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Mile High Morning: Eight Broncos make ESPN's AFC West all-decade team


The Lead

We already know you could make one heck of a team just from the best Broncos of the 2010s.

But even if you expand the pool to include players from the rest of the AFC West, the Broncos would be quite well represented.

ESPN's NFL Nation reporters picked out the division's all-decade squad, and the Broncos had eight players selected: QB Peyton Manning, LT Ryan Clady, G Louis Vasquez, WRs Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, LB Von Miller and CBs Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr.

Reporter Jeff Legwold also picked a player of the decade for the Broncos — and how could it be anyone but Von Miller?

"He has been a centerpiece of a defense that in 2015 was one of the best of the Super Bowl era," Legwold wrote. "And he did it all with five different defensive coordinators and four head coaches."

Meanwhile, Demaryius Thomas, Chris Harris Jr. and Peyton Manning duked it out for honorable mention. Also, John Fox earned honorable mention honors for the division's top coach of the decade.

Below the Fold

In 1968, Broncos quarterback Marlin Briscoe became the first black player to start at the position in pro football history. In a new interview with The Denver Post, Briscoe looks back on how racism affected his career and shares his perspective on current Broncos players' fight for justice. "You can't think of yourself as 'just a football player,'" Briscoe told the Post's Sean Keeler. "Because now, you're not."

Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer discussed the hype and potential around Drew Lock after the Broncos' big offseason investment in offensive weapons in his new mailbag, and he thinks his success could depend on more than just to whom Lock is throwing. "I think how much Lock progresses this year may well ride on how much the group in front of him progresses this year," Breer wrote.

Meanwhile, SI Fantasy's Shawn Childs projects that Lock will definitely progress in 2020. In those overall offense projections, they've got Lock throwing for more than 3,800 yards, 26 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

The Unclassifieds

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