Top 15 greatest draft picks in Denver Broncos history

- The best defensive player in franchise history?

- Hall of Fame running backs

- Super Bowl Champions

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1. Von Miller, EDGE (1st round, 2011)

Three former first-overall picks have played for the Denver Broncos, but Von Miller is the highest draft pick in franchise history. The former first-overall picks to play for the Broncos -- John Elway, Peyton Manning, and Courtney Brown -- were drafted by the Colts and Browns.

The Broncos have never held the number one overall pick themselves, and they've never held the second overall pick more than once. Von Miller is their highest draft pick ever, so it's fitting that he would end up being their best draft pick ever.

Back in 2011, Miller's draft status was pretty hotly contested. There wasn't really a consensus about him because, at the time, there was a lot of debate about whether or not he could hold up off the edge in the NFL because of his more slender frame. There was still this idea that EDGE players in the NFL needed to be 260-275 pounds in order to hold up against offensive tackles, but the Broncos took Miller in an absolutely loaded draft class.

They would have been justified at the time in taking someone like Marcell Dareus or Patrick Peterson instead of Von Miller. They might even have been justified in taking AJ Green or Julio Jones. Taking Von Miller wasn't a no-brainer at the time, but in hindsight, can you even imagine the Broncos with anyone else?

Von Miller became one of the NFL's most legendary pass rushers in his time with the Denver Broncos, setting a franchise record with 110.5 sacks in 142 games. Miller was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2011, a second-team All-Pro, and a Pro Bowler.

By his second season, he finished second in the league in Defensive MVP voting. He was suspended and injured in 2013, but he made the Pro Bowl every year from 2014-2019. He has been selected to eight Pro Bowls in total, and is now a two-time Super Bowl champion.


Thankfully, one of those was as a member of the Denver Broncos and arguably the greatest defense of all-time. During the 2015 season, Miller's dominance led to a win in Super Bowl 50. He won Super Bowl MVP which really could have been an NFL playoffs MVP award, and what made the victory even sweeter was that it came against the Carolina Panthers and Cam Newton, the one player selected ahead of Miller in the 2011 NFL Draft.

The future Hall of Famer is currently playing with the Buffalo Bills and won a second Super Bowl as a member of the Los Angeles Rams in the 2021 season. He will go down as the best defensive player in Denver Broncos history someday, and is unquestionably the best draft pick the franchise has ever made.

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