Brandon Marshall, age 28
The Denver Broncos were very fortunate to acquire Marshall when — and how — they did.
He was a fifth-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft out of Nevada, the same round in the same draft class where the Broncos unearthed another gem — defensive lineman Malik Jackson.
Marshall was cut by the Jaguars twice and placed on their practice squad at the start of the 2013 season. The Broncos signed him to their active roster late that year and were able to get him in the restricted free agent cycle.
Marshall played 2014-16 for essentially $4 million total and became the Broncos’ leading tackler and one of the top playmakers in their defense.
Not only does he excel against the run, Marshall is one of the NFL’s best linebackers in coverage as well.
There’s no better example of that than his interception against the Pittsburgh Steelers late in the 2015 season in what would eventually be a loss for the Broncos, but not for lack of effort on Marshall’s part.
The Broncos invested a lot of money in Marshall and he finished 2017 with a very solid 106 total tackles with an interception and a forced fumble in 16 games.
Marshall also set a career high with three sacks in 2017.
He’s one of the toughest players on the team and is always willing to speak his mind. Marshall’s success in 2017 was somewhat unnoticed due to the lack of success of the team as a whole, but he’s playing at a high level production-wise and should be even more efficient in 2018.