We are well on our way to the biggest Denver Broncos Draft Success which, as many of you have pointed out, feels a lot better than the biggest Draft Bust list felt a couple weeks ago. So far we have looked at Chris Hinton(#10), Steve Atwater(#9) and Elvis Dumervil(#8).
We go a bit deeper into the history books for our next Broncos Draft Success, heading all the way back to 1973. What is interesting to me about this selection is the impact expansion has had on the Draft. Elvis Dumervil was drafted in the 4th Round of the 2006 draft, #126 overall. The next player on the list was also drafted in the 4th Round, yet, since there were fewer teams, he was picked 88th overall, nearly 40 players earlier than Dumervil. That means, today, Tom Jackson would be a solid, early 3rd Round pick. Still, a bargain.
Let's move on to #7 on the list...
#7 - Tom Jackson - LB, Louisville(1973, 4th Round, 88th Pick)
The average career in the NFL is around 3 years. Tom Jackson played 14 years, all for the Denver Broncos. After winning conference player of the year awards his final two seasons at Louisville where he played for current ESPN College Football analyst Lee Corso.
Jackson was the inspirational leader of the Broncos Orange Crush defense, a member of a linebacking corps labeled as the 9th best in NFL History. He was selected to 3 Pro Bowls and was named NFL All-Pro two times. He is one of four Denver Broncos to play in Super Bowl XII and Super Bowl XXI. Jackson's 191 games played for the Broncos ranks 3rd All-Time behind Jason Elam and John Elway.
Jackson was incredibly athletic for a linebacker in the '70s, proven by the 20 interceptions Jackson accumulated during his career. Jackson had 7 in 1976 and scored three touchdowns during his career. The Orange Crush defense was one of the most dominant defenses in football, and Tom Jackson was a huge part.
In 1992, Jackson was enshrined into the Broncos Ring of Fame.
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