We are going to look at how successful the Denver Broncos were in the 14th round of the NFL Draft, from the merger in 1967 through the 1993 season. The Draft was shortened to it’s present length of 7 rounds beginning in 1994.
To refresh you, the starting point for our measurement of success comes from a chart listed on footballeducator.com. It was developed by NFL Draft Scout’s Chad Reuter. The basis for success is a player who makes 56 (or more) starts in his first five years
10 players were drafted in the 14th round by the Broncos
None of the ten were All-Pros, but one of then made the Pro Bowl (10%). 3 of them were the primary starter at their position for at least three years. Two of them (20%) started more than 56 games and half of them didn’t play in the NFL. That’s a 50% attrition rate.
- WR Marlin Briscoe - 1x Pro Bowler, 6 yr starter, 105 games, 31 starts.
- OG Tommy Lyons - 5 yr starter, 73 games, 62 starts.
- LB Larry Evans - 3 yr starter, 104 games, 41 starts
Personally, I’d say Larry Evans was a successful pick. Especially in the 14th round, but I will stay true to the measurement.
A total of 263 players were drafted on the 14th round of the NFL Draft.
3 were 1st Team All-Pros for one season. Six of them made the Pro Bowl at least once (2.2%).
23 were the primary starter at their position for at least one year
9 were the primary starter at their position for 5 or more years.
4 were the primary starter at their position for 10 or more years.
23 players started 41 or more games (8.7%).
6 players started 56 or more games (2.2%).
4 players started 100 or more games.
22 players appeared in 50 or more games.
11 appeared in 100 or more games.
4 appeared in 150 or more games.
200 of the 263 total players drafted in the 14th round, never suited up for a regular season game (76%).
The results show that the Broncos fared better overall than the rest of the league in the 14th round. The league had 3 All-Pros and five more Pro Bowlers, but the Broncos had a 30% to 8.7% advantage in players that started 41 or more games. They also edged the league in Chad Reuter’s measurement of 56 starts 20% to the league’s 2.2%. Denver also had a lower washout rate of 50% to the NFL’s rate of 76%.
The lone superstar here for the Broncos is Marlin Briscoe. If you don’t know about him, I recommend Marlin 'The Magician' Briscoe: Denver Broncos Pioneer, an article i wrote about a year ago.
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