Denver Broncos Greats... By The Numbers: #32

Sixteen Bronco players have worn the #32 jersey in Team history. Eight Running Backs, three Cornerbacks, three Safeties and two Fullbacks. Here are the candidates...
                                                                                                          
Perrish Cox CB 2010-Present
Dré Bly CB 2007-08
Chris Young S 2003-05
Billy Jenkins S 2000-01
Tony Veland S 1997
Sammie Smith RB 1992
Melvin Bratton RB 1989-90
Calvin Thomas RB 1988
Joe Dudek RB 1987
Leonard Jones DB 1987
Tony Reed RB 1981
Jon Keyworth RB 1974-80
Dick Davis RB 1970
Garrett Ford FB 1968
Mike Kellogg FB 1966-67

The Fullbacks

 

Mike Kellogg played Fullback with the Broncos for the 1966-67 seasons, but he only wore #32 in his second season. That year, Mike played 2 games as a backup and did not record any stats. However, there was life after football for Kellogg. He became a criminal defense attorney until he was appointed to the bench in 1996, and is now a California Superior Court Judge. In an interview in 2008, he said the fact that he could even play sports, much less be picked up by a major team, was miraculous because he was diagnosed with polio at the age of six. The infantile paralysis disappeared within six months and he considers each day "Miraculous."

 

Garrett Ford was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the 3rd round (58th overall) of the 1968 NFL Draft. He started 3 of 14 games in 1968, his only  season in the NFL. Garrett had 186 yards and one touchdown on 41 carries, a 4.5 average. Ford also had 6 receptions for 40 yards.


The Safeties

Tony Veland was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the 6th round (181st overall) of the 1996 NFL Draft. He appeared in 12 games for the Broncos in 1997, with 2 Tackles and a Fumble Recovery. Veland won a ring as a member of the Denver Broncos Super Bowl XXXII championship team in 1997 and ended his playing career in 1998 with the Carolina Panthers. He is currently in his sixth season as the Defensive Coordinator for the Omaha Beef of the United Indoor Football league.


Billy Jenkins played for the St. Louis Rams from 1997-1999 (including Super Bowl XXXIV), the Denver Broncos in 2000-2001, the Green Bay Packers in 2001 and the Buffalo Bills in 2002. Billy started all 16 games at Strong Safety in 2000 and played in the first 6 games of 2001. He had 94 Tackles 4 interceptions, 1 touchdown, a Forced Fumble and one Fumble Recovery. Jenkins ran afoul of the law and was sentenced to 4 years in a halfway house for killing a 51-year-old motor-scooter rider in a hit-and-run crash in August, 2008. 

Chris Young was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the 7th round (228th overall) of the 2002 NFL Draft. He made it up to the final cut Sep 1, 2002 and was re-signed to the Practice Squad the next day. He was assigned to the NFL Europe team Frankfurt Galaxy in 2003. Young appeared in 21 games as a backup in 2003-04. In August 2005, the Broncos placed Chris on Injured Reserve with a knee injury he suffered in practice, thereby ending his 2005 season. In March of 2006. Denver didn't tender him an offer so he became an Unrestricted Free Agent.


The Cornerbacks

Leonard Jones was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the 9th round (239th overall) of the 1987 NFL Draft. He ended up starting 1 of 2 career games for the Broncos as a replacement player during the strike, recovering 2 Fumbles.

Dré Bly was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the 2nd round (41st overall) of the 1999 NFL Draft. He played there for 4 years, winning a Super Bowl Ring (SB XXXIV) and appearing 2 years later in Super Bowl XXXVI. Dre' went to the Pro Bowl twice as a Detroit Lion (2003-04). In March of 2007, Bly was traded by the Lions to the Broncos for Running Back Tatum Bell, Tackle George Foster, and a 5th round draft pick. He starters all 32 games in 2007-08, with 113 Tackles, one Sack, 7 interceptions, 22 Passes defensed and one Forced Fumble. Dre' contributed on Special Teams also, returning 2 punts for 20 yards and one kickoff 23 yards. The Broncos released Bly on February 17, 2009 and on May 21, 2009, Bly signed a one-year contract with the San Francisco 49ers. In July 2010, he re-signed with the Detroit Lions but was released on Sept. 4, 2010 and is currently a Free Agent.

Here is one play of Bly's that I remember watching:

In October of 2009, Bly embarrassed himself and the 49ers with an OMG moment during a 45-10 home loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Dre' intercepted a pass by Matt Ryan in the 3rd quarter and struck a Deion Sanders-like pose, with his right hand to his helmet and the ball unprotected in his left. Problem was, Roddy White knocked the ball loose and Atlanta, leading 35-10 at the time, recovered. The Falcons marched downfield and quickly scored again.

Perrish Cox was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the 5th round (137th overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft. He made his NFL debut in the season opener at Jacksonville and played a major role on Special Teams, finishing with 2 ST's tackles, one punt return for 4 yards and 3 kickoff returns for 62 yards (20.7 avg.). Cox recorded his 1st NFL interception in the Bronco's home opener against Seattle in Week 2, stepping in front of a pass from QB Matt Hasselbeck intended for WR Mike Williams and returning it 15 yards in the 4th quarter. He got his 1st career start the next Week against Indianapolis and led the team with a Broncos season-high four pass breakups and added one special-teams stop. Cox set a career high with 6 tackles (5 solo) and broke up his 7th pass at Baltimore in Week 5. Perrish ranked 3rd among NFL rookies and led the team with 14 pass breakups. One of 15 NFL players (8 rookies) to make 50+ tackles and break up 14+ passes during the 2010 season.

In all, Perrish started 9 games as a Rookie and made 55 Tackles, forced 2 Fumbles and had one interception. Not bad for a 5th-round Draft pick. The problem with Perrish is his Off the field troubles. In August 2009, Cox was arrested for driving with a suspended license. He was also suspended from the Cotton Bowl in his senior college season for violating the team curfew rule. His latest trouble is something that will affect the Broncos in the upcoming season. Cox was arrested in December 2010 while for felonious sexual assault. His sexual assault charges are Class 3 and Class 4 felonies which carry a sentence of 2 years to life in prison. He may also face probation of ten years to life if convicted. Regardless of guilt, Perrish will be suspended anywhere from 4 to 6 games by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for violating the Personal Conduct Policy. This may force the Broncos to spend a Draft pick on a Cornerback to replace him.


The Running Backs

Dick Davis was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the 12th round (306th overall) of the 1969 NFL Draft. He played 2 games with the Broncos in 1970 without recording any stats.

Tony Reed was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2nd round (37th overall) of the 1977 NFL Draft. He played 4 seasons in Kansas City before joining the Broncos in 1981. Tony appeared in 15 games, rushing for 156 yards on 68 carries and catching 34 passes for 317 yards.

Joe Dudek played 2 games as a replacement player for the Denver Broncos during the NFL Players Strike in 1987, rushing for 154 yards and 2 touchdowns. Dudek played college ball at Plymouth State University, a small Division III Little East Conference school. He received national attention when he was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated's 2 December 1985 issue as the magazine's pick for the Heisman Trophy after he broke Walter Payton's NCAA record for career touchdowns. Joe ended up finishing 9th in the voting, the best result ever for a non-Division I player. 

Calvin Thomas played for the Chicago Bears for 7 years from 1982-87 before joining the Broncos in 1988. He might be best known as the saxophone player in the "Super Bowl Shuffle," the rap song/video promoted by the Chicago Bears before Super Bowl XX. Calvin appeared in 2 games for the Broncos. He had one carry for no yards.


Melvin Bratton was originally drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the 6th round of the 1988 NFL Draft out of Miami University, but he never signed a contract with the Dolphins. He felt that the Dolphins didn't make a satisfactory contract offer so he sat out the year and re-entered the NFL draft pool. The reason for the Dolphins balking was that Bratton blew out his knee in the national championship game at the 1988 Orange Bowl against Oklahoma. The conflict being  whether Melvin had successfully rehabilitated the knee. So he was drafted again in 1989 by the Denver Broncos in the 7th round (180th overall). He played 2 seasons in Denver, rushing for 190 yards and 4 touchdowns on 57 carries. He also had 39 catches for 345 yards and 4 touchdowns. On Special Teams, Melvin returned 5 kickoffs for total of 56 yards averaging 11.2 yards. He retired after the 1990 season, having never really recovered from his knee injury.

Sammie Smith was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the 1st round (9th overall) of the 1989 NFL Draft. He played 3 seasons in Miami before coming to Denver in 1992. As a Bronco, Sammie started 1 of 3 games, with 94 yards on 23 carries and a 4.1 average. He also returned 2 kickoffs for a 15.5 average. In 1996, Smith was convicted of two counts of possession and distribution of cocaine and spent 7 years in prison.

LaMont Jordan was drafted by the New York Jets in the 2nd round (49th overall) of the 2001 NFL Draft. He has also played for the Oakland Raiders, New York Jets and New England Patriots. In March 2009, Jordan signed a two-year contract with the Denver Broncos, reuniting him with Josh McDaniels. He appeared in 9 games, rushing for 86 yards on 25 carries and returning one kickoff 6 yards. LaMont was released on February 23, 2010 and is currently a free agent moonlighting as a kick returner/blocking back for the Tru Playaz/ Dolphins of the of the Washington Area Flag Football League.


No one really stands out too much with this group, but agree or disagree, I chose

the greatest Bronco to wear #32 is...


RB  Jon Keyworth



Jon Keyworth was drafted by the Washington Redskins in the 6th round (144th overall) of the 1974 NFL Draft, but was immediately traded to the Denver Broncos where he played his entire 7-year career. As a rookie, he and Otis Armstrong trampled the Oakland Raiders, rushing for 148 and 146 yards, respectively, in a 20-17 victory. A Running Back with the size of a Tight End, Keyworth made a living by delivering  potent 5-yard collisions and specialized in grinding out tough yardage consistently.  Jon plowed the way for 2 of the NFL’s greatest running backs, Floyd Little and Otis Armstrong. 

In the Bronco's magical 1977 Super Bowl season, Jon recorded and performed the hit song "Make Those Miracles Happen" which remains to this day the fastest selling single release in Colorado history. It ended up as a theme song for the entire State of Colorado to rally around the Team. 

In 1980, his third son, Scott, was born prematurely. After several operations, Keyworth brought him home; a month later, Scott died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. That did it for Jon. He played the 1980 season, then retired.

He finished having started 69 of 95 games, with 2,653 yards and 22 touchdowns on 699 carries, earning every bit of a 3.8 yard average. He also had 141 catches for 1,057 yards, 3 touchdowns and adding 7 kick returns for 124 yards. Jon completed his only  pass for a 32-yard touchdown to Rick Upchurch in a Week 9 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in 1979.
Jon Keyworth was one of the most versatile athletes to ever play with the Denver Broncos.

MHR proudly gives a Mile High Salute to Jon Keyworth as the Greatest Bronco player to wear #32.

Go Broncos!
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