Denver Broncos: Top 15 first-round draft picks of all time

Von Miller, Denver Broncos. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Von Miller, Denver Broncos. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images) /
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Dennis Smith, Denver Broncos
Dennis Smith, Denver Broncos. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) /

While most of the other names on this list only played for the Broncos for less than a decade, Dennis Smith was the model of longevity. Not only was he a star during his stay with the team, but he spent all 14 of his NFL seasons in Denver.

That’s quite the accomplishment, especially during a time in the NFL’s history when player safety wasn’t quite as high of a priority as it is today. It makes it all the more impressive when you consider that Smith spent most of his professional career serving as one of the league’s hardest hitting safeties.

Smith was much more than just a feared missile in the middle of the Denver defense, though. The USC product was outstanding in coverage, racking up 30 career interceptions and causing headaches for nearly ever quarterback who was forced to throw into his coverage. Between that and has knack for knocking people out, Smith found his way on to six Pro Bowl rosters.

It’s rare to find a safety who can swing the momentum in such a short amount of time. However, the Broncos did exactly that in Smith, who only cost them the No. 15 overall pick in the 1981 NFL Draft. The rest, as they say, was history.