Denver Broncos Award winners: Defensive Rookie of the Year
Mike Croel, 1991
Probably the most forgotten name on this entire list, Mike Croel had a massive rookie season for the Broncos in 1991.
An outside linebacker out of Nebraska who could really get after the quarterback, Croel had 10 sacks in 13 games as a rookie. That allowed him to win the award, but he never returned to that level of play, having a combined 10 sacks in his next three seasons with the team.
Croel's career in Denver was over following the 1994 season and he played for five other teams across three different leagues before football was done for him in 2001.
Taken with the No. 4 overall pick, Croel was the highest player ever drafted by the Broncos until they selected the next guy on this list.
Von Miller, 2011
Probably the best defensive player in the history of the Broncos, Von Miller was chosen No. 2 overall in the 2011 draft. He quickly became a force in the league, doing what he does best, which is to attack the quarterback.
Von forced a fumble on the very first defensive snap of his career and he just ran with that pace to put together a terrific rookie season. He had 11.5 sacks that year to go with 64 total tackles and two forced fumbles.
It was the beginning of great things to come and it would lead to Von winning another award, which comes up later on this list.