Denver Broncos: John Elway’s top 10 NFL Draft steals
4. Julius Thomas, TE
Draft info: 129th overall selection (4th round) of the 2011 NFL Draft
Due to an unfortunate injury history, it took two years for Julius Thomas to come in and make an impact for the Denver Broncos.
When he stepped onto the field fully healthy for the first time, he went on a two-year stretch where he was arguably the best receiving tight end in the game.
In Peyton Manning’s second year with the team, Thomas absolutely exploded with 65 receptions for 788 yards and 12 touchdowns in 14 games. He followed that up in 2014 with another 12 touchdowns on just 43 catches in only 13 games.
The Broncos were enamored by Thomas’ skill set as he transitioned from basketball to football and though he wasn’t a long-term success like Antonio Gates, Denver was able to extract the two best seasons of football out of Thomas, who has had some success in Jacksonville and Miami since his departure from Denver.
If health were not a concern, Thomas might have been a double-digit touchdown player every year since 2013.
The Broncos stole him in the fourth round of the 2011 NFL Draft.