The Denver Broncos have built a team that compete with the most unlikely player at quarterback. A former seventh round pick. The reason they can stay so competitive is excellent drafting, as that selection proves. There is a lot of time left, but who should they look at, at this point of the season?
When John Elway took over for the Denver Broncos, their drafting improve drastically. He has been exceptional at finding talent to bring in through the draft, but of course not everyone pans out. One thing has been clear with Elway and his drafts, not many of the players have an impact right away.
In addition to their drafting, Elway has been adept at finding quality players after the draft. These players are highlighted by Chris Harris, C.J. Anderson and Shaquil Barrett. If you are able to find players late in the draft and as undrafted players, you can keep the team competitive.
Malik Jackson, Danny Trevathan and Julius Thomas are all players Elway drafted and found later in the draft. All three of them took some time before their impact was felt, and they turned that into cashing in elsewhere. Yet, none of them have had the success with their new teams like they had in Denver.
Additionally, Elway has been really successful in finding value in the late first round. Players like Shane Ray, Sylvester Williams and Bradley Roby have all become big time contributors on the Broncos defense. Their latest first round pick has yet to see the field.
Also, Elway selected Derek Wolfe in the second round after trading down a couple of times, and Wolfe has developed into a premier 3-4 defensive end. Besides Wolfe, Elway has had minimal success in the second round. Running back Montee Ball was released, and quarterback Brock Osweiler left after starting only seven games for the Broncos.
Elway still has three former second round picks, besides Derek Wolfe, on the roster in Cody Latimer, Ty Sambrailo and Adam Gotsis. Sambrailo played in three games his rookie year before getting hurt and placed on injured reserve adn Latimer has yet to have an impact. Adam Gotsis is a raw player just drafted in the last draft so time will tell on him.
With Elways first second round pick, Rahim Moore, bouncing around the NFL, it is safe to say second round is where Elway struggles the most with his drafting. He makes up for it in the later rounds, which was previously touched upon.
Out of all of Elway’s drafts, he has found 14 starters, or basically starters. The basically starters are corner Bradley Roby, Safety Justin Simmons. The 12 starters are quarterback Trevor Siemian, tight end Virgil Green, offensive linemen Ty Sambrailo, Michael Schofield, Max Garcia and Matt Paradis. Linebackers Von Miller and Shane Ray (who is starting in place of the injured DeMarcus Ware), punter Riley Dixon, fullback Andy Janovich, defensive linemen Derek Wolfe and Sylvester Williams.
That is pretty impressive and higher than the league average over the six years Elway has drafted. 14 out of 46 may not seem like a lot, but those are just starters or players who have a starter like role. Denver has 11 more still on the roster bringing it to a total of 25 out of 46, which is still a pretty good number.
After this season, the Broncos will once again look upon the draft to restock and stay competitive. They are expected to have an abundance of picks, thanks to compensatory picks being handed out. For Malik Jackson, Danny Trevathan and Brock Osweiler all leaving, Denver could get a couple third and fourth round picks for their departure.
What will they do with all those picks? That is anyone’s guess. This mock draft is still really early, and the players selected could still rise up the boards of NFL teams, or fall down the boards. The Broncos have seven picks in the 2017 draft before compensatory picks, where they could get at least three more.
Of their seven picks, all but their sixth round it originally their’s. Their sixth round they traded to the San Francisco 49ers for tight end Vernon Davis. To get a sixth round pick, they made a trade in the 2016 draft with the Tennessee Titans and Denver got a sixth round in the 2017 draft to go along witht he pick they selected Andy Janovich with.
For this mock draft, the Denver Broncos were awarded four compensatory picks. Two in the third round for Brock Osweiler and Malik Jackson, a fourth for Danny Trevathan and a seventh for Ryan Harris.