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All-Time Teams: Denver Broncos



Introduction

In my endless research of all things football and through my passion for the history of the NFL, I have decided to try and compile an All-Time Team for all 32 current NFL franchises. By All-Time Team I mean a starting roster compiled of the very best players to ever put on each franchise’s jersey. I will be starting in alphabetical order by current franchise location, so Arizona Cardinals all the way to The Washington Football Team, with the goal of releasing one to two All-Time teams a week for the duration of the current NFL season. This is meant to be fun and cause some debate and is based on my opinion after all my research and deep dives into each franchise’s history. Of course, not everyone will agree with who I chose, and I’d love to hear from anyone who agrees or disagrees, but first, let’s lay out some ground rules for how I came up with each team.


1. Each team roster will consist of the following:

Offense - 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 2 OT, 2 OG, 1 C

Defense - 2 DE, 2 DT, 3 LB, 2 CB, 2 S

Special Teams - 1 K, 1 P, 1 Returner

Coach - 1 Head Coach


2. I only considered an individual’s stats and contributions with each specific franchise. For example, Peyton Manning’s years with the Broncos were not considered when deciding on the starting QB of the Colts All-Time Team. As a result, the stats and awards listed with each individual player are only those that were achieved with that specific franchise.


3. A player cannot represent two teams as the starter. Players who spent time with more than one team were considered for the franchise they spent the most time with or had the most impact on. This rule led to some interesting scenarios that I will discuss in detail with each specific article to try and clear up any confusion.


4. A player’s stats and impact were considered in context with their era. This won’t simply be a listing of who passed or ran for the most yards in franchise history.


5. All stats are from Pro-Football-Reference and through the 2021 season. I will also be counting sacks from 1960, though the NFL doesn't officially count sacks until 1982.


6. Players in the "Honorable Mentions" section are ordered by year. It's not an indication of where I believe they rank in franchise history.


Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!


Denver Broncos All-Time Team


Franchise Information

First Season: 1960

Record: 495-444-10 (52.72 W-L%)

Playoff Record: 23-19

Super Bowls Won: 3 (1997, 1998 and 2015) (Lost in 1977, 1986, 1987, 1989 and 2013)

AFL Championships Won: 0

Passing Leader: John Elway 4,123/7,250 | 51,475 Yds | 300 TD

Rushing Leader: Terrell Davis 1,655 Att | 7,607 Yds | 60 TD

Receiving Leader: Rod Smith 849 Rec | 11,389 Yds | 68 TD

Sack Leader: Von Miller 106 Sk

Interception Leader: Steve Foley 44 Int

Scoring Leader: Jason Elam 1,786 Points

Winningest Coach: Mike Shanahan 138-86


QB: John Elway (1983-1998)

Record: 148-82-1 | 56.9 Cmp% | 51,475 Yds | 300 TD | 226 Int | 3,407 Rush Yds | 33 Rush TD | Led League in Cmp 1993 (348) | Led League in Yds 1993 (4,030) | Led League in Yds/G 1993 (251.9) | 9x Pro-Bowl (86, 87, 89, 91, 93, 94, 96, 97, 98) | 1987 MVP | 1992 Walter Payton Man of the Year | 1997 and 1998 Super Bowl Champion | 1986, 1987 and 1989 AFC Champion | Hall of Fame All-1990s Team | Hall of Fame Class 2004


John Elway is the obvious choice at quarterback for the All-Time Denver Broncos. He is one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the NFL, hands down. Elway led the Broncos for 16 years, leading them to 12 winning seasons and 10 playoff appearances. He took the Broncos to the Super Bowl five different times, winning in 1997 and 1998. He led the league in yards, yards per game and completions in 1993 and was named the MVP in 1987. Elway was also named to nine Pro-Bowls during his time with the Broncos. When Elway retired in 1998, he was second in completions, second in yards, third in touchdowns and second in fourth quarter comebacks in NFL history. He currently ranks 11th in completions, 11th in yards, 13th in touchdowns and ninth in fourth quarter comebacks. Elway was named to the Hall of Fame All-1990s Team and inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2004. Manning also had a great four seasons with the Broncos, including the best passing season by a quarterback ever in 2013 and winning a Super Bowl in 2015.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Frank Tripucka (1960-1963) | Record: 13-26-1 | 51.8 Cmp% | 7,676 Yds | 51 TD | 85 Int | 1 Rush TD | Led League in Cmp 1960 and 1962 (248, 240) | Led League in Yds 1960 and 1962 (3,038, 2,917) | Led League in Yds/G 1960 and 1962 (217, 208.4) | 1x Pro-Bowl (62)

  2. Craig Morton (1977-1982) | Record: 41-23 | 56.9 Cmp% | 11,895 Yds | 74 TD | 65 Int | 265 Rush Yds | 6 Rush TD | 1977 Comeback Player of the Year | 1977 AFC Champion

  3. Brian Griese (1998-2002) | Record: 27-24 | 62.2 Cmp% | 11,763 Yds | 71 TD | 53 Int | 516 Rush Yds | 5 Rush TD | Led League in QB Rating 2000 (102.9) | 1x Pro-Bowl (00)

  4. Jake Plummer (2003-2006) | Record: 39-15 | 59.1 Cmp% | 11,631 Yds | 71 TD | 47 Int | 670 Rush Yds | 7 Rush TD | 1x Pro-Bowl (05)

  5. Peyton Manning (2012-2015) | Record: 45-12 | 66.5 Cmp% | 17,112 Yds | 140 TD | 53 Int | 1 Rush TD | Led League in Cmp 2013 (450) | Led League in Yds 2013 (5,477) | Led League in TD 2013 (55) | Led League in Yds/G 2013 (342.3) | Led League in Cmp% 2012 (68.6%) | 3x Pro-Bowl (12, 13, 14) | 2x All-Pro (12, 13) | 2012 Comeback Player of the Year | 2013 Offensive Player of the Year | 2013 Bert Bell | 2013 MVP | 2015 Super Bowl Champion | 2013 AFC Champion | Hall of Fame Class 2021


RB: Terrell Davis (1995-2001)

4.6 Yds/A | 7,607 Yds | 60 TD | 169 Rec | 1,280 Rec Yds | 5 Rec TD | Led League in Yds 1998 (2,008) | Led League in TD 1997 and 1998 (15, 21) | Led League in Yds/A 1998 (5.1) | Led League in Yds/G 1998 (125.5) | Led League in RRTD 1998 (23) | 3x Pro-Bowl (96, 97, 98) | 3x All-Pro (96, 97, 98) | 1996 Offensive Player of the Year | 1998 Offensive Player of the Year | 1998 MVP | Hall of Fame All-1990s Team | Hall of Fame Class 2017


Terrell Davis could have been one of the best running backs ever if it weren't for a career ending injury in 1999. Davis only had four healthy seasons in the NFL, but they were so great that he still made it to the Hall of Fame. Davis got better in each season, running for 1,117 yards and seven touchdowns as a rookie and then followed that up with 1,538 yards and 13 touchdowns in his second season, 1,750 yards and 15 touchdowns in his third season and 2,008 yards and 21 touchdowns in his fourth. Those four seasons were enough to make him the franchise leader in yards and touchdowns. He was named to three Pro-Bowls and three All-Pro Teams from 1996-1998, was named the 1996 and 1998 Offensive Player of the Year and the 1998 MVP. Davis was also the 1997 Super Bowl MVP. He had a careers worth of accolades in only four seasons and it's really sad that he wasn't able to have a full healthy career. He was named to the Hall of Fame All-1990s Team and inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2017.


RB: Floyd Little (1967-1975)

3.9 Yds/A | 6,323 Yds | 43 TD | 215 Rec | 2,418 Rec Yds | 9 Rec TD | Led League in Yds 1971 (1,133) | Led League in TD 1973 (12) | Led League in Yds/A 1969 (5.0) | Led League in Yds/G 1969 and 1971 (81, 80.9) | Led League in YScm 1971 (1,388) | 5x Pro-Bowl (68, 69, 70, 71, 73) | 1x All-Pro (69) | Hall of Fame Class 2010


The other running back for the All-Time Broncos is Floyd Little. Little is somewhat lost to history when thinking of the all-time great running backs. He racked up over 6,000 yards rushing and over 2,000 yards receiving. He led the league in yards once, touchdowns once, yards per attempt once and yards per game twice. He was named to five Pro-Bowls and one All-Pro Team. Little had to wait until 2010 to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, but late is better than never.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Otis Armstrong (1973-1980) | 4.4 Yds/A | 4,453 Yds | 25 TD | 131 Rec | 1,302 Rec Yds | 7 Rec TD | Led League in Yds 1974 (1,407) | Led League in Yds/A 1974 (5.3) | Led League in Yds/G 1974 (100.5) | Led League in YScm 1974 (1,812) | 2x Pro-Bowl (74, 76) | 1x All-Pro (74)

  2. Sammy Winder (1982-1990) | 3.6 Yds/A | 5,427 Yds | 39 TD | 197 Rec | 1,302 Rec Yds | 9 Rec TD | 2x Pro-Bowl (84, 86)

  3. Mike Anderson (2000-2005) | 4.4 Yds/A | 3,822 Yds | 36 TD | 79 Rec | 647 Rec Yds | 5 Rec TD | 2000 Offensive Rookie of the Year

  4. Clinton Portis (2002-2003) | 5.5 Yds/A | 3,099 Yds | 29 TD | 71 Rec | 678 rec Yds | 2 Rec TD | Led League in Yds/A 2003 (5.5) | 1x Pro-Bowl (03) | 2002 Offensive Rookie of the Year

  5. C.J. Anderson (2013-2017) | 4.4 Yds/A | 3,051 Yds | 20 TD | 103 Rec | 859 Rec Yds | 4 Rec TD | 1x Pro-Bowl (14)


WR: Lionel Taylor (1960-1966)

543 Rec | 6,872 Yds | 44 TD | Led League in Rec 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963 and 1965 (92, 100, 77, 78, 85) | Led League in Yds/Touch 1960 and 1961 (13.1, 11.8) | 3x Pro-Bowl (61, 62, 65) | 4x All-Pro (60, 61, 62, 65)


Lionel Taylor should be in the Hall of Fame. He made three Pro-Bowls and four All-Pro Teams with the Broncos. He led the league in yards per touch twice and led the league in receptions an insane five different times. That is almost unheard of, so why isn't he in the Hall of Fame! He had four 1,000-yard seasons and that was during 12 and 14 game seasons. When Taylor retired in 1968, he was number two all-time in receptions and 11th in yards. That's a Hall of Fame career in my book.


WR: Rod Smith (1995-2006)

849 Rec | 11,389 Yds | 68 TD | Led League in Rec 2001 (113) | Led League in Yds/Rec 2000 (16) | 3x Pro-Bowl (00, 01, 05)


Rod Smith is somewhat of a lost name in NFL history, but he was a great receiver for the Broncos for 12 seasons. He's the franchise leader in yards and touchdowns and was the main wide receiver for both Super Bowl teams. Smith led the league in receptions in 2001 and yards per reception in 2000 and was named to three Pro-Bowls. He had eight 1,000-yard seasons and twice had more than 10 touchdowns. He has an outside shot to make the Hall of fame one day, though I think it is unlikely.


WR: Demaryius Thomas (2010-2018)

665 Rec | 9,055 Yds | 60 TD | 4x Pro-Bowl (12, 13, 14, 16)


Rounding out the receiving corps for the All-Time Broncos is Demaryius Thomas. Thomas put up some great numbers during his nine seasons in Denver and was the main target for Peyton Manning. Thomas had five 1,000-yard seasons and three seasons of at least 10 touchdowns. He also made the Pro-Bowl in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016. His 9,055 yards and 60 touchdowns both rank second in franchise history. The Broncos have a bunch of other good receivers in their history, but these three are the clear top choices.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Bob Scarpitto (1962-1967) | 145 Rec | 2,439 Yds | 24 TD | 1x Pro-Bowl (66)

  2. Al Denson (1964-1970) | 250 Rec | 4,150 Yds | 32 TD | Led League in TD 1967 (11) | 2x Pro-Bowl (67, 69)

  3. Haven Moses (1972-1981) | 302 Rec | 5,450 Yds | 44 TD | 1x Pro-Bowl (73)

  4. Rick Upchurch (1975-1983) | 267 Rec | 4,369 Yds | 24 TD | 4x Pro-Bowl (76, 78, 79, 82) | 3x All-Pro (76, 78, 82)

  5. Steve Watson (1979-1987) | 353 Rec | 6,112 Yds | 36 TD | Led League in TD 1981 (13) | 1x Pro-Bowl (81)

  6. Vance Johnson (1985-1995) | 415 Rec | 5,695 Yds | 37 TD

  7. Mark Jackson (1986-1992) | 276 Rec | 4,746 Yds | 24 TD

  8. Ed McCaffrey (1995-2003) | 462 Rec | 6,200 Yds | 46 TD | 1x Pro-Bowl (98)

  9. Brandon Marshall (2006-2009) | 327 Rec | 4,019 Yds | 25 TD | 2x Pro-Bowl (08, 09)

  10. Emmanuel Sanders (2014-2019) | 404 Rec | 5,361 Yds | 28 TD | 2x Pro-Bowl (14, 16)


TE: Shannon Sharpe (1990-1999, 2002-2003)

675 Rec | 8,439 Yds | 55 TD | 7x Pro-Bowl (92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98) | 4x All-Pro (93, 96, 97, 98) | Hall of Fame All-1990s Team | Hall of Fame Class 2011


The starting tight end for the All-Time Broncos is one of the best ever at the position. Shannon Sharpe spent 12 seasons with the Broncos and established himself as arguably the greatest tight end ever at retirement. When Sharpe retired in 2003, he had caught more passes, for more yards and more touchdowns than any other tight end in NFL history. Sharpe made seven straight Pro-Bowls from 1992-1998 and made the All-Pro Team in 1993, 1996, 1997 and 1998. He was named to the Hall of Fame All-1990s Team and inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011. Riley Odoms is one of the best tight ends not in the Hall of Fame and he deserves more attention from voters.

Honorable Mentions

  1. Riley Odoms (1972-1983) | 396 Rec | 5,755 Yds | 41 TD | 4x Pro-Bowl (73, 74, 75, 78) | 2x All-Pro (74, 75)

  2. Clarence Kay (1984-1992) | 193 Rec | 2,136 Yds | 13 TD

  3. Dwayne Carswell (1994-2005) | 192 Rec | 1,707 Yds | 15 TD | 1x Pro-Bowl (01)

  4. Julius Thomas (2011-2014) | 109 Rec | 1,282 Yds | 24 TD | 2x Pro-Bowl (13, 14)


OT: Ryan Clady (2008-2014)

Started 98 of 98 Games | 4x Pro-Bowl (09, 11, 12, 14) | 2x All-Pro (09, 12)


The first lineman for the All-Time Broncos is Ryan Clady. Clady only spent six seasons in Denver, but he was one of the best tackles in the NFL during that stretch. Clady started all 16 games in five of his six seasons and was named to the Pro-Bowl four times and the All-Pro Team two times. He unfortunately just missed out on a Super Bowl, leaving one year before Denver won in 2015.


OT: Gary Zimmerman (1993-1997)

Started 76 of 76 Games | 3x Pro-Bowl (94, 95, 96) | 1x All-Pro (96) | Hall of Fame All-1990s Team | Hall of Fame Class 2008


This one may come as somewhat of a surprise, as you may know that Gary Zimmerman spent seven seasons in Minnesota and only five in Denver. Fortunately for the All-Time Broncos, there are two other tackles for the All-Time Vikings ahead of him, so he's free to be a starter for the All-Time Broncos. If you're wondering how there are two people ahead of a Hall of Fame tackle for Minnesota, you'll just have to wait for that article to come out. Anyways, Zimmerman only missed four games in his five seasons with Denver, was named to three straight Pro-Bowls from 1994-1996 and the All-Pro Team in 1996 and was named to the Hall of Fame All-1990s Team. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Eldon Danenhauer (1960-1965) | Started 72 of 79 Games | 2x Pro-Bowl (62, 65)

  2. Mike Current (1967-1975) | Started 107 of 108 Games | 1x Pro-Bowl (69)

  3. Claudie Minor (1974-1982) | Started 123 of 125 Games

  4. Dave Studdard (1979-1988) | Started 133 of 145 Games

  5. Ken Lanier (1981-1992, 1994) | Started 164 of 177 Games

  6. Tony Jones (1997-2000) | Started 60 of 60 Games | 1x Pro-Bowl (98)

  7. Matt Lepsis (1998-2007) | Started 133 of 150 Games


OG: Keith Bishop (1980-1989)

Started 87 of 129 Games | 2x Pro-Bowl (86, 87)

The offensive guard position is surprisingly thin for a team who has played in eight Super Bowls. First, I went with Keith Bishop. Bishop played in over 129 games with the Broncos, starting in 87. He was a key member of the offensive line that played in three different Super Bowls in the late 1980s. Bishop was named to the Pro-Bowl in 1986 and 1987.


OG: Paul Howard (1973-1986)

Started 147 of 187 Games


I almost went with Mark Schlerath at this spot, but I couldn't overlook Paul Howard starting over 140 games with the Broncos. Howard never made a Pro-Bowl or All-Pro Team, but he was a key member of the offensive line for 13 seasons, including two teams that made it to the Super Bowl. Mark Schlerath is a very close next pick here, he was a key member of both Super Bowl winning teams, but he only played in six seasons with Denver, so I gave Howard the edge.


Honorable Mentions

  1. George Goeddeke (1967-1972) | Started 60 of 66 Games | 1x Pro-Bowl (69)

  2. Tom Glassic (1976-1983) | Started 92 of 105 Games

  3. Mark Schlerath (1995-2000) | Started 81 of 81 Games | 1x Pro-Bowl (98)

  4. Dan Neil (1997-2004) | Started 104 of 108 Games

  5. Ben Hamilton (2002-2009) | Started 104 of 111 Games


C: Tom Nalen (1994-2007)

Started 188 of 194 Games | 5x Pro-Bowl (97, 98, 99, 00, 03) | 2x All-Pro (00, 03)


Tom Nalen is the obvious choice at center. He started just under 190 games with the Broncos from 1994-2007, including starting all 16 games in 10 different seasons. Nalen made the Pro-Bowl five times and twice was named an All-Pro. He was a member of both Super Bowl winning teams and has an outside shot to make the Hall of Fame one day.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Jerry Sturm (1961-1966) | Started 72 of 84 Games | 2x Pro-Bowl (64, 66)

  2. Larry Kaminski (1966-1973) | Started 72 of 96 Games | 1x Pro-Bowl (67)

  3. Bill Bryan (1977-1988) | Started 151 of 153 Games

  4. Keith Kartz (1987-1993) | Started 88 of 100 Games


DE: Lyle Alzado (1971-1978)

14 FR | 64.5 Sk | Led League in FR 1972 (5) | 2x Pro-Bowl (77, 78) | 1x All-Pro (77)


First on the defensive line is Lyle Alzado. Alzado is infamously one of the meanest players to ever play the game. He was a leading force on the "Orange Crush" defense of the 1970s Broncos. Alzado racked up 64.5 sacks with the Broncos and led the league in fumble recoveries in 1972. He was named to the Pro-Bowl in 1977 and 1978 and named to the All-Pro Team in 1977. In 1977 he and the defense led the team all the way to the Super Bowl. Oh, and he also once boxed Muhammed Ali!


DE: Rich Jackson (1967-1972)

2 FR | 43 Sk | 3x Pro-Bowl (68, 69, 70) | 3x All-Pro (68, 69, 70) | AFL All-1960s Team


The other defensive end for the Broncos is their first great defender, Rich Jackson. Jackson had over 10 sacks in three of his six seasons and was named to the Pro-Bowl and All-Pro Team in three straight seasons from 1968-1970. He was also named to the AFL All-1960s Team upon retirement.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Barney Chavous (1973-1985) | 8 FR | 75 Sk

  2. Rulon Jones (1980-1988) | 10 FR | 73.5 Sk | 2x Pro-Bowl (85, 86) | 1x All-Pro (86)

  3. Alfred Williams (1996-1999) | 6 FF | 2 FR | 28.5 Sk | 131 Tackles | 1x Pro-Bowl (96) | 1x All-Pro (96)


DT: Trevor Pryce (1997-2005)

2 Int | 9 FF | 4 FR | 64 Sk | 325 Tackles | 64 TFL | 4x Pro-Bowl (99, 00, 01, 02) | 1x All-Pro (99)


First up for defensive tackle is Trevor Pryce. He spent nine seasons in Denver and had over 10 sacks in two of them. Pryce racked up over 60 sacks with the Broncos and was named to four straight Pro-Bowls from 1999-2002 and the All-Pro Team in 1999. He was also a member of both Super Bowl winning teams.


DT: Paul Smith (1968-1978)

1 Int | 7 FR | 55.5 Sk | 2x Pro-Bowl (72, 73)


The defensive tackle position isn't very deep for the Broncos. I almost went with Bud McFadin at this spot, but he only spent four seasons in Denver, so I went with Paul Smith. Smith is another member of the "Orange Crush" defense and compiled over 50 sacks in his 11 seasons with the Broncos. He had over 10 sacks in four different seasons and was named to the Pro-Bowl in 1972 and 1973.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Bud McFadin (1960-1963) | 13.5 Sk | 3x Pro-Bowl (61, 62, 63) | 3x All-Pro (60, 61, 62)

  2. Dave Costa (1967-1971) | 10 FR | 37.5 Sk | 3x Pro-Bowl (67, 68, 69)

  3. Rubin Carter (1975-1986) | 13 FR | 30 Sk

  4. Greg Kragen (1985-1993) | 15 FF | 12 FR | 22.5 Sk | 708 Tackles | 1x Pro-Bowl (89)


LB: Von Miller (2011-2021)

2 Int | 26 FF | 9 FR | 106 Sk | 490 Tackles | 135 TFL | 8x Pro-Bowl (11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19) | 3x All-Pro (12, 15, 16) | 2011 Defensive Rookie of the Year | Hall of Fame All-2010s Team


Von Miller has been one of the best linebackers in the NFL for over a decade now. Miller is the franchise leader in sacks and was named to eight straight Pro-Bowls from 2011-2019. He was also named to three All-Pro Teams and named the 2011 Defensive Rookie of the Year. He's had over 10 sacks in seven different seasons and was named to the Hall of Fame All-2010s Team. He and his defense also carried the Broncos to a Super Bowl win in 2015, where Miller was named the Super Bowl MVP. Miller will surely be inducted into the Hall of Fame whenever he retires and becomes eligible.


LB: Randy Gradishar (1974-1983)

20 Int | 13 FR | 19.5 Sk | 7x Pro-Bowl (75, 77, 78, 79, 81, 82, 83) | 2x All-Pro (77, 78) | 1978 Defensive Player of the Year


Randy Gradishar is one of the best linebackers not in Hall of Fame. He most certainly deserves to be inducted. Gradishar made seven Pro-Bowls and two All-Pro Teams and was even named the 1978 Defensive Player of the Year. He was the leader of the "Orange Crush" defense and helped lead the Broncos to the Super Bowl in 1977. What else did he need to do in order to make the Hall of Fame?


LB: Karl Mecklenburg (1983-1994)

5 Int | 16 FF | 14 FR | 79 Sk | 1,118 Tackles | 6x Pro-Bowl (85, 86, 87, 89, 91, 93) | 3x All-Pro (85, 86, 89)


Randy Gradishar's replacement needs to be inducted into the Hall of Fame as well. Karl Mecklenburg was the leader on defense for 12 seasons where he made six Pro-Bowls and Three All-Pro Teams. He had just under 80 sacks and 1,100 tackles on a Broncos team that made it to three Super Bowls. Put him and Gradishar in the Hall! The Broncos have a whole slew of other great linebackers including Tom Jackson, Simon Fletcher, Bill Romanowski and Elvis Dumervil to name a few.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Tom Jackson (1973-1986) | 20 Int | 8 FR | 40 Sk | 3x Pro-Bowl (77, 78, 79) | 1x All-Pro (77)

  2. Bob Swenson (1975-1983) | 11 Int | 9 FR | 7.5 Sk | 1x Pro-Bowl (81) | 1x All-Pro (81)

  3. Jim Ryan (1979-1988) | 5 Int | 7 FR | 10 Sk

  4. Rick Dennison (1982-1990) | 4 Int | 5 FR | 6.5 Sk

  5. Simon Fletcher (1985-1995) | 2 Int | 20 FF | 10 FR | 97.5 Sk | 828 Tackles

  6. Michael Brooks (1987-1992) | 3 Int | 7 FF | 5 FR | 4 Sk | 678 Tackles | 1x Pro-Bowl (92)

  7. Bill Romanowski (1996-2001) | 11 Int | 9 FF | 9 FR | 23 Sk | 433 Tackles | 19 TFL | 2x Pro-Bowl (96, 98)

  8. John Mobley (1996-2003) | 5 Int | 5 FF | 7 FR | 10.5 Sk | 621 Tackles | 28 TFL | 1x All-Pro (97)

  9. Al Wilson (1999-2006) | 5 Int | 8 FF | 7 FR | 21.5 Sk | 723 Tackles | 62 TFL | 5x Pro-Bowl (01, 02, 03, 05, 06) | 1x All-Pro (05)

  10. Ian Gold (2000-2007) | 3 Int | 9 FF | 10 FR | 16.5 | 456 Tackles | 39 TFL | 1x Pro-Bowl (01)

  11. D.J. Williams (2004-2012) | 2 Int | 12 FF | 7 FR | 20.5 Sk | 826 Tackles | 70 TFL

  12. Elvis Dumervil (2006-2012) | 1 Int | 16 FF | 9 FR | 63.5 Sk | 225 Tackles | 44 TFL | Led League in Sacks 2009 (17) | 3x Pro-Bowl (09, 11, 12) | 1x All-Pro (09)

CB: Champ Bailey (2004-2013)

34 Int | 5 FF | 1 FR | 2 Sk | 599 Tackles | 32 TFL | Led League in Int 2006 (10) | 8x Pro-Bowl (04, 05, 06, 07, 09, 10, 11, 12) | 2x All-Pro (04, 05, 06) | Hall of Fame All-2000s Team | Hall of Fame Class 2019


The first starting corner for the All-Time Broncos is the great Champ Bailey. He was the best cornerback in the league for the majority of his career. He had 34 interceptions with the Broncos, including leading the league in 2006 with 10. Bailey was named to eight Pro-Bowls and two All-Pro Teams, as well as being named to the Hall of Fame All-2000s Team. He was enshrined into the Hall of Fame in 2019.


CB: Louis Wright (1975-1986)

26 Int | 11 FR | 3 Sk | 5x Pro-Bowl (77, 78, 79, 83, 85) | 2x All-Pro (78, 79) | Hall of Fame All-1970s Team


The other starting corner is Louis Wright. Wright doesn't get the attention he deserves from Hall of Fame voters. He was a great corner for 12 seasons in Denver where he had 26 interceptions and was named to five Pro-Bowls and two All-Pro Teams. He was also named to the Hall of Fame All-1970s Team. Most of these defenders I believe would already be in the Hall of Fame had they won the Super Bowl in 1977. Willie Brown spent some time with the Broncos before his more memorable career with the Raiders and both Chris Harris and Aqib Talib were great corners for the Broncos defenses of the 2010s.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Willie Brown (1963-1966) | 15 Int | 2x Pro-Bowl (64, 65) | 1x All-Pro (64) | AFL All-1960s Team | Hall of Fame Class 1984

  2. Mike Harden (1980-1988) | 33 Int | 11 FR | 1 Sk

  3. Ray Crockett (1994-2000) | 17 Int | 7 FF | 4 FR | 10.5 Sk | 437 Tackles

  4. Chris Harris Jr. (2011-2019) | 20 Int | 6 FF | 4 FR | 4.5 Sk | 518 Tackles | 23 TFL | 4x Pro-Bowl (14, 15, 16, 18) | 1x All-Pro (16) | Hall of Fame All-2010s Team

  5. Aqib Talib (2014-2017) | 11 Int | 2 FF | 1 Sk | 183 Tackles | 5 TFL | 4x Pro-Bowl (14, 15, 16, 17) | 1x All-Pro (16)


S: Steve Atwater (1989-1998)

24 Int | 5 FF | 8 FR | 5 Sk | 1,125 Tackles | 8x Pro-Bowl (90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 98) | 2x All-Pro (91, 92) | Hall of Fame All-1990s Team | Hall of Fame Class 2020


Steve Atwater is one of the hardest hitting defenders in NFL history. If you want to see this in action, google his hit on Christian Okoye who was a great power back who stood 6'1 and 250 pounds. Atwater had over 1,100 tackles with the Broncos and made eight Pro-Bowls and two All-Pro Teams in the 1990s. He was named to the Hall of Fame All-1990s Team and was the best defender for the Broncos who won the Super Bowl in 1997 and 1998. Atwater was finally inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2020.


S: Goose Gonsoulin (1960-1966)

43 Int | 1 Sk | Led League in Int 1960 (11) | 5x Pro-Bowl (61, 62, 63, 64, 66) | 2x All-Pro (60, 62) | AFL All-1960s Team


The other safety for the All-Time Broncos is Goose Gonsoulin. His 43 interceptions are the second most in Bronco's history and he led the league in interceptions in his rookie season in 1960 with 11. He was named to five Pro-Bowls and two All-Pro Teams and was named to the AFL All-1960s Team.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Bill Thompson (1969-1981) | 40 Int | 21 FR | 4 Sk | 3x Pro-Bowl (77, 78, 81) | 1x All-Pro (77)

  2. Steve Foley (1976-1986) | 44 Int | 4 FR

  3. Dennis Smith (1981-1994) | 30 Int | 1 FF | 17 FR | 15 Sk | 1,158 Tackles | Led League in Tackles 1983 (114) | 6x Pro-Bowl (85, 86, 89, 90, 91, 93)

  4. Tyrone Braxton (1987-1993, 1995-1999) | 34 Int | 8 FF | 10 FR | 3.5 Sk | 820 Tackles | Led League in Int 1996 (9) | 1x Pro-Bowl (96)

  5. John Lynch (2004-2007) | 3 Int | 9 FF | 7 Sk | 271 Tackles | 9 TFL | 4x Pro-Bowl (04, 05, 06, 07) | Hall of Fame Class 2021

  6. Justin Simmons (2016-Present) | 21 Int | 1 FR | 3.5 Sk | 465 Tackles | 15 TFL | 1x Pro-Bowl (20)


K: Jason Elam (1993-2007)

80.6 FG% | 63 Long | 1,786 Points | Led League in FGM 2001 (31) | Led League in Long 1994, 1998 and 1999 (54, 63, 55) | 3x Pro-Bowl (95, 98, 01)


Jason Elam is the easy choice at kicker. He is the franchise leader in points and led the league in field goals made in 2001. He was excellent at kicking long field goals, leading the league with the longest field goal in three different seasons. He was named to three Pro-Bowls and won two Super Bowls with the Broncos.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Gene Mingo (1960-1964) | 60.5 FG% | 53 Long | 408 Points | Led League in FGM 1960 and 1962 (18, 27) | Led League in Long 1963 and 1964 (52, 51) | Led League in FG% 1960 and 1964 (64.3%, 66.7%) | Led League in Points 1960 and 1962 (123, 137) | 1x Pro-Bowl (62)

  2. Jim Turner (1971-1979) | 65.1 FG% | 53 Long | 742 Points

  3. Matt Prater (2007-2013) | 82.9 FG% | 64 Long | 682 Points | Led League in Long 2013 (64) | Led League in FG% 2013 (96.2%) | 1x Pro-Bowl (13)


P: Tom Rouen (1993-2002)

28,146 Punt Yards | 76 Long | 43.9 Yards/Punt | Led League in Long 1998 (76) | Led League in Yds/Punt 1999 (46.5)


Tom Rouen is the best punter in Bronco's history. He averaged 43.9 yards per punt and led the league in the category in 1999 with 46.5. He never made a Pro-Bowl or All-Pro Team, but he was the most consistent Punter in franchise history. Bob Scarpitto had some great years with the Broncos, but he only punted for three seasons so I'm going with longevity on this one.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Bob Scarpitto (1962-1967) | 11,026 Punt Yards | 74 Long | 44.3 Yds/Punt | Led League in Yds 1966 and 1967 (3,480, 4,713) | Led League in Long 1965, 1966 and 1967 (74, 70, 73) | Led League in Yds/Punt 1966 and 1967 (45.2, 44.9) | 1x Pro-Bowl (66) | AFL All-1960s Team

  2. Billy Van Heusen (1968-1976) | 23,936 Punt Yds | 78 Long | 41.7 Yds/Punt | Led League in Long 1973 (78) | Led League in Yds 1970 (3,732)

  3. Luke Prestridge (1979-1983) | 15,754 Punt Yds | 67 Long | 41.8 Yds/Punt | Led League in Yds/Punt 1982 (45) | 1x Pro-Bowl (82) | 1x All-Pro (82)

  4. Mike Horan (1986-1992) | 15,911 Punt Yds | 71 Long | 42.5 Yds/Punt | 1x Pro-Bowl (88) | 1x All-Pro (88)


Returner: Rick Upchurch (1975-1983)

3,008 Punt Rt Yds | 8 Punt Rt TD | 12.1 Yds/Punt Rt | 2,355 Kick Rt Yds | 24.8 Yds/Kick Rt | Led League in Punt Rt Yds 1977 (653) | Led League in Punt Rt TD 1976, 1978 and 1982 (4, 1, 2) | Led League in Punt Rt Long 1976 (92) | Led League in Yds/Punt Rt 1976, 1978 and 1982 (13.7, 13.7, 16.1) | 4x Pro-Bowl (76, 78, 79, 82) | 3x All-Pro (76, 78, 82) | Hall of Fame All-1970s Team | Hall of Fame All-1980s Team


Rick Upchurch is one of the greatest returners of all time. Hall of Fame voters need to start treating returners and special teams as a part of the game and put these players in the Hall. Upchurch led the league in every major punt return category at least once and led the league in punt return touchdowns three times, including taking four to the house in 1976. He made four Pro-Bowls and three All-Pro Teams and was named to both the Hall of Fame All-1970s and 1980s Teams.


Head Coach: Mike Shanahan (1995-2008)

Regular Season: 138-86 | 61.6 W-L% | Playoffs: 8-5 | 1997 and 1998 Super Bowl Champion


Mike Shanahan has won more games with the Broncos than any other coach and he also won two Super Bowls, so he's easily the choice here. He had nine winning seasons with the Broncos and led them to the playoffs seven times, including winning the Super Bowl in 1997 and 1998. Dan Reeves won over 100 games with the Broncos as well and took them to three Super Bowls, but he failed to win one.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Red Miller (1977-1980) | Regular Season: 40-22 | 64.5 W-L% | Playoffs: 2-3 | 1977 Coach of the Year | 1977 AFC Champion

  2. Dan Reeves (1981-1992) | Regular Season: 110-73-1 | 60.1 W-L% | Playoffs: 7-6 | 1986, 1987 and 1989 AFC Champion

  3. John Fox (2011-2014) | Regular Season: 46-18 | 71.9 W-L% | Playoffs: 3-4 | 2013 AFC Champion

  4. Gary Kubiak (2015-2016) | Regular Season: 21-11 | 65.6 W-L% | Playoffs: 3-0 | 2015 Super Bowl Champion



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