The top 5 greatest players of each NFL franchise lists continue today with the Denver Broncos. The Denver Broncos are one of the more storied franchises and have had many significant moments in history and a ton of great players. As a Patriots fan I never did care for the Broncos as they seemed to always be one of the few teams that always was a pain in our a$$. The Champ Bailey interception will always be one of those plays I wish I never witnessed happen. Putting my animosity aside I am going to stop rambling and give you my top 5 Denver Broncos of all time. Feel free like always to comment at the bottom of the page and let me know what you think of my list. Here we go….
Peyton Manning, Quarterback (2012–2015)
A lot of people have Manning in their top 5 and I just can’t validate it especially since he was carried to his one Super Bowl win with the team. Manning did lead Denver to the AFC West title all four years he was there and to two Super Bowls, winning Super Bowl 50. Peyton set NFL records in his second year with the team with 55 passing touchdowns and 5,477 passing yards during the 2013 season. He earned his one and only MVP award with the team that year, fifth overall.
Floyd Little, Running Back (1967–1975)
Floyd “The Franchise” Little put the Broncos on the map in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He led the league in rushing yards in 1971 (1,133) and scored more touchdowns than any other running back in 1973 (12). A five-time Pro Bowler, Little is a member of the team’s Ring of Fame, and his No. 44 is retired. He was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010.
Steve Atwater, Safety (1989–1998)
It seems to be only a matter of time before Steve Atwater is inducted into Canton in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Atwater helped the Broncos reach 3 Super Bowls and the Broncos won two of them. Atwater was an eight-time Pro Bowler, a two-time first-team All-Pro, and a one-time second-team All-Pro during his 11-year career. Atwater is also a member of the NFL’s 1990 All-Decade Team and in the Broncos Ring of Fame.
5.) Von Miller, Linebacker (2011-present)
Von Miller currently is on the back end of his career but he has had one hell of a career. If he retired today he would be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Miller dominated Super Bowl 50 when he had 2.5 sacks and 2 forced fumbles against the Carolina Panthers. The Broncos won that game 24-10 and Miller won Super Bowl MVP. He is a seven-time Pro Bowler, three-time first-team All-Pro, four-time second-team All-Pro and the 2011 Defensive Rookie of the Year, Miller has recorded more sacks than any other player in Broncos history.
4.) Champ Bailey, Cornerback (2004–2013)
Champ Bailey was almost my biggest fear when New England played against the Broncos. The guy is a legit lockdown corner and it was smart if you just avoided the side of the field he was on. Some quarterbacks were gutsy enough to test Bailey and he did lead the NFL with 10 interceptions in 2006 and was the runner up for the Defensive Player of the Year award. Bailey was a 12 time Pro Bowler during his 15-year career, which is more than any cornerback in NFL history. Champ was a member of the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team, he’s in the Broncos Ring of Fame and was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2019. He is one of the best cornerbacks that I have ever seen play in the NFL.
3.) Terrell Davis, Running Back (1995–2001)
If his career wasn’t cut short due to a knee injury Davis might have challenged for number 1 on this list but with the two legends ranked ahead of him I think 3rd is a fair place for the running back. Davis is a two-time Super Bowl champion, a three-time first-team All-Pro and won the league MVP and Super Bowl MVP in the 1998 season. When healthy most people considered Davis the best running back in the league. He is one of just seven players in NFL history who have rushed for 2,000 yards in a season, and he is Denver’s all-time leader in rushing yards (7,607) and rushing touchdowns (60). Davis was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2017.
2.) Shannon Sharpe, Tight End (1990–1999, 2002–2003)
Shannon Sharpe to me doesn’t get enough love as possibly the best tight end to ever play the game. As Sharpe always says “Tony Gonzalez got stats, I got rings and stats.” Sharpe won two Super Bowls with the Broncos in his time there and one with the Baltimore Ravens. He is an eight-time Pro Bowler, four-time first-team All-Pro, and a member of the NFL’s 1990s All-Decade Team and the Broncos’ Ring of Fame. Sharpe ranks third in receiving yards with 8,439 and touchdowns with 55 in Denver Broncos history and was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011. Sharpe to me doesn’t get enough love for how great he was but that won’t be an issue for me as he is number two on my list only to…
1.) John Elway, Quarterback (1983–1998)
John freaking Elway, this guy was an absolute warrior. He spent his whole 16-year career with the Denver Broncos and led them to five Super Bowls winning two of them. He was an NFL MVP in 1987, selected to the Pro Prowl nine times, a member of the 1990s All-Decade Team, and is in the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame. Impressed yet? Elway is still the Denver’s all-time leader in passing yards with 51,475 and touchdowns with 300. His number 7 has been retired and he is currently in the front office for the Broncos and helped build the team and help get them to another Super Bowl. Under Elway as an executive the Broncos won Super Bowl 50 over the Carolina Panthers.
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