On This Date, April 17, 1999, Middle Linebacker, Al ‘Smoke Dog’ Wilson, was the Denver Broncos 31st pick in the NFL draft. The former Tennessee Volunteer spent all eight years of his career in Denver.
He racked up 714 tackles, 21.5 sacks, 5 interceptions and 8 forced fumbles. He was among the top three best middle linebackers in Denver’s history.
Unfortunatly for him, he played for us while we were on a long drought of wins. Those years were kind of a mess. If not, outside of Broncos Country, he’d get more recconigtion than he has because he was a beast. Beast.
He was a 5× Pro Bowl (2001–2003, 2005, 2006), AP First-Team All-Pro (2005), and AP Second-Team All-Pro (2006).
Unfortunately, he became the victim of salary cap and a severe neck injury. If you saw LB Zaire Anderson get hurt, then that’s how we felt with Smoke, but even worse because he was the heart and soul of our defense and a beloved figure for years.