As the decade comes to an end, DenverBroncos.com is remembering some of the best players and moments from the last 10 years. In this first installment, we're naming players to our all-decade team.
Read on for a trip through a 10-year stretch in which the Broncos won five division titles, reached two Super Bowls and won a world championship.
QB: Peyton Manning
We begin with perhaps the easiest choice on the list. In four seasons in Denver, Manning set the single-season record for passing yards and passing touchdowns, earned his fifth career MVP award and led the Broncos to a pair of Super Bowl appearances. He capped his career with a win in Super Bowl 50.
RB: Phillip Lindsay
The easiest choice of the all-decade team is followed by perhaps the most difficult. Lindsay just completed his second season and again broke the 1,000-yard rushing mark. He is the first undrafted rookie to break the barrier in his first two seasons, and he's only the fourth Bronco to record back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons. The excellence in those two seasons is enough to push him past C.J. Anderson, who recorded 3,051 yards and made a Pro Bowl in his five years in Denver. Lindsay, though, also has a Pro Bowl to his name and has nearly matched Anderson's rushing touchdown total (20 to 16) in just two seasons.
FB: Andy Janovich
Whether you think Lindsay or Anderson belongs on this team, Andy Janovich helped clear a running lane or two. The fourth-year Nebraska product has embodied toughness and grit — and he signed an extension this season to stick around Denver for years to come. There's no doubt that "Jano" deserves a spot on this list.
WR: Demaryius Thomas & Emmanuel Sanders
Thunder and lightning are back together again. With Manning under center, both Thomas and Sanders broke the 1,400-yard mark in 2014 and made the Pro Bowl. It was one of two Pro Bowl appearances for Sanders in Denver — and one of five for Thomas. Eric Decker challenged for Sanders' spot, but No. 10 recorded three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and finished his career in Denver in the top 10 in receiving yards. Thomas, meanwhile, played 114 consecutive games for the Broncos from 2011-2018 and holds the highest single-season receiving yards and touchdown totals in franchise history. He ranks second in career receiving yards and touchdown catches and third in total receptions. With another year in this decade, Courtland Sutton may have pushed for Sanders' spot. The 2018 second-round pick was named a Pro Bowl alternate in his second year.
TE: Julius Thomas
Noah Fant, who just turned in a record-setting rookie season, may claim this spot on next decade's team. The 2010s, though, belonged to Thomas. He posted two Pro Bowl seasons in his four years in Denver and was particularly dominant in 2013 and 2014. During those two seasons, Thomas caught 108 total passes for 1,277 yards and 24 touchdowns.
LT: Ryan Clady
Clady is a potential Ring of Famer and earned one of his two first-team All-Pro selections this decade. He also added three Pro Bowl nods this decade as he anchored the left side of the line for five seasons in this 10-year period.
LG: Zane Beadles
Beadles, a 2012 Pro Bowler, started 62 games for the Broncos after the team selected him in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft. He is the only player for the Broncos at that position to make a Pro Bowl this decade. Rookie Dalton Risner, though, turned in an impressive debut season in 2019.
C: Matt Paradis
A 2014 sixth-round pick, Paradise played 57 consecutive regular-season games and went 3,850 plays without missing a snap for the Broncos. He was the center of Denver's 2015 offensive line and played with six different quarterbacks during his tenure with the Broncos.
RG: Louis Vasquez
Vasquez also saw time at right tackle during his three seasons in Denver, but he started 15 games at right guard during the team's Super Bowl 50 season. A former third-round pick by the Chargers, Vasquez was named a first-team All-Pro and earned a Pro bowl nod in 2013 at right guard for the Broncos.
RT: Orlando Franklin
Franklin's longevity helps him earn this spot, especially since the Broncos' right tackle has turned into a revolving door of sorts in recent years. The 2011 second-round pick started 47 of 48 possible games at right tackle over his first three seasons in Denver before shifting to left guard in 2014.
DE: Derek Wolfe & Malik Jackson
Wolfe earns a spot based on his longevity, as he's been available for the Broncos since he was drafted in the second round in 2012. This season may have been Wolfe's best, as he posted a career-high seven sacks. As Von Miller's partner on the field, it wouldn't be right to have one on the team without the other. Jackson, meanwhile, played four seasons in Denver and contributed 5.5 sacks to the Broncos' Super Bowl 50 team. While Wolfe stayed in Denver following the championship season, Jackson departed for Jacksonville.
DT: Terrance Knighton
Knighton earns the nod over players like Domata Peko Sr. and Sylvester Williams. He played just two seasons in Denver, but he started all 36 games for the Broncos (including postseason) and recorded six sacks to go with 87 tackles.
OLB: Von Miller & DeMarcus Ware
Miller is a no-brainer for this team. The 2011 second-overall pick has recorded 106 regular-season sacks during this decade and holds the franchise's all-time sack record. With a Pro Bowl selection in 2019, he is now tied for the second-most Pro Bowl nods in team history. Then, of course, there's Miller's Super Bowl 50 performance in which he single-handedly wrecked the Panthers' offensive game plan. Ware and Elvis Dumervil competed for the other spot. Though Dumervil was listed as a defensive end, he and Ware were both primarily edge rushers. Ware holds a slight advantage in regular-season sacks (21.5 to 20.5), and his 2015 playoff performance was crucial to the Broncos' title hopes.
LB: Danny Trevathan and Brandon Marshall
The center of the Broncos' Super Bowl 50 defense, Trevathan and Marshall combined for 210 tackles in 2015. Trevathan started just 32 games in four seasons with the Broncos, but the former sixth-round pick posted a pair of seasons with at least 100 tackles. Marshall, meanwhile, spent six seasons with the Broncos and had three seasons with at least 100 tackles.
CB: Chris Harris Jr. & Aqib Talib
Harris was a clear choice, as he spent nearly the entire decade roaming the defensive backfield for the Broncos. The former undrafted player earned four Pro Bowl nods and a first-team All-Pro appearance during his time in Denver. Talib, meanwhile, earns the spot over Hall of Famer Champ Bailey. Talib made the Pro Bowl in all four of his seasons in Denver, and he also earned a first-team All-Pro appearance. He tallied six touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 58 regular-season games. Bailey played the majority of his Hall of Fame career in the previous decade, but he still made three Pro Bowls and recorded six picks from 2010-2013. As key members of the "No-Fly Zone," it's fitting that Harris and Talib make the list together.
S: T.J. Ward and Justin Simmons
In his three seasons in Denver, Ward brought a menacing physicality to the Broncos' defense and made a Pro Bowl in 2014. He recorded a pick and a forced fumble in Super Bowl 50. The DenverBroncos.com panel was split over whether to include Simmons or Darian Stewart. Ultimately, Simmons' edge in interceptions (11-9) and his durability (two consecutive seasons without missing a snap) earned him the nod.
K: Matt Prater
Another tough decision, as the DenverBroncos.com panel was split between Matt Prater and Brandon McManus. Ultimately, Prater's 2013 second-team All-Pro season and his 64-yard field goal pushed him past McManus and his 10-for-10 run in the 2015 playoffs. Prater made 77.8 percent of his kicks this decade from 50 yards and beyond, and he made a ridiculous 96.2 percent of his kicks in 2013.
P: Britton Colquitt
In six seasons in Denver to start the decade, Colquitt averaged 45.2 yards per punt and never had a punt blocked. He held the spot for far longer than Riley Dixon, Marquette King or Colby Wadman, who have all followed Colquitt in Denver.
PR/KR: Trindon Holliday
Current returner Diontae Spencer was named a Pro Bowl alternate for 2019, but neither Spencer nor any other returner has matched Holliday's explosiveness. He played just 29 games in Denver, but he scored six touchdowns in that time as he broke free three times on punt returns and three times on kickoff returns.