The Denver Broncos didn’t have any players on the first-team Associated Press All-Pro team as voted on by 50 sports journalists and writers across the country, but they did get some recognition from Pro Football Focus, an analytics site devoted to the most in-depth study of the game.
Pro Football Focus’ complicated system of grades led to cornerback Chris Harris Jr. and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders receiving first-team All-Pro recognition by PFF, and linebacker Von Miller receiving second-team honors. Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas was given an honorable mention.
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Pro Football Focus graded Harris Jr. as the number one overall cornerback in the league, and had Indianapolis Colts cornerback Vontae Davis behind him as the number two. Darrelle Revis and Richard Sherman were the top two corners as voted by the AP, and ranked 3rd and 4th by Pro Football Focus.
PFF said that Harris Jr. and Davis — who face off this weekend — were the ‘easy’ choice for first and second place.
Sanders’ phenomenal first season in Denver is the latest in a long line of incredible free agent acquisitions by John Elway, who has been one of the best front office personnel members in the league since his ‘arrival’ in Denver. Elway went out and signed guys like Willis McGahee, Peyton Manning, Louis Vasquez, Wes Welker, Sanders, DeMarcus Ware, T.J. Ward, and plenty of others to help the Broncos to four straight division titles and a Super Bowl appearance last year.
Sanders is the latest to be recognized, but the inclusion of both he and Harris Jr. on the list is really indicative of how great a job the Broncos’ front office has done as a whole over the last four years of scouting and evaluating the roster. Harris Jr. is a former undrafted player out of Kansas who just received a big contract extension while Sanders was a relatively big-name free agent, though now he looks like a bargain.