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Broncos Draft History: Tight Ends

Posted Apr 6, 2014

A look back at tight ends the Broncos have selected in the NFL Draft.

As we wrap up our position preview for tight ends in the 2014 NFL Draft, let's take a look back at some notable players the Broncos have drafted at that position.

Player: Julius Thomas
Year Drafted: 2011
Round: 4 - 129 Overall
College: Portland State

Broncos Career: After battling injuries his first two NFL seasons, Thomas caught 65 passes for 788 yards and 12 touchowns, earning a Pro Bowl selection in 2013. His 12 touchdown catches ranked third among tight ends and set a Broncos franchise record. He topped the 100-yard receiving mark twice in 2013 and caught multiple touchdown passes in both of those contests.


Player: Desmond Clark
Year Drafted: 1999
Round: 6a - 179 Overall
College: Wake Forest

Broncos Career: Clark grabbed only one ball his rookie year, but jumped on the scene in year two with 27 catches and two touchdowns. He nearly doubled those totals in year three with 51 catches and six touchdowns. An arm injury slowed Clark at the start of the 2002 season and he was cut and signed by the Miami Dolphins. After playing just a season in Miami, Clark was signed by the Chicago Bears where he played his last eight seasons.


Player: Orson Mobley
Year Drafted: 1986
Round: 6a - 151 Overall
College: Salem College (W.V.)

Broncos Career: Mobley spent all five of his NFL seasons with the Broncos and was a part of three Super Bowl teams. He was a key contributor to those teams and caught a touchdown in the AFC Championship game on the way to Super Bowl XXIV. Mobley averaged more than 10 yards per catch in four of his five seasons and finished his career with 84 catches for 1,019 yards and four touchdowns.


Player: Keli McGregor
Year Drafted: 1985
Round: 4 - 110 Overall
College: Colorado State

Broncos Career: McGregor played in just two games for the Broncos, but left a lasting legacy in Denver as an executive with the Colorado Rockies. In 2001, McGregor was named Rockies' Team President and was a integral part in their 2007 World Series run. McGregor tragically passed away on April 20, 2010 at the age of 47.


Player: Clarence Kay
Year Drafted: 1984
Round: 7 - 186 Overall
College: Georgia

Broncos Career: Like Mobley, Kay spent his entire NFL career with the Broncos. He caught two touchdowns in the 1988 AFC divisional playoffs against Houston and had three games over his career with multiple touchdown catches. He totaled three receptions for 44 yards in Super Bowl XXII and XXIV combined and finished his career with 193 receptions and 13 touchdowns.


Player: Riley Odoms
Year Drafted: 1972
Round: 1 - 5 Overall
College: Houston

Broncos Career: Odoms was the fifth overall selection in the 1972 NFL Draft, which made him the second highest tight end ever taken. Standing 6-foot-4, Odoms was a big target for Broncos quarterbacks, catching just under 400 balls in his career. A four-time Pro Bowler, Odoms was a part of the Super Bowl XII team and never averaged less than 10 yards per catch in a season.


Where are Shannon Sharpe and Byron Chamberlin you might ask? Both were drafted as wide receivers and later converted to tight end when they joined the Broncos.

Now here are some other tight ends drafted:

Year Rd. No. Name College
2011 7 204 Virgil Green Nevada
2009 2 64 Richard Quinn North Carolina
2006 2 61 Tony Scheffler Western Michigan
2002 6 191 Jeb Putzier Boise State
1999 7b 238 Justin Swift Kansas State
1993 7a 169 Clarence Williams Washington State
1991 2 30 Reggie Johnson Florida State
1990 6 164 Ronnie Haliburton Louisiana State
1989 8 208 Paul Green USC
1988 7a 174 Pat Kelly Syracuse
1987 7 194 Wilbur Strozier Georgia