Ranking the 10 best Denver Broncos quarterbacks in franchise history

• Jake Plummer was underrated his whole career

• The Sheriff rode off in style

• John Elway is still the GOAT

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10 of 10

1. John Elway (1983-1998)

Regular season record: 148-82-1
Playoff Record: 14-7

No. 1 All-Time Broncos passing yardage: 51,475

No player in franchise history has meant as much to the Denver Broncos as John Elway has.

The Stanford product was taken first overall in the 1983 NFL Draft (the same class that included Jim Kelly and Dan Marino) by the Baltimore Colts but he had no intention of playing for them. Not only did he believe the Colts weren't a great franchise but he was wary of playing for Frank Kush.

Using a potential baseball career as leverage, Elway forced a trade to the Broncos. He replaced Craig Morton and started 10 games as a rookie. He struggled with just seven touchdowns and 14 picks but then turned it around in year two.

That season, Elway led Denver to a 12-2 mark, which was followed by two straight 11-5 campaigns. By 1986, he made his first of nine Pro Bowls, and in 1987 he was the league MVP.

Despite his success in the regular season, Elway and the Broncos couldn't win the big one during his early days. He had them in the Super Bowl following the 1986, 1987, and 1989 seasons but came up short in all three.

It appeared he would never win a title but then things changed in 1997. That year, a 37-year-old Elway found a way to knock off Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXII. One wasn't enough, however, as they repeated in 1998 with Elway and the Broncos taking out the Falcons in Super Bowl XXXIII.


Elway retired that season but eventually earned a third Super Bowl ring as an executive with Peyton Manning under center.

He spent his entire career in Denver and has — by far— the most yardage in team history (51,475) as well as touchdowns (300).

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