People always argue if a draft class was good or not and grade it. Most people including me think think that it take 2 or 3 years before you can actually grade a class. Leading up to the draft we will take a look at who the Broncos drafted in the past 10 years. These drafts were conducted by Mike Shanahan and Josh McDaniels.
Ashley Lelie - Wide Receiver - Hawaii 19th Overall
Denver needed help at wide receiver. When the offense was healthy, it was pretty strong. Denver was looking at either an offensive lineman for a safe pick since Shanahan was not a strong drafter, or a wide receiver. The receivers in reach were either going to be Donte Stallworth or Ashley Lelie. Since Stallworth went earlier, the Broncos took 6'3 200 pound Lelie. Lelie had a not bad rookie year with 35 receptions and 2 touchdowns but his best year was 2004 where he had 54 receptions, over 1000 yards receiving and 7 touchdowns. Unfortunately, later on Lelie got upset when the Broncos traded for Javon Walker and wanted out eventually being traded to Atlanta in a 3 way deal with the Redskins. Lelie today is a free agent.
Clinton Portis - Running Back - Miami - 51st overall
Boy oh boy did this impact the last decade of the Broncos. Clinton Portis was drafted by the Broncos who was an instant star in Denver, In his rookie season he started 12 games and rushed for 1508 yards and 15 touchdowns winning the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. The next season Portis rushed for 1591 yards and 14 touchdowns averaging 5.5 YPC both seasons. In his time in Denver he became the youngest player to rush for five touchdowns in one game.However in 2004, the Broncos traded Portis to the Washington Redskins for Champ Bailey and a second round pick. Critics felt Denver got the way bigger end of the deal saying that Portis was just a success of Denver fantastic zone blocking scheme.
Dorsett Davis - Defensive Tackle - Mississippi State - 96th Overall
Davis was a big man at 305 pounds 6'5. Davis was a very inconsistent player in college after the learning of his mother had cancer which really messed with his head. He didnt play in a game in 2002. In 2003 he played 8=14 games with no starts and only 8 tackles. Later he had a small stint in the CFL with the Edmonton Eskimos.
Sam Brandon - Strong Safety - UNLV - 131st Overall
Brandon had a good few years for the Broncos. Eventually he started in his 2nd year at free safety for 10 games. He was great in coverage especially against tight ends. After a knee injury that required season ending surgery, the Broncos released him along with him having assault charges and possibly being up for suspension.
Herb Haygood - WIde Receiver - Michigan State - 144th overall
Haygood was the 2nd receiver drafted by the Broncos in 2002. Unfortunately for him he played only 4 games for the Broncos in 2003. Today he is a coach for Saginaw Valley State University.
Jeb Putzier - Tight End - Boise State - 191st overall
Putzier was a big tight end at 6'4. He actually wasn't too bad. He only played a few games in his first couple years. The next two years though he played in all 16 games each year. In 2004 and 2005 he had 36 and 37 receptions respectively and about 500 yards each season. After 2005 the Broncos released him. Last year he was with the team in training camp but never made the final team.
Chris Young - Safety - Georgia Tech - 228th overall
Young did not play much with the Broncos. In 2003 he played in 11 games and 2004 12 games mostly on special teams. In 2004 he suffered a season ending knee injury.
Monsanto Pope - Defensive Tackle - Virginia - 231st Overall
For a late round pick, Pope actually had a good time in Denver. In his rookie year he played in 14 games and started 1 and had 4 sacks! In 2003 he started 5 games and in 2004 15 games. After 2005 however Pope wasn't resigned.
This draft had a lot of players that turned into great players. It would be interesting to see where we would be if instead of Lelie we drafted Ed Reed. Just a Thought.
In my 2001 edition, you rated that draft mostly in the area of D or Fail. What do you rate this draft?