April is upon us, and as all Bronco fans knows, that means the NFL Draft. I thought I would start the month with one of the best draft choices the Broncos have ever had. Tom Nalen was drafted in the 7th round out of Boston College in 1994. He would go on to play 194 games (188 starts) for the Broncos over the next 14 years before retiring after the 2008 season. Over the course of his career, #66 played in 5 Pro Bowls and won 2 Super Bowls. He was named the starting center on the Broncos 50th Anniversary team. Should be about 3 more years before we see his name on the Ring of Fame. He was also known for being super photogenic.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Clarence Kay was a tight end who played for the Broncos for 9 years from 1984-1992. He played his entire career for the Broncos after being drafted in the 7th round out of Georgia. He wore number 88. He was a solid tight end for the Broncos, who was probably more known for his off the field troubles than for his production on the field. He was reportedly arrested at least 12 times between 1984-2006. I remember him having a sweet touchdown catch in a playoff win against Houston.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Bobby Humphrey was your classic flash-in-the-pan running back for the Broncos for 2 seasons in 1989 and 1990. Taken in the 1st round of the supplemental draft in 1989 out of Alabama, Bobby had been a two time All-American in college. He wore number 26.
In his rookie season he ran for 1,151 yards and started the Super Bowl in which the Broncos got waxed by the 49ers 55-10. In his second season, he passed the 1,200 yard mark and was selected to the Pro Bowl. Following this season, he chose to hold out for a better contract. The Broncos told him to pound sand, and Humphrey sat out until week 14 of that season. By that time, the Broncos has moved on with Gaston Green at running back. After the season, Denver traded him to the Dolphins for Sammie Smith. Neither Humphrey or Smith amounted to squat from that day forward.
Check out the pictures above. I love the irony of the college all american team picture. Humphrey is number 26. They guy sitting near him wearing number 44, is none other than his eventual replacement: Gaston Green. Bobby was also well known for rocking a sweet flattop.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Al Wilson was a middle linebacker and leader of the Broncos defense from 1999-2006. He wore #56 for the Broncos after being a #1 draft choice out of Tennessee. He was named to 5 Pro Bowls during his career and was a 2 time All-Pro. His career was cut short after injuring his neck against Seattle 2006. He played the next week, but never played after that season.
He was known for his hard hits and for consistently being in the right spot to make the tackle on defense. One of the best linebackers in team history.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Gerald Willhite was a running back for the Broncos from 1982-1988. A number 1 draft choice out of San Jose State, Willhite wore number 47 for the Broncos. He never did live up to his 1st round status, but he did score 23 touchdowns as a Bronco. He was known for doing flips after scoring touchdowns. His career came to an abrupt end when he was tackled from behind by a bastage by the name of Joey Browner.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Orson Mobley was a tight end for the Broncos for 5 years from 1986-1990. He was drafted in the 6th round out of Salem after transferring from Florida State. He wore number 89. He played in 3 Super Bowls for the Broncos in his 5 years, starting 2 of them. He had 84 catches in his career. He also had 4 regular season touchdowns and 1 more in the 1989 AFC Championship Game against Cleveland. At 256 pounds, he was considered large by tight end standards in the 1980's. I seem to remember him hyperventilating on the sideline after a couple of longer runs.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Kenny Walker was a defensive lineman drafted in the 8th round out of Nebraska in 1991. Deaf since the age of 2 after a bout of meningitis, Kenny was only the 2nd deaf player to play in the NFL. After a very strong rookie season, he played only one more season before being out of football. He wore number 96. He has a book entitled "Roar of Silence: The Kenny Walker Story."