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Mile High Morning: Recognizing Broncos greats in honor of National Tight Ends Day


The Lead

From Shannon Sharpe serving as a catalyst for back-to-back Super Bowl-winning teams to Julius Thomas recording consecutive 12-touchdown seasons in a Peyton Manning-led offense to Riley Odoms complementing the Orange Crush defense with consistent production, several great tight ends have donned the orange and blue and competed for the Broncos. In honor of National Tight Ends Day, here's a look at the five tight ends who were selected to the Broncos Top 100 team in 2019.

Shannon Sharpe (1990-99, 2002-03)

A first-team 1990s All-Decade Team selection, Sharpe is one of the Broncos' best receiving threats regardless of position. Sharpe ranks third in franchise history with 8,439 receiving yards and 55 receiving touchdowns and behind only Rod Smith in receptions. The Savannah State product earned four first-team All-Pro selections and posted some of his most impressive statistical years in the Broncos' march to Super Bowl titles in the 1997 and 1998 seasons. Sharpe was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011.

Riley Odoms (1972-83)

Odoms played for Denver before the passing game revolution of the late 20th century but still posted numbers that stand the test of time. Odoms still ranks seventh in Broncos history in receiving yardage and receiving touchdowns and was Denver's leading receiver in four seasons. The fifth-overall pick in the 1972 NFL Draft, Odoms earned four Pro Bowl selections and two first-team All-Pro nods.

Julius Thomas (2011-14)

A 2011 fourth-round pick, Thomas took his career to another level when he teamed up with Peyton Manning. Thomas became one of the most prolific touchdown scorers in the NFL in the Broncos' high-flying offenses in 2013 and 2014, scoring 12 touchdowns in each of those seasons and earning Pro Bowl selections for his efforts. Thomas is tied for second in franchise history for the most receiving touchdowns over a two-year span.

Dwayne Carswell (1994-05)

Dwayne Carswell was a key contributor in multiple eras of Broncos football, including teaming up with Sharpe on the two Super Bowl-winning teams. A Pro Bowl selection in 2001, Carswell played 12 seasons with the team, which ties him with Sharpe and Odoms for the most seasons with the team by any tight end. From 2000-01, Carswell caught 83 passes for 794 yards and seven touchdowns to represent the most productive stretch of his career.

Daniel Graham (2007-10)

Graham was one of Denver's consistent contributors from 2007-10 and started 61-of-64 possible games in his four-season stint with the Broncos. His most productive season with the Broncos came in 2008, when he recorded 32 receptions for 389 yards and four touchdowns, which were all among his career-best marks.

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