NFL

Denver Broncos Mount Rushmore

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No one in the league has been to more Super Bowls than the Denver Broncos. They’ve been to the big game eight times, so it’s important to acknowledge the best players to rock the orange and blue throughout the years.

John Elway – Not only is John Elway without question the best player in Broncos history, he’s arguably one of the top five greatest quarterbacks in NFL history.

After being selected No. 1 overall in the 1983 Draft, expectations were through the roof for Elway and he ended up exceeding them.

Elway spent his entire 16-year career in the Mile High City, which turned out to be the best thing to ever happen for both parties.

Before Elway, Denver never knew what it felt like to hoist the Vince Lombardi trophy, but after Elway’s tenure, the franchise was able to hold claim to two Super Bowl titles after the 1997 and 1998 seasons.

Elway may not have the best numbers when compared to other greats under center, but when it comes to having the clutch gene, you’ll be hard pressed to find many guys above him in that category.

Elway has a Super Bowl MVP under his belt to go along with nine Pro Bowl appearances and a regular season MVP. As a front office exec, there are few better and his moves were the catalyst for the team’s Super Bowl 50 title.

Terrell Davis – Although his career was shortened due to injuries, it’s impossible to leave Terrell Davis off this list.

Unlike Elway, Davis came into the league with very little expectations as he was the 196th overall pick in the sixth round of the 1995 NFL Draft.

However, against all odds, “TD” ended up being the best running back in Broncos history.

In just 78 games, Davis rushed for a total of 7,607 yards, which places him at the very top in franchise history. Also, the San Diego native found the end zone 60 times in his seven-year career.

Davis was invited to the Pro Bowl three consecutive years from 1996 to 1998, while winning NFL Offensive Player of the Year twice and being named league MVP in 1998.

While all of the individual accolades are fine and dandy, at the end of the day, Davis was a winner as he was a major key to Denver’s repeat title.

Shannon Sharpe – Similar to Terrell Davis, Shannon Sharpe was an afterthought when he was drafted in the seventh round of the 1990 Draft.

Nonetheless, Sharpe’s career success has him in the discussion as being one of the best tight ends to ever play the game.

Along with rival Tony Gonzalez, Sharpe helped transcend the tight end position from boring blockers to being influential parts in the aerial attack.

When Sharpe retired in 2003, he was the leader amongst tight ends in career receptions (815), receiving yards (10,060) and touchdowns (62).

Oh yeah, he won two rings with Elway and Davis.

Floyd Little – Before getting inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010, Floyd Little would also be introduced to people as a future Hall of Famer, but considering his last game was all the way back in 1975, doubt started to creep in. 

“I was running out of guys who had seen me play,” Little said.

Nonetheless, Little is now in Canton.

Now, his numbers won’t jump out at you.

In nine seasons, Little rushed for 6,323 yards and reached the end zone 43 times, but it was more than numbers in his case.

When Little was drafted sixth-overall in the 1967 Draft out of Syracuse, he was decked with the nickname “The Franchise” because his signing was credited with keeping the team from bolting to another city.

Little finished his career with five Pro Bowl selections.


About Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels is an NFL columnist for Football Insiders. He has several years of experience covering the NFL and NCAA football. He's the radio color commentator for Lincoln University football. Mark's work has been featured on Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports and Yard Barker.