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Denver Broncos Greats... By The Numbers: #15

In the continued "Greatest Broncos By the Numbers" series, we come to the number 15 jersey. The Denver Broncos have had eight players wear the number 15, four Quarterbacks, two Kickers, a Defensive Back and a Wide Receiver. Here are the candidates:

Tim Tebow QB 2010-Present
Brandon Marshall WR 2006-09
Mike Clendenen K 1987
Jim Turner K 1971-79
Marlin Briscoe QB 1968
Max Choboian QB 1966
Jacky Lee QB 1964-65
Philip Nugent DB 1961

Philip Nugent was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the 9th round (65th overall) of the 1961 AFL Draft. To quote Jezru:

Nugent, the gem of the draft, racked up 7 interceptions for 77 yards, but only appeared with Broncos for the 1961 season. Following that year, he was out of football. With such a notable rookie season, one can only wonder why.

Jacky Lee was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 6th round (61st overall) of the 1960 NFL Draft, where he backed up George Blanda in the Oilers' 1960 and 1961 AFL Championship seasons, and Len Dawson in the Kansas City Chiefs' 1969 AFL and World Championship season. He was one of only twenty men who played in each of the ten years of the AFL's existence. Jacky played for the Broncos for two seasons. He started 11 games and had a 2-9 record. Lee was 177/345 (51.3%) for 2,303 yards, 16 TD's and 23 INT's for a 60.3 QB rating. He also had 3 rushing touchdowns.

Max Choboian played only one season in the AFL for the Denver Broncos and started seven games with a 3-4 record. He threw for 1,110 yards, 4 TD's and 12 INT's for a 49.9 QB rating. He also added 2 rushing TD's.

Jim Turner was drafted by the Washington Redskins in the 19th round (259th overall) of the 1963 NFL Draft. Old "High Tops" spent his first 7 years with the New York Jets before adding another 9 in Denver. He made 151 out of 232 Field Goal attempts (65.1%) as a Bronco and 283/301 (94%) on Extra Points. In 1964, legendary head coach Weeb Ewbank of the AFL's New York Jets signed Jim as a free agent. He kicked a then record 145 points (34 FG's) in 1968 and made the first of 2 Pro Bowl trips. Turner kicked for ten points in the Jets's 16-7 defeat of the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III. The last was for 9 yards, the shortest in Super Bowl history. As a Bronco, Jim kicked four points in Super Bowl XII against the Dallas Cowboys; a 43-yard field goal and an extra point following a 5-yard touchdown run by Rob Lytle. Turner finished his career with 1,439 total points and was inducted into the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame in 1988.

Mike Clendenen played in 3 games for the Broncos in 1987. He made 3/4 FG's and 7/7 Extra Points subbing for Rich Karlis.

Brandon Marshall was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the 4th round (119th overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft. In his 4 years with the Broncos, Marshall caught 327 passes for 4,019 yards, 25 TD's and rushing for 104 yards on 16 carries. He led all NFL wide receivers in yards after first contact for the 2007 NFL season and on December 13, 2009, Brandon set an NFL record for receptions in a game with 21. He is also one of only five players in NFL history to catch at least 100 passes in three consecutive seasons. On April 14, 2010, Marshall was traded from the Denver Broncos to the Miami Dolphins for a second round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft and a second round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. The 2-time Pro Bowl selection (2008, 2009) never led a dull moment in Denver, getting into trouble on and off the field. His dramatics got him traded to the Miami Dolphins in April, 2010.

Tim Tebow was last year's 25th overall draft pick by the Broncos. The highly touted quarterback out of Florida started 3 games at the end of last season, after the team fired head coach Josh McDaniels and needed to see what they had in their 1st round pick as they move into the future. Tebow went 1-2 in his on-the-job interview for the possible 2011 starting quarterback position, the lone win coming against the 30th ranked Defense. Yet still, he has become a fan favorite and many already consider him the savior of the Broncos. But even he is not the greatest Bronco to wear the number 15, at least not yet.

So who then was the greatest Bronco to wear #15?

QB Marlin Briscoe

Marlin Briscoe was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the 14th round (#357 overall) of the 1968 draft. When negotiating his contract, Briscoe stipulated his desire for a three-day tryout at quarterback before agreeing to sign as a defensive back. When starting quarterback Steve Tensi broke his collarbone and the other quarterbacks performed poorly, Briscoe became the first African-American quarterback in history of the NFL. After just 11 games, he was nominated and became the first runner-up for Rookie of the Year. The Denver Broncos released him from his contract before the start of the 1969 season.

Mile High Report is excited to announce that it recently interviewed Briscoe about his historic, yet all too brief time with the Denver Broncos. We'll shortly be publishing the transcripts from his amazing story as the greatest Bronco to ever wear #15. Keep your browsers pointed this way!

Marlin's story is currently be developed as a major motion picture. THE MAGICIAN chronicles Marlin's successes, struggles and triumph over racism and substance abuse throughout his life. His is an inspirational and historic story that every football fan should know. For more information on the movie, go here. To visit the Marlin Briscoe store, go here.

A Mile High Salute to Marlin Briscoe!

Go Broncos!