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Julius Thomas making history for Denver Broncos

How good is Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas?

In 23 games since taking over as the starter in September 2013, he has found the end zone 24 times. Two weeks into November, he's already the first tight end in NFL history with at least 12 touchdowns in back-to-back years.

Randy Moss, in his record-breaking 2007 season, is the only other player in NFL history to match Thomas' 12 touchdowns through nine games of a season.

Thomas was wide open for a third touchdown in Sunday's victory over the Raiders, but Peyton Manning opted to go to Emmanuel Sanders instead.

The former college hoops star ranks with Demaryius Thomas as the most valuable of Peyton Manning's offensive weapons.

In his excellent weekly Scout's Eye feature, NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah opined Monday on NFL NOW that Rob Gronkowski is the only tight end superior to Thomas right now.

"Skill-set wise as a tight end, he gives you everything," Jeremiah explained. "He can run after the catch, he can post you up in the middle of the field, he has a great feel in the red zone. He's an outstanding tight end and a big-time weapon for Peyton Manning."

Jeremiah conceded that a healthy Jimmy Graham would give Thomas a battle, but the Saints star hasn't been as consistently dominant since suffering a painful shoulder injury in early October.

This is the third stretch in four years in which a nagging injury has affected Graham's play.

I would take my chances with Graham as a more unstoppable force, but Thomas has certainly earned a lucrative long-term contract and a spot on the AFC Pro Bowl roster.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast recaps every Week 10 game from an action-packed Sunday. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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