10 biggest draft steals in Denver Broncos history

Some of the biggest names in the history of the Denver Broncos were not highly drafted players.
Super Bowl XXII: Denver Broncos v Washington Redskins
Super Bowl XXII: Denver Broncos v Washington Redskins / Ronald C. Modra/GettyImages
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Tyrone Braxton, Denver Broncos
Tyrone Braxton was one of the most underrated defensive backs in Broncos history. / Brian Bahr/GettyImages

Round 12, Pick No. 334. Tyrone Braxton. player. . Tyrone Braxton, DB . 8. 2497. . 1987. Tyrone Braxton, DB

North Dakota State has built a tremendous football program but in 1987, there weren't many players coming from that school and getting into the NFL. That could have made Tyrone Braxton an addition to my recent look at small school stars for the Broncos.

The Broncos took Braxton late in the 1987 draft and he earned his keep in Denver. He only played in two games as a rookie but he was a starting cornerback by 1989. He had six interceptions that season and it seemed that the Broncos had found a late-round gem.

Surgery on his knee kept him out for most of the 1990 season but he was back in the starting lineup the following season. He joined the Miami Dolphins for one season in 1994 but when that clearly wasn't the right fit, he came back to Denver in 1995 and the team decided to put him at safety. In 1996, he was tied for the league lead with nine interceptions. That helped him make the Pro Bowl that year.

Braxton was a part of the teams that won back-to-back Super Bowls and even had a key interception of Brett Favre in Super Bowl XXXII. He played 12 seasons in Denver and had 34 interceptions, which is still tied for fourth-most in team history.

. Elvis Dumervil, DE. Elvis Dumervil, DE. player. Round 4, Pick No. 126. 2006. . 438. Elvis Dumervil. 7

Though Elvis Dumervil proved he was defensive force in college, including an astounding 20 sacks in 2005, he was largely overlooked in the 2006 draft because of his size. At 5-foot-11, he just didn't have the kind of size teams were looking for in their pass-rushers.

That didn't bother Broncos coach Mike Shanahan, who took Dumervil in the fourth round. He became one of the top sack artists in Broncos history. He had 63.5 sacks in six seasons with the team. He was on the team for seven years, but a torn pectoral muscle kept him out the entire 2010 season.

Of course, any time we conjure up memories of Dumervil's time with the team, it often leads back to the embarrassing way his time with the team came to an end. But for the time he was in Denver, he was terrific.