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Denver Broncos Greats... By The Numbers: #63

Thirteen players wore the #63 jersey in Denver Broncos history. Eight Offensive Linemen and five Defensive Linemen. Offensive Linemen are difficult to rate since there aren't any individual stat categories dedicated to them. The only site I would think of that has stats like that would be ProFootballfocus, but unfortunately they don't provide those for free. Anyway, here are the candidates for the Greatest Bronco to wear #63.

Jeff Byers OL Present
Dewayne Robertson DT 2008
Amon Gordon DT 2007
Tim Stuber G 2004
David Diaz-Infante G/C 1996-98, 2001
Richard Mercier G 2000
Sean Farrell G 1990-91
Mark Cooper G 1983-87
Laval Short DT 1980
John Grant DE 1973-79
Dave Costa DT 1967-71
Melwood Guy G 1961-62
Dave Strickland G 1960

Jeff Byers is the current owner of the #63 jersey. Signed as a college Free Agent by Seattle in April 2010, Byers competed in the Seahawk's Training Camp. They waived him on September 4th and he was awarded to the Broncos' practice squad two days later. Jeff was signed to the Broncos' active roster on Dec. 23, 2010 and spent Weeks 16 and 17 on the Game day Inactive List. Byers' deal is for 3-years, $1.065 million. He is slated to make $330,000 in 2011 and $415,000 in 2012.

Dave Strickland appeared in 14 games for the Broncos in 1960 and had a 9-yard kickoff return.

Melwood "Buzz" Guy was drafted in the third round (34th overall) of the 1958 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. He first saw playing time with the New York Giants from 1958-1959. He was then selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the 1960 NFL Expansion Draft and would spend the season with them. He also played for the AFL's Houston Oilers (1961) and the Denver Broncos from 1961-62. Buzz played offensive guard through out his career, starting 7 of 44 games in his career and had no notable achievements

Dave Costa was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the 3rd round (29th overall) of the 1963 NFL Draft and the Oakland Raiders in the 7th round (49th overall) of the 1963 AFL Draft. He chose Oakland and was selected to the AFL All-Star (Pro Bowl) game. Costa played 3 seasons in Oakland and another in Buffalo before coming to Denver in 1967. He played 5 years with the Broncos (1967-71), starting 56 of 70 games at the Right Defensive Tackle position. Dave made the AFL All-Star game in 1967, 1968 and 1969. Tackles weren't counted as a statistic until 2001, so that impact is unknown. He did recover 10 Fumbles though.

Laval Short was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the 5th round (136th overall) of the 1980 NFL Draft. He played one year in Denver and appeared in 15 games.

Richard Mercier was drafted in the 5th-Round (148th overall) by the Baltimore Ravens in the 2000 NFL Draft. However he bounced from Baltimore to Green Bay, Denver and Cleveland in 1990 and 1991, but did not play in the NFL.

Tim Stuber was signed as an Undrafted Free Agents by the San Diego Chargers in 2001, but was released in the middle of Training Camp in 2001.The Arizona Cardinals gave him a month long tryout, but cut him at the end of August. In January of 2002, Stuber was signed to a futures contract with the Green Bay Packers, who allocated him to NFL Europe. They released him in August of 2002 and signed him to their Practice Squad, but he was released. Tim rode the Practice Squad of the Washington Redskins before the Carolina Panthers poached him. He was listed as Inactive by the Panthers from Week 10 through 15 in 2002 before they placed him on their Practice Squad. Carolina signed him to a futures contract for the 2003 season, but again Stuber didn't make it through Training Camp. The Kansas City Chiefs signed Tim to a one-year deal in June 2004 and released him at the end of Training Camp. He ended up on the Miami Dolphins Practice Squad for most of October 2004 and then the Broncos signed him to their Practice Squad. He was promoted to the active roster only to be listed as Inactive for Week 17 and 18 in January 2005. The Broncos released him August 29, 2005.

Amon Gordon was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the 5th round (161st overall) of the 2004 NFL Draft. He disappeared after the 2004 season and in 2007, played one game for the Baltimore Ravens and started all 4 games he played for the Broncos, making 16 Tackles.

Dewayne Robertson was drafted by the New York Jets in the 1st round (4th overall) of the 2003 NFL Draft. He played in New York for 5 years and came to Denver in 2008. Dewayne started all 15 games he played in with the Broncos, recording 22 Tackles and 1.5 Sacks.

Sean Farrell was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 1st round (17th overall) of the 1982 NFL Draft. He played in Tampa for 5 years and New England for 3 seasons before joining the Broncos in 1990. Sean played 2 seasons in Denver and started 4 of 10 games.

John Grant was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the 7th round (166th overall) of the 1973 NFL Draft. He played all along the Defensive Line for the Broncos from 1973-79. John started 29 of 99 games in 7 seasons for the Broncos. 26 of those starts were at Left Defensive Tackle. Grant is credited with 8 Fumble recoveries and 2 kickoff returns.

Mark Cooper was drafted by the Broncos in the 2nd round (31st overall) of the 1983 NFL Draft. He played 5 of his 7-year career in Denver, starting 12 of 53 games at both Guard and Tackle. Mark started for the Broncos in Super Bowl XXI, but his highlight play came in 1985. During a Week 16 win over the Seattle Seahawks, Mark caught a 13-yard pass from John Elway. Well, maybe a Super Bowl start would be the highlight of a player's career, but how many linemen got to catch an Elway pass? Cooper is also a member of the Denver Broncos Alumni Association and writes a Blog on the Broncos website.

David Diaz-Infante began his 6-year NFL career as an Undrafted Free Agent out of San Jose State. He signed with the San Diego Chargers in 1987 and played in 3 games. His next stop was the Frankfurt Galaxy of the World League of American Football in 1991-1992. David spent 1993-1994 with the Sacramento Gold Miners of the Canadian Football League. From 1996-1998, Diaz-Infante played his first stint with the Broncos. In those 3 years, he started 9 of 35 games, mostly at Left Guard. 1999 saw David play in 15 games with the Philadelphia Eagles. David played for the Las Vegas Outlaws of the XFL in early 2001. He then began his second stint with the Broncos in July and appeared in all 16 games during the 2001 season because of injuries to Lennie Friedman and Dan Neil. Diaz-Infante was released on August 26, 2002. In 2005, David became a color analyst on Denver Broncos radio, joining play-by-play man Dave Logan on the Broncos broadcasts on KOA 850-AM. There were murmurs that the Houston Texans were planning to hire David as their assistant offensive line coach in 2006, but when Alex Gibbs retired, that plan was scrapped.

So who is the Greatest Bronco to wear #63? You tell me MHR.

Go Broncos!