The 5 Most Indispensable Denver Broncos Not Named Peyton Manning

By Jimmie Kaylor

The Top 5 Indispensable Denver Broncos Not Named Peyton Manning

Denver Broncos: indispensable players, peyton manning
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Peyton Manning is without a doubt the most indispensible player on the Denver Broncos' roster. In 2013, the Broncos made a Super Bowl run despite playing without Ryan Clady, Von Miller and Champ Bailey for most of the season. With their weaknesses being exposed in Super Bowl XLVIII, the Broncos made several notable roster additions for the 2014 season. Here is a look at the five most indispensible Broncos not named Peyton Manning.

5. Terrence Knighton

Denver Broncos: Terrence Knighton, pot roast
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5. Terrence Knighton

Denver Broncos: Terrence Knighton, pot roast
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“Pot Roast” was simply a force in 2013. Defensive tackles with his size, talent and natural athletic ability are not easy to find. He was the one player on the defensive line who played consistently down the stretch for the Broncos in 2013. At 6-foot-3 and 335 pounds, Knighton is stellar against the run and provides Denver with a surprisingly potent interior pass rush.

4. Demaryius Thomas

Denver Broncos: Demaryius Thomas
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4. Demaryius Thomas

Denver Broncos: Demaryius Thomas
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Thomas does everything that you could want a wide receiver to do, and he does it well. He’s big and physical, but also has the speed and explosion to take a screen pass 80-plus yards. He’s a willing downfield blocker and lacks the diva-esque qualities that most wide receivers possess. Thomas has been Peyton Manning’s favorite target during his first two years in Denver. Don’t expect that to change anytime soon.

3. Aqib Talib

Denver Broncos: Aqib Talib
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3. Aqib Talib

Denver Broncos: Aqib Talib
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Talib is one of the rare NFL cornerbacks with the ability to cover both elite wide outs and elite tight ends. Hence the Broncos paid Talib the kind of money that is reserved for the league’s premier players. In an already-thin secondary, the Broncos cannot afford to lose Talib.

2. Von Miller

Denver Broncos: Von Miller
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2. Von Miller

Denver Broncos: Von Miller
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If Miller is healthy and focused, which all signs point towards, he is a top five defensive player in the NFL. He has a burst off the edge that is nearly unmatched by anyone in the league and will help provide the explosive pass rush that eluded the Broncos in 2013. An exceptional pass rush will not only help the Broncos combat a pass-heavy NFL, but also alleviate some of the pressure on a thin secondary group for the Broncos.

1. Ryan Clady

Denver Broncos: Ryan Clady
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1. Ryan Clady

Denver Broncos: Ryan Clady
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The Broncos offensive line struggled mightily in every game the Broncos lost in 2013. If Clady can return to his All-Pro form, Peyton Manning’s backside will be safe all season. When healthy, Clady is easily one of the premier offensive linemen in the NFL. His presence will also take some of the pressure off of a young running back group with limited pass blocking experience at the NFL level.

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