber, Earnest Byner, Larry Centers, Corey Dillon, Warrick Dunn, Eddie George, Priest Holmes, Steven Jackson, Jamal Lewis, Eric Metcalf (also WR/KR/PR), Glyn Milburn (also WR/KR/PR), Lorenzo Neal (FB), Fred Taylor, Herschel Walker (also KR), Ricky Watters
WIDE RECEIVERS (13): Donald Driver, Henry Ellard (also PR), *Torry Holt, Calvin Johnson, Chad Johnson, Derrick Mason, Muhsin Muhammad, Jimmy Smith, Rod Smith, Hines Ward, *Reggie Wayne, Wes Welker, Roddy White
TIGHT ENDS (7): Dallas Clark, Ben Coates, Keith Jackson, Brent Jones, Heath Miller, Jeremy Shockey, Wesley Walls
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (20): Willie Anderson (T), Matt Birk (C), *Tony Boselli (T), Lomas Brown (T), Ruben Brown (G), *Alan Faneca (G), D’Brickashaw Ferguson (T), Kevin Glover (C/G), Jordan Gross (T), Kent Hull (C), Olin Kreutz (C), Logan Mankins (G), Tom Nalen (C), Chris Samuels (T), Jeff Saturday (C), Chris Snee (G), Brian Waters (G), Richmond Webb (T), Erik Williams (T), Steve Wisniewski (G)
DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (15): John Abraham (DE also LB), Jared Allen (DE), Ray Childress (DT/DE), La’Roi Glover (DT/NT), Casey Hampton (DT/NT), Leslie O’Neal (DE), Michael Dean Perry (DT/DE), Simeon Rice (DE), *Richard Seymour (DT), Justin Smith (DE), Neil Smith (DE), Greg Townsend (DE/LB/DT/NT), Justin Tuck (DE), Kevin Williams (DT), *Bryant Young (DT)
LINEBACKERS (16): Cornelius Bennett, Lance Briggs, Tedy Bruschi, London Fletcher, Seth Joyner, Clay Matthews Jr., Jerod Mayo, Willie McGinest (also DE), *Sam Mills, Joey Porter, Chris Spielman, Takeo Spikes, Pat Swilling (also DE), Darryl Talley, *Zach Thomas, Patrick Willis
DEFENSIVE BACKS (18): Eric Allen (CB), Ronde Barber (CB/S), *LeRoy Butler (S), Nick Collins (S), Merton Hanks (S), Rodney Harrison (S), James Hasty (DB), Albert Lewis (CB), *John Lynch (S), Tim McDonald (S), Allen Rossum (DB), Asante Samuel (DB), Bob Sanders (S), Charles Tillman (CB), Troy Vincent (CB), Adrian Wilson (S), Charles Woodson (CB/S), Darren Woodson (S)
PUNTERS/KICKERS (12): David Akers (K), Gary Anderson (K), Jason Elam (K), Jeff Feagles (P), Jason Hanson (K), John Kasay (K), Sean Landeta (P), Ryan Longwell (K), Nick Lowery (K), Reggie Roby (P), Rohn Stark (P), Matt Turk (P)
SPECIAL TEAMS (4): Josh Cribbs (KR/PR also WR), Mel Gray (PR/KR also WR), Brian Mitchell (KR/PR also RB), Steve Tasker (ST also WR)
NOTE: Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area is one of 48 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee.