Most unlikely schools to ever produce a Denver Broncos star

The Broncos have found some outstandings players in places you have never heard of such as Savannah State and Yankton.
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John Mobley, Denver Broncos
John Mobley was a beast for the Denver defense. / Stephen Dunn/GettyImages

John Mobley, 1996: Kutztown

Some eyebrows were raised when the Broncos used their first-round pick in 1996 on a linebacker out of Kutztown, a tiny Division II school in Pennsylvania, but the team knew what it was doing.

Mobley was one of the best defensive rookies in the league in 1996 and the following season, he was a First Team All-Pro. When the Broncos won championships in 1997 and 1998, Mobley was a massive part of that result.

He played his entire eight-year career with the Broncos, having to retire in 2004 following a scary neck injury during the 2003 season. But in his time with the team, he did it all. He was a sure tackler who could rush the passer and also drop back into pass coverage.

He finished his career with 621 tackles, 10.5 sacks and five interceptions. He had three season with at least 100 tackles and outside of the 1999 season where an injury forced him to miss nearly the entire year, he was reliable, making 102 career starts for the team.

Mobley is often forgotten when talking about the best linebackers in team history, but he belongs high on that list. Another thing to note is that three of the four players listed here were part of the team's back-to-back Super Bowl wins, proving that it pays to scout players from the more obscure schools on the map.


Quinn Meinerz, who the Broncos drafted out of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 2021, could easily land on this list if he continues his trajectory. And if you're looking for small-school players in this draft that could become future stars for the Broncos, Jaden Shirden, a running back out of Monmouth and Jalyx Hunt, a linebacker from Houston Christian are some names to watch.