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It’s Broncos’ Mt. Rushmore nomination time

Elway Getty Images

The Mt. Rushmore nomination process migrates to the AFC West, and starts with the two-time defending division champs in Denver.

Nominate your favorite all-time Broncos for the list of 10-12 finalists, from which four will eventually be culled.

John Elway, check.

After that, it’s not so easy.  Rod Smith, Floyd Little.  Terrell Davis, Shannon Sharpe.  Randy Gradishar.  Steve Atwater.  Champ Bailey.  Pat Bowlen.

For now, just make your nominations.  The hard part for the Broncos (and plenty of other multiple Super Bowl-winning teams) comes later.

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146 Responses to “It’s Broncos’ Mt. Rushmore nomination time”
  1. goraidersgospurs says: May 19, 2013 6:58 PM

    (Troll alert) I just wanna say GO RAIDERS, on here!!

  2. tfbuckfutter says: May 19, 2013 6:59 PM

    Ed McCaffrey’s neck.

  3. cutboy1985 says: May 19, 2013 7:02 PM

    John Elway
    Terrell Davis
    Shannon Sharpe
    Steve Atwater

  4. chilomane says: May 19, 2013 7:03 PM

    Karl mecklenburg, Simon fletcher , Dennis smith

  5. turboreattore says: May 19, 2013 7:04 PM

    Those names are right but we must add Dennis Smith, Tom Nalen, Al Wilson, Tom Jackson, Karl Mecklenburg, Rulon Jones, Jason Elam and maybe Tyrone Braxton, Ed McCaffrey, Steve Foley, Bill Thompson.

  6. shickenchit says: May 19, 2013 7:10 PM

    Defiantly not John Elway.

  7. micknangold says: May 19, 2013 7:11 PM

    Elway, Sharpe, Gradishar, TD

  8. jrebar88 says: May 19, 2013 7:12 PM

    Im going to go with Rod Smith. So many to choose from though. Darrent Williams, Al Wilson, Tom Nalen, Eddie Mac, all the guys mentioned above. Denver Broncos, greatest franchise in the NFL!!

  9. dalanz28 says: May 19, 2013 7:14 PM

    John Elway, Terrell Davis, Floyd Little, Champ Bailey

  10. myshkingfh says: May 19, 2013 7:18 PM

    In addition to what you have you have to add hall of famer Garry Zimmerman and should-be hall of famer Tom Nalen. Then Karl Meklenberg too. I wouldn’t vote for him but Bill Romonowski was a face of those championship defenses.

    I would think Elway, Sharpe, Davis and Nalen is the answer

  11. cutboy1985 says: May 19, 2013 7:21 PM

    Well I change that.

    John Elway
    Terrell Davis
    Shannon Sharpe
    Champ Bailey
    Period.

  12. pmangarola says: May 19, 2013 7:22 PM

    J. Elway
    T. Davis
    S. Sharpe
    C. Bailey

    toss up between bailey and atwater

  13. 3lmt says: May 19, 2013 7:23 PM

    John Elway
    Mike Shannahan
    Randy Gradishar
    Dan Reeves

    I know, two coaches. But both were great ones for the Broncos and both did so well, for so long, with many different players (except for Elway).

    HM: Shannon Sharpe, Champ Bailey, Terrell Davis, and Craig Morton (if he’s on one, it’s with the Broncos…not with the Cowboys).

  14. evilglazers666 says: May 19, 2013 7:24 PM

    John Elway
    Floyd Little
    Terrell Davis
    Tim Tebow

  15. dioalice says: May 19, 2013 7:25 PM

    Floyd Little
    John Elway
    Lyle Alzado
    Mike Shanahan

  16. chrisknowsdbr says: May 19, 2013 7:26 PM

    Rod Smith
    Shannon Sharpe
    Mike Shanahan
    and of course John Elway

    They should add a fifth face just because its Terrell Davis

  17. shawtiernan says: May 19, 2013 7:27 PM

    John elway
    Champ bailey
    Randy gradishire
    Terrell Davis

  18. mendenhallfumblemachine says: May 19, 2013 7:27 PM

    Tim Tebow
    Alphonso smith
    Maurice “Jail Cell” Clarett
    Jarvis moss

  19. gtowncrushers says: May 19, 2013 7:31 PM

    Elway
    Davis
    Gradishar
    Little

  20. govtminion says: May 19, 2013 7:33 PM

    Tim Tebow! (Har Har)

    OK, ok, seriously, let’s make sure the list starts off with their greatest receiver ever- Rod Smith. (I was always a bigger Ed McCaffrey fan, but it’s hard to add him to the list over Smith due to the shorter career).

  21. wewantmoretebowandfavrearticles says: May 19, 2013 7:34 PM

    What about Tim Tebow?

  22. z561 says: May 19, 2013 7:34 PM

    Tim Tebow

  23. nachohippo says: May 19, 2013 7:39 PM

    Elway, Bailey, Davis, Sharpe

  24. gtowncrushers says: May 19, 2013 7:39 PM

    Top 12
    John Elway
    Terrell Davis
    Randy Gradishar
    Floyd Little
    Steve Watson
    Steve Atwater
    Shannon Sharpe
    Rod Smith
    Tom Jackson
    Champ Bailey
    Louis Wright
    Karl Mecklenburg

  25. daknight93 says: May 19, 2013 7:39 PM

    need an old school bronco fan who can go wayyy back into the 60′s 70′s 80′s and inform these new school fans great bronco players back in the day who were great

    ok..fire away!

  26. myfastx says: May 19, 2013 7:40 PM

    Rod Smith, Terrell Davis, Shannon Sharpe, and Champ Bailey

  27. brownsalwaysrebuilding says: May 19, 2013 7:42 PM

    John Elway
    Terrell Davis
    Shannon Sharpe
    Champ Bailey

  28. garity says: May 19, 2013 7:44 PM

    Elway, Gradishar, Zimmerman, Sharpe.

  29. bucrightoff says: May 19, 2013 7:46 PM

    John Elway, Seabuscuit, Secretariat, Man-O-War.

  30. Deb says: May 19, 2013 7:49 PM

    I’m not a Broncos fan, but some of my fondest memories are of watching Elway play. What a quarterback!! Just going to indulge my personal preferences here:

    John Elway
    Karl Mecklenberg
    Steve Atwater
    Champ Bailey

  31. vbwayt says: May 19, 2013 7:51 PM

    The Definitive List (in order):
    1. John Elway
    2. Steve Atwater
    3. Champ Bailey
    4. Shannon Sharpe

    The Next Four:
    5. Louis Wright
    6. Karl Mechlenburg
    7. Dennis Smith
    8. Randy Gradishar/Rod Smith (tie)

  32. patriotsdefense says: May 19, 2013 7:52 PM

    1) The team accountants whom cheated the salery cap in the ’90s; punishment of loss of draft picks
    2) All the steroids Romanowski took.
    3) Josh McDaniels
    4) Rahim Moore
    5) Dude in a bucket

  33. nunezmc says: May 19, 2013 7:55 PM

    Elway, Davis, Sharpe, Bailey

    With Eddie Mac as a write-in candidate

  34. thesteelers says: May 19, 2013 7:57 PM

    Let me remind people that it took Elway ELEVEN years to garner a 20-10 TD to INT ratio. Call him great all you want, but that’s like Sanchez suddenly becoming clutch.

  35. dt58 says: May 19, 2013 7:59 PM

    Just think, there’s the added bonus of being able to show drive-in movies on Elway and Sharpes teeth

  36. atwatercrushesokoye says: May 19, 2013 7:59 PM

    John Elway in his helicopter spin in SBXXXII
    Terrell Davis doing a Mile High Salute
    Steve Atwater standing over Christian Okoye
    Tom Jackson with the caption “jacked up!”

  37. myshkingfh says: May 19, 2013 8:00 PM

    Ed McCafferey, Dennis Smith, Darrent Williams and Simon Fletcher are all good adds.

  38. logicailvoicesays says: May 19, 2013 8:00 PM

    Doug Williams
    Tim Smith
    Ricky Sanders
    Gary Clark

  39. watermelon1 says: May 19, 2013 8:02 PM

    Elway, Rod Smith, Steve Atwater, Shannon Sharpe.

    I think Shanahan’s plug-and-play running back success after Davis diminish his contributions.

  40. tedmurph says: May 19, 2013 8:03 PM

    1. Elway
    2. Floyd Little
    3. Atwater
    4. RGradishar

  41. jwag777 says: May 19, 2013 8:05 PM

    Elway, Little, Gradishaw, Rich Jackson

  42. pandapeep says: May 19, 2013 8:07 PM

    Elway, Little, Shanahan, Sharpe or Rod Smith, those two are a coin flip.

  43. scrotiemcb says: May 19, 2013 8:08 PM

    Little, Elway, Davis, Atwater

  44. mooser80 says: May 19, 2013 8:08 PM

    John Elway
    Sammy Winder
    Louis Wright
    Karl Mecklenburg

  45. izzyb08 says: May 19, 2013 8:10 PM

    John Elway, Shannon Sharpe, Floyd Little, Rich (Tombstone) Jackson, Steve Atwater, Karl Mecklenberg, Randy Gradishar, Louis Wright, Haven Moses, Simon Fletcher, Dan Reeves, Mike Shanahan, Bob Howsam, Pat Bowlen. Not enough space on the mountain for a true Broncos Mt. Rushmore.

  46. gbryan12000 says: May 19, 2013 8:24 PM

    Rich “Tombstone” Jackson
    Lionel Taylor
    Floyd Little
    Charlie Johnson
    Louis Wright
    Randy Gradishar
    Steve Foley
    John Elway
    Dennis Smith
    Steve Atwater
    Rod Smith
    Terrell Davis
    Shannon Sharpe
    Karl Mecklinburg
    Simon Fletcher
    Champ Bailey

  47. mcba1n says: May 19, 2013 8:31 PM

    Pat Bowlen
    John Elway
    Terrell Davis
    Karl Mecklenberg

  48. hess97 says: May 19, 2013 8:34 PM

    Elway
    T Davis
    Champ Bailey
    Shannon Sharpe

    HM-

    Karl Mecklemburg
    Rod Smith
    Ed McCaffrey
    Steve Atwater
    T Nalen
    R Clady
    Dennis Smith
    The three amigos

  49. bcgreg says: May 19, 2013 8:35 PM

    Elway
    Sharpe
    Little
    Tripucka (Put him up there because they gave his RETIRED jersey to Manning, who should have understood and never asked for it! Before you Bronco fans get in a tizzy, I know that Tripucka said it was OK. But, if you really think deep down that’s true, then you’re just foolin’ yourself.)

  50. hess97 says: May 19, 2013 8:36 PM

    more HM
    Tom Jackson
    Floyd Little
    Simon Fletcher

  51. dietrich43 says: May 19, 2013 8:40 PM

    Elway
    Little
    Tom Jackson
    Nalen

  52. nathanljensen says: May 19, 2013 8:46 PM

    Elway, TD, Mecklenberg, Gradishaw.

  53. lakermetskins says: May 19, 2013 8:47 PM

    Ernest Byner
    Tommy Maddox
    Ashlie Lelie
    Travis Henry

  54. ninjajustinian says: May 19, 2013 8:49 PM

    elway, little, gradishar, rod smith

  55. raider8er says: May 19, 2013 8:50 PM

    Elway
    Mecklenberg
    Bailey
    Davis
    Shanahan

  56. bronconation7 says: May 19, 2013 8:50 PM

    Elway (HOF)

    Sharpe (HOF)

    T.D. (Should be HOF. If Gayle Sayers is in then….)

    Champ (Future HOF) or Atwater (granted he wouldn’t be allowed to have a career right now but Okoye would give him the nod)

  57. elwaysagenius says: May 19, 2013 8:50 PM

    Finally, we reach the end of the Mt. Rushmore

    John Elway the player
    John Elway the executive
    Shannon Sharpe
    Terrell Davis

  58. crf4dan says: May 19, 2013 8:51 PM

    John Elway
    Terrell Davis
    Shannon Sharpe
    Mike Shanahan

  59. rocketman2010 says: May 19, 2013 8:55 PM

    Terrell Davis
    Shannon sharpe
    Eddie Mac
    Rod Smith

  60. tanroop says: May 19, 2013 9:13 PM

    Elway
    Champ Bailey
    Shannon Sharpe
    Mike Shanahan

  61. dbfan4ever says: May 19, 2013 9:25 PM

    1 John Elway
    2 Terrell Davis
    3 Alex Gibbs
    4 Steve Atwater

  62. siggtacular says: May 19, 2013 9:28 PM

    John Elway
    Champ Bailey
    Terrell Davis
    Rod Smith

  63. elwaysmilehighdenver says: May 19, 2013 9:29 PM

    Elway. Davis. Sharpe. Atwater.

  64. denttlm says: May 19, 2013 9:33 PM

    Bob Howsam – founder
    John Elway – greatest QB
    Shannon sharpe – 2nd greatest tightend
    Floyd little -HOF

  65. edithpiaf51 says: May 19, 2013 9:35 PM

    John Elway (the QB)
    Tim Tebow
    Shannon Sharpe
    Jason Elam
    Terrell Davis
    Eddie Royal
    Mike Shannahan
    Rod Smith
    Pat Bowlen
    Steve Atwater

  66. retaeyssup says: May 19, 2013 9:36 PM

    Peyton Manning.
    Peyton Manning.
    Peyton Manning.
    And let’s not forget Mr. Peyton Manning.

  67. istateyourname says: May 19, 2013 9:58 PM

    Actually, if they keep the carvings true to scale, this is one team where they could have 5 people. If they do Elway’s giant horse face, they could carve the 4 other heads on his teeth.

  68. lks311 says: May 19, 2013 10:00 PM

    You mean,
    Elway
    Sharpe

    check…now discuss amongst yourselves.

  69. crush28205 says: May 19, 2013 10:05 PM

    This is a ridiculous exercise to try to limit a proud fifty year old franchise to only four people. There are many great Broncos that are monumental in the hearts of Denver fans. That being said, Elway is an automatic.

    Any Bronco fan that was around in the early 1970s would not question the importance of Floyd Little.

    Anyone who remembers the Orange Crush would understand how great Randy Gradishar was as its leader.

    And it is my opinion that the two Super bowl victories simply don’t happen without Terrell Davis, even though his time with Denver was cut way too short.

    Honorable Mentions
    Shannon Sharpe
    Gary Zimmerman
    Tom Nalen
    Rod Smith
    Mike Shanahan
    Ed McCaffrey
    Tom Jackson
    Louis Wright
    Billy Thompson
    Steve Atwater
    Champ Bailey

  70. pooflingingmonkey says: May 19, 2013 10:06 PM

    What? Kno love for Knowshon Moreno?

  71. majormeatcurtains says: May 19, 2013 10:11 PM

    Elway, Smith, Eddie Mac , Davis, Nalen. And to the IDIOT that said Elway noway…. tards can’t vote.

  72. matt2calvin says: May 19, 2013 10:15 PM

    John Elway
    Karl Mecklenberg
    Terrell Davis
    Steve Atwater

  73. mobuccsfan says: May 19, 2013 10:18 PM

    Elway
    Davis
    Sharpe
    Smith
    Mecklenberg
    Atwater
    Jackson
    McCaffery
    Elam
    Bailey
    Little
    Nalen

  74. tebowislife says: May 19, 2013 10:20 PM

    Tebow, Touchdown Timmy, Son of God, Last Broncos QB to Win a Playoff Game

  75. philvil41 says: May 19, 2013 10:21 PM

    Seeing as they are convicted salary cap cheaters,how about 4 Donkeys {ASSES}!!!

  76. edithpiaf51 says: May 19, 2013 10:23 PM

    U gyess for the top 4 i would have to say (if i must narrow it to 4)

    John Elway (QBà
    Shannon Sharpe
    Eddie Royal
    Jason Elam

  77. edithpiaf51 says: May 19, 2013 10:25 PM

    I meant I guess, sorry for the typo

    John Elway (QBà
    Shannon Sharpe
    Eddie Royal
    Jason Elam

  78. amaizeingblue12 says: May 19, 2013 10:28 PM

    John Elway
    Steve Atwater
    Floyd Little
    Tom Jackson

  79. chadcapps76 says: May 19, 2013 10:30 PM

    John Elway (really need any explanation?)
    Terrell Davis (League MVP, Super Bowl MVP, 2k season, without him Denver still has not won a Super Bowl)
    Mike Shanahan (Best coach in Broncos history and won 2 Super Bowls)
    Pat Bowlen (Only reason Broncos are competitive every year)

  80. broncofanssuck says: May 19, 2013 10:33 PM

    Cheating Salary Cap
    Chop Blocking
    Worst Fanbase in the NFL
    Horrid Orange and Blue uniforms.

  81. wholelottaawesome says: May 19, 2013 10:40 PM

    John Elway
    Karl Mecklenberg
    Rod Smith
    Atwater or champ

    If you rooted for Seattle, San Diego, raiders, or KC in the 80′s Mecklenberg and Elway were your demons.

  82. phonecops says: May 19, 2013 10:42 PM

    John Elway
    Rod Smith
    Shannon Sharpe
    Tom Jackson

    Many more are worthy, but these 4 seem to stand out.

  83. musicman495 says: May 19, 2013 10:42 PM

    Floyd Little
    John Elway
    Shannon Sharpe
    Tom Jackson (heart and soul of team that lost Super Bowl XII)
    And how about some love for the guy whose retired jersey number Manning stole – Frank Tripucka.

  84. culturalelitist says: May 19, 2013 10:48 PM

    John Elway
    Floyd Little
    Terrell Davis
    Lionel Taylor
    Rod Smith
    Shannon Sharpe
    Gary Zimmerman
    Simon Fletcher
    Rubin Carter
    Tom Jackson
    Randy Gradishar
    Karl Mecklenberg
    Louis Wright
    Champ Bailey
    Steve Atwater
    Jason Elam
    Mike Shanahan
    Dan Reeves
    Alex Gibbs

  85. duffer58 says: May 19, 2013 10:50 PM

    Only Mark Schlerth and his green chili.
    The worst of a horrible group on ESPN

  86. holdup08 says: May 19, 2013 10:53 PM

    1. John Elway – With a career long supporting cast, he’d be the best QB ever
    2. Floyd Little – Elway before there was Elway
    3. Gary Zimmerman – The best OL to live in Denver
    4. Shannon Sharpe – The reason the position is what it is today. Many guys are millionaires because he paved their roads.
    5. Terrell Davis – Personified the tipping point from good franchise to great franchise
    6. Randy Gradishar – Best LB the team’s had
    7. Champ Bailey – Figurehead CB in the NFL for a decade
    8. Steve Atwater – Underappreciated historically. Best safety of the 90s possibly.
    9. Rod Smith – Defined the Bronco mentality for his team from ’99-’05
    10. Tom Nalen – Second best blocking lineman, best lineman leader
    11. Tom Jackson – Personified tipping point from mediocre franchise to good franchise
    12. Simon Fletcher – Sack machine on Wade Phillips dominant Ds

  87. thraiderskin says: May 19, 2013 10:59 PM

    Elway (duh)
    Atwater
    Grandishar
    Shannahan

    Was hard to leave TD off there, but you can only have 4… blame the guy who designed Mt. Rushmore with only 4 faces on it.

  88. denbroncosfan19 says: May 19, 2013 11:00 PM

    John Elway
    Floyd Little
    Randy Gradishar
    Champ Bailey

  89. dcdebacle says: May 19, 2013 11:00 PM

    John Elway, Floyd Little, Terrell Davis, Shannon Sharpe, Randy Gradishar, Louis Wright, Tom Jackson, Steve Atwater, Dennis Smith, Rod Smith, Rich Jackson, Karl Mecklenburg, Mike Shanahan, Barrel Man.

  90. stompuout says: May 19, 2013 11:11 PM

    John Elway, Mike Shanahan, Tom Jackson, Randy Gradishar

  91. DenverBroncosFan_NoMatterWhat says: May 19, 2013 11:13 PM

    I’m literally lol’ing at all you lame haters, what with your poor excuses and tired name-calling…
    LOL!

    1) John Elway – No need to explain – the man took those 80′s teams to the Super Bowl…can anyone name another player on those teams? I bet people have a hard time naming all three of the 3 Amigo’s…

    2) Terrell Davis – It is a downright shame he isn’t in the Hall of Fame before Warren Sapp and Curtis Martin.

    3) Pat Bowlen – One of the greatest owners ever. Stays out of the way (unless it is to hand Elway Lombardi trophies!), isn’t afraid to take a chance, and can open the wallet when needed.

    4) Steve Atwater – Another damn shame this man isn’t in the HoF. If John Lynch gets in before Atwater, it will be one of the biggest examples of idiocy in the history of the NFL.
    Just ask Christian Okoye.

    Final 8:
    5) Shannon Sharpe – revolutionized the TE/Flex/Y position

    6) Mike Shanahan & his coaching staff – the one-cut zone blocking scheme tore the NFL a new one in the late 90′s

    7) Floyd Little – literally saved the franchise

    8) Champ Bailey – the term ‘Shut-Down Cornerback’ was coined because of him

    9) The Orange Crush – I was born in ’77, so I wasn’t able to enjoy their dominance, but all four members deserve their own spot on the mountain

    10) Rod Smith & Ed McCaffrey – perfect complimenting WR’s, and true teammates – TD doesn’t rush for 2K without some downfield blocking

    11) Tom Nalen, Mark Schlereth, & Gary Zimmerman – the best combination of Offensive Linemen I’ve ever seen

    12) Von Miller – just wait…

  92. omniscient48 says: May 19, 2013 11:22 PM

    To me, the first 3 are easy (all NFL HOFers):

    Elway
    Sharpe
    Little

    Then, the 4th is difficult with any of the following worthy:

    Receivers Lionel Taylor and Rod Smith
    LBs T Jackson, Gradishar, Mecklenberg
    DBs Billy Thompson, Steve Atwater, Bailey

  93. jcf41 says: May 19, 2013 11:26 PM

    Elway
    Davis
    Sharpe
    Mecklenberg

  94. edithpiaf51 says: May 19, 2013 11:31 PM

    Yes Terrell Davis should be in the Hall of Fame if he is not already. I have been a bronco fan since the days of Craig Morton, yes I show my age. that was the start of the orange crush that got crushed a few times under his tenure like the superbowl against Dallas in 1978, when i first came from France, the first time. Then I remember in 1983 when the Broncos first picked up John Elway with that awesome group of QBs (Dan Marino, Joe Montana, Jim Kelly, etc) and to see him carry the orange crush. I think Jason Elam is one of the best kickers I have ever seen, rarely missed a FG, he used to succeded at 56 yrd attempts; He was awesome.

  95. wiseguysprep says: May 19, 2013 11:34 PM

    As a Denver native, three are no-brainers:

    1. Floyd Little. During the AFL years, he was The Franchise–period, end of discussion.
    2. Randy Gradishar. During the Orange Crush years, he was the face of the franchise on the field and in the community. One of the Hall of Fame’s most egregious snubs.
    3. John Elway. Duh.

    With no obvious #4, maybe Pat Bowlen would be the choice. When you look at other numb-nut owners across the league, a little class might be worth the recognition.

  96. 0mamba0hating0monkey0machine0 says: May 19, 2013 11:39 PM

    1.Tebow
    2.God
    3.Ryan Mundy
    4.Matt Prater

  97. twayward says: May 19, 2013 11:40 PM

    John Elway, Floyd Little, Gary Zimmerman, and Shannon Sharpe.

  98. edithpiaf51 says: May 19, 2013 11:44 PM

    Peyton is a thief, he stole Frankj Tripucka’s retiired number and forced Tebow out of the broncos, causes the broncos to take out an insurance policy because he is assigned risk and costs them 96 million and he could not even win a playff game. i guess after that game Peyton sees Joe Flacco in his sleep LOL:)

  99. qzaquinn says: May 20, 2013 12:07 AM

    1. John Elway
    2. The entire O-line from 96′ to 99′
    3. Steve Atwater
    4. Terrell Davis

    I was born in 78′ and didn’t watch much football until about 85′ so I can’t include Floyd Little or anybody from the Orange Crush D’ …

  100. ewill27 says: May 20, 2013 12:18 AM

    Elway
    Atwater
    Sharpe
    Rod Smith

  101. sfniners4life says: May 20, 2013 12:36 AM

    Not a broncos fan but gotta say elway, champ, Atwater, and sharpe

  102. highlander72 says: May 20, 2013 12:54 AM

    1. Elway
    2. Mike Shanahan
    3. Shannon Sharpe
    4. Randy Gradishar

    Lots of other capable names of being on there. TD deserves accord and I think if he gets in the HOF, he would be in the list. Rod Smith/Ed Mac had very good careers but they were never the guys to make it go like Elway, TD, and Sharpe were. Gary Zimmerman deserves mention but i’m sure he would be the first to say no to the honor. Floyd Little definitely deserves nomination here but I couldn’t put him in over TD.

    Steve Atwater, Karl Mecklenburg, Dennis Smith, and Champ Bailey all worth their weight in honorable mention, still, they lack the certain star quality to be on this list.

    When it comes down to it, Denver has a very unique history. We arrived on the scene in the late 70′s amidst the great run of the Steelers, Raiders and Dolphins. We did this by having a crushing defense… an Orange Crush defense, led by Randy Gradishar. Our Super Bowl appearance in 78′ gave us national respect which would capitalized upon by the trade for John Elway in 83′.

    The rest of what we know from Denver is 30 years of dominant football in the AFC from the 80′s-10′s, and these years largely coincided with the Elway/Shanahan years. 6 Super Bowl appearances, 2 Super Bowl wins, 8 AFC Championship games, dozens of come from behind victories… Elway was one of the greatest QB’s to ever strap on a helmet, and Shanahan was the mastermind that built the dynasty. While the 49ers will be known for their QB play under Bill Walsh, and the Steelers for their defense under Chuck Knoll and Dick Lebeau, Denver will always be known for their devastating running game under Mike Shanahan, annually leading the league with no name rushers, zone blocking schemes, cut back lanes. Shanny has solidified his bust in the hall of fame from this offense he molded into his own. Finally, the guy who gave a voice to mid-size market Denver in the national media was Shannon Sharpe. He was as great for a sound bite as he was for a 5-6 catch, 100 yd game. He truly accelerated the use of pass catching TE’s in the NFL as he constantly created mismatches in the defensive secondary. His maligned blocking was never very accurate, because the stats provide other information. He wasn’t dominate but did what he needed to do to get TD open running lanes.

  103. broncofan09 says: May 20, 2013 1:05 AM

    Elway hands down.
    Terrell Davis because without him we wouldn’t have the two rings.
    Shannahan, see reason for Davis.
    Tim Tebow because the one year was the most exciting year of broncos football ever. The ups the downs and the pure excitement of Tebow Time.

  104. strangerdon says: May 20, 2013 1:26 AM

    The first three are obvious for any longtime (I remember their first Super Bowl) fans because, in their respective eras, they brought the Broncos to a new place:

    1) John Elway: Heart of Championships
    2) Randy Gradishar: Face of the Orange Crush
    3) Floyd Little: First claim of pride in the NFL

    The fourth is difficult as there are many who fit into this next tier: Pat Bowlen, Tom Jackson, Steve Atwater, Gary Zimmerman, Tom Nalen, Karl Meklenburg, Terrell Davis, Rod Smith, Rick Upchurch, Champ Bailey, Otis Armstrong, Shannon Sharpe, Lionel Taylor, Dennis Smith and Jason Elam.

    But for his hall of fame career, his position changing abilities, and his status as the top player in his position in history at his retirement, I have to go with:

    4) Shannon Sharpe

  105. rukkus1 says: May 20, 2013 2:57 AM

    Elway, gradishar, r. Smith, champ. This is a tough mountain to carve out cuz atwater made it fun to watch defense. T davis was a stud. Sharpe was a pioneer. So many good players to name just 4.

    Go Hawks!

  106. seabronco says: May 20, 2013 3:26 AM

    John Elway
    Ed Mccafrey
    Bill Romonowski
    Shannon Sharpe
    Steve Atwater
    Rod Smith
    Terrell Davis
    Tom Nalen
    Jason Elam
    Floyd Little
    Gary Zimmerman

  107. araidersfan says: May 20, 2013 6:14 AM

    My vote is based on the Bronco players that gave my Raiders the most problems when both teams were competitive and the rivalry was most fierce. So I’m excluding those Denver players from 1960-72 (when Denver was crap) and 2003-present (when the Raiders were crap).

    My list is:

    Randy Gradishar
    John Elway
    Karl Mecklenburg
    Steve Atwater

    As a footnote, I’ve always wondered why a large portion of the Bronco fanbase hates Dan Reeves?
    Yes, he lost 3 Super Bowls, but he had Denver competitive most of the time.

  108. whysomanylosers says: May 20, 2013 7:09 AM

    Baltimore Colts
    Robert Irsay
    Chris Hinton
    Man in a Barrel

  109. wvuandsteelers says: May 20, 2013 7:22 AM

    Elway, Mecklenberg, Shanahan and Dan “I can never have to many tight ends” Reeves. Shannon Sharpe gets honorable mention, but the thought of him Mt Rushmore size just scares me.

  110. denverbronconj says: May 20, 2013 7:47 AM

    Elway
    Mecklenburg
    TD
    Smith, Rod

  111. drjoemck says: May 20, 2013 7:59 AM

    Elway
    Little
    Sharpe
    Gradishar

  112. bartlettruss says: May 20, 2013 8:50 AM

    Floyd Little
    Terrell Davis
    John Elway
    Shannon Sharpe
    Champ Bailey

  113. mfclock says: May 20, 2013 9:19 AM

    Rod Smith, one of the greatest undrafted players to ever play the game and he didn’t just play he was consistently good his entire career.

  114. larryboodry says: May 20, 2013 10:27 AM

    Top 4:

    John Elway
    Terrell Davis
    Shannon Sharpe
    Champ Bailey

    Honorable Mention:

    Mecklenburg
    Romanowski
    Smith

  115. jonato7 says: May 20, 2013 10:30 AM

    Elway
    Sharpe
    Atwater
    Rod Smith

  116. superfuzz1000 says: May 20, 2013 11:08 AM

    John Elway
    Shannon Sharpe
    Terrell Davis
    Rod Smith

  117. yssupasigninnamnotyep says: May 20, 2013 11:14 AM

    Donkeys suck…and always will.

  118. Nickstixx says: May 20, 2013 11:27 AM

    Elway
    Terrell Davis
    Champ Bailey
    Shannon Sharpe

  119. supesfan34 says: May 20, 2013 12:01 PM

    John Elway
    Terrell Davis
    Champ Bailey
    Shannon Sharpe

  120. rewdog24 says: May 20, 2013 12:51 PM

    John Elway
    Floyd Little
    Rick Upchurch
    Louis Wright

  121. bigmark67 says: May 20, 2013 1:11 PM

    The Broncos should be able to ad a fifth spot for Team dentist, they seriously have some of the most jacked up teeth in NFL history, Shanahan, Elway, Sharpe all have what I like to call “The Mile High Smile or Bronco Teeth. NFL films could do a 2 hour special on the effects of altitude on NFL players teeth. 30 for 30 special would be good too! Go Raiders, the only team that counts!

  122. raiders757 says: May 20, 2013 1:45 PM

    My nomination is a can of Orange Crush to represent their Orange Crush Defense from the late 70′s. Every member of that unit deserves to be represented as a whole.

  123. freepretzels says: May 20, 2013 3:02 PM

    John Elway
    Tom Nalen
    Karl Mecklenberg
    Champ Bailey

  124. champbailey1 says: May 20, 2013 3:18 PM

    Bronco Fan since the Orange Crush days.

    Mount Rushmore:

    Floyd Little – The Franchise
    Randy Gradishar — Face of the Crush
    Champ Bailey – Future HOFer
    John Elway — GOAT

    Honorable Mention:

    Steve Atwater – The Hitter
    Terrell Davis — Could have been GOAT
    Rod Smith – Greatest Undrafted Player Ever
    Gary Zimmerman – O-Line Legend
    Shannon Sharpe — GOAT TE

    FYI – the nomination of Travis Henry and 3 of his kids had me LOLing!

  125. malachiofcourse says: May 20, 2013 3:34 PM

    shannon sharpe & rod smith

  126. larryboodry says: May 20, 2013 4:30 PM

    What, no love for Matt Cassel’s secret BF, Josh McDaniels?

  127. jasonculhane says: May 20, 2013 5:18 PM

    Elway
    Terrel Davis
    Gary Zimmerman
    Shannon Sharpe

  128. champbailey1 says: May 20, 2013 5:24 PM

    I know there is a lot of love for Zimmerman, TD and Sharpe and I get it. I just don’t want to penalize Champ, Floyd and Randy because they never won a SB. (At least until next year in Champ’s case!)

  129. forevercorr says: May 20, 2013 6:47 PM

    Elway, of course.
    Rich “Tombstone” Jackson – there’s an argument that this guy would still hold the NFL sack record if they tracked it when he was active.
    Steve Atwater – reinvented the way safety is played in the NFL. Dennis Smith should get honorable mention here since he enabled Atwater to play that way.
    Sharpe – everyone claiming he reinvented the position should know Kellen Winslow (Sr.) did a lot of the reinventing. Sharpe just solidified it and won games.

    Love a lot of the others mentioned – Gradishar, Meck, the entire Orange Crush, the silent o-line of the late 90′s, TD, Bailey, Little, Upchurch, even Elam- but those 4 were outstanding.

  130. thejimthorpejamsession says: May 20, 2013 7:35 PM

    The Core Four:

    John Elway
    Randy Gradishar
    Karl Mecklenberg
    Shannon Sharpe

    Honorable Mentions:

    Pat Bowlen
    Dan Reeves
    Mike Shanahan
    Floyd Little
    Terrell Davis
    Rod Smith
    Al Wilson
    Bill Romanowski
    Jake Plummer
    Tom Rouen
    Steve Watson
    Ed McCaffrey
    Steve Atwater
    Steve Foley
    Mark Schlereth
    Clinton Portis
    Mark Jackson
    Lionel Taylor
    Rick Jackson
    Tom Nalen
    Tom Jackson
    Jason Elam
    Jim Turner
    Champ Bailey
    Louis Wright

  131. gamedate15 says: May 20, 2013 9:55 PM

    Elway.
    Bowlen
    Gradishar
    Little

  132. canedaddy says: May 21, 2013 5:09 PM

    Sharpe
    Gradishar
    Little
    Davis

  133. dmnirican says: May 21, 2013 5:43 PM

    Think everybody that should be in the nomination process has already been listed. My personal Mt. Rushmore would be:

    1. Elway
    2. Pat Bowlen
    3. Shanahan
    4. Atwater

    I’m kind of surprised more fans don’t have Bowlen listed. Personally, I think he’s almot as much of a shoe-in as Elway. One of the best owners in the NFL for a LONG time, and most of the success the franchise has seen has come under his tenure.

    Shanahan won us our only Super Bowls, and will always have a place in my heart for that.

    I picked Atwater over Sharpe and Mecklenburg for my fourth spot, but damn it sucked leaving them off. Mecklenburg is one of the biggest HOF snubs going right now, in my opinion (right along with Atwater), and Sharpe reinvented the TE position. But Atwater was the best in the game for a while, the heart of our defense for even longer, and gave me one of my ultimate fan moments when he laid out Okoye on MNF at my very first Broncos game :)

  134. johncarr43 says: May 21, 2013 11:20 PM

    Most of the people who posted must be too young to have seen Lionel Taylor play.

    John Elway
    Lionel Taylor
    Floyd Little
    Champ Bailey

  135. Greg Holland says: May 22, 2013 10:54 AM

    John Elway
    Karl Mecklenberg
    Terrell Davis
    Steve Atwater

    Next it would be

    Gary Zimmerman
    Floyd Little
    Shannon Sharpe
    Rod Smith
    Tom Nalen

  136. bigbeefyd says: May 22, 2013 6:19 PM

    Elway, Sharpe, Gradishar, Little

  137. Chris Henry's Wild Ride says: May 22, 2013 11:27 PM

    John Elway, Terrell Davis, Steve Atwater, Shannon Sharpe

  138. lbf4life says: May 23, 2013 1:07 PM

    Elway
    Little
    Atwater
    Mecklenburg

  139. aeb1977 says: May 24, 2013 7:15 AM

    1. ELWAY
    2. DAVIS “TD”
    3. ATWATER ” SMILING ASSASSIN”
    4. MECKLENBURG ” SNOW GOOSE”
    5. SHANNON SHAPE ” FLEX”
    6. ROD SMITH
    7. RANDY GRADISHAR
    8. DENNIS SMITH
    9. CHAMP BAILEY
    10. RICH JACKSON “TOMBSTONE”

  140. jjackwagon says: May 24, 2013 11:16 AM

    Maurice Clarett
    Jarvis Moss
    Tommy Maddox
    Ashley Lelie

  141. dcbronco says: May 25, 2013 12:16 AM

    Too many to just have four.

    @3lmt

    Dan Reeves? Really? Colorado passed recreational marijuana didn’t it. Reeve’s was a loser who held Elway and Shanahan back with his dive plays on first and second downs.

  142. orangeandblueblood says: May 25, 2013 3:02 PM

    Elway
    Davis
    Atwater
    Jackson
    And all of the fans who have sold out every game since 1971!!!

  143. kcsmashmouth says: May 27, 2013 9:00 PM

    Mike Shannahan
    John Elway
    Lyle Alzado
    Shannon Sharpe

  144. musicman495 says: May 30, 2013 1:51 AM

    DenverBroncosFan_NoMatterWhat says: May 19, 2013 11:13 PM

    8) Champ Bailey – the term ‘Shut-Down Cornerback’ was coined because of him
    ———————-
    The term ‘Shut-Down Cornerback’ was coined years before Champ Bailey even came into the league. One of the players it was used to describe was Darrell Green, who showed Champ Bailey how to play CB when Bailey was a wet-behind-the-ears-rookie in Washington.

  145. droyer85 says: Jun 5, 2013 2:01 PM

    John Elway
    Terrell Davis
    Shannon Sharpe
    Pat Bowlen

  146. cneri70 says: Jun 10, 2013 5:41 PM

    Elway, Atwater, T. Davis and Baily

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