6 of the most underappreciated Denver Broncos players in team history

The Denver Broncos have been fortunate enough to have some of the greatest players in NFL history come to the Mile High City, leading to several of them being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the team's Ring of Fame. But some players deserve much more recognition for their contributions to the team.

Denver Broncos vs Oakland Raiders - November 13, 2005
Denver Broncos vs Oakland Raiders - November 13, 2005 / Robert B. Stanton/GettyImages
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The Broncos have appeared in eight Super Bowls, winning three of those. Along the way, they have become one of the most storied franchises in the NFL, which of course, has been helped by the efforts of some fantastic players.

We know all of the players that immediately come to mind when talking about legendary Broncos, but what about those that don't? The team still has received incredible contributions from some players who should never be forgotten.

For many of the names on this list, the Pro Football Hall of Fame is likely out of reach. However, each of them should likely at least be considered in the discussion for the Ring of Fame, even though the Broncos have announced that no new names will be added to that this season.

Riley Odoms, Denver Broncos
San Diego Chargers v Denver Broncos / Focus On Sport/GettyImages

Most underappreciated Broncos: Riley Odoms, Tight End

Riley Odoms was the No. 5 overall pick of the 1972 draft out of Houston and he spent his entire 12-year career with the Broncos.

In the early 1970s, the tight end position was not featured like it is in today's game. Tight ends were mostly used as extra blockers, but Odoms was a guy who began to change that.

Not only was Odoms a terrific blocker, but he became a big weapon in the passing attack. When he retired, only three tight ends in league history had more than his 5,755 career receiving yards. Two of those players (Mike Ditka, Jackie Smith) were elected to the Hall of Fame.

To this day, Odoms still ranks in the top 10 in team history in receptions, receiving yards and touchdown catches. But because he retired 40 years ago, his name is largely forgotten.

Shannon Sharpe is the best tight end in Broncos history and he is on a short list of the best the NFL has ever seen. But right behind him at No. 2 in Broncos history is Odoms, who deserves much more credit than he gets.