30 greatest Denver Broncos players of all time

Who are the best players to ever suit up for the Denver Broncos?

John Elway, Denver Broncos
John Elway, Denver Broncos / dee Welsch/GettyImages
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16. Jason Elam, K

He wasn’t a first-round pick like Sebastian Janikowski, but Jason Elam was still selected much earlier than most kickers. In 1993, he was taken in the third round out of Hawaii and played for the Broncos until 2007. During those 15 years, he made three Pro Bowls and helped his team win back-to-back Super Bowls.

Elam made 395 of his 490 field-goal attempts and was tied for the longest made kick in NFL history (63 yards) for several years. That was eventually topped by Matt Prater and then Justin Tucker, but Elam’s knack for drilling long kicks made him a star.

Following his time in Denver, he kicked for the Atlanta Falcons for three seasons. Elam last played in the league at age 39 in 2009.

15. Demaryius Thomas, WR

Tim Tebow stole all the headlines when he was selected 25th in the 2010 NFL Draft, but it was the man picked three spots ahead of him who turned out to be a star for the Broncos.

Demaryius Thomas joined Tebow as a rookie in Denver that year but started slow with just 283 yards. He turned it up a notch in Year 2, and by his third season, he had his first of five straight 1,000-yard campaigns.

Thomas had started to break out following the 2011 season, when he won a playoff game in overtime for Denver by taking a slant pass from Tebow 80 yards for the win. His best statistical season came in 2014 when he had 111 receptions for 1,619 yards and 11 touchdowns. That year, he set a franchise record for receiving yards after trying the team record for receiving touchdowns the year prior (14).

Sadly, news broke in 2021 that Thomas had died due to a seizure believed to be tied to a previous car crash. It was also discovered he suffered from CTE. At just 33, he was gone far too early.