4. Lionel Taylor
The 1960 Denver Broncos were a new team in a new league, wearing probably the ugliest uniforms ever donned by a professional football team. They needed familiarity with a skeptical fan base. They needed an identity. They needed a star.
Enter Lionel Taylor. After not playing in the team’s first two games, Taylor broke out in game 3 and went on to accumulate an AFL-best 92 catches over the final 10 games of the season. In seven seasons in Denver, Taylor led the league in receptions five times. His 100 catches in 1961, then a record for all of professional football, was a team record until Ed McCaffrey grabbed 101 in 2000.
Taylor was an inaugural member of the Broncos’ Ring of Fame in 1984.