The Denver Broncos have had a lot of great players pass through the organization. Though we think primarily of the offensive legends, particularly at quarterback, there has been no shortage of great pass rushers as well.
Learn how to bet on the Broncos in Colorado here.
Top 10 All-Time Sack Leaders in Broncos History
This list will go through the 10 most prolific sack artists in Broncos’ history. Some names jump out immediately while others may take even the most diehard of Broncos faithful by surprise. Let’s dive into the list below.
1.) Von Miller, 110.5 Sacks
The 2nd overall pick in 2011, Miller came into town with a world of hype and delivered in every sense. In 10 years as a Bronco, he racked up a franchise-best 110.5 sacks but that doesn’t fully encapsulate how great he was. That is why he is one of the best defensive players in the history of the Broncos.
He made the Pro Bowl in 9 of 10 years, the only missing year being one where he played just nine games. He won Defensive Rookie of the Year and twice finished as the runner-up for Defensive Player of the Year. An unrivaled force in Broncos’ history.
Miller is also one of the best Broncos Super Bowl performers of all time, winning the MVP in Super Bowl 50.
2.) Simon Fletcher, 97.5 Sacks
For a long time, it was Fletcher at the top of the sack list with 97.5. In 11 seasons, there were few better at getting to the quarterback than Fletcher. He had a slow start even while helping the Broncos reach Super Bowl XXI.
He really hit his stride from 1988-93, starting all 96 games and picking up 75 sacks over that time. His per-game sack rate during that period is among the best ever. He somehow never made a Pro Bowl, but the Denver faithful knows how good he was.
3.) Karl Mecklenburg, 79 Sacks
Mecklenburg is remembered for being a versatile force for 12 years in Denver, lining up at a whopping seven positions. He was best when getting after the quarterback, hitting his stride in 1984.
He finished his career near the top of the sack list, though he was dropped a few spots since. He also ranked near the top in solo tackles, forced fumbles, and fumble recoveries in franchise history. A true jack-of-all-trades.
4.) Barney Chavous, 75 Sacks
Chavous had a prolific career in Denver. He spent all of his 13 seasons in the Mile High City after he was picked in the second round of the NFL Draft out of South Carolina State. He proved himself to be a solid if unspectacular player in his time in Denver.
Chavous left the team as one of the all-time leaders and was third all-time for years until Miller came through town. Chavous doesn’t get the love he deserves for the contributions he made to the Denver defense.
Happy Birthday, no. 7⃣9⃣ Barney Chavous! The Denver Broncos drafted Chavous in the 1973 2nd round. He played DL for 13 seasons, all with Denver, starting 178 games. Chavous was a member of the Orange Crush Defense. He amassed 1,002 tackles, 75 sacks, 8 FRs, 1 safety, and 1 TD. pic.twitter.com/Vi4ZEWqwKK
— Mile High Moments (@MileHighMoments) March 22, 2023
5.) Rulon Jones, 73.5 Sacks
Much like the aforementioned Chavous, Jones was a second-round pick who would go on to play the entirety of his career in a Denver uniform. His time was a bit shorter – nine years – but no less impactful.
It is interesting to note that the 73.5 sacks is an unofficial total. He has 52.5 official sacks because sack totals didn’t officially become a statistic until the 1982 season. Even still, he was a force for Broncos teams of the 1970s.
Gotta love Rulon Jones! pic.twitter.com/ckZhYlUvJc
— DenverThrowback (@DenThrowback) March 28, 2022
6.) Lyle Alzado, 64.5 Sacks
The average fan remembers Lyle as a member of the rough and tumble 1980s Raiders teams, but he started as a force in Denver over eight seasons and 99 games.
Alzedo made a pair of Pro Bowls and racked up 64.5 sacks in eight seasons before leaving for Cleveland. His intensity made him a perfect asset to chase down the quarterback.
7.) Trevor Pryce, 64 Sacks
Trevor Pryce came into town with a lot of hype, a first-round pick out of Clemson University. The 28th overall pick, Pryce carved out an impressive career as a member of the Broncos. His 64 sacks are good enough for seventh, but it doesn’t really capture the picture.
Pryce picked up four straight Pro Bowl nods and even an All-NFL selection. He was also good enough to be named to the franchise’s 50th Anniversary Team. An understated force during his time in Denver.
8.) Elvis Dumervil, 63.5 Sacks
During the late 2000s, there were fewer pass rushers in the NFL than Dumervil. Joining the team in 2006, Dumervil set the tone right away. He missed the 2010 season with a torn pec but was outstanding otherwise.
His 2009 season, he picked up 17 sacks and finished third in Defensive Player of the Year voting. He left as a free agent for Baltimore in 2013 but racked up an impressive 63.5 in just six years in Denver, finishing with 105.5 in 11 total years.
9.) Paul Smith, 55.5 Sacks
A 9th-round pick in the 1968 NFL Draft, Smith wasn’t supposed to be much when he came out of New Mexico. He wound up carving out 133 games in 11 years with the Broncos, quietly becoming a solid pass rusher.
He picked up the vast majority of his sacks in Denver, to the tune of 55.5. During his 20s, he was a force before injuries and age took over. From 1970-1973, he turned in a whopping 45 sacks and earned a pair of Pro Bowl nods.
— DenverBroncos QBClub (@BroncosQBClub) March 3, 2019
10.) Rich Jackson, 43 Sacks
Jackson got a late start in the NFL, entering the league as a 25-year-old with the Oakland Raiders in 1966. From there, he had a brief but effective run with the Broncos. All told, he played just 67 games over five years but made the most of it.
The bulk of his 43 sacks came from 1968-1970, when he scored 33 sacks and a trio of Pro Bowl nods. Injuries cut him down beginning in 1971 and his career was never the same after that.
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) February 19, 2021
Though many will remember Von Miller and Karl Mecklenburg, there are plenty of other names worth remembering. The Broncos pass rush might not get the love that other franchises have, but they have historically known how to get to the quarterback.
Check how out to bet on NFL in Colorado here.