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Look past Peyton Manning; Broncos are surging with young talent

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The Denver Broncos are set up for long-term success given their 25-and-under talent.

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Without a doubt, the curent face of the Denver Broncos franchise is a soon-to-be 39-year-old quarterback. This is Peyton Manning's team, and it will be until he officially hangs them up. But Manning, a 14-year 16-year NFL vet, isn't a very representative sample of Denver's demographic makeup.

ESPN In$iders recently ranked all 32 NFL teams according to their 25-and-under talent. The Denver Broncos landed at Number 6 (free agents denoted with an asterisk).

Von Miller, OLB (25): Miller would be the best defensive player in these rankings were it not for J.J. Watt. Not only is Miller one of the best edge rushers in the game, but he's great against the run and keeps improving in coverage.

Chris Harris Jr., CB (25): He might be the most underrated cornerback in the league. Opposing passing games got nothing when targeting Harris, and he finished the regular season as Pro Football Focus' No. 1 corner. Denver was smart to lock him up for the long term.

Harris might be the most underrated cornerback in the league

Cody Latimer, WR (22): Latimer couldn't get on the field as a rookie, but just wait: He will put up big numbers in his career, starting in 2015 if Peyton Manning sticks around. He has very good hands and good size.

Bradley Roby, CB (22): Roby was Denver's third corner this season, which in today's NFL means he was basically a starter. He isn't all that big, but he is highly competitive and very explosive in his movements.

Malik Jackson, DL (24): There are bigger names listed below in the "others of note" section, but I think Jackson is the better player. He is a very good interior pass-rusher with a lot of versatility for a young player.

Others of note: Brandon MarshallQuanterus SmithRahim Moore*, Derek WolfeDanny Trevathan (IR), Michael SchofieldBrock OsweilerMontee BallKayvon WebsterC.J. Anderson,Ronnie HillmanJuwan Thompson

Among 2014 playoff teams, ahead of the Broncos were the Indianapolis Colts (#1) and New England Patriots (#2), bolstered by the likes of Andrew Luck and Rob Gronkowski respectively.

Clearly John Elway has done a lot in terms of acquiring long-term talent for the Broncos. It's time people outside of Denver started recognizing the successful way he's building this roster, both during Peyton Manning's perceived Super Bowl window and beyond.