In the eleventh of Thin Air’s series on considerations for the Broncos Ring of Fame is Al Wilson (1999-2006).
Al Wilson arrived in Denver just after the Broncos won back to back Super Bowls, the fruits of the very last pick of the first round in the 1999 NFL Draft. It didn’t take long for Wilson to establish himself square in the middle of the defense after John Mobley suffered a torn ACL early in Wilson’s rookie season. Wilson had all the makings of what one looks for in a 4-3 Mike linebacker, and it earned him a total of five Pro Bowls and a pair of All-Pro mentions.
Unfortunately, Wilson’s career ended very poorly. He suffered a neck injury late in the 2006 season (in Jay Cutler’s first career start) and then was cut by the team after a failed trade to the New York Giants due to a failed physical. He never played another down of football. Via this series of events, discussion of Wilson to the Ring of Fame may be largely academic, as he does not have fond feelings toward the organization. However, being unaffiliated with the team shouldn’t stop us from considering what could be.