The Denver Broncos All-Time Team

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The Denver Broncos All-Time Team

This is my third go at compiling an all-time team, and, for the third time, I've chosen an original AFL team. The eight original AFL franchises will be celebrating their 50th season in 2009, so perhaps 50 years provides the ideal amount of history for putting together an all-time squad?

Let's face it, teams like the Packers, Giants, and Bears have long, rich histories, with multiple Hall of Famers and All-Pro performers. Leaving a few players from each of these teams off of the list would be inevitable.

On the other hand, teams like the Buccaneers, Seahawks, and Ravens do not have enough history to compose an adequate team. Thus, mediocre players would have to be included just to fill the roster.

The Broncos proved to be a tough study compared to the seven other original AFL squads. My first two "all-time team" efforts, the Chargers and Jets, had enough great players during their first decade to nearly fill their starting rosters.

The Broncos, however, were a pretty terrible franchise during their first 15 years. I only saw fit to include a handful of players who played all or a majority of their careers prior to 1974. They seem to have compressed most of their talent into the last 35 years of their existence, which made the selection process rather difficult.

As with any team, some choices were painfully easy: Elway, Terrell Davis, Floyd Little, Gradishar, etc... Others proved to be quite a chore. Like defensive linemen, for instance: Does Rich Jackson's short but brilliant career earn him a starting spot over the long-serving but unspectacular Barney Chavous? Was Greg Kragen a better nose tackle than Rubin Carter? What about defensive backs? Does Steve Foley's team record of 44 interceptions earn him a starting spot? And, if so, where? He played both corner and safety, but then again so did Billy Thompson, Mike Harden, and Tyrone Braxton...

Enough said. I've made my picks, now it's up to you to judge them. Please feel free to leave comments...

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