Remember this guy? He was an 8th round draft pick by the Denver Broncos and played an important part in Broncos history. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
The 1967 Draft was the first year in which the AFL and NFL had a joint draft. It lasted 17 rounds. In 1994, the Draft was shortened to 7th rounds. A total of 171 players were drafted by the Broncos in the 8th to 17th round between 1967 and 1993. Today we will go into the 8th.
The Denver Broncos drafted 21 players in the 8th round in their history. There weren’t any Pro Bowlers or All-Pros among this group and six of them never even suited up for a game (28.5%).
However, there were two successful draft picks for the Broncos in the 8th. One, a 9-year starter and the other, a well known and valuable backup.
Steve Foley was drafted with the 199th pick in 1975. He played in a total of 150 games and started 136 at Cornerback and Free Safety. Foley had an 11-year career that spanned 1976-86, all with the Broncos. He made 10 Postseason appearances in 6 of those seasons, including Super Bowl appearances in 1977 and 1986. Steve grabbed franchise record 44 Interceptions patrolling the Defensive backfield in Denver. He played in an era before the league recorded Tackles as a statistic. Steve had three seasons (1978, 79, 84) with 6 Interceptions, but 1984 may have been his best. That year, Foley scored the only touchdowns in his career.
During a Week 7 contest against the Packers at Mile High Stadium, Steve recovered a Fumble and returned it 22 yards for the first score of the game. The Packers tried a late game comeback, but the Broncos prevailed 17-14 to push their record to 6-1.
In Week 16, on a Saturday afternoon game at the Seattle Kingdome during mid December, Foley intercepted a Dave Krieg pass and ran it back 40 yards for a pick six. That put the Broncos ahead by 17 points and they held on to beat the 12-4 Seahawks 31-14. The 13-3 Broncos went on to lose the following week to the Steelers.
Gary Kubiak was the 197th selection in the 1983 Draft. He backed up Quarterback John Elway for the Broncos for 9 years from 1983-91 before moving up to the coaches box. Gary played in 119 games while starting 5. He had a 3-2 record as a starter and threw for 1,920 yards, 14 touchdowns and 16 Interceptions with a 58.1% completion rate. Guru wrote about Kubes in the Greatest Broncos By The Numbers series and it is well worth a look.
I say two successful picks because of what Gary Kubiak means to the Denver Broncos franchise, but when using Chad Reuters formula (found below), Steve Foley is the only pick in the 8th round who had success for the Broncos (4.7%).
Lets see what turned up in the 8th round for the rest of the league during the same time span.
738 players were drafted in the 8th round from 1967-93. Thirteen made at least one Pro Bowl appearance, five were All-Pros and one was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
- LB Jessie Armstead - 5x Pro Bowl, 1x All-Pro, 8 yr starter
- DE Richard Dent - Hall of Fame, 4x Pro Bowl, 1x All-Pro, 10 yr starter
- DB Blaine Bishop - 4x Pro Bowl, 8 yr starter
- G Kevin Gogan - 3x Pro Bowl, 11 yr starter
- LB Seth Joyner - 3x Pro Bowl, 11 yr starter
- G Mark Bortz - 2x Pro Bowl, 11 yr starter
- QB Trent Green - 2x Pro Bowl, 7 yr starter
- FB Sam Gash - 2x Pro Bowl, 5 yr starter
- RB Earnest Jackson - 2x Pro Bowl, 4 yr starter
- P Craig Hentrich - 2x Pro Bowl, 1x All-Pro, 15 yr starter
- G Ray Brown - 1x Pro Bowl, 12 yr starter
- WR Troy Brown - 1x Pro Bowl, 5 yr starter
- Elvis Grbac - 1x Pro Bowl, 4 yr starter
The 8th round produced one 15 year starter, ten who started 10 or more years and 35 who started 5 or more years. Eight players started 150 or more games, 20 started 100 or more games and 38 players started 56 or more games. That is a 5.1% success rate according to Chad Reuter’s specifications.
Six played 200 or more games, 50 played in 100 or more games, 146 played in 10 games or less and 98 were complete washouts (13.2%).
So Denver was slightly below the league average in the 8th round success rate, but way below the complete bust median.
As we wait for the 2012 Training Camp to get here, I will go ahead and review the drafts all the way through the 17th round. Hopefully that will appease those of you who are barely containing your impatience.
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