Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bobby Humphrey

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

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

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

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

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."

Friday, May 29, 2009

Mike Croel

Mike Croel was drafted #4 overall in 1991 out of Nebraska. He played outside linebacker and wore number 51. He recorded 10 sacks his rookie year and was named the Defensive Rookie of the Year by the NFL. After that season he only recorded 14 more sacks than I have for my career (which is 0). A classic flash in the pan, he played 4 years for the Broncos before bouncing around the NFL for a few years. He is also known for his sweet flat top. I also enjoyed finding the picture of his blatantly illegal "leading with the helmet" hit on Jeff Hostetler. Of course, as a Raider, he deserves every dirty hit just based on principal.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bernard Jackson

Bernard Jackson was a defensive back for the Broncos from 1977-1980. He was the starting free safety for the Broncos during their Orange Crush days. He wore number 29. He played his college ball at Washington State and played for the Bengals before coming to the Broncos. He passed away from liver cancer in 1997.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

2nd Annual Draft Review (Part 2)

Round 4: David Bruton, S Notre Dame

Another safety to provide depth. Mcdaniels calls him the best special teams player in the draft. The Broncos can use all the help they can get in that area.

Recorded 85 tackles, three interceptions and 4.5 TFLs as a junior before registering 91 tackles, four interceptions and two forced fumbles as a senior...One of the lone bright spots on an otherwise disappointing team at Notre Dame...Has good speed for the safety position and closes on the ball quickly...Has above average ball skills...Catches the ball at its highest point when given the opportunity...Height is a definite advantage, and a strong upper body enabled Bruton to fight for the football in traffic...Big-time special teams contributor in college who will likely make a name for himself in that role in the NFL...Is not a superior athlete....Does not excel in coverage, especially against quick receivers...May not be physical enough to make a major impact in defending the run at the pro level.

Round 4: Seth Olsen, OG Iowa

Good run-blocking guard who should provide depth.

Olsen has a terrific understanding of the game and his position...Technically heis above average and also possesses great awareness...He plays with a nastyattitude and has plenty of experience...Athletically limited...Olsen needs tobulk up and gain more strength...His durability is a question mark.

Round 5: Kenny McKinley WR South Carolina

Solid college receiver who can add depth. Will probably have to make his mark on special teams.

First Team All-SEC performer as a junior in 2007 when he recorded a school-record 77 catches for 968 yards and nine touchdowns...Finished career as South Carolina's all-time leader in receptions (207) and receiving yards (2,781)...Only reliable wide receiver for the team during his tenure...Gets off the ball quickly and has a ton of experience against top-level SEC talent...Understands how to get separation from defenders...Catches the ballwith his hands rather than his body and is able to make grabs in traffic...Can catch the ball while running at full speed and secures it quickly...A very tough player despite a rather smallish frame...Very productive but never viewed as dominant...Needs to add bulk for NFL success...Does not possess elite speed.

Round 6: Tom Brandstater, QB Fresno State

Not a real surprise that McDaniels would take a late round chance on a QB after his success developing Matt Cassell. Brandstater fits the Cassell mold and has a strong arm.

A three-year starter for Fresno State, Brandstater finished his career with the Bulldogs as their team MVP, completing 60 percent of his pass attempts for 2,664 yards and 18 touchdowns...The signal-caller threw for an average of almost 205 ypg in 2008, but he was also picked off 12 times and didn't always get the offense moving in the right direction when the Bulldogs needed a push...Part of the problem for Brandstater and FSU was that so many players on offense were in and out of the lineup due to injury, which is just one of the reasons why he failed to live up to his billing as the premier signal-caller in the Western Athletic Conference...Had a similar yardage average per game as a junior and made fewer mistakes (five INTs) while hitting for 15 TDs, but much of that was a credit went the running game which accounted for 34 rushing scores in 13 games...Has great size and tends to make the right reads, but his mobility is not the greatest and he needs significant playmakers around him to succeed.

Round 7: Blake Schlueter, C Texas Christian

This seems like a practice squad type of pick to me. Very fast for a lineman, but too light probably.

A three-time All-Mountain West Conference member, including earning Second-Team honors as a senior...Team captain as both a junior and senior...A bit undersized, but could excel in a zone-blocking scheme...Above-average athletic ability, quick off the snap and mobile...Plays with a bit of a nasty streak and has a good work ethic...Will need to get bigger and stronger to maximize potential at the next level.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

2nd Annual Draft Review (Part 1)

Round 1: Knowshon Moreno, RB Georgia

With their first pick, the Broncos drafted Knowshon Moreno from Georgia. I love this pick and the options it gives the offense. He is a great runner, as well as receiver and should really add another dimension to the offense. Neckbeard's job just got a little easier.

Decided to enter this draft after only two collegiate seasons and is considered by many to be the top running back prospect available...A phenomenal athlete who lands on highlight reels regularly with his tremendous leaping ability and ankle-breaking moves...Ran for 2,734 yards and 30 touchdowns in his two seasons with the Bulldogs and showed tremendous ability as a receiver as well...Is a well-built athlete who has proven capable of taking a hit...Can run both inside and outside effectively...Routinely breaks arm tackles...A highly competitive tailback who wants to be the one to make big plays in pressure situations...Is a willing and capable blocker...There is very little not to like about Moreno's game, as he is one of the most complete players at any position in this draft.

Round 1: Robert Ayers, DE/OLB Tennessee

I will really like this pick if Ayers can play DE in a 3-4 defense. He seems a little small to me, but maybe he can grow into the position.

In 2008, he became a full-time starter and broke through for 49 stops, 15.5 TFLs and three sacks...A First-Team All-SEC selection by the league's coaches and Second-Team by the Associated Press as a senior. Named the Senior Bowl's Outstanding Defensive Player after notching three tackles and 1.5 sacks...Has decent height with good bulk and long arms...Athletic and versatile...Quick burst off the ball and uses hands well to fight off blockers...Not an elite pass rusher, only nine sacks in his career...Could stand to add some upper body strength...Lacks discipline and was hard to coach earlier in his career.

Round 2: Alphonso Smith, CB Wake Forest

Looks like a solid pick that will provide depth if nothing else. A playmaker, hopefully he can turn his collegiate interception rate into something in the pros.

Owner of the ACC record for career interceptions with 21...Named First-Team All-ACC as a junior and senior and a First-Team All-American in 2008...Finished his career with 188 tackles and 40 PBUs...Started all 11 games in 2005 and posted 59 tackles, including 52 solo, and three picks...Appeared in 14 games, making three starts, in 2006 and finished the season with 48 stops, 8.5 TFLs, three INTs and eight PBUs...In 2007, he started all 13 games and recorded 44 tackles, a career-high eight INTs, 10 PBUs and four forced fumbles...He alsoreturned three picks for touchdowns...As a senior, he turned in 37 tackles, 13 PBUs and seven INTs in making 13 starts...Possesses elite speed...Great athlete with good instincts...Solid hands and dangerous runner in the open field...Fluid hips...Playmaker...Plays with a mean streak...Doesn't have ideal height...Could stand to add some more strength.

Round 2: Darcel McBath, S Texas Tech

Any safety help is needed by the Broncos. The safeties they had last year made Bronco fans wish longingly for the days of Tony Lilly.

Made 70 tackles and six interceptions in 2008, and three of the picks came in one game...Played against plenty of NFL-caliber offensive talent in the Big 12...Helped to lead the Texas Tech program to great success, especially this past season...An experienced guy with outstanding overall athleticism...A smart player who is able to recognize formations and quickly analyze plays...Is a leader on the field...Anticipates passes and has solid ball skills...Not a big-time hitter and didn't make many stops around the line of scrimmage...Much more steady than spectacular...Does not possess elite speed.

Round 2: Richard Quinn, TE North Carolina

Drafted as a blocking TE, I would assume. Should team well with Daniel Graham to provide lots of holes for Knowhon to run through.

A polished blocker in the college ranks...Didn't showcase much in terms of a receiver at North Carolina, with just eight receptions, for 97 yards and one TD in 13 games in 2008...Career numbers are 12 receptions, 124 yards and two TDs...Missed the entire 2006 season after fracturing a shoulder blade in fall practice...Great size and size potential...Fluid athlete with good football instincts...Hard worker who could have a long career as a blocking tight end in the NFL.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Greg Kragen

Greg Kragen was a defensive tackle who played 9 years for the Broncos from 1985-1993. He wore number 71. He was elected to one Pro Bowl in 1989. Undrafted out of Utah State, he was cut his first year by the Broncos, but made the team his second time around. He ended up playing 1 year for the Chefs, and then was selected in the expansion draft by the Carolina Panthers when the joined the NFL in 1995. He played 3 years for the Panthers before retiring. He was undersized as a defensive tackle and was well known as being scrappy, and even made the All-Madden team one year. He is also widely known for enjoying Gatorade and for having less than desirable pictures on his cards. Somehow, he always seemed to be squinting. I think it is a conspiracy by all of the football card manufacturers, but all of my querees to get to the bottom of it have turned up empty.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Simon Fletcher

Simon Fletcher played for the Broncos from 1985 to 1995. He was a second round draft choice out of the University of Houston. He wore #73 and played both Outside Linebacker and Defensive End. He is the Broncos' career sacks leader with 97.5. He also holds the NFL record for consecutive games with a sack with 10.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Barney Chavous

Barney Chavous was a defensive end for the Broncos from 1973-1985. He was a second round draft choice out of South Carolina State. After playing his rookie season as a DT, he spent the rest of his career as a defensive end. A member of the famed "Orange Crush" defense, he wore number 79. He also rocked a sweet beard that made him look a little sasquatchish. He is currently a head coach at a high school in Georgia. He ranks third on the Broncos all time with 75 sacks.