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Horse Tracks: Best draft pick in Denver Broncos history?

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Scouring the history books (e.g., this website) brought me a large number of former Denver Broncos draft picks that could be considered the best draft pick in Broncos history. The caveat, they need to have retired great Broncos too. Not great Raiders, not great Bears. Great Broncos.

At the end of my search, I came up with these names:

  • Floyd Little, Pick #6, 1967
  • Billy Thompson, Pick #61, 1969
  • Tom Jackson, Pick #88, 1973
  • Randy Gradishar, Pick #14, 1974
  • Rick Upchurch, Pick #95, 1975
  • Gary Kubiak, Pick #197, 1983
  • Steve Atwater, Pick #20, 1989
  • Shannon Sharpe, Pick #192, 1990
  • Tom Nalen, Pick #218, 1994
  • Terrell Davis, Pick #196, 1995

Now remember, this is the best DRAFT PICK. Not the best player. You must look at the players draft position and overall impact over the long haul. If you are wondering why it ends at 1995, its because Mike Shanahan did not draft a single player worthy of making this list after Terrell Davis and none of John Elway's or Josh McDaniels' picks have played long enough to make the cut. The only argument I might consider is Al Wilson, but the rest were not worthy of Ring of Fame discussion.

Vote in my poll below, but definitely let my vote sway your opinion.... The answer is Terrell Davis all freaking day long, but Gary Kubiak is on the list for being the great mind that was so instrumental in the Super Bowl successes from the late 90s and the glue that kept Mike Shanahan teams competitive until 2006.

Let's have some fun this morning with this.

Horse Tracks

Draft dynamic between Elway, Kubiak | DenverBroncos.com
John Elway and Head Coach Gary Kubiak explain how they navigated through their first draft as decision makers for the Broncos.

Broncos waive Paul Cornick, Jeremy Kelley | DenverBroncos.com
The Broncos have waived offensive lineman Paul Cornick and wide receiver Jeremy Kelley, the team announced on Monday.

Broncos plan to build championship starts with new offensive linemen - Denver Post
General manager John Elway and coach Gary Kubiak share more than their former position. They walk in lock step on team building.

Frei: Rookie Ty Sambrailo from CSU has CU ties too - Denver Post
Last August, after a Colorado State practice, I asked Rams offensive tackle Ty Sambrailo if he ever had been a Colorado Buffaloes fan.

Denver Broncos saw enough to give Trevor Siemian a fresh start - ESPN
There is a scouting adage as old as football itself, that when in doubt, do your homework, grind the video and in the end, "trust your eyes."

After difficult week before Draft, ‘the sky’s the limit’ for Shane Ray | The KC Star
Shane Ray was getting salty Thursday as he sat in the green room at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago during the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

Broncos Drafted BPA and For Toughness - Mile High Huddle
The Broncos stuck to their big board, drafting the best player available (BPA) and came away with a crop of rookies who personify toughness and passion.

Max Garcia Was The Steal of Broncos Draft - Predominantly Orange
When the NFL Draft began, I believed that Cameron Erving and Hroniss Grasu were the best of the best when it came to center prospects. No one else would come even close to them. Then the name Max Garcia showed up on the Broncos selection.

Manning mystery clouds forecast for Broncos | Las Vegas Review-Journal
Only briefly did it appear Peyton Manning might actually retire to a rocking chair. After taking time off following another disaster in the playoffs, the 39-year-old quarterback announced his return to the Denver Broncos in early March.

3 athletes with Montana ties sign free agent deals - Washington Times
Three football players with Montana ties have free agent deals with NFL teams after the draft ended.

Jameis Winston is Buccaneers' No. 1 hope; NFL draft notes | The MMQB
The draft is over and after an event filled with storylines—trades, plummeting prospects and home fires included—the most significant was the very first one.

Rise 'n Grind: What happens after the NFL Draft? - SBNation.com
It's over. We won't have an errant Wonderlic score or a backwards cap to discuss for at least another 10 months.

MMBM: Hacking the NFL draft (satire) - SBNation.com
Wellcome to the Monday Morning BM,, just a word of warning your probably not prepared to handle the strong football takes and barrelfire NFL truths that you never knew your Mondays were missing.

We time-traveled to the year 2060 to grade the 2015 NFL Draft - SBNation.com
You can't honestly grade an NFL Draft for years. So is four and a half decades enough time?

2016 NFL mock draft: Ohio State taking over - SBNation.com
This year's draft just ended, so what better time to take a sneak peek to next year?