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Two former Broncos make list of HOF worthy players

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By: Ian St. Clair

Set Number: X14374

Rich “Tombstone” Jackson and Rick Upchurch listed among players not in Canton from the 1960s to the early ‘80s.

Good morning, Broncos Country!

The representation of the Denver Broncos in the Pro Football Hall of Fame has definitely improved over the last 15 years.

There was a time when the Broncos were severely under-represented. But the tide has shifted to Denver. And while it took Randy Gradishar way, way longer to get in the Hall of Fame than it should have taken, the legendary linebacker is finally in. With it, the Orange Crush has its first member in Canton.

But there are still Hall of Fame-worthy players. That’s a long list for the Broncos, depending on who you talk to.

In a recent story at the Talk of Fame, John Turney listed Hall-worthy players from the 1960s to early ‘80s. For his list, he broke it down via First-team and Second-team. Two players from Denver made the list.

Broncos of Ring of Famers Rich “Tombstone” Jackson and Rich Upchurch were First-team players on Turney’s list. Jackson as a defensive end and Upchurch as a returner.

Turney on Jackson: “

“Jackson was a favorite of Paul “Dr. Z” Zimmerman, who in 1991 first wrote about his Hall-worthiness in Sports Illustrated, the year Zimmerman joined the Hall’s board of selectors.

“‘Tombstone’ Jackson’s knock was not his skills. Those were legendary; it was his lack of longevity — playing just seven seasons but healthy for only 4-1/2.”

As for Upchurch:

“There’s no way to separate Billy “White Shoes” Johnson or Rick Upchurch. You can look at their stats, their film, their all-decade selections or All-Pros/Pro Bowls.

“It’s a tie.”

Turney also mentioned former Denver receiver Lionel Taylor, but he wasn’t included in either the First or Second-team of his list of receivers.

I would have liked to see cornerback Louis Wright make this list, given he was the NFL’s first “shutdown” cornerback. Wright was also a valuable piece of the Orange Crush defense.

It’s nice to see two former players who played a significant role for the Broncos make the list.

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Originally posted on Mile High Report