This story originally appeared in Mile High Sports Magazine. Read the full digital edition.

Malik Jackson, Danny Trevathan.

Danny Trevathan, Malik Jackson.

“The Broncos defense is doomed!”

That’s been the overwhelming analysis from scores of (lazy) national media members across the country when it comes to how the unit that won Super Bowl 50 will perform in 2016.

Yes, losing Jackson to Jacksonville and Trevathan to Chicago hurt; they were both instrumental pieces on arguably the best defense in NFL history. But that’s nowhere near the whole story.

In fact, Denver not only returns the majority of their Super defense from a season ago, but the overwhelming majority at that.

Twelve of Denver’s best 14 defenders who helped the team win it at all in Santa Clara will be on the hunt for another championship ring this year. That’s a cool 86 percent for those without a calculator nearby.

Trevathan and Jackson were good, but if these guys live up to their potential, this group could be even better. They may even lead the Broncos to another Lombardi Trophy next February in Houston.

Possible All-Pro Personnel

Chris Harris Jr. – The Broncos are lucky they paid Harris when they did, as a top-5 corner in the NFL right now he’s poised to have another monster year.

Von Miller – The Super Bowl MVP’s wild offseason has been critiqued and re-critiqued, but after a massive payday Miller will, once again, be eating QBs alive.

Aqib Talib – The gunshot wound from an incident in Dallas aside, Talib is still one of the most feared cornerbacks in the league.

T.J. Ward – The hard hitter is always on the prowl for his next big hit and forced fumble; Ward remains possibly the scariest safety on the planet.

DeMarcus Ware – The back is a big concern, but even if he plays 12 games or so, the future Hall of Famer showed in the playoffs he’s got plenty left in the tank.

Possible Pro Bowl Folks

Brandon Marshall – The most anonymous rising star in the league, possibly because of that wide receiver in New York, Marshall is a solid as they come at ILB.

Bradley Roby – The guy would be the No. 1 corner on half the teams in the league; the fact Roby is the Broncos No. 3 at the position emphasizes how loaded they are.

Darian Stewart – The replacement for Rahim “The Nightmare” Moore was the biggest surprise on the team last season and he’s back for more.

Derek Wolfe – The four-game suspension feels like it was ages ago; Wolfe apparently wants to eat Tom Brady’s kids and is not to be messed with.

Possible Breakthrough Babies

Shaquil Barrett – The kid from CSU went from practice squad darling to legitimate NFL threat. With more playing time on deck, the sky is the limit.

Shane Ray – The logical choice to become the next Broncos star, especially if Ware isn’t healthy, the 2015 first round pick might become Denver’s next household name.

Sylvester Williams – The team didn’t pick up his fifth year option, so on the verge of a monster payday, Williams is ready for his best season yet.