Karl Mecklenburg joined the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame in 2001 after establishing himself as one of the most outstanding defensive players in franchise history during his 12-year career from 1983-94.
Mecklenburg was voted to play in six Pro Bowls (1985-87, ‘89, ‘91, ‘93), a total that ties for the fifth highest by a player in team history. He was named All-AFC and All-NFL four times (1985-87, ‘89) and was tabbed the 1986 AFC Player of the Year by Football News .
Mecklenburg helped Denver to seven postseason appearances (1983-84, ‘86-87, ‘89, ‘91, ‘93), five division titles (1984, ‘86-87, ‘89, ‘91) and three Super Bowl berths (XXI in 1986, XXII in ‘87, XXIV in ‘89). He finished his career with 1,145 tackles (787 solo) as well as a franchise-record 79 sacks.
Mecklenburg’s career high of 13 sacks came in 1985 and (then a franchise single-season record), and he posted eight seasons with at least seven sacks. He recorded 11 multiple-sack games and is the only player in team annals to record four sacks in a game twice in his career. Mecklenburg posted 100 tackles in a season six times, including a career and team-high 143 stops in 1989.
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.