Denver Broncos

My All Time Favorite Denver Broncos Players

The Denver Broncos are one of the most successful franchises in the NFL over the past few decades. As a loyal fan, I have been watching the Broncos and rooting for the home team since I was a kid and still have a place in my heart for the Orange and Blue.

As a charter member of the AFL, the Broncos have been one of pro football’s leading teams since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970.  In fact, the Broncos are one of the better teams in the NFL and have made appearances in eight Super Bowls (1977, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1997, 1998, 2013 and 2015) winning three of the eight including Super Bowl XXXII in 1998 versus the Green Bay Packers, Super Bowl XXXIII in 1999 versus the Atlanta Falcons and Super Bowl 50 versus the Carolina Panthers.  Denver accomplished what only five other teams had achieved — back to back Super Bowl championships. The Denver Broncos have played in ten AFC Championship games winning eight (1977, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1997, 1998, 2014 and 2015) and have had some of the greatest players to ever grace the gridiron including Hall of Fame inductees: Floyd Little, Gary Zimmerman, Shannon Sharpe and the legendary John Elway.

A Super Bowl berth in 1978 started the Broncos on a path to greatness and attracted star players to the team. Many of the teams after 1978 featured some of the greatest Broncos players of all time. The Broncos major turning point came when they acquired quarterback John Elway in a blockbuster trade with the Baltimore Colts. Considered one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, Elway took the Broncos to six Super Bowls during his illustrious career in Denver. Elway is one of the best Broncos ever and an all time great.

As legendary as Elway is, he couldn’t have gotten to six Super Bowls without a little help. When the Broncos defeated the Packers to capture their first Super Bowl title, it couldn’t have done without one of the greatest running backs of all time. Terrell Davis is one of the most beloved Broncos superstars and on account of his power running, Davis won the MVP of Super Bowl XXXII. Other Bronco greats like Shannon Sharpe, Rod Smith, Ed McCaffrey, and Steve Atwater were on those championship teams. After floundering without Elway, the Broncos picked up another all time great in the form of Peyton Manning. Even with his advanced age, Manning will be considered one of the best Broncos of all time after winning a Super Bowl title.

OFFENSE

QUARTERBACKS

John Elway

1984 Topps #63 Rookie Card

Position:  Quarterback – #7
Height:  6’3″          Weight:  215 lbs
Born:  June 28, 1960 in Port Angeles Washington
College:  Stanford
Drafted:  Baltimore Colts picked in the 1st Round (1st Overall) in 1983 Draft
Career:  1983 – 1998 – Denver Broncos
Highlights:  9 time Pro Bowler, 2 Super Bowl Wins including Super Bowl MVP in 1998, Inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2004, Mile High Stadium Ring of Fame Member. Elway played 16 seasons with the Denver Broncos and holds the record for all time passing yards for the team at 51,475 and is on several career leaders lists including yards, wins and touchdowns, which he has 300, good for 8th all time. Favorite quote: “I’ve experienced the highest of highs and lowest of lows. I think to really appreciate anything you have to be at both ends of the spectrum.”  John Elway went on to become the Directory of Football Operations for the Denver Broncos and his team has played in two and won one Super Bowl so far.

Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning - Indianapolis Colts - Denver Broncos - #18 - Hall of Fame QB - MVP

1998 Collectors Edge #189 Rookie Card

Position:  Quarterback – #18
Height:  6’5″          Weight:  230 lbs
Born:  March 24, 1976 in New Orleans Louisiana
College:  Tennessee
Drafted:  Indianapolis Colts picked in the 1st Round (1st Overall) in 1998 Draft
Career:  1998 – 2015 – Indianapolis Colts (1998-2011), Denver Broncos (2012-2015)
Highlights:  12 time Pro Bowler, 6 time First-Team All-Pro, 2 Super Bowl Wins and was the 2006 Super Bowl MVP.  Played 14 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts before becoming the Denver Broncos Quarterback and threw for 54,828 yards and 399 touchdowns with the Colts.  As a Denver Bronco, he eclipsed the 400 career touchdown mark and continued racking up touchdowns passing Brett Favre’s 508 touchdowns and ending his career with 539 total career passing touchdowns.  In his career, Peyton Manning completed 6,125 passes putting him second all time behind Brett Favre who completed 6,300 passes in his career.  Manning took the top spot on the career passing yards list with 71,940 eclipsing Brett Favre to take the top spot on the list. Peyton Manning took the Denver Broncos to Super Bowl 50 and won the Championship.  Manning will be a first ballot Hall of Fame inductee when he is eligible.

Tim Tebow 

2010 Donruss #95 Rookie Card

Position:  Quarterback – #15
Height:  6’2″          Weight:  236 lbs
Born:  August 14, 1987 in Makati City, Philippines
College:  Florida
Drafted:  Denver Broncos picked in the 1st Round (25th Overall) in the 2010 NFL Draft
Career:  2010 – 2012 – Denver Broncos (2010-2011), New York Jets (2012)
Highlights:  After an astounding college career at the University of Florida, where Tim Tebow won the Heisman Trophy as a Sophomore and took the Florida Gators to 2 National Titles he was drafted by the Denver Broncos as the 25th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. Playing 3 games in his rookie season, he assumed the role of starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos in the 6th game of the 2011 season. The team was 1–4 before he became the starter but began winning with him on the field, often coming from behind late in the 4th quarter until they won their first AFC West title and first playoff game since 2005 knocking the Pittsburg Steelers out in the first play of overtime with an 80 yard completion for a touchdown to Demarius Thomas. Tim Tebow was traded to the New York Jets when the Broncos acquired Peyton Manning in the offseason. He will always be a fan favorite for his come from behind victories, competitiveness and enthusiasm for the game and the mark he made during his short time with Denver.

 

RUNNING BACKS

Floyd Little

1968 Topps #173 Rookie Card

Position:  Running Back – #44
Height:  5’10”          Weight:  196 lbs
Born:  July 4, 1942 in New Haven Connecticut
College:  Syracuse
Drafted:  Denver Broncos picked in the 1st Round (6th Overall) in the 1967 NFL Draft
Career:  1967 – 1975 – Denver Broncos
Highlights:  5 time Pro Bowler, 1 time First-Team All-Pro, Inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2010, Mile High Stadium Ring of Fame Member. The seventh leading rusher in NFL history at the time he retired, Floyd Little was drafted by the Broncos in 1967, and is considered the Broncos first superstar player. While he never won a Super Bowl with the team, Little helped the Broncos rise from a decade of mediocrity. For that, his jersey number is officially retired. Favorite Quote: “I’ve given you the best that I’ve got. And I’m a better person for it. Thank you for being here with me and for me. I thank God for His favor today, and may God bless us all.”

Otis Armstrong

1975 Topps #350 Rookie Card

Position:  Running Back – #24
Height:  5’10”          Weight:  196 lbs
Born:  November 15, 1950 in Chicago Illinois
College:  Purdue
Drafted:  Denver Broncos picked in the 1st Round (9th Overall) in the 1973 NFL Draft
Career:  1973 – 1980 – Denver Broncos
Highlights:  2 time Pro Bowler, 1 time First-Team All-Pro and played in 1 Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos.  Over his 8 year career he rushed 1,023 times for 4,453 yards averaging 4.4 yards per carry and scored 25 rushing touchdowns.  He also caught 131 passes for 1,302 yards and averaged 9.9 yards per reception and scored 7 receiving touchdowns.  He was a favorite target for Craig Morton out of the backfield.  In 1973 and 1974 he was on Special Teams as well and averaged 23.8 yards per return.

Terrell Davis

1995 Fleer Ultra #430 Rookie Card

Position:  Running Back – #30
Height:  5’11”          Weight:  206 lbs
Born:  October 28, 1972 in San Diego California
College:  Long Beach State, Georgia
Drafted:  Denver Broncos picked in the 6th Round (196th Overall) in the 1995 NFL Draft
Career:  1995 – 2001 – Denver Broncos
Highlights:  3 time Pro Bowler, 3 time First-Team All-Pro, Rushed for 2008 yards in 1998 becoming 1 of 6 Running Backs to ever rush for more than 2,000 yards in a single season and is 4th on the all time single season rushing leaders behind Eric DickersonJamal Lewis and Barry Sanders, 2 Super Bowl Wins including Super Bowl MVP and League MVP in 1997, Mile High Stadium Ring of Fame Member, Hall of Fame semi-finalist in 20072008200920102011 and 2012. His career ended too early due to a major knee injury, yet he is still considered one of the greatest running backs in NFL history. Imagine if he would have enjoyed an entire career in the NFL. Favorite quote: “You can be the best person in the league, but if you don’t win championships, something’s missing.” Although he has been passed up, he deserves a place in the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame!

Howard Griffith

1991 Score #602 Rookie Card

Position:  Full Back – #29
Height:  6’0″          Weight:  230 lbs
Born:  November 17, 1967 in Chicago Illinois
College:  Illinois
Drafted:  Indianapolis Colts picked in the 9th Round (236th Overall) in the 1991 NFL Draft
Career:  1993 – 2000 – Los Angeles Rams (1993-1994), Carolina Panthers (1995-1996), Denver Broncos (1997-2000)
Highlights:  Played in 2 Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos, Played for the Broncos for 4 years as a fullback who came to the team in 1997 when they were on the cusp of a Super Bowl season, and he helped push them over the top with the huge holes he made for Terrell Davis.

 

WIDE RECEIVERS

Rod Smith

1995 Fleer Ultra #369 Rookie Card

Position:  Wide Receiver – #80
Height:  6’0″          Weight:  200 lbs
Born:  May 5, 1970 in Texarkana Arkansas
College:  Missouri Southern
Drafted:  Undrafted
Career:  1995 – 2006 – Denver Broncos
Highlights:  3 time Pro Bowler, 2 Super Bowl Wins, Mile High Stadium Ring of Fame Member. The Denver Broncos all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. Rod Smith is the only undrafted NFL player to rack up more than 10,000 yards receiving. He won two Super Bowls with the team and went to three Pro Bowls. He was a member of the Broncos organization for 14 years and never played for another team. Favorite quote: “He’s representing from Hawaii. He probably gets some free pineapples out of the deal. Maybe he’ll give me one because I like pineapples.”

Ed McCaffrey

1991 Ultra Update
#U-65 Rookie Card

Position:  Wide Receiver – #87
Height:  6’5″          Weight:  215 lbs
Born:  August 17, 1968 in Waynesboro Pennsylvania
College:  Stanford
Drafted:  New York Giants picked in the 3rd Round (83rd Overall) in the 1991 NFL Draft
Career:  1991 – 2003 – New York Giants (1991-1993), San Francisco 49ers (1994), Denver Broncos (1995-2003)
Highlights:  1 time Pro Bowler, 3 Super Bowl Wins (1 with the San Francisco 49ers and 2 with the Denver Broncos), Mile High Stadium Ring of Fame Member. Played very similar to Fred Biletnikoff and was the ultimate receiving threat.

Lionel Taylor

1961 Fleer #147 Rookie Card

Position:  Wide Receiver – Split End – Flanker – #87
Height:  6’2″          Weight:  215 lbs
Born:  August 15, 1935 in Kansas City Missouri
College:  New Mexico Highlands
Drafted:  Undrafted
Career:  1959 – 1968 – Chicago Bears (1959), Denver Broncos (1960-1966), Houston Oilers (1967-1968)
Highlights:  3 time Pro Bowler and 4 time First-Team All-Pro.  In his 10 year career, Lionel Taylor caught 567 passes for 7,196 yards averaging 12.7 yards per catch and scored 45 touch downs.  He was an extremely versatile player and was inducted into the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame in 1984.

Rick Upchurch 

1977 Topps #301 Rookie Card

Position:  Wide Receiver – #80
Height:  5’10”          Weight:  175 lbs
Born:  May 20, 1952 in Toledo Ohio
College:  Minnesota
Drafted:  Denver Broncos picked in the 4th Round (189th Overall) in the 1975 NFL Draft
Career:  1975 – 1983 – Denver Broncos
Highlights:  4 time Pro Bowler, 3 time First-Team All-Pro, Played in 1 Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos, Played for the Broncos for 9 years and while a great receiver and more notably, a return-specialist for the Broncos. He recorded eight punt returns for touchdowns and is a member of both the 1970s and 1980s All-Decade Teams.

Haven Moses

1970 Topps #165 Rookie Card

Position:  Wide Receiver – #25
Height:  6’2″          Weight:  208 lbs
Born:  July 27, 1946 in Los Angeles California
College:  San Diego State
Drafted:  Buffalo Bills picked in the 1st Round (9th Overall) in the 1968 NFL Draft
Career:  1968 – 1981 – Buffalo Bills (1968-1972), Denver Broncos (1972-1981)
Highlights:  2 time Pro Bowler and played in 1977 Super Bowl XIII with the Denver Broncos.  Haven Moses was a fan favorite and caught 448 passes for 8,091 yards averaging 18.1 yards per catch and scoring 56 rushing touchdowns and 1 rushing touchdown in his 14 year career.

 

TIGHT ENDS

Shannon Sharpe

1990 Action Packed #46 Rookie Update Card

Position:  Tight End – #84
Height:  6’2″          Weight:  228 lbs
Born:  June 26, 1968 in Chicago Illinois
College:  Savannah State
Drafted:  Denver Broncos picked in the 7th Round (192nd Overall) in 1990 Draft
Career:  1990 – 2003 – Denver Broncos (1990-2003), Baltimore Ravens (2000-2001), Denver Broncos (2002-2003)
Highlights:  8 Time Pro Bowler and First Team All Pro.  Shannon Sharpe played on 3 Super Bowl winning teams.  He played for the Denver Broncos in their back-to-back Super Bowl wins in Super Bowl XXXII and Super Bowl XXXIII.  He also played in Super Bowl XXXV for the Baltimore Ravens in their 34-7 win over the New York Giants.  Shannon Sharpe was inducted into the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011 and is a member of the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame.  He played in 204 games over his 14 year career and caught 815 passes for 10,060 yards and 62 touchdowns.  During his 12 years in Denver, he averaged 12.5 yards per reception catching 675 passes for 8,439 yards and 55 touchdowns making the greatest Tight End in Denver history.  Sharpe is in the Top 40 All Time in Career Receiving Yards and Career Receiving Touchdowns, categories which include both Wide Receivers and Tight Ends.   Shannon Sharpe loved to talk, and he could get under anyone’s skin. He backed up his talk with his eight Pro Bowl appearances and three Super Bowl championships. He is the second all-time leading tight end in total yards in NFL history. Favorite quote: “Mr. President. We need the National Guard. We need as many men as you can spare because we are killing the Patriots.”

Riley Odoms

1974 Topps #207 Rookie Card

Position:  Tight End – #88
Height:  6’4″          Weight:  230 lbs
Born:  March 1, 1950 in Luling Texas
College:  Houston
Drafted:  Denver Broncos picked in the 1st Round (5th Overall) in the 1972 NFL Draft
Career:  1972 – 1983 – Denver Broncos
Highlights:  4 time Pro Bowler, 2 time First-Team All-Pro and played in Super Bowl XII with the Denver Broncos.  Riley Odoms played for the Denver Broncos for 12 years and caught 396 passes for 5,755 yards and averaged 14.5 yards per catch.  He also scored 41 receiving touch downs as a Tight End and rushed for 2 more.

 

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN

Gary Zimmerman

1987 Topps #207 Rookie Card

Position:  Left Tackle – #65
Height:  6’6″          Weight:  294 lbs
Born:  December 13, 1961 in Fullerton California
College:  Oregon
Drafted:  New York Giants picked in the 1st Round (3rd Overall) in 1984 Supplemental Draft
Career:  1986 – 1997 – Minnesota Vikings (1986-1992), Denver Broncos (1993-1997)
Highlights:  7 time Pro Bowler, 5 time First-Team All-Pro, 1 Super Bowl Win, Inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2008, Mile High Stadium Ring of Fame Member. One of only  a few players to be a member of both the 1980s and 1990s All-Decade Team. He protected Elway’s blindside for many years and started 184 games in the NFL and definitely deserves to be recognized as one of the best in team history. Favorite quote: “As long as No. 7 is on the field, I’ll be there.”

Keith Bishop

1987 Topps #37 Rookie Card

Position:  Left Guard – Center – #54
Height:  6’3″          Weight:  260 lbs
Born:  March 10, 1957 in San Diego California
College:  Nebraska, Baylor
Drafted:  Denver Broncos picked in the 6th Round (157th Overall) in the 1980 NFL Draft
Career:  1980 – 1989 – Denver Broncos
Highlights:  2 time Pro Bowler and played in 3 Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos 1986, 1987 and 1989.  Keith Bishop was one of the men in charge of protecting Craig Morton, Steve DeBerg and John Elway at the Left Guard position and played in 129 regular season games during his 9 year career.

Mark Schlereth

1992 Fleer Rookie Card

Position:  Guard – Center – #69
Height:  6’3″          Weight:  282 lbs
Born:  January 26, 1966 in Anchorage Alaska
College:  Idaho
Drafted:  Washington Redskins picked in the 10th Round (263rd Overall) in the 1989 NFL Draft
Career:  1989 – 2000 – Washington Redskins (1989-1994), Denver Broncos (1995-2000)
Highlights:  2 time Pro Bowler, 2 Super Bowl Wins with the Denver Broncos. Number 69 was a powerful bodyguard for John Elway when they won their two Super Bowls. Interesting fact about him is that he would piss himself on the field if he had to go. “I’m already miserable, my knees hurt, my back hurts, I’m not gonna hold it in.” (Very slightly paraphrased)

Tom Nalen

1998 Pacific #132 Card

Position:  Center – #66
Height:  6’3″          Weight:  286 lbs
Born:  May 13, 1971 in Foxboro Massachusetts
College:  Boston College
Drafted:  Denver Broncos picked in the 7th Round (218th Overall) in the 1994 NFL Draft
Career:  1994 – 2007 – Denver Broncos
Highlights:  5 time Pro Bowler, 2 time First-Team All-Pro, 2 Super Bowl Wins with the Denver Broncos.  Played 194 games over 14 seasons with the Denver Broncos.

Ryan Clady

2008 Bowman Chrome #BC1 Rookie Card

Position:  Tackle – #78
Height:  6’6″          Weight:  316 lbs
Born:  September 6, 1986 in Long Beach California
College:  Boise State
Drafted:  Denver Broncos picked in the 1st Round (12th Overall) in the 2008 NFL Draft
Career:  2008 – 2012 – Denver Broncos
Highlights:  1 time Pro Bowler, 1 time First-Team All-Pro.  Only his third year in the NFL but he is one of the best left tackles in the league and I project that he will be one of the all time great Broncos if he is not traded.

 

DEFENSE

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN

Karl Mecklenburg

1986 Topps #119 Rookie Card

Position:  Line Backer – Defensive End – #77
Height:  6’3″          Weight:  240 lbs
Born:  September 1, 1960 in Seattle Washington
College:  Augustana, Minnesota
Drafted:  Denver Broncos picked in the 12th Round (310th Overall) in the 1983 NFL Draft
Career:  1983 – 1994 – Denver Broncos
Highlights:  6 time Pro Bowler, 3 time First-Team All-Pro, Played in 3 Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos, Mile High Stadium Ring of Fame Member, NFL Hall of Fame semi finalist in 2012. Amassed 79.5 sacks in his career and lined up in 7 different positions on the line and in the defensive backfield.

Trevor Pryce

1997 Upper Deck Star Rookie Card

Position:  Defensive End – Defensive Tackle – #93
Height:  6’5″          Weight:  295 lbs
Born:  August 3, 1975 in Brooklyn New York
College:  Michigan and Clemson
Drafted:  Denver Broncos picked in the 1st Round (28th Overall) in the 1997 NFL Draft
Career:  1997 – 2010 – Denver Broncos (1997-2005), Baltimore Ravens (2006-2009), New York Jets (2010)
Highlights:  4 time Pro Bowler and 1 time First-Team All-Pro.  Always fun to watch, Trevor Pryce had 91 career sacks and 336 tackles in his 14 year NFL career.

Simon Fletcher

1989 Topps #249 Rookie Card

Position:  Defensive End – Line Backer – #73
Height:  6’5″          Weight:  240 lbs
Born:  February 18, 2962 in Bay City Texas
College:  Houston
Drafted:  Denver Broncos picked in the 2nd Round (54th Overall) in the 1985 NFL Draft
Career:  1985 – 1995 – Denver Broncos
Highlights:  Simon Fletcher was a feared pass rusher and amassed 97.5 Sacks and 808 Tackles in his 11 years in Denver.  He finished on the leader board for sacks three years in a row compiling 43 sacks over just 3 seasons from 1991-1993. Simon Fletcher was added to the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame in 2016.

Elvis Dumervil

2006 Topps #308 Rookie Card

An up-and-coming sack artist for the Broncos. Has always been talented, but since being moved to his more natural position of outside linebacker in the 3-4 scheme, he has exploded onto the scene with 17 sacks in a single season.

Neil Smith

1989 Score #407 Rookie Card

Position:  Defensive End – #90
Height:  6’4″          Weight:  270 lbs
Born:  April 10, 1966 in New Orleans Louisiana
College:  Nebraska
Drafted:  Kansas City Chiefs picked in the 1st Round (2nd Overall) in the 1988 NFL Draft
Career:  1988 – 2000 – Kansas City Chiefs (1988-1996), Denver Broncos (1997-1999), San Diego Chargers (2000)
Highlights:  6 time Pro Bowler, 1 time First-Team All-Pro, 2 Super Bowl Wins with the Denver Broncos.  One of the top defensive lineman of his era, Smith made the Pro Bowl 6 times during his career and led the NFL with 15 sacks in the 1993 season.  He finished 13 NFL seasons with 105 sacks, 12 fumble recoveries and 4 interceptions. In October 2006, he was inducted into the Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame.

 

LINEBACKERS

Tom Jackson

1978 Topps #240 Rookie Card

Position:  Line Backer – #57
Height:  5’11”          Weight:  220 lbs
Born:  April 4, 1951 in Cleveland Ohio
College:  Louisville
Drafted:  Denver Broncos picked in the 4th Round (88th Overall) in the 1973 NFL Draft
Career:  1973 – 1986 – Denver Broncos
Highlights:  3 time Pro Bowler, 1 time First-Team All-Pro, Played in 2 Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos, Played in 191 games with the Broncos, Member of the famed “Orange Crush Defense”, Mile High Stadium Ring of Fame Member.

Randy Gradishar

1976 Topps #257 Rookie Card

Position:  Line Backer – #53
Height:  6’3″          Weight:  233 lbs
Born:  March 3, 1952 in Warren Ohio
College:  Ohio State
Drafted:  Denver Broncos picked in the 1st Round (14th Overall) in the 1974 NFL Draft
Career:  1974 – 1983 – Denver Broncos
Highlights:  7 time Pro Bowler, 2 time First-Team All-Pro, Played in 1 Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos, Mile High Stadium Ring of Fame Member, NFL Hall of Fame semi finalist in 2003 and 2008, Member of the famed “Orange Crush Defense”.  With an impressive 20 interceptions and 2,049 tackles in his career, he was one of the best linebackers of his era. Favorite quote: “We just started winning, and the fans went nuts, went crazy with excitement and enthusiasm. Painting their houses. Everything was orange and blue.”

Bill Romanowski

1990 Pro Set #642 Rookie Card

Position:  Line Backer – #53
Height:  6’4″          Weight:  245 lbs
Born:  April 2, 1966 in Vernon Connecticut
College:  Boston College
Drafted:  San Francisco 49ers picked in the 3rd Round (80th Overall) in the 1988 NFL Draft
Career:  1988 – 2003 – San Francisco 49ers (1988-1993), Philadelphia Eagles (1994-1995), Denver Broncos (1996-2001), Oakland Raiders (2002-2003)
Highlights:  2 time Pro Bowler, 4 Super Bowl Wins (2 with the San Francisco 49ers and 2 with the Denver Broncos).  He finished his career with 1,116 Tackles and had 39.5 Sacks and 18 Interceptions.  A great linebacker for the Broncos when they won their two straight Super Bowls.

Al Wilson

1999 Bowman Chrome #195 Rookie Card

Position:  Linebacker – #56
Height:  6’0″          Weight:  240 lbs
Born:  June 21, 1977 in Jackson Tennessee
College:  Tennessee
Drafted:  Denver Broncos picked in the 1st Round (31st Overall) in the 1999 NFL Draft
Career:  1999 – 2006 – Denver Broncos
Highlights:  5 time Pro Bowler, 1 time First-Team All-Pro.  Played for the Broncos for 8 years and recorded 560 tackles and 21.5 sacks.

 

DEFENSIVE BACKS

Louis Wright

1978 Topps #420 Rookie Card

Position:  Defensive Back – #20
Height:  6’2″          Weight:  200 lbs
Born:  January 31, 1953 in Gilmer Texas
College:  Arizona State, San Jose State
Drafted:  Denver Broncos picked in the 1st Round (17th Overall) in the 1975 NFL Draft
Career:  1975 – 1986 – Denver Broncos
Highlights:  5 time Pro Bowler, 2 time First-Team All-Pro, Played in 2 Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos, Mile High Stadium Ring of Fame Member, Member of the 1970s All-Decade Team, Member of the famed “Orange Crush Defense”, Played for the Broncos for 11 years and while a great definition of a shutdown cornerback, was known for his punishing hits on the edge.

Dennis Smith 

1986 Topps #122 Rookie Card

Position:  Safety – #49
Height:  6’3″          Weight:  200 lbs
Born:  February 3, 1959 in Santa Monica California
College:  USC
Drafted:  Denver Broncos picked in the 1st Round (15th Overall) in the 1981 NFL Draft
Career:  1981 – 1994 – Denver Broncos
Highlights:  6 time Pro Bowler and 1 time First-Team All-Pro.  Played in 3 Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos during his 14 seasons.   During his career he made 1,152 tackles, recorded 15 sacks with 30 interceptions and was one of the hardest hitting backs in football and is a member of the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame.

Steve Atwater 

1989 Topps Traded #52T Rookie Card

Position:  Safety – #27
Height:  6’3″          Weight:  218 lbs
Born:  October 28, 1966 in Chicago Illinois
College:  Arkansas
Drafted:  Denver Broncos picked in the 1st Round (20th Overall) in the 1989 NFL Draft
Career:  1989 – 1999 – Denver Broncos (1989-1998), New York Jets (1999)
Highlights:  8 time Pro Bowler, 2 time First-Team All-Pro, Played in 3 Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos, Hall of Fame finalist in 2012, Member of the 1990s All-Decade Team. Known as one of the hardest hitters in the history of football, Steve Atwater played safety for the Denver Broncos where he won back-to-back Super Bowls. His defining moment was when he laid out Kansas City Chiefs running back Christian Okoye, the Nigerian Nightmare known as the hardest runner in the league to bring down, Atwater proved nothing was too hard for him. Favorite quote: “I was crying, and I remember looking over to the other sideline and thinking to myself, that’s my team over there.”—On playing the Broncos after being traded to the Jets.

Champ Bailey 

1999 Bowman #177 Rookie Card

Position:  Cornerback – #24
Height:  6’0″          Weight:  192 lbs
Born:  June 22, 1978 in Folkston Georgia
College:  Georgia
Drafted:  Washington Redskins picked in the 1st Round (7th Overall) in the 1999 NFL Draft
Career:  1999 – 2012 – Washington Redskins (1999-2003), Denver Broncos (2004-2012)
Highlights:  A record 11 time Pro Bowler, 3 time First-Team All-Pro, 50 interceptions and counting. Champ made an interception on his first ever play as a Denver Bronco. Talk about an immediate impact player he deserves to be known as one of Denver’s all-time great defenders. He is one of the most feared corners in the league and also know for his hard tackles on the edge. He will be bound for Canton when he chooses to retire but for now, more excitement in Denver. Favorite quote: “I’m like the FAA, all flights closed to my side.”

John Lynch

1993 Upper Deck #259 Rookie Card

Position:  Defensive Back – Strong Safety – #47
Height:  6’2″          Weight:  220 lbs
Born:  September 25, 1971 in Hinsdale Illinois
College:  Stanford
Drafted:  Tampa Bay Buccaneers picked in the 3rd Round (82nd Overall) in the 1993 NFL Draft
Career:  1993 – 2007 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1993-2003), Denver Broncos (2004-2007)
Highlights:  9 time Pro Bowler, 4 time First-Team All-Pro, 1 Super Bowl Win with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, NFL Alumni Defensive Back of the Year in 2000, Served as Defensive Captain in 2006 and 2007 with the Broncos.  He was ranked #10 as the most feared tackler in NFL history on the NFL Films production “Top 10 Most Feared Tacklers”, for the NFL Network, a list shared with the likes of Dick Butkus, Lawrence Taylor, Jack Tatum, Ronnie Lott and Jack Lambert. In his career he made 1,088 Tackles, had 13 Sacks and 26 Interceptions.  Even though he will be remembered as more of a Tampa Bay guy. Nevertheless a blast to watch and a huge momentum changer at the safety position. Personally, one of my favorite Broncos of all time. John Lynch was added to the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame in 2016.

Willie Brown

1965 Topps #46 Rookie Card

Position:  Defensive Back – #24
Height:  6’1″          Weight:  195 lbs
Born:  September 2, 1940 in Yazoo City Mississippi
College:  Grambling State
Drafted:  Undrafted and signed as a Free Agent with the Denver Broncos in 1963
Career:  1963 – 1978 – Denver Broncos (1963-1966), Oakland Raiders (1967-1978)
Highlights:  9 time Pro Bowler, 5 time First-Team All-Pro and , played in 2 Super Bowls posting 1 win with the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XI.  One of his most memorable moments came during Super Bowl XI when he intercepted a Fran Tarkenton pass and returned a Super Bowl record 75 yards for a touchdown, a record that remained in place for 29 years.  He is a member of the American Football League All-Time Team and was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1984, his first year of eligibility. Known more for his incredible career in Oakland, he made his mark with the Denver Broncos in the early days of the team.

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

K – Jason Elam 

1993 Upper Deck SP #75 Rookie Card

Position:  Kicker – #1
Height:  5’11”          Weight:  200 lbs
Born:  March 8, 1970 in Fort Walton Beach Florida
College:  Hawaii
Drafted:  Denver Broncos picked in the 3rd Round (70th Overall) in the 1993 NFL Draft
Career:  1993 – 2009 – Denver Broncos (1993-2007), Atlanta Falcons (2008-2009)
Highlights:  3 time Pro Bowler, Played in 2 Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos, Highest scoring Bronco kicker with 1,983 points which puts him 7th overall on the most points list for NFL kickers. He also is tied for the longest field goal of all time at 63 yards and completed 99.5 percent of his extra points with the Broncos—an NFL record. Favorite quote: “It’s exactly like golf.” Jason Elam was added to the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame in 2016.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Orange Crush Defense

The 3-4 defense of the Denver Broncos during the late 1970s and early 1980s. The team adopted the 3-4 defense during the 1976 season, and the nickname “Orange Crush” for the team’s defense was popularized early in the 1977 season by sportswriter/broadcaster Woody Paige.

It was one of the top defenses of its time with linebackers Randy Gradishar and Tom Jackson, with Gradishar as a potential Hall of Famer. Other key Crushers were defensive linemen Barney Chavous, Lyle Alzado and Rubin Carter, linebackers Bob Swenson and Joe Rizzo and defensive backs Billy Thompson and Louis Wright.

Joe Collier was the defensive co-ordinator, defensive line coach Stan Jones (HOF ’91), and head coach Red Miller.

In their Super Bowl XII season in 1977, The Crush had the NFL’s number-one defense against the rush though the Broncos were 27th out of 28 teams against the pass.

The team’s defensive unit derived the nickname from their orange home jerseys and a popular soft drink, Orange Crush.

Super Bowl History

The Denver Broncos have made appearances in seven Super Bowls (19771986198719891997, 1998 and 2013) winning two if the seven including Super Bowl XXXII in 1998 versus the Green Bay Packers and Super Bowl XXXIII in 1999 versus the Atlanta Falcons.  Denver accomplished what only five other teams had achieved — back to back Super Bowl championships.

  • In the 1977 season the Broncos attended Super Bowl XII and played the Dallas Cowboys but lost by a score of 27-10.
  • In the 1986 season, the Broncos attended Super Bowl XXI and played the New York Giants but lost by a score of 39-20.
  • In the 1987 season, the Broncos attended Super Bowl XXII and played the Washington Redskins, but lost by a score of 42-10.
  • In the 1989 season, the Broncos attended Super Bowl XXIV and played the San Francisco 49ers, but lost by a score of 55-10.
  • In the 1997 season, the Broncos attended Super Bowl XXXII and played the Green Bay Packers, and won by a score of 31-24.
  • In the 1998 season, the Broncos attended Super Bowl XXIII and played the Atlanta Falcons, and won by a score of 34-19.
  • In the 2013 season, the Broncos attended Super Bowl XLVIII and played the Seattle Seahawks, but lost by a score of 43-8.
  • In the 2015 season, the Broncos attended Super Bowl 50 and played the Carolina Panthers, and won by a score of 24-10

Coaches

Robert “Red” Miller

Red Miller coached the Denver Broncos from 1977 to 1980.  Over that period he coached 62 games and won 40 for a winning percentage of .645.  He also coached the Broncos to 2 Division Championships and 1 AFC Championship which led to the 1977 Super Bowl appearance against the Dallas Cowboys.  The Denver Broncos lost Super Bowl XII but the fans remember the season and the 12 victories in their 12-2 season.  Red Miller had 3 of his coaching staff go on to become NFL coaches including Special Teams/Defensive Assistant Bill Belichick, Defensive Coordinator Joe Collier and Offensive Coordinator Rod Dowhower.  Red Miller is a member of the Denver Bronco Ring of Fame.

Dan Reeves

Dan Reeves is a former player and head coach.  He has participated in more Super Bowls as player/assistant/Head Coach than anyone else in the NFL.  He played with the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl V and Super Bowl VI, was an assistant in 3 Super Bowls and was a Head Coach for the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXI, Super Bowl XXII, XXIV and as Head Coach of the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl XXXIII.   He was the only AFC coach in the decade of the 1980’s to lead his team to consecutive Super Bowl berths and his Denver Broncos appeared in the Super Bowl 3 times in a span of 4 years.  During his coaching career, which lasted from 1981 through 2003 he won 190 games, 7 Division Championships and 4 Conference Championships and had a .535 career winning average.  Dan Reeves had 8 of his coaching staff go on to become NFL Head Coaches including Defensive Assistant Dennis Allen, Defensive Coordinator Rich Brooks, Defensive Coordinator Joe Collier, Offensive Coordinator Rod Dowhower, Offensive Coordinator Chan Gailey, Defensive Coordinator Mike Nolan, Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips and Offensive Coordinator Mike Shanahan.  He did not have the best relationship with John Elway but without Dan Reeves, perhaps Elway never comes to Denver in 1983.

Mike Shanahan

Mike Shanahan – He never taped up for a game with the Denver Broncos. He never donned a helmet or shoulder pads in Mile High. He does, however, deserve a special spot on this list for being the greatest Broncos coach of all-time.  He ended his career with the Broncos at 146-95 and led the Broncos to back-to-back Super Bowl wins.  There is no coach in the NFL that has ever been better at snagging late-round and free agent talent than Shanahan. (Terrell Davis, Rod Smith, Shannon Sharpe, Mark Schlereth, etc.).  No coach has ever posted more wins in a three-year period than this man—46 from 1996-1998.  Favorite quote: “You can’t see? It don’t matter we just need you in there otherwise they won’t believe we are gonna run it.”—Talking to Terrell Davis.

 

NICKNAME

  • “Broncos” was the winning entry in a fan contest held in 1960 by the original AFL team. The football team, however, isn’t the first to be called the Denver Broncos. Denver’s 1921 entry in the Midwest Baseball League was also called the Broncos.

HEAD COACHES

  • Frank Filchock (1960-1961)
  • Jack Faulkner (1962-1964)
  • Mac Speedie (1964-1966)
  • Ray Malavasi (1966)
  • Lou Saban (1967-1971)
  • Jerry Smith (1971)
  • John Ralston (1972-1976)
  • Red Miller (1977-1980)
  • Dan Reeves (1981-1992)
  • Wade Phillips (1993-1994)
  • Mike Shanahan (1995-2008)
  • Josh McDaniels (2009-2010)
  • Eric Studesville (2010)
  • John Fox (2011-2014)
  • Gary Kubiak (2015-2016)

SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS

  • Super Bowl XXXII (1997) – Denver Broncos defeat Green Bay Packers 31-24
  • Super Bowl XXXIII (1998) – Denver Broncos defeat Atlanta Falcons 34-19
  • Super Bowl 50 (2015) – Denver Broncos defeat Carolina Panthers 24-10

AFL CHAMPIONS (PRE-1966)

  • None

SUPER BOWL APPEARANCES

  • Super Bowl XII (1977) – Denver Broncos vs. Dallas Cowboys
  • Super Bowl XXI (1986) – Denver Broncos vs. New York Giants
  • Super Bowl XXII (1987) – Denver Broncos vs. Washington Redskins
  • Super Bowl XXIV (1989) – Denver Broncos vs. San Francisco 49ers
  • Super Bowl XXXII (1997) – Denver Broncos vs. Green Bay Packers
  • Super Bowl XXXIII (1998) – Denver Broncos vs. Atlanta Falcons
  • Super Bowl XLVIII (2013) – Denver Broncos vs. Seattle Seahawks
  • Super Bowl 50 (2015) – Denver Broncos vs. Carolina Panthers

AFL CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES (PRE-1966)

  • None

AFL/AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES

  • 1977, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1997, 1998, 2005, 2013 and 2015

DIVISION CHAMPIONS

  • 1977, 1978, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1996, 1998, 2005, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015

PLAYOFF APPEARANCES

  • 1977, 1978, 1979, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015

PLAYOFF RECORD

  • 23-19 .548

HALL OF FAME PLAYERS

  • Willie Brown CB (1963-1966)
  • Tony Dorsett RB (1988)
  • John Elway QB (1983-1998)
  • Floyd Little RB (1967-1975)
  • Shannon Sharpe TE (1990-1999, 2002-2003)
  • Gary Zimmerman OT (1993-1997)

RETIRED NUMBERS

  • 7 John Elway QB (1983-1998)
  • 18 Frank Tripucka QB (1960-1963)*
  • 44 Floyd Little RB (1967-1975)
* In 2012, Mr. Tripucka gave Peyton Manning permission to wear #18. Mr. Tripucka passed away in September 2013.

PRO BOWL MVP

  • 1965 Willie Brown CB

AWARDS

COACH OF THE YEAR

  • 1962 Jack Faulkner
  • 1977 Red Miller

AFL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

  • 1962 Billy Joe FB

DEFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

  • 1991 Mike Croel LB
  • 2011 Vonn Miller LB

OFFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

  • 2000 Mike Anderson RB
  • 2002 Clinton Portis RB

AFL PLAYER OF THE YEAR

  • None

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

  • 1978 Randy Gradishar LB

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

  • 1996 Terrell Davis RB
  • 1998 Terrell Davis RB

NFL MVP

  • 1987 John Elway QB
  • 1998 Terrell Davis RB
  • 2013 Peyton Manning QB

SUPER BOWL MVP

  • Super Bowl XXXII – Terrell Davis RB (1997)
  • Super Bowl XXXIII – John Elway QB (1998)
  • Super Bowl 50 – Von Miller LB (2015)

The Denver Broncos have had many great players over their history. Here is a list of Denver Broncos football players by position.

Denver Broncos Quarterbacks:

Steve Beuerlein, Don Breaux, Marlin Briscoe, Bubby Brister, Max Choboian, Jay Cutler, Steve DeBerg, John Elway, Gus Frerotte, Scotty Glacken, Brian Griese, George Herring, Mark Herrmann, Don Horn, John Hufnagel, Jarious Jackson, Charley Johnson, Danny Kanell, Ken Karcher, Gary Kubiak, Jim M. LeClair, Jacky Lee, Pete Liske, Tommy Maddox, Peyton Manning, John McCormick, Hugh Millen, Chris Miller, Craig Morton, Bill Musgrave, Kyle Orton, Chuck Pastrana, Craig Penrose, Jake Plummer, Steve Ramsey, Matt Robinson, George Shaw, Mickey Slaughter, Steve Tensi, Frank Tripucka, Norris Weese

Denver Broncos Running Backs:

Mike Anderson, Otis Armstrong, Montee Ball, Tatum Bell, Correll Buckhalter, Joe Dawkins, Terrell Davis, Reuben Droughns, Olandis Gary, Cookie Gilchrist, Gaston Green, Howard Griffith, Travis Henry, Bobby Humphrey, Jim Jensen, Jon Keyworth, Floyd Little, Fran Lynch, Glyn Milburn, Knowshon Moreno, Clinton Portis, Dave Preston, Gerald Willhite, Sammy Winder, Selvin Young

Denver Broncos Wide Receivers:

Al Denson, Jack Dolbin, Mark Jackson, Vance Johnson, Ashlie Lelie, Brandon Marshall, Ed McCaffery, Anthony Miller, Haven Moses, Ricky Nattiel, Eddie Royal, Derek Russell, Bob Scarpitto, Rod Smith, Lionel Taylor, Dimaryius Thomas, Rick Upchurch, Javon Walker, Steve Watson, Wes Welker, Mike Young

Denver Broncos Tight Ends:

Dwayne Carswell, Byron Chamberlain, Desmond Clark, Ron Egloff, Daniel Graham, Reggie Johnson, Clarence Kay, Orson Mobley, Riley Odoms, Gene Prebola, Jeb Putzier, Tony Scheffler, Shannon Sharpe, Jim Wright

Denver Broncos Offensive Lineman:

Ken Adamson, Keith Bishop, Bill Bryan, Ryan Clady, Mike Current, Eldon Danenhauer, Tom Glassic, George Goeddeke, Brian Habib, Ben Hamilton, Paul Howard, Tony Jones, Larry Kaminski, Ken Lanier, Matt Lepsis, Tommy Lyons, Bobby Maples, Claudie Minor, Tom Nalen, Dan Neil, Mark Schlereth, Dave Studdard, Jerry Sturm, Doug Widell, Gary Zimmerman

Denver Broncos Defensive Lineman:

Bertrand Berry, Barney Chavous, Shane Dronett, Elvis Dumervil, Ebenezer Ekuban, Simon Fletcher, Harold Hasselbach, Reggie Hayward, Ron Holmes, Rich Jackson, Rulon Jones, Greg Kragen, Michael Dean Perry, Warren Powers, Trevor Pryce, Neil Smith, Maa Tanuvasa, Keith Traylor, Andre Townsend, Alfred Williams, Dan Williams

Denver Broncos Linebackers:

Robert Ayers, Michael Brooks, Glenn Cadrez, Mike Croel, Andre Davis, Simon Fletcher, Ian Gold, Randy Gradishar, Ricky Hunley, Tom Jackson, Karl Mecklenburg, Von Miller, John Mobley, Joe Rizzo, Bill Romanowski, Jim Ryan, Bob Swenson, Al Wilson, D.J. Williams, Ken Woodard

Denver Broncos Defensive Backs:

Steve Atwater, Champ Bailey, Dre Bly, Tyrone Braxton, Willie Brown, Ray Crockett, Brian Dawkins, Steve Foley, Nick Ferguson, Goose Gonsoulin, Darrien Gordan, Charlie Greer, Tory James, Tony Lilly, John Lynch, John McGeever, Mike Harden, Wymon Henderson, Calvin Jones, Delta O’Neal, Randy Robbins, Dennis Smith, Billy Thompson, Steve Wilson, Darrent Williams, Louis Wright

Denver Broncos Kickers:

Jason Elam, Bobby Howfield, Rich Karlis, Gene Mingo, Matt Prater, Fred Steinfort, David Treadwell, Jim Turner

Denver Broncos Punters:

Bucky Dilts, Paul Ernster, Jim Fraser, George Herring, Mike Horan, Micah Knorr, Chris Norman, Luke Prestridge, Tom Rouen, Todd Sauerbrun, Billy Van Heusen

1998 Denver Broncos Roster

The 1998 Denver Broncos Roster was filled with great players and were a special football team. Led by John Elway, Terrell Davis, and Shannon Sharpe on offense, the 1998 Denver Broncos started the season 13-0 before losing their first game. They finished the season 14-2. They lost to the New York Giants to end their undefeated season, and then were beaten by the Miami Dolphins the following week.

The 1998 Denver Broncos dominated in the playoffs. First up were the Miami Dolphins who had beaten Denver in the regular season. Not this time, the 1998 Denver Broncos routed the Miami Dolphins 38-3, running for more than 300 yards. After trailing against the New York Jets 10-0 in the AFC Championship Game, the Broncos rallied to win that game 23-10. Finally, they won the Super Bowl against the Atlanta Falcons in a route 34-19. It was John Elway’s last game and he was named Super Bowl MVP.

Now, here is the 1998 Denver Broncos Roster

Head Coach – Mike Shanahan

1998 Denver Broncos Starting Offense

QB – John Elway
RB – Terrell Davis
FB – Howard Griffith
WR – Rod Smith
WR – Ed McCaffery
TE – Shannon Sharpe
OT – Tony Jones
OG – Mark Schlereth
OC – Tom Nalen
OG – Dan Neil
OT – Harry Swayne

1998 Denver Broncos Starting Defense

DE – Maa Tanuvasa
DT – Trevor Pryce
DT – Keith Traylor
DE – Neil Smith
LB – John Mobley
LB – Bill Romanowski
LB – Glen Cadrez
CB – Darrien Gordon
CB – Ray Crockett
SS – Tyrone Braxton
FS – Steve Atwater

The rest of the 1998 Denver Broncos Roster

WR – Justin Armour
G – Chris Banks
QB – Bubby Brister
DE – Cyron Brown
S – Eric Brown
LB – Keith Burns
TE – Dwayne Carswell
TE – Byron Chamberlain
S – George Coghill
G – David Diaz-Infante
K – Jason Elam
WR – Willie Green
QB – Brian Griese
DE – Harold Hasselbach
RB – Vaughn Hebron
CB – Tory James
CB – Darrius Johnson
DE – Ernest Jones
LB – Seth Joyner
T/G – Matt Lepsis
DT – Mike Lodish
RB – Derek Loville
WR – Marcus Nash
CB – Tito Paul
P – Tom Rouen
FB – Detron Smith
DE – Marvin Washington
LB – Nate Wayne
DE – Alfred Williams

 

©MMXVI My All Time Favorites, all pictures and logos, team names are property of the National Football League. This site is not affiliated with the NFL or Denver Broncos.  All Football Cards are low resolution scans from a personal collection and each is credited with the production company name and year.  This site is maintained for research purposes only.

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