Born Broncos: Karl Paymah part of unheralded DB group

Former Denver Broncos CB Karl Paymah was part of an unheralded group in franchise history

Denver Broncos
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In this edition of "Born Broncos", we take a look at former DB Karl Paymah. As part of the 2005 Draft, Paymah was one of three DBs that reshaped the Denver Broncos cornerback room.

Career stats for Broncos DB Karl Paymah

Years Played: 2005-2010

Teams Played for: Broncos, Vikings, Texans

Stats: 130 tackles, 3 Interceptions, 1 forced fumble, and 2 fumble recoveries.

Karl Paymah was born November 29th, 1982 in Boston, MA. Paymah's family would eventually relocate to California, where he played his High School ball. At Culver City High School, Paymah was a standout at two positions (Wide Receiver and Defensive Back). In addition to his accolades on the field, he was also an accomplished Track and Field athlete. His abilities would lead him up the coast to Washington State. After Redshirting in his freshman season, he would spend the following three years as a key member of the Cougars secondary. With 21 pass deflections in 3 seasons, Paymah showed his disruptive ability in the college ranks.

After the 2004 season, Paymah declared for the 2005 NFL Draft. He would end up being a 3rd round pick by the Broncos, becoming one of three defensive backs selected by the team. Of course, the other two are Dominique Foxworth and the late (great) Darrent Williams. The trio played a pivotal role in the defense's turnaround in the 2005 season as they joined HOF veterans Champ Bailey and John Lynch, fortifying one of the league's best secondaries.

Paymah would primarily play a reserve role in the 2005 season, collecting 14 tackles. His role would increase in the following three years, notching 87 tackles,3 INTs, and a dozen pass deflections. He would also start five games in this time. At the conclusion of the 2008 season, Paymah signed a 1-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings. He would continue his trend as a trusted backup/spot starter in Minnesota. During their deep playoff run in the 2009 season, Paymah would rack up 27 tackles with two pass deflections and a forced fumble.

Taylor Jacobs
San Francisco 49ers vs Denver Broncos - December 31, 2006 / Rich Gabrielson/GettyImages

He would again enter Free Agency following the 2009 season, signing with the San Francisco 49ers. Unfortunately, he would become a final cut following their 2010 Training Camp. He would eventually be scooped up by old friend Gary Kubiak in Houston. Paymah would spend the 2010 regular season as a reserve for the Texans, adding a pair of tackles to his resume. This would end up being the last NFL season of Paymah's, as he would spend the 2011 season out of football.

He would give pro football one last try in 2012 as he spent camp with the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the CFL. Unfortunately, he would not make the team; it would be his last football career stop.

So what can we say about Karl Paymah's career? Well, it's one that served as a functional, working man's pro resume. He may not have put up the best numbers or had the shiniest accolades, but his career was defined by making the most of limited opportunities. From his time at Washington State, Paymah was a disruptive player, with a knack for deflecting anything coming his way. That trend continued in the NFL, showing an aptitude for getting his hands in the way of the big play.

In an era where "video game" numbers reign supreme, it's nice to look back and add a bit of respect to Paymah's resume. The man was a consistent, aggressive defensive back that didn't back down from a challenge. That, in its own right, is a considerable quality to have in any defensive back for today's NFL. Not every player is going to have a decade to highlight their skills. Many only have a few opportunities to show their mettle on the pro gridiron. The fact that Paymah did it for six years and was consistent in his role showed that he succeeded more than many other pro players trying to crack into the league.

Here's a Mile High Salute to you, Karl Paymah. Thanks for your contributions to Broncos Country.

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