ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --Three key components of the Broncos' league-leading pass defense earned first-team All-Pro selections, as announced by the Associated Press on Friday.
Outside linebacker Von Miller and cornerbacks Chris Harris Jr. and Aqib Talib each added a first-team All-Pro bid to go alongside the Pro Bowl slots awarded to them last month.
The three first-team choices allow the 2016 Broncos to match the 1997 and 2012 Broncos for the most since the team had four first-team All-Pros in 1996: Terrell Davis, Shannon Sharpe, Alfred Williams and Gary Zimmerman. The three defensive players also represent the Broncos' highest total on that side of the ball since the 1977 and 1978 "Orange Crush" defenses produced four All-Pros each year.
Harris and Talib are among 17 first-time first-team All-Pro selections, giving both a long-deserved breakthrough. Talib earned second-team honors in 2013, his last season with the New England Patriots, while Harris was a second-team choice the previous two seasons.
A change in the All-Pro procedure to recognize the prevalence of nickel and dime packages helped push both Talib and Harris over the line, as the All-Pros included three cornerbacks for the first time.
Together, Harris and Talib became the Broncos' first All-Pro cornerbacks since Champ Bailey, and the only pair of first-team cornerbacks since at least 1962, when the term "cornerback" was gaining traction. (Before then, teams used two "defensive halfbacks" for the responsibilities cornerbacks now have.)
Miller also became the Broncos' first three-time first-team All-Pro selection since Bailey from 2004-06, which puts him in elite Broncos company. Only six Broncos earned three first-team All-Pro nods in their Broncos careers: Miller, Bailey, Terrell Davis, Shannon Sharpe, Karl Mecklenburg and Rick Upchurch.