Seen on:
as known from New York Timesas known from USA Todayas known from yahoo!
VA

Top 10 Denver Broncos of All-Time

The greatest Broncos!
Publish Date: 05/12/2024
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

With so many great players, getting this down to 10 was nearly impossible. The Broncos have many legendary players, and they also have a lot of former stars who should be in Canton. Today, we are looking at the greatest Broncos of all time.

(Note: The Grueling Truth does not use active players for these Top 10 lists)

Criteria

Stats, wins, and Super Bowls all come into count when making this list of Bronco greats. Number one is a no-doubter, but the rest of this list was hard to come up with, especially when it comes to putting the players in order.

10) Karl Mecklenburg

Mecklenburg was the cornerstone of the defenses that helped get the Broncos to three Super Bowls in four seasons during the 1980s.

He was a six-time Pro-Bowler, four-time First-Team All-Pro, and a great outside linebacker.

Video: The Albino Rhino - Karl Mecklenburg Career Highlights

The Albino Rhino – Karl Mecklenburg Career Highlights

9) Rich “Tombstone” Jackson

“Tombstone” was probably Denver’s first great defensive player when he played from 1966-1972. As a defensive end/outside linebacker, he got many opportunities to sack the quarterback and made good on nearly all of them.

He was a ferocious pass-rusher and feared by all who had to block him. Tombstone finished as a two-time Pro-Bowler and two-time All-Pro. Tombstone was a legend.

Video: Tombstone Jackson

Tombstone Jackson

8) Floyd Little

Floyd was the first great offensive player for the Broncos, playing from 1967-1975, leading the Broncos in rushing seven times.

He retired as a three-time Pro-Bowler and the 7th all-time leading rusher in NFL history.

Video: Floyd Little Career Highlights

Floyd Little Career Highlights

7) Rod Smith

Denver’s all-time leading receiver with 849 receptions for 11,389 yards and 68 touchdowns. Rod Smith was the critical wideout during the Broncos’ run of the mid to late 1990s. His 80-yard touchdown catch and run in Super Bowl 33 was the play that essentially sealed the game and second-straight Super Bowl title for the Broncos.

Oh, and did you know he was undrafted?

Video: Rod Smith Career Highlights

Rod Smith Career Highlights

6) Champ Bailey

After being traded to Denver in 2004, Champ Bailey showed why he was one of the game’s best corners ever.

The 12-time Pro-Bowler made life difficult for receivers as he regularly shut down the opposing team’s best player.

He finished his career in 2013 with 52 Interceptions and left Broncos fans with so many great memories as the team’s all-time greatest corner.

Video: Champ Bailey Broncos Highlights (2004-2013)

Champ Bailey Broncos Highlights (2004-2013)

T5) Steve Atwater and Dennis Smith

Without the other, it was nearly impossible to mention one of these great safeties. Both Atwater and Smith were amazing in coverage and among their generation’s best hitters.

Atwater was an eight-time Pro-Bowler and two-time First-Team All-Pro. Smith finished his career as a six-time Pro-Bowler.

Together, they formed one of the best safety duos in NFL history.

Video: Dennis Smith Career Highlights

Dennis Smith Career Highlights

Β 

4) Randy Gradishar

Drafted in 1974, linebacker Randy Gradishar became the “Orange Crush” Broncos defense leader that would go to Super Bowl 12 and be a dominant force in the 1970s.

He went to the Pro Bowl seven times out of the ten seasons he played in and finished his career with an astonishing 2,049 tackles.

Gradishar was also the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 1978.

Video: Randy Gradishar Highlights

Randy Gradishar Highlights

3) Terrell Davis

Though he had a shortened career due to injury, there is no denying the greatness of Terrell Davis. Drafted in 1995 as a special-teamer, he quickly showed he could be so much more.

Following a 1,000 yard campaign during 1995, he was dominant in 1996 with 1,538 yards. He just got better each year, leading the Broncos to the Super Bowl in 1997 and 1998. During those years, he had 1,750 yards and an astounding 2,008 yards rushing, respectively.

He finished Super Bowl 32 as the game’s MVP, playing in only three quarters. Davis was the NFL’s MVP in 1998 and showed why he was the best back in the league during his career in the 1990s.

Video: Terrell Davis 1998 Highlights

Terrell Davis 1998 Highlights

2) Shannon Sharpe

When Shannon Sharpe retired in 2003, he was the NFL’s all-time best tight end with 815 catches for 10,060 yards and 62 touchdowns. Sharpe was always the consistent performer and the go-to receiver for almost his entire career, even during some bad Bronco seasons. Sharpe finished as an eight-time Pro-Bowler and four-time First-Team All-Pro.

Video: Shannon Sharpe Single Game Receiving Record For Tight Ends

Shannon Sharpe Single Game Receiving Record For Tight Ends

1) John Elway

There’s no doubt that John Elway was going to be number one on this list.

John Elway could be viewed as a quarterback in NFL history who did the most with the least. There was little to no running attack until Terrell Davis was drafted, so from 1983-1994, the offense was almost wholly Elway.

Elway’s ability to consistently lead his team from behind is unmatched, as he has amassed 48 game-winning drives and 4th quarter comebacks.

He finished his career with two Super Bowl wins, including the MVP of Super Bowl 33, solidifying his place as one of the game’s greatest quarterbacks.

It’s impossible to list everything that makes him worthy of being number one on this list in such a short time, but his arm strength, scrambling ability, and his uncanny ways of leading his team back when everyone thought there was no chance leave any doubt as to who the most incredible Bronco is.

Video: John Elway Highlights (Final Version)

John Elway Highlights (Final Version)

Honorable mentions to Louis Wright, Lyle Alzado, Ed McCaffrey, Rick Upchurch, Howard Griffith, Gary Zimmerman, Tom Jackson, Tom Nalen, and Simon Fletcher.

Read Also
Esteban de Jesus, Roberto Duran y AIDS (1972-89)
Many of us dream of celebrity sports fame, but only cruel individuals ...
Every NFL team’s best player not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame- NFC East
The Pro Football Hall of Fame houses the greatest players in NFL ...
Bet365 Promo
Predicting the next five Pro Football Hall of Fame classes
Induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio is ...
Ranking the top 200 players in the NFL ahead of the 2021 season
This list isn’t based solely on performances from the 2020 NFL season. ...
Top 100 NFL free agents entering the 2021 offseason
Below is a list of the top 100 free agents available this ...
The Army Boxer Who Knocked-Down Muhammad Ali (1960)
I had wanted to write a boxing story about Junebug Hudson for ...
Active NFL players in 2019 who will make the Hall of Fame- AFC North
I tried to include as many players worthy of consideration for the ...
Active NFL players in 2019 who will make the Hall of Fame- AFC South
I tried to include as many AFC South players worthy of consideration ...
Active NFL players in 2019 who will make the Hall of Fame- NFC West
I tried to include as many players worthy of consideration for the ...
Most Likely Active Hall of Famer on Every NFL Team
Ben Roethlisberger QB Big Ben has gone to six Pro Bowls and ...
Latest News
Manny Pacquiao wants one more title
He's 45. Not old in life, but ancient ...
Top 8 Greatest Home Runs in Cincinnati Reds History
Gennett became the first and the only Reds ...
Eusebio Pedroza: Duran’s Panamanian counterpart in pugilistic dominance
Panama, birthplace of Roberto β€œManos de Piedra” Duran, ...
Top 10 College Basketball Players of all time
This list only considers college achievements and the ...
Davis vs. Martin: Tank Versus Frank
This Saturday night live from MGM Grand Garden ...
Our Latest YouTube Videos
Video: NBA Playoffs Series Preview: Orlando Magic vs Cleveland Cavaliers
NBA Playoffs Series Preview: Orlando Magic vs Cleveland Cavaliers
Video: NBA Playoff Series Preview: Indiana Pacers vs Milwaukee Bucks
NBA Playoff Series Preview: Indiana Pacers vs Milwaukee Bucks
Video: Survive and Advance: Masters Preview with Special Guest Brian Hammons
Survive and Advance: Masters Preview with Special Guest Brian Hammons
Top Betting Sites
Top Betting Bonuses
Bet365
Bet365
Bet365 Review
4.6/5
BetMGM
BetMGM
BetMGM Review
4.6/5
FanDuel
FanDuel
FanDuel Review
4.5/5
Caesars
Caesars
Caesars Review
4.5/5
BetRivers.com
BetRivers.com
BetRivers.com Review
4.5/5
Bet365
Bet365 Bonus
First Bet Safety Net up to $1000 OR Bet $5 and Get $150
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
At bet365 we don't do ordinary, that's why if you sign up now you'll get the choice of two great New Customer Offers, the First Bet Safety Net up to $1000 or Bet $5 and Get $150 in Bonus Bets. Deposit required. Bonus Bets wager excluded from returns. T&Cs, time limits and exclusions apply. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-Gambler 21+
BetMGM
BetMGM Bonus
Up To $1500 in Bonus Bets Paid Back if your First Bet Does Not Win
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
FanDuel
FanDuel Bonus
Bet $5 Get $200 in Bonus Bets if your bet wins
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Caesars
Caesars Bonus
100% up to $1000
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
BetRivers.com
BetRivers.com Bonus
Second chance bet: Get up to $500 in Bonus Bets
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Our Team
Mike GoodpasterJosh SchwartzSimon BriffaMark LewisSamuel Teets
Mike Goodpaster
Mike Goodpaster
Chief Editor
Josh Schwartz
Josh Schwartz
Editor
Simon Briffa
Simon Briffa
Sports Editor
Mark Lewis
Mark Lewis
Editor
Samuel Teets
Samuel Teets
US Sports Veteran
Find out what the legends have to say about sports this week....
Find out what the legends have to say about sports this week....

21+ and present in VA. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.

This site is using Cloudflare and adheres to the Google Safe Browsing Program. We adapted Google's Privacy Guidelines to keep your data safe at all times.

Virginia Town HallCloudflareSSL
×
Your Promo Code:
The bonus offer of was already opened in an additional window. If not, you can open it also by clicking the following link:
Play now