Denver Broncos Mount Rushmore of Last Decade: 2014-2024

Denver Broncos Mount Rushmore of Last Decade: 2014-2024
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

The Denver Broncos spent the past eight years trying and failing to get into the playoffs, but they’ve had some outstanding players, especially on defense.

With the offseason in full swing and Colorado sports betting on the NFL in a lull, it allows us to take a step back and look at some fun historic takes on NFL franchises — like the always loved Mount Rushmore.

Utilizing ProFootballReference.com, BetColorado.com developed the Denver Broncos’ Mount Rushmore from 2014-2023. The players included had to have played for the Broncos for at least three years during this time period, and it is based on their Approximate Value (by ProFootballReference.com standards) during those years with the team.

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Broncos Mount Rushmore of Last Decade

PlayerYears With Team During DecadeApproximate Value During Decade
OLB Von Miller8 years (2014-2021)85
FS Justin Simmons8 years (2016-Current)65
CB Chris Harris Jr.6 years (2014-2019)60
OT Garrett Bolles7 years (2017-Current)46

bet365 Colorado lists San Francisco as the Super Bowl favorite at +500, followed by back-to-back champion Kansas City at +700.

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Still Led by Defense

The Denver Broncos won their last Super Bowl following the 2015 season with Peyton Manning at quarterback, but it was their defense that paved the way to that title.

As the Broncos have struggled to find a franchise quarterback to replace Manning in the eight years since, it’s no surprise the Approximate Value leaders still come from the defense. Manning had an AV of 52 in his four years in Denver from 2012 to 2015, but he had an AV of 2 in that championship season.

The Broncos have fielded a long line of quarterbacks, so it’s little wonder only offensive tackle Garett Bolles represents his side of the ball on the past decade’s Mount Rushmore. Without a solid quarterback to disperse the ball, the offense has stayed stagnant.

The AV leaders at quarterback since Manning are Russell Wilson (21, 2022-23), Trevor Siemian (13, 2016-17), Drew Lock (12, 2019-21), Teddy Bridgewater (10, 2021) and Case Keenum (9, 2018). Denver is still in doubt at quarterback for next season, with the Russell Wilson next team odds currently favoring Pittsburgh.

That leaves the Broncos riding with the defense. 

Von Miller went to the Los Angeles Rams in the middle of the 2021 season and won a Super Bowl. He has spent the past two seasons in Buffalo. But he had 85 of his career 131 AV in that seven-plus years with Denver in the past decade. He’s currently tied with nine others at 144 AV in NFL history, including Hall of Famers Chris Hanburger, Curtis Martin, Ed Reed and Derrick Thomas.

Free safety Justin Simmons joined the Broncos the year after their last Super Bowl win as a third-round draft pick out of Boston College. He’s been the team leader in many ways, racking up an AV of 65 in 118 games. He has 30 career interceptions, was voted to his second Pro Bowl this past season and he’s been second-team All-Pro four times.

Cornerback Chris Harris Jr. put up an AV of 60 in the Denver secondary from 2015 through 2019 before he spent his final three NFL seasons with the Chargers (2020-21) and the Saints (2022). While with the Broncos, he earned four trips to the Pro Bowl, was named first-team All-Pro in 2016 and earned second-team All-Pro three times.

That leaves Bolles to wrap up this past decade’s Mount Rushmore with an AV of 46. The 20th pick overall in the 2017 NFL Draft has been a steady performer for the Broncos’ offensive line. He suffered a broken leg in October 2022, but other than that he’s been a standout at tackle.

Colorado betting apps list the Broncos at +10000 to win the Super Bowl, among the bottom six teams in title odds.

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Author

Douglas Pils has been a sports journalist for 30 years in Texas, Arkansas and New York having worked for the San Antonio Express-News, the Associated Press, The Dallas Morning News and Newsday. He most recently ran the Student Media Department at Texas A&M for eight years.

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