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Mile High Morning: FB Michael Burton selected to PFF's 2023 All-Pro team


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Fullback Michael Burton is usually the one paving the way for his teammates' highlights, but over the past couple weeks, the veteran is getting is due as one of the league's best at his position.

A week after being selected as a Pro Bowl alternate, Burton was named a first-team All-Pro selection by Pro Football Focus. Long snapper Mitchell Fraboni also made the list as a second-team selection.

"There aren't many true fullbacks in today's NFL, but of the 15 players to record at least 50 snaps lined up as a fullback this season, Burton led the way in PFF run-blocking grade (67.2)," PFF's staff wrote.

Burton played at least 10 offensive snaps in 11 of the Broncos' 17 games, while also tallying double-digit snap totals on special teams in each of Denver's contests. The former fifth-round selection also caught a two-point conversion in the Broncos' game against the New York Jets and registered 10 touches across the season.

In a win over the Chargers in Week 17, Burton showed strong effort as he picked up a blitz in the pocket — and then raced downfield to make another block on Lil'Jordan Humphrey's catch-and-run for a touchdown. Payton compared Burton's effort to Benjamin Watson's chase down of Champ Bailey in the Broncos' 2005 divisional round win.

"I hadn't seen it, and I just showed it to our team," Payton said on Jan 3. "… This play kind of goes in that little category [with the Watson play] for me that is pretty special. When you think you're playing hard, take a peek at this. I was not aware of it. I was only aware of the pickup. [Humphrey] has to bounce off about five people for the fullback to get ahead of him, but I'd never seen something like that. It was a special play."

With Burton in the backfield, the Broncos averaged more than 100 rushing yards per game and found success in short-yardage situations.

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