There’s a lot of optimism surrounding the Denver Broncos these days and it’s hard to argue why. Broncos legend John Elway has again maintained and retooled his team to the point they look ready to make a run at the rest of the NFL’s top teams.
After a masterful haul in the 2020 NFL Draft, which included two top wide receivers including arguable the best wideout available Jerry Jeudy, this Broncos team has a lot of fans excited after four forgettable years since their 2015 Super Bowl run.
Speaking of forgettable, Drew Lock and his team may be on the cusp of reigniting Denver’s football craze but there are a couple of players in Broncos history who have fallen to the wayside over the years.
So, before head coach Vic Fangio gets to see his team in action this season, let’s take a look back at some of the best players you forgot actually played for the Denver Broncos.
David Studdard, Javon Walker, Gerald Willhite, Gary Kubiak, Reggie Rivers, Sammy Winder
5. Alfred Williams, 1996-1999
We start our list off with former consensus All-American Alfred Williams. Big Al, as he is fondly called, spent nine years in the NFL and his career began with a Cincinnati Bengals team that drafted him 18th overall in 1991. He spent four good years with the Bengals before making a short pitstop in San Francisco for a year. He would only start a single game for the 49ers the whole 1995 season and would move on to Denver the next year.
His first two seasons with the Broncos were probably the defensive end’s best in terms of production and statistics. In those years, Williams combined for over 20 sacks and 80 tackles while earning his only Pro Bowl selection in 1996. His finals seasons weren’t the best individually but he did help the team win the back to back Super Bowl title ins 1998 and 1999.
4. Glyn Milburn, 1993-1995
Running back Glyn Milburn spent most of his time on special teams and might be the reason fans barely remember him but you can also blame the arrival of Hall of Famer Terrell Davis. Milburn was doing just fine his first few years in Denver when Davis arrived and as they say, the rest is history. The Broncos found their franchise back in 1995 and Milburn was shipped off to Detroit the following year.
Despite his tenure with Denver being short, he still did a lot for the Broncos in the three years he was there. In total, Milburn returned punts and kicks for over 3000 yards.
3. Rulon Jones, 1980-1988
Third on the list is defensive end Rulon Jones, who the Broncos drafted 42nd overall back in 1980. Jones spent his entire nine-year career in Denver playing over 120 games for the Broncos. The Utah native and Utah State alum was a threat to opposing backfields and quarterbacks his entire career.
By the time he decided to retire, Jones had over 50 recorded sacks, which could probably be more since the stat wasn’t official yet his first two years in the league. Jones was a two-time Pro Bowler and was selected for the All-Pro team once.
2. Brian Dawkins, 2009-2011
This is were our list really get’s going and Brian Dawkins is the reason why.
Dawkins spent his first 13 years in Philadelphia, where he became one of the most beloved players in the franchise’s history. The star defensive back went to eight Pro Bowls as an Eagles and was named to All-Pro teams five times as well. His biggest achievement with birds came in 2004 when the Jacksonville native helped the team earn a trip to Super Bowl XXXIX, which was played in his hometown.
Although Weapon X spent his best years in Philly, he still gave the Broncos quality play in the three seasons he was there. He played over 40 games and still was massive in the Denver secondary especially in his first year with the team. He would earn one more Pro Bowl appearance before he would finally retire in 2012. He signed a one-day contract with Philadelphia and retire and Eagles.
Dawkins was recently inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame back in 2018.
1. Tony Dorsett, 1988
If we’re talking about the best, then there’s no question who tops the list.
Hall of Fame running back Tony Dorsett is one of the best ever and he has all the accolades, stats, and even a Super Bowl ring to prove it. The man is a legend and although he only spent one year in Denver, partly cause of injuries, he is definitely one of the greatest to cameo for the Broncos.