In the seventh of Thin Air’s series on considerations for the Broncos Ring of Fame is Tyrone Braxton (1987-1993, 1995-1999).
Steve Atwater and Dennis Smith were the standout stars at the safety position in Denver during the late 80s and early 90s. During that time, Tyrone Braxton was right alongside them at cornerback. He joined the Broncos one pick shy of being Mr. Irrelevant in 1987. Very low draft capital did not stop Braxton from making the team, and he broke through in 1989, chalking up six interceptions in starting all 16 games. After missing most of 1990 with a knee injury, Braxton returned to a regular starter at cornerback for the next three seasons.
After one season away from Denver as a backup for the Miami Dolphins, Braxton returned to Denver and a new role was found for him: alongside Atwater at safety to fill the hole left by Smith’s retirement. Braxton would thrive in that role–particularly in 1996, when he led the NFL with nine interceptions and earned himself a Pro Bowl bid. 1997 also featured a four interception performance that contributed to the culmination of the Broncos’ first Lombardi Trophy.