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
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Tom Nalen, Denver Broncos
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. 1994. player. 4. 431. Tom Nalen. . Round 7, Pick No. 218. Tom Nalen, Center. Tom Nalen, Center

This is a prime example of how a late-round pick can pay off when you find the right guy at the right time.

The center position is not one most consider a 'premium' position but in many respects, it's one of the most important positions on the team. In 1994, the Broncos found a center to pair with Elway for the last stage of his career and that ended up being the best center in team history.

Tom Nalen played 14 seasons in the NFL, all in Denver, and there were chunks of that time where he was the best center in the league. He made the Pro Bowl fives times and was named to one of the All-Pro Teams in three others.

Nalen played in 194 career games for the team. Only Elway and Jason Elam played in more across team history. That helped Nalen earn his well-deserved spot on the team's Ring of Fame.

Alex Forsyth, a center out of Oregon who is in line to be the team's new starter, was drafted in the seventh round of last year's draft. If he can be half the player Nalen was, the team is in good hands.

1983. Karl Mecklenburg, LB. Round 12, Pick No. 310. 487. . Karl Mecklenburg, LB. Karl Mecklenburg. 3. player.

It's still hard to believe that more than 300 players were selected in 1983 ahead of Karl Mecklenburg. That puts him among the biggest draft steals in NFL history due to the career he had.

Mecklenburg could do it all for the Broncos and he was the ultimate inside linebacker. He played 12 seasons in Denver, helping the team reach three Super Bowls. He had over 1,100 tackles along with 79 sacks, 16 forced fumbles, 14 fumble recoveries and five interceptions. When the team needed a play on defense, it turned to 'Meck'.

He remains in the conversation of the top defensive players in team history along with names like Von Miller, Champ Bailey, Randy Gradishar and Steve Atwater and there are numerous Broncos fans who believe that Mecklenburg has a good argument to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.