The Denver Broncos had to wait until 2004 to see their first former player, quarterback John Elway, enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
They have since seen four more players — Gary Zimmerman, Shannon Sharpe, Floyd Little, and Terrell Davis — get inducted into the Hall. There likely will be several more in the coming years, with cornerback Champ Bailey and quarterback Peyton Manning the next two most likely Broncos legends to get bronze busts in Canton, Ohio.
Given that the Broncos won a Super Bowl title less than two years ago, it also should come as no surprise that they have a handful of players on their current roster that are well on their way to having Hall of Fame-caliber careers, provided they continue adding to already-sparkling career resumes. Here are five:
This one should come as no surprise. Von Miller is already a borderline Hall of Fame player, and at 28 years old, he still has several years left of his prime.
Miller’s career resume consists of the Super Bowl 50 MVP award, five Pro Bowl and five All-Pro selections in six seasons, the 2011 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award and 73.5 sacks.
If he simply keeps up his per-year average of just over 12 sacks per season, which, by the way, is weighted down by the 2013 season where he missed seven games (six because of a violation of the league’s substance-abuse policy), for five more years, Miller will finish with roughly 135 career sacks (12th most in NFL history). If he exceeds those numbers, which is a very real possibility, the former Texas A&M star could finish in the top 5.
When his career ends, Miller could wind up being a first-ballot Hall of Fame selection.
Demaryius Thomas likely needs three or four more productive seasons to strengthen his case at being enshrined. The former Georgia Tech wide receiver has 546 career receptions for 7,704 yards and 52 touchdowns.
Over the last five years, the two-time All-Pro has averaged 98 catches for 1,374 yards and 9 touchdowns per season. If he can produce similar numbers for three more years, Thomas likely will have done enough at that point to eventually get a gold jacket.
Chris Harris Jr.
In his six-year career, Chris Harris Jr. has gone from being an undrafted free agent fighting for a roster spot to one of the best cornerbacks of the current NFL era. The two-time All-Pro is one of the best the NFL has ever seen when it comes to slot coverage ability, and he is almost equally as dominant on the outside.
At 28 years old, Harris is still very much in his prime. If he adds three more All-Pro-caliber seasons to his resume, it will be nearly impossible to keep him out of the Hall of Fame.
Aqib Talib is one of those players hated by opponents and loved by teammates. Whether you love him or hate him, there is no denying the two-time All-Pro cornerback’s talent.
Talib is tied with Deion Sanders, Aeneas Williams and Ken Houston for the fourth-most pick-6s in NFL history with 9, and he was one of the key players in the Broncos’ Super Bowl 50 championship run. Talib has been dominant enough up to this point to garner Hall of Fame consideration, but he likely will need a couple more strong seasons to strengthen his case.
Jamaal Charles built his Hall of Fame resume as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs, but since he is now with the Broncos, he deserves a mention here.
The three-time All-Pro has the second-highest yards per carry average in NFL history (among running backs with 750 carries or more); he has career totals of 7,260 rushing yards and 2,457 receiving yards; and he has 63 total career touchdowns.
In his prime, Charles was one of the most explosive and dominant running backs in the league.