Floyd Little, a three-time All-America running back at Syracuse, was the Denver Broncos first round draft pick, sixth player selected overall, in the 1967 AFL-NFL Draft. Making him so appealing to the Broncos was the versatility he demonstrated at the collegiate level during his years with the Orangemen.
Little’s multidimensional talents quickly translated into success at the pro level. At first, Denver utilized Little more as a return man. As a rookie he led the American Football League in punt returns with a 16.9 average on 16 returns. He scored the only touchdown on a punt return that season in the AFL courtesy of his 72-yard return against the New York Jets. Little also returned a career-high 35 kickoffs for 942 yards. His combined rushing and receiving yardage total that first season was just shy of 400 yards.
As he refined his running style at the pro level, the Broncos continued to give him more carries each season. By his third year he averaged a league-high and career best 5.0 yards per carry. In 1971, he became the first 1,000-yard rusher in Denver Broncos history. He won the NFL rushing title that year as he finished with 1,133 yards on 284 carries and scored 6 touchdowns.
Not only did his rushing load increase but his ability as a receiver out of the backfield was an integral part of the Broncos offense. He caught more than 25 passes in each of his final five seasons. Little also had a knack for finding the end zone, something he did often especially during a three-year stretch from 1971 to 1973 when he scored a combined 32 touchdowns via rushing and receiving.
Little was named to two AFL All-Star Games and three AFC-NFC Pro Bowls. He was also named All-AFL/NFL twice and All-AFC first- or second-team four straight years.
In all, Little amassed more than 12,000 all-purpose yards and scored 54 touchdowns during his career that spanned from 1967 to 1975. He gained 6,323 yards on 1,641 career carries and scored 43 touchdowns. He added 215 receptions for 2,418 yards and 9 TDs. Little totaled 893 yards on 81 career punt returns and a pair of scores; and returned 104 kickoffs for 2,523 yards in his nine-season career.
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