Do The Broncos Shuffle: Draft Related Trades During Denver's First Two Decades

     I have always been amazed at the creativity shown by the MHR members when it comes to speculating about possible trades going into the draft. Everyone who creates a mock draft -- especially one with one or more trades -- is to be commended. Now I must admit that the draft is not my area of expertise. Nor has it been an area of particular interest in the past. Historical study is, however, an interest and the many mock drafts have whetted my curiosity. With the super7's posting of a link to a site that has compiled all of the currently available information on draft trades, I decided to take a look back at what Denver has done in regards to draft-related trading.

     During Denver's first twenty years, the Broncos participated in nineteen drafts -- there was no draft in the AFL's opening year. In those nineteen drafts, the Broncos were involved in eighty draft-related trades, or approximately four per year. Denver had as few as zero trades in a year (1979) and as many as nine (1968 & 1975). In numerous cases there are not any records to show what Denver received for their pick, nor what they gave up to secure another team's pick. Some of these trades involved players for picks and vice versa while others were picks for picks. Some of them were straight forward while others were rather creative.

     This article will look at Denver's draft-related trades from 1961 to 1979. Follow up articles will address the trades that occurred from 1980-1999 and 2000-2010.



Take a jump and see what the Broncos have done with draft trades

Please note: Draft picks are referenced in the format: Draft Round (Overall Pick Number) -- e.g. 4th (#29) means Fourth Round, 29th pick overall.

A second note: it would be helpful to remember that from 1961 to 1966 the AFL held its draft separate from the NFL draft and the teams of the two leagues were often competing for the same players. From 1967 to 1969, there was a unified draft, even though the two leagues were still separate. After the 1970 merger the draft became a single, unified event.

Draft Trades By Year
1960 NA* 1965 2 1970 2 1975 9
1961 2 1966 2 1971 5 1976 1
1962 4 1967 2 1972 6 1977 6
1963 5 1968 9 1973 8 1978 4
1964 4 1969 3 1974 6 1979 0**
*This was the inaugural year of the league, there was not a college draft.
**Denver only completed trades made in previous years

 

TRADES WITH UNKNOWN TERMS


     Denver had twenty-nine draft-related trades for which the information regarding what Denver received for a pick, or what the Broncos gave up for a pick is unknown.  Fifteen of these trades involved Denver giving up their pick to another team. There was no record of what Denver received for these fourteen picks. The remaining fourteen picks were ones that Denver acquired from other teams. While there are no specifics on what Denver gave up to acquire those picks, there are records as to how the picks were used.

     Four of the fourteen picks were used on players who were also drafted by the AFL's rival league, the NFL. All four of those players opted to play for established NFL teams (LB Sonny Davis - Dallas; WR Ray Poage - Minnesota; TE Pat Richter - Washington; DB Jerry Richardson - Los Angeles).

     One pick was traded to the Baltimore Colts for a veteran player. That trade will be discussed below. Two of the picks were used on players who never played for Denver. In 1969, the Broncos drafted DB Ed Hayes using a pick acquired from Buffalo.. Hayes never played for Denver, but did play the 1970 season for Philadelphia, appearing in four games. In 1970, Denver drafted Lewis Porter using a pick acquired from Kansas City. Porter never played for the Broncos, but there is a record of him appearing in five games for Kansas City.

     The remaining seven picks acquired from other teams were used to select players. This slate of players included one quarterback (Slaughter, 4 seasons), three running backs (Dixon, 3 seasons; Ross, 3 seasons, Franckowiak, 2 seasons), two defensive ends (Leetzow, 2 seasons, Smith, 2 seasons) and one defensive back (Holloman, 2 seasons). The only player of note in that group would be QB Mickey Slaughter who started seven out of the thirteen games he appeared in during his rookie season (1963). The specific trades are:

1961
1)Denver received 4th (#29) pick from the New York Titans. The pick was used on LB Sonny Davis. Davis was also drafted by the NFL Dallas Cowboys and opted to sign with the Cowboys.

2)Denver traded 8th (#57) pick to Oakland.

1962
3)Denver traded 5th round (#34) to San Diego.

4)Denver traded 6th (#42) to San Diego.

5)Denver traded 12th (#90) to the New York Titans.

6)Denver traded 19th (#146) to Oakland.

1963
7)Denver received 2nd (#11) from the New York Titans. The pick was used on WR Ray Poage. Poage was also drafted by NFL Minnesota Vikings and opted to sign with the Vikings.

8)Denver received 7th (#50) from San Diego. The pick was used on QB Mickey Slaughter. Slaughter played four seasons for Denver.

9)Denver received 8th (#60) from Buffalo. The pick was used on RB Hewritt Dixon. Dixon played three seasons for Denver.

10)Denver received 10th (#78) from Houston. The pick was used on TE Pat Richter. RIchter was also drafted by NFL Washington Redskins and opted to sign with the Redskins.

11)Denver traded 14th (#109) to San Diego.

1964
12)Denver received 7th (#54) from Houston. The pick was used on DB Jerry Richardson. Richardson was also drafted by the NFL Los Angeles Rams and opted to sign with the Rams.

1965
13)Denver received 5th (#35) from Oakland. The pick was used on DE Max Leetzow. Leetzow played two seasons for Denver.

1966
14)Denver traded 12th (#103) to the New York Jets.

1968
15)Denver received 4th (#111) from Cincinnati. The pick was used to select DB Gus Holloman. Holloman played two seasons for Denver.

16)Denver traded  5th (#114) to Cincinnati.

17)Denver traded 11th (#276) to Oakland.

1969
18)Denver received 4th (#88) from Buffalo. The pick was used to select DB Ed Hayes. There is no record of Hayes ever playing for Denver.

1970
19)Denver received 8th (#208) from Kansas City. This pick was used to select Lewis Porter. There is no record of Porter ever playing for Denver.

1971
20)Denver traded 8th (#191) to Kansas City.

1972
21)Denver traded 8th (#191) to Kansas City.

22)Denver traded 10th (#256) to Philadelphia.

1973
23)Denver received 13th (#319) from Buffalo. The pick was used to select DE Ed Smith. Smith played two seasons for Denver.

24)Denver received 16th (#398) from Buffalo. The pick was used to select RB Oliver Ross. Ross played three seasons for Denver.

1975
25)Denver received 3rd (#54) from the New York Giants. The pick was used to select RB Mike Franckowiak. Franckowiak played two seasons for Denver.

26)Denver traded 7th (#174) to Buffalo.

27)Denver received 8th (#187) from Chicago. Denver subsequently traded the pick to the Baltimore Colts.

1978
28)Denver traded 4th (#109) to Detroit.

29)Denver traded 6th (#165) to Detroit.

PICK(S)-FOR-PICK(S) TRADES


     During this time, Denver made only two pick-for-pick trades. This set of trades was something of a wash. Two picks were traded for three picks and a player to be named later. One of the draftees opted to go to the NFL instead of the AFL. One played just a single season while the third played for six. The player to be named later was not identified. Those trades are:

1964
1)Denver traded 1st (#1) to Boston in exchange for two picks -- 1st (#4) and 3rd (#20) -- and a player to be named later. The first round pick was used on DT Robert E. Brown. Brown was also drafted by the NFL San Francisco 49ers. Brown opted to accept the 49ers draft and was subsequently traded to Green Bay. The third round pick was used on TE Matt Snorton. Snorton played one season for the Broncos. The player to be named later was not identified.

1968
2)Denver traded 2nd (#31) to Kansas City for 1969 4th (#84). With the 1969 4th (#84) pick, Denver selected G Mike Schnitker. Schnitker played six seasons for the Broncos.

PICK(S)-FOR-PLAYER(S) TRADES


     Forty-seven of Denver's eighty draft related trades involved swapping players for picks and vice versa. In this set of trades, Denver traded one or more picks for a single veteran player twenty-two times. In one case, the player acquired was immediately traded for a new draft pick. Eight of the players gained through the trades played a single year for the Broncos. Five more players were with Denver for only two seasons. Two starting quarterbacks (Steve Tensi and Steve Ramsey) came to the Broncos through a pick(s) for player trade. The two gems found in these trades were LB Bobby Maples and RB Jon Keyworth. Denver gave up a sixth round pick for Maples and a sixth and eleventh for Keyworth. Both men played seven seasons for the Broncos.

     A second type of trade that occurred in this set were players for one or more picks. This occurred sixteen times. Four of these trades were wasted as the players chosen with the acquired draft picks failed to make the team. There were, however, some gems found with the acquired picks: T Mike Current (9 seasons), RB Fran Lynch (9), G Paul Howard (13), DE Lyle Alzado (8) and T Claudie Minor (9).

     There were five instances wherein Denver traded players in exchange for both players and picks. In three of those cases there is no record of the players acquired ever playing for Denver. However, this type of traded landed WR Al Denson in Denver for seven years.

     Three times Denver traded one or more players and one or more picks in order to acquire a veteran player. The most notable of these was the trading of QB Steve Ramsey and a fifth round pick to obtain QB Craig Morton.

     Finally, there was one instance in which a player and a pick were traded for a player and a pick. DE Alden Roche and a first round pick were traded to acquire QB Don Horn and a first round pick that became T Marv Montgomery who played six season for Denver. These trades are as follows:

1964
1)Denver traded to two picks to Houston -- 2nd (#9) and 5th (#33) -- in exchange for WR Bill Groman. Groman played one season for Denver.

2)Denver traded RB Gene Mingo to Oakland in exchange for T Stan Fanning and a pick -- 6th (#47). Fanning played one season for Denver. The pick was used on WR Al Denson. Denson played seven seasons for the Broncos.

1965
3)Denver traded DT Bud McFadin and a pick -- 1st (#2) to Houston in exchange for QB Jacky Lee. Lee played two seasons for Denver. As an aside to this trade: Houston traded the first round pick to the New York Jets for QB Jerry Rhome. The Jets went on to use the pick to select QB Joe Namath.

1966
4)Denver traded DB Tom Janik to Buffalo in exchange for a pick -- 7th (#62). The pick was used to select QB Scotty Glacken. Glacken played two seasons for Denver.

1967
5)Denver traded FB Cookie Gilchrist to Miami in exchange for two picks -- 3rd (#58) and 5th (#110). The third round pick was used to select T Mike Current. Current played nine seasons for Denver. The fifth round pick was used to select RB Fran Lynch. Lynch also played nine seasons for the Broncos.

6)Denver traded DB Willie Brown and QB Mickey Slaughter to Oakland in exchange for DT Rich Mirich and a pick -- 3rd (#70). Mirich played three seasons for the Broncos. The draft pick was subsequently traded to Buffalo. There was not a record of what Denver received for the pick.

1968
7)Denver traded two picks -- 1st (#4) and 1969 1st (#9) to San Diego in exchange for QB Steve Tensi. Tensi played four seasons for Denver.

8)Denver traded RB Wendell Hayes and DB Goldie Sellers to Kansas City in exchange for two picks -- 3rd (#75) and 4th (#102) -- and a player to be named later. The third round pick was used to select G Bob Vaughn. Vaughn played one season for Denver. The fourth round pick was used to select DB Drake Garrett. Garrett played two seasons for the Broncos. There is no record of who became "the player to be named later."

9)Denver traded a pick -- 4th (#86) -- to Buffalo in exchange for DT Dave Costa and C Dave Behrman. Costa played five seasons for Denver. Behrman played one season for the Broncos.

10)Denver traded LB John Bramlett to Miami in exchange for a pick -- 4th (#91). The pick was used to select LB Gordon Lambert. Lambert played two seasons for the Broncos.

11)Denver traded HB Abner Haynes, LB Jerry Hopkins, T Danny La Rose and a pick -- 6th (#142) to Miami in exchange for DE Earl Faison, FB Cookie Gilchrist, G Ernie Park and QB George Wilson Jr. There is no record of Faison and Wilson ever playing for Denver. Gilchrist and Park each played one season for the Broncos.

1969
12)Denver traded a pick -- 1st (#9) -- to San Diego. This completed a trade made in 1968.

13)Denver traded HB Charley Mitchell to Buffalo in exchange for a pick -- 6th (#131). This pick was used to select RB Wandy Williams. Williams played two seasons for Denver.

1970
14)Denver traded a pick -- 8th (#193) -- to Kansas City in exchange for DT Walt Barnes. Barnes played three seasons for Denver.

1971
15)Denver traded DE Alden Roche and a pick -- 1st (#9) to Green Bay in exchange for QB Don Horn and a pick -- 1st (#12). Horn played two seasons for Denver. The pick was used to select T Marv Montgomery. Montgomery played six seasons for the Broncos.

16)Denver traded a pick -- 3rd (#61) -- to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for RB Willis Crenshaw. Crenshaw played one season for the Broncos.

17)Denver traded K Charlie Gogolak to New England in exchange for a pick -- 4th (#79). This pick was used to select DE Lyle Alzado. Alzado played eight seasons for Denver.

18)Denver traded RB Tom Smiley to Houston in exchange for a pick -- 8th (#187). This pick was used to select C Tom Beard. There is no record of Beard ever playing for the Broncos.

1972
19)Denver traded a pick -- 2nd (#30) -- to San Diego in exchange for RB Dickie Post. Post played one season for Denver.

20)Denver traded a pick -- 4th (#83) -- to New Orleans in exchange for QB Steve Ramsey. Ramsey played six seasons for the Broncos.

21)Denver traded WR Al Denson to Minnesota in exchange for DB John Charles and a pick -- 4th (#102). There is no record of Charles ever playing for the Broncos. The pick was used to select LB Tom Graham. Graham played three seasons for Denver.

22)Denver traded a pick -- 5th (#113) -- to Buffalo in exchange for TE Billy Masters. Masters played five seasons for the Broncos.

1973
23)Denver traded DE Rich Jackson to Cleveland in exchange for a pick -- 3rd (#54). This pick was used to select G Paul Howard. Howard played thirteen seasons for Denver.

24)Denver traded DT Dave Costa to San Diego in exchange for RB Eddie Ray and a pick -- 3rd (#70). There is no record of Ray ever playing for Denver. The pick was used to select DT John Wood. There is no record of Wood ever playing for the Broncos.

25) Denver traded LB John Huard to New Orleans in exchange for a pick -- 5th (#106). The Broncos traded that fifth round pick to Pittsburgh for DE Lloyd Voss. Voss played one season for Denver.

26)Denver traded a pick -- 6th (#140) to Pittsburgh in exchange for LB Bobby Maples. Maples played seven seasons for the Broncos.

27)Denver traded TE John Mosier to the Baltimore Colts in exchange for a pick -- 7th (#166). The pick was used to select DT John Grant. Grant played seven seasons for Denver.

28)Denver traded a pick -- 8th (#192) -- to Pittsburgh in exchange for T Rick Sharp. Sharp played one season for Denver.

1974
29)Denver traded two picks -- 3rd (#67) and 8th (#198) to the Baltimore Colts in exchange for LB Ray May. May played a little over two seasons for the Broncos.

30)Denver traded QB Don Horn to Cleveland in exchange for two picks -- 3rd (#68) and 6th (#149). The third round pick was used to select T Claudie Minor. Minor played nine seasons for Denver. The sixth round pick was traded to Pittsburgh.

31)Denver traded WR Rod Sherman and a pick -- 5th (#120) -- to Minnesota in exchange for WR Gene Washington. Washington played one season for the Broncos.

32)Denver traded two picks -- 6th (#149) from Cleveland and 9th (#223) -- to Pittsburgh in exchange for DB John Rowser. Rowser played three seasons for Denver.

33)Denver traded LB Bill McKoy to Houston in exchange for an unspecified 7th round pick.

34)Denver traded a pick -- 7th (#170) -- to the Baltimore Colts in exchange for LB Bill Laskey. Laskey played two seasons for Denver.

1975
35)Denver traded LB Tom Graham to Kansas City in exchange for a pick -- 4th (#84). The pick was used to select DB Steve Taylor. There was no record of Taylor ever playing for Denver.

36)Denver traded G Larron Jackson to Atlanta in exchange for DE Greg Marx and a pick -- 5th (#107). There is no record of Marx ever playing for the Broncos. The pick was used to select T Stan Rogers. Rogers played one season for Denver.

37)Denver traded two picks -- 6th (#147) and 11th (#227) to Washington in exchange for RB Jon Keyworth. Keyworth played seven seasons for Denver.

38)Denver traded a pick -- 8th (#187) from Chicago -- to the Baltimore Colts in exchange for T Tom Drougas.

39)Denver traded T Tom Drougas to Kansas City in exchange for a pick -- 10th (#240). The pick was used to select C Hank Englehardt. There is no record of Englehardt ever playing for Denver.

40)Denver traded two picks -- 1976 3rd (# unknown) and 1977 6th (#156) -- to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for DT Phil Olsen. Olsen played two seasons for Denver.

1976
41)Denver traded DB Jeff Severson to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for a pick -- 9th (#260). The pick was used to select LB Jim Lisko. There is no record of Lisko ever playing for the Broncos.

1977
42)Denver traded a pick -- 3rd (#74) -- to Green Bay in exchange for T Bill Bain. Bain played two seasons for Denver.

43)Denver traded a pick -- 5th (#129) -- to the New York Jets in exchange for LB Godwin Turk. Turk played three seasons for Denver.

44)Denver traded QB Steve Ramsey and a pick -- 5th (#137) -- to the New York Giants in exchange for QB Craig Morton. Morton played six seasons for Denver.

45)Denver traded two picks -- 1978 3rd (#83) and 1978 7th (#193) -- to Cincinnati in exchange for DB Bernard Jackson. Jackson played four seasons for Denver.

46)Denver traded a pick -- 1978 9th (#249) -- to San Francisco in exchange for G Andy Maurer. Maurer played one season for Denver.

47)Denver traded a pick -- 1979 2nd (#51) -- to Buffalo in exchange for C Mike Montler. Montler played one season for Denver.

TWO TRADES THAT DON'T FIT ELSEWHERE


1978
1)Denver was required to surrender two picks -- 1978 12th (#333) and 1979 9th (#215) -- to Miami as compensation for having signed Miami free agent RB Jim Kiick in 1976. Kiick played one season for Denver.

1979
2)This appears to have been a three-team deal. According to the records, Denver received RB Jim Jensen from Dallas and T Tom Neville from New England. Dallas received Denver's pick -- 10th (#270) and subsequently traded it to New England. There is no record of what Dallas ultimately got out of the trade.

 


We can see from this brief history that Denver was relatively active during their first two decades when it came to draft-related trades. We will see how they fared when it came to their second twenty years in our next article.

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