Riley Odoms
Riley Odoms was the first great receiving tight end in Denver Broncos’ history. He was drafted with the 5th pick in the first round of the 1972 NFL Draft out of Houston. The 6’4’’ 230-pound tight end was born on March 1, 1950. He played for the Denver Broncos from 1972-1983.

Riley Odoms #88

Player Info

Height 6' 4"
Weight 230 lbs
DOB: 3/1/1950
Tight End


NFL Draft

1972/Round 1/Pick 5

Career Highlights

Pro Bowls

1973, 1974, 1975, 1978

Team(s) As A Player

Denver Broncos 1972-1983

Riley Odoms Receiving Leader 

The first tight end to lead the Denver Broncos in receiving wasn’t Shannon Sharpe; it was Riley Odoms. Odoms led the club in receptions in 1973 (43-629-7TD), 1974 (42-639-6TD), 1977 (37-429-3TD), and 1978 (54-829-6TD). He also led Denver in receiving yards in 1975 when he hauled in 40 catches for 544 yards and 3 TDs.

Riley Odoms Comes Up Big

On December 10, 1978, Riley Odoms had a banner day to propel the Denver Broncos to their second straight Division Title. Trailing 7-0 to the Oakland Raiders, Odoms hauled in passes of 33 and 21 yards to help set up the Broncos first touchdown. Then he caught a 34 yard pass on the sideline to set up a Jim Turner field goal. Then Riley Odoms caught a 23 yard touchdown on their next possession to give the Broncos a 17-7 lead. With 5:32 left to play, Craig Morton tossed a short pass to Odoms, and Riley did the rest finding the end zone for the final touchdown. For the day he caught 7 passes for 165 yards and 2 touchdowns as the Broncos beat the Raiders 24-3. (1)

Riley Odoms Playoffs 

On December 4th, 1977, Riley Odoms caught 6 passes for 86 yards including a 13-yard TD reception from Craig Morton to defeat the Houston Oilers 24-14 and clinch the first playoff berth in 18 years of Denver Broncos’ history.

In 1977, the Denver Broncos faced off against the team of the 1970s, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Tom Jackson was the star of the game, but Riley Odoms had a fine performance. He caught 5 passes for 43 yards including a 30-yard touchdown from Craig Morton in the 3rd quarter to give Denver a 21-14 lead. Denver went on to win the game 34-21 and was propelled to the AFC Championship game against Oakland, and eventually the Super Bowl.

Riley Odoms Career

Not only was Riley highly regarded in the Mile High City, he was also respected by his peers. Four times in his brilliant career, Odoms was selected to the Pro Bowl, following the 1973, 1974, 1975, and 1978 seasons. He finished his Broncos’ career with 396 receptions for 5755 yards and 41 TDs. He also ran the ball 27 times for 216 yards and 2 TDs.

By A. Goodin,
October 24, 2007

Riley Odoms Biography Sources:

(1)  Craig Crushes Chiefs To Give Broncos AFC Title (1978, December 11) Atchison Daily Globe