Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Karl Mecklenburg

Also inducted into the Broncos Ring of Fame in 2001 was Karl Mecklenburg. Karl wore #77 for 12 years in Denver as a defensive lineman and mostly as a linebacker. He was voted to 6 Pro Bowls after being drafted in the 12th round out of the University of Minnesota. I met him at the Broncos parade after they won their first Super Bowl. If I can find the picture, I will post it.

Mecklenburg overcame long odds to achieve greatness after being drafted by the Broncos in the 12th round out of Minnesota in 1983— the 310th player chosen. He became a starter by his third season, 1985, and went on to start 141 of the 180 games he played, which places him seventh on the club’s all- time list for games played. Mecklenburg was voted to play in six Pro Bowls (following the 1985, ’86, ’87, ’89, ’91 and ’93 seasons); was named All- AFC and All- NFL four times (1985- 87 and ’89); was named AFC Player of the Year by Football News in 1986 and played in three Super Bowls as a Bronco: XXI, XXII and XXIV. He finished his career with 1,145 tackles (787 solo) and ranks second in club annals with 79.5 sacks, trailing only Simon Fletcher (97.5). Mecklenburg’s career high of 13 sacks came in 1985 and ties for the fifth most sacks recorded by a Broncos player in a single season. He recorded 11 multi- sack games and is the only player in franchise history to record four sacks in a game twice in his career. He shares the franchise single- game record with four other players. Mecklenburg began his collegiate career at Augustana (S. D.) College before transferring to Minnesota, where he earned second- team All- Big Ten honors as a senior in 1982.

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