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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Terrell Davis, Denver Broncos
Terrell Davis is among the biggest draft steals in NFL history. / George Gojkovich/GettyImages

Shannon Sharpe, TE. 2. Round 7, Pick No. 192. Shannon Sharpe, TE. player. 45. Shannon Sharpe. 1990. .

A guy out of Savannah State, drafted in the seventh round, is not supposed to do much more than make a practice squad in the NFL. But Shannon Sharpe did much more than that.

This is exactly what it means to take a flyer. Sharpe had obvious athletic ability, but because he played at such a small school against small and inferior competition, he was largely overlooked even though his brother, Sterling Sharpe, was one of the best wide receivers in the league at that time.

Shannon only caught seven passes as a rookie and then 22 the following year. But the Broncos knew they had something. Starting in 1992, he went to seven consecutive Pro Bowls and became the best tight end in the league.

Sharpe was a key piece in the team winning Super Bowl XXXII and Super Bowl XXXIII and by the time his career ended, he had cemented himself as one of the best tight ends to ever get on a field.

To date, only four tight ends in NFL history have more than Sharpe's 815 career receptions.

527. . 1995. Terrell Davis, RB. player. . Terrell Davis. Terrell Davis, RB. 1. Round 6, Pick No. 196

There can be no other answer for the top spot on this list. Terrell Davis is not just one of the biggest draft steals the Broncos have ever had, but one of the biggest in league history.

Davis was not an eye-opening runner in college. He began his college career at Long Beach State before transferring to Georgia but he never rushed for more than 800 yards in a season. He wasn't a volume runner and even the Broncos didn't seem to know what they had at first as he was deep on the depth chart when he began his rookie season.

But after an unforgettable hit on special teams (video) during a preseason game in Japan, the Broncos decided to give Davis a longer look at doing what they drafted him to do... be a running back.

As rookie, he rushed for 1,117 yards and seven touchdowns. The following season he gained more than 1,500 yards on the ground and went to the Pro Bowl. By 1997, Davis was in the conversation of best running backs in the league at a time when Barry Sanders and Emmitt Smith were both still playing and in 1998, he had his unforgettable 2,000-yard season.

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Davis is among the very best players in Broncos history and despite injuries shortening his career, was still elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Without him, it's likely the Broncos don't win a Super Bowl during the Elway era as he was arguably the main factor in the Broncos becoming a powerhouse in the mid-to-late 1990s.