Will the Broncos Be Wheeling and Dealing in 2013?

Justin Edmonds

How many of Denver's 2013 draft picks will be changing hands?

We are rapidly approaching the 2013 NFL Draft. It is that time of year when fans are both excited by the prospects and fearful of the choices their teams might make. You may recall that each team is allotted seven picks -- the order determined by the previous season's records. This means that each NFL draft involves 224 individual draft picks (not counting any compensatory picks awarded by the league). Those picks can, and often do, get traded for other picks and/or players. They can be traded within the current draft and/or against future drafts.

For example, going into the 2013 NFL Draft, eighteen picks (or 8% of the total) have already changed hands due to trades enacted in 2012. Another six picks have traded hands from trades enacted in 2011 -- including Denver's trading a 2013 6th (#186) to Philadelphia in return for DT Broderick Bunkley. This brings the total number of 2013 picks that have been traded to fourteen (or 11% of the total) before the draft has even begun. That number will go up come draft day. In the 2012 NFL draft, 103 of the 224 picks (46%) traded hands.

Denver has been just as active in trading picks as any other team. Josh McDaniels has been castigated (rightly or wrongly) for being too free in his wheeling and dealing of the Broncos' draft picks -- as you will see below, most of that reputation stems from his performance in the 2010 draft. Personally, I tend to believe it was not so much the number of trades that he enacted as it was a deplorable lack of accurate talent evaluation that resulted in poor picks with those that he used -- but that's a topic for another time. Something that should be noted is that McDaniels was not unique in his choice to wheel and deal with Denver's draft picks. John Fox, in his two seasons has done his fair share of horse-trading, as did Mike Shanahan in his final two seasons as Denver's head coach.

A quick overview of each of these head coaches seasons (Shanahan 2007-08, McDaniels 2009-10, Fox 2011-12) shows that:

Coach/Year Picks Picks Traded Picks Acquired Acquired Picks Traded Picks Used
Shanahan 2007 7 6 4 1 4
Shanahan 2008 7 2 4 0 9
McDaniels 2009 7 3 9 3 10
McDaniels 2010 7 4 14 8 9
Fox 2011 7 5 8 2 8
Fox 2012 7 6 8 2 7



One of the things that I find interesting about what these three coaches have done with their picks is the number of total picks they used. Shanahan picked the fewest players in his two drafts by selecting thirteen. Fox was in the middle with fifteen players selected in his two seasons. McDaniels used the largest number of picks by selecting nineteen players in two seasons. Let's take a look at some of the specifics of what each coach did with his draft picks.

Let's start by talking about the data we will be taking a look at. For each of the six drafts, we will look at the picks which were allotted to the Broncos by their finish in the previous season. That will be in the format of: Round (Overall Number); i.e. 1st (#21). It will be noted whether or not the pick was used or traded. We will next look at picks acquired via trades and whether or not those acquired picks were used or were themselves traded. We will look at the players acquired by the picks (both Denver's picks and those of the teams who received picks from Denver). Finally, we will do a "ballpark" comparison of the players picked.

A word about the comparison of players is warranted here. First, it should be noted that a direct comparison is nearly impossible to make. It seems easy to say, "If only Denver had kept pick thus and such, they could have had Player A." For example, in 2007, Shanahan traded a 2008 pick to Minnesota in order to gain the pick he used on DT Marcus Thomas. In 2008, the Vikings traded that pick to Kansas City which used it to select RB Jamal Charles. It would be easy to say, "We could have had Charles instead of Thomas." However, there is no guarantee that it would have played out that way. Second, it is very difficult to compare players across positions. Most evaluators would suggest that a quarterback is more valuable to a team than a safety, for example. Thus an 8 for a quarterback would not be a particularly good score, while an 8 for a safety might be a reasonably good one. Further compounding this problem is that there are few systems that attempt to compare players in different position groups. For our purposes here, we will be using a system which does -- at least in a very general way -- attempt to compare players across positions: the Approximate Value system created by Pro-Football-Reference.com. I had a conversation with one of their staffers, a gentleman named Neil about this and he offered this very general comparison across positions.

Player with an AV of Would be Considered to Be
20-25 MVP Caliber
14-19 All-Pro Caliber
08-13 Starter Caliber
03-07 Solid Backup Caliber
00-02 Scrub



Three final words about the player notations: In some instances it is noted that the player "did not make the team roster." This simply refers to the fact that that player did not make the active 53-man roster of the team that drafted him. The second is that player stats (Years, Games/Starts, AV) refer only to those seasons in which that player played for the team which initially drafted him. Third, remember that these rankings are merely a "ballpark" estimate. For younger players, who have not had much time to develop, a low AV score would not be nearly as significant as it would be for a multi-year veteran. Now, on to the drafts.

2007 - Mike Shanahan


Denver entered the draft with the seven picks awarded by their 2006 finish plus one pick (3rd (#70)) which had been acquired in a 2006 trade. Shanahan traded six of those eight picks. He acquired three more picks and traded one of those. Overall, Shanahan ended up using four picks and trading seven. There is a rather interesting footnote to that wheeling and dealing. On March 21, 2006, Shanahan had traded away a 2007 pick (4th (#121) in a three-team swap that involved Atlanta and the New York Jets. The Falcons traded that pick to Minnesota on 4-28-07. The Vikings traded that pick back to the Broncos on 4-29-07. It ended up being one of the four picks that Shanahan used in 2007. Here's a summary of his dealings:

Denver's Picks Disposition Acquired Picks Disposition
1st (#21) Traded 1st (#17) Used
2nd (#56) Used 3rd (#70) Used
3 (#86) Traded 4 (#121) Used*
4 (#121) Traded* 6 (#176) Traded
5 (#158) Traded
6th (#198) Traded
7th (#233) Traded

*see the note below about this pick

Listed below are the details of those transactions:

Round Pick How Acquired Disposition
1 17 Acquired from Jacksonville (4-28-07) Denver picked DE Jarvis Moss
1 21 Denver's allotted pick Traded to Jacksonville (4-28-07); Jaguars picked DB Reggie Nelson
2 56 Denver's allotted pick Denver picked DE Tim Crowder
3 70 Acquired from 3-team trade with Atlanta & Washington (8-3-06) Denver picked T Ryan Harris
3 86 Denver's allotted pick Traded to Jacksonville (4-28-07); Jaguars traded pick to Baltimore (4-28-07); Baltimore picked T Marshal Yanda
4 121 Denver's allotted pick Traded to Atlanta & NY Jets in 3-team trade (3-21-06); Atlanta traded pick to Minnesota (4-28-07); Vikings traded pick to Denver (4-29-07); Denver picked DT Marcus Thomas
5 158 Denver's allotted pick Traded to Detroit (3-1-07); Lions picked LB Johnny Baldwin
6 176 Acquired from Detroit (3-1-07) Traded to Minnesota (4-29-07); Vikings picked LB Rufus Alexander
6 198 Denver's allotted pick Traded to Jacksonville (4-28-07); Jaguars traded pick to Atlanta (4-29-07); Falcons picked C Doug Datish
7 233 Denver's allotted pick Traded to Minnesota (4-29-07); Vikings picked WR Chandler Williams



Here's how the players compare, using the AV System:

Sea = # of seasons player played for drafting team
Gm(St) = # of games (starts) player logged for drafting team
AV = Average Value rating (average/season) while with drafting team

Denver's Picks Traded Picks
Rd (#) Pos Player Sea Gm (St) AV Rd (#) Team Player Sea Gm (St) AV
1 (17) DE Jarvis Moss 4 34 (1) 0.5 1 (21) Jac DB Reggie Nelson 3 45 (42) 6.0
2 (56) DE Tim Crowder 2 19 (1) 0.5 3 (86) Bal T Marshal Yanda 6 83 (72)

6.5 (Pro Bowl 2011, 2012)

3 (70) T Ryan Harris 4 46 (34) 4.0 5 (158) Det LB Johnny Baldwin 0 0 (0) Did not make roster
4 (121) DT Marcus Thomas 5 76 (34) 2.5 6 (176) Min LB Rufus Alexander 1 1 (0) 0.0
6 (198) Atl C Doug Datish 0 0 (0) Did not make roster
7 (233) Min WR Chandler Williams 0 0 (0) Did not make roster


Shanahan dealt seven picks into four (not counting two picks that carried forward into 2008) and landed one solid backup player, one shaky backup and two scrubs. The six picks that he dealt away and which were used by other teams landed a backup/starter level player -- who happened to make two Pro Bowls -- along with a second backup, one scrub and three who were not able to crack the 53-man active roster for their respective teams.

2008 - Mike Shanahan


In 2008, the Broncos entered the draft with their seven picks plus three picks acquired in previous seasons' trades (one from 2006 and two from 2007). Shanahan used five of the seven picks drawn from Denver's 2007 finish and used all four of the additional picks. Thus the Broncos were able to draft nine players in the 2008 draft. Here's the summary of the 2008 dealings:

Denver's Picks Disposition Acquired Picks Dispositon
1st (#12) Used 4th (#119) Used
2nd (#42) Used 5th (#139) Used
3rd (#73) Traded 6th (#183) Used
4th (#108) Used 7th (#227) Used
5th (#148) Used
6th (#180) Traded
7th (#220) Used



Listed below are the details of those transactions:

Round Pick How Acquired Dispositon
1 12 Denver's allotted pick Denver picked T Ryan Clady
2 42 Denver's allotted pick Denver picked WR Eddie Royal
3 73 Denver's allotted pick Traded to Minnesota (4-29-07); Vikings traded pick to Kansas City (4-23-08); Chiefs picked RB Jamal Charles
4 108 Denver's alloted pick Denver picked C Kory Lichtensteiger
4 119 Acquired in 3-team deal with Washington & Atlanta (8-3-06) Denver picked DB Jack Williams
5 139 Acquired from Oakland (8-20-07) Denver picked RB Ryan Torain
5 148 Denver's allotted pick Denver picked DT Carlton Powell
6 180 Denver's allotted pick Traded to St. Louis (6-8-07); Rams traded pick to Washington (4-27-08); Redskins picked DB Kareem Moore.
6 183 Acquired from Houston (3-17-08) Denver picked FB/LB Spencer Larsen
7 220 Denver's allotted pick Denver picked DB Josh Barrett
7 227 Acquired from Tampa Bay (3-3-07) Denver picked RB Peyton Hillis


Here's how the players compare, using the AV System:

Denver's Picks Traded Picks
Rd (#) Pos Player Sea Gm (St) AV Rd (#) Team Player Sea Gm (St) AV
1 (12) T Ryan Clady 5 80 (80) 10.8 (Pro Bowl 2009, 2011, 2012, All-Pro 2009, 2012) 3 (73) KC RB Jamal Charles 5 65 (34) 7.8 (Pro Bowl 2010, 2012, All Pro 2010)
2 (42) WR Eddie Royal 4 57 (45) 5.3 6 (180) Was DB Kareem Moore 3 42 (13) 3.0
4 (108) C Kory Lichtensteiger 1 16 (0) 1.0
4 (119) DB Jack Williams 2 21 (0) 1.0
5 (139) RB Ryan Torain 1 2 (1) 0.0
5 (148) DT Carlton Powell 0 0 (0) Did not make roster
6 (183) FB/LB Spencer Larsen 4 50 (15) 1.3
7 (220) DB Josh Barrett 2 20 (3) 1.0
7 (227) RB Peyton Hillis 2 26 (8) 2.0



Shanahan dealt seven picks into nine picks (not counting two that carried forward into 2009) and landed one starter -- who made three Pro Bowls and was named All Pro twice -- along with one backup, six scrubs and one player who did not crack the 53-man active roster. Two picks dealt by Shanahan were used by other teams. Those landed one starter (who notched two Pro Bowls and an All Pro rating) along with a backup.

2009 - Josh McDaniels


When McDaniels entered his first draft as an NFL head coach, he had the seven picks that would have normally come to Denver plus two from trades made by Shanahan in 2008. McDaniels traded three of Denver's seven natural picks and was able to acquire seven additional picks. However, he bundled three of those acquired picks into deals that helped acquire picks. When the dust had settled, the Broncos ended up selecting ten players. Here's a summary of how McDaniels used Denver's 2009 picks:

Denver's Picks Disposition Acquired Picks Disposition
1st (#12) Used 1st (#18) Used
2nd (#48) Used 2nd (#37) Used
3rd (#79) Traded 2nd (#64) Used
4th (#114) Used 3rd (#84) Traded
5th (#149) Traded 4th (#132) Used
6th (#185) Traded 5th (#140) Traded
7th (#225) Used 5th (#141) Used
6th (#174) Used
7th (#235) Traded



Listed below are the details of those transactions:

Round Pick How Acquired Disposition
1 12 Denver's allotted pick Denver picked RB Knowshon Moreno
1 18 Acquired from Chicago (4-2-09) Denver picked DE Robert Ayers
2 37 Acquired from Seattle (4-25-09) Denver picked DB Alphonso Smith
2 48 Denver's allotted pick Denver picked DB Darcel McBath
2 64 Acquired from Pittsburgh (4-25-09) Denver picked TE Richard Quinn
3 79 Denver's allotted pick Traded to Pittsburgh (4-25-09); Steelers picked G Kraig Urbik
3 84 Acquired from Chicago (4-2-09) Traded to Pittsburgh (4-25-09); Steelers picked WR Mike Wallace
4 114 Denver's allotted pick Denver picked DB David Bruton
4 132 Acquired from Pittsburgh (4-25-09) Denver picked G Seth Olsen
5 140 Acquired from Seattle (9-16-08) Traded to Chicago (4-2-09); Bears picked WR Johnny Knox
5 141 Acquired from Baltimore (4-26-09) Denver picked WR Kenny McKinley
5 149 Denver's allotted pick Traded to Baltimore (4-26-09); Ravens picked TE Davon Drew
6 174 Acquired from Detroit (4-26-09) Denver picked QB Tom Brandstater
6 185 Denver's allotted pick Traded to Baltimore (4-26-09); Ravens picked RB Cedric Peerman
7 225 Denver's allotted pick Denver picked C Blake Schlueter
7 235 Acquired from Atlanta (9-2-08) Falcons traded pick to Detroit (4-26-09); Lions picked LB Zach Follett



Here's how the players compare, using the AV System:

Denver's Picks Traded Picks
Rd (#) Pos Player Sea Gm (St) AV Rd (#) Team Player Sea Gm (St) AV
1 (12) RB Knowshon Moreno 4 44 (30) 5.3 3 (79) Pit G Kraig Urbik 0 0 (0) Did not make roster
1 (18) DE Robert Ayers 4 57 (24) 3.5 3 (84) Pit WR Mike Wallace 4 63 (48) 8.8 (Pro Bowl 2011)
2 (37) DB Alphonso Smith 1 15 (0) 1.0 5 (140) Chi WR Johnny Knox 4 45 (27) 5.3 (Pro Bowl 2009)
2 (48) DB Darcel McBath 2 20 (1) 1.0 5 (149) Bal TE Davon Drew 1 0 (0) 0.0
2 (64) TE Richard Quinn 2 29 (4) 1.0 6 (186) Bal RB Cedric Peerman 0 0 (0) Did not make roster
4 (114) DB David Bruton 4 61 (4) 1.3 7 (235) Det LB Zach Follett 2 17 (2) 1.0
4 (132) G Seth Olsen 1 3 (0) 0.0
5 (141) WR Kenny McKinley 1 8 (0) 0.0
6 (174) QB Tom Brandstater 0 0 (0) Did not mkae roster
7 (225) C Blake Shlueter 0 0 (0) Did not make roster



McDaniels' first draft as a head coach saw seven picks become ten picks (not counting one carried forward to 2010). Those ten picks resulted in two backup players, six scrubs and two who did not make the 53-man active roster. McDaniels traded away six picks which were used in 2009. Those six landed one starter (who notched a Pro Bowl appearance), a backup (who also notched a Pro Bowl appearance), two scrubs and two who did not make their teams' 53-man active rosters.

2010 - Josh McDaniels


McDaniels went to town when it came to wheeling and dealing with draft picks in 2010. He had inherited one pick from 2008, two from 2009 and traded four of Denver's seven natural picks. This gave him fourteen additional picks to use in 2010. Unfortunately, he traded away eight of those additional picks. Thus, when the draft was over, he had picked just nine players. Here is a summary of his 2010 transactions:

Denver's Picks Disposition Acquired Picks Disposition
1st (#14) Traded 1st (#11) Traded
2nd (#45) Used 1st (#13) Traded
3 (#80) Used 1st (#22) Used
4th (#114) Traded 1st (#24) Traded
5th (#146) Traded 1st (#25) Used
6th (#183) Used 2nd (#43) Traded
7th (#220) Traded 3rd (#70) Traded
3rd (#87) Used
4th (#113) Traded
5th (#137) Used
5th (#158) Traded
7th (#225) Used
7th (#231) Traded
7th (#232) Used



Listed below are the details of those transactions:

Round Pick How Acquired Disposition
1 11 Acquired from Chicago (4-2-09) Traded to San Francisco (4-22-10); 49ers picked T Anthony Davis
1 13 Acquired from San Francisco (4-22-10) Traded to Philadelphia (4-22-10); Eagles picked DE Brandon Graham
1 14 Denver's allotted pick Traded to Seattle (4-25-09); Seahawks picked DB Earl Thomas
1 22 Acquired from New England (4-22-10) Denver picked WR Demaryius Thomas
1 24 Acquired from Philadelphia (4-22-10) Traded to New England (4-22-10); Patriots traded pick to Dallas (4-22-10); Cowboys picked WR Dez Bryant
1 25 Acquired from Baltimore (4-22-10) Denver picked QB Tim Tebow
2 43 Acquired from Miami (4-14-10) Traded to Baltimore (4-22-10); Ravens picked LB Sergio Kindle
2 45 Denver's allotted pick Denver picked T Zane Beadles
3 70 Acquired from Philadelphia (4-22-10) Traded to Baltimore (4-22-10); Ravens picked TE Ed Dickson
3 80 Denver's allotted pick Denver picked C J. D. Walton
3 87 Acquired from Philadephia (4-22-10) Denver picked WR Eric Decker
4 113 Acquired from San Francisco (4-22-10) Traded to New England (4-22-10); Patriots picked TE Aaron Hernandez
4 114 Denver's allotted pick Traded to Baltimore (4-22-10); Ravens picked TE Dennis Pitta
5 137 Acquired in 3-team deal with Philadelphia & Detroit (4-19-10) Denver picked DB Perrish Cox
5 146 Denver's allotted pick Traded to Detroit (4-26-09); Lions traded pick to Cleveland (3-5-10); Browns traded pick to Philadelphia (4-23-10); Eagles traded pick to San Diego (4-24-10); Chargers picked DT Cam Thomas
5 158 Acquired from Dallas (8-28-08) Traded to New England (8-17-09); Patriots traded pick to Oakland (8-6-09); Raiders traded pick to Jacksonville (4-21-10); Jaguars traded pick to New Orleans (4-24-10); Saints picked C Matt Tennant
6 183 Denver's allotted pick Denver picked G Seth Olsen
7 220 Denver's allotted pick Traded in 3-team deal with Philadelphia & Detroit (4-19-10); Lions traded pick to Philadelphia (4-24-10); Eagles picked LB Jamar Chaney
7 225 Acquired from Tampa Bay (4-24-10) Denver picked DB Syd'Quan Thompson
7 231 Acquired from New England (8-17-09) Traded to New England (8-25-09); Patriots traded pick to Washington (4-24-10); Redskins picked T Selvish Capers
7 232 Acquired from Tampa Bay (4-24-10) Denver picked LB Jammie Kirlew



Here's how the players compare, using the AV System:

Denver's Picks Traded Picks
Rd (#) Pos Player Sea Gm (St) AV Rd (#) Team Player Sea Gm (St) AV
1 (22) WR Demaryius Thomas 3 37 (23) 6.3 1 (11) SF T Anthony Davis 3 48 (48) 6.7
1 (25) QB Tim Tebow 2 23 (14) 6.0 1 (13) Phi DE Brandon Graham 3 32 (12) 2.3
2 (45) T Zane Beadles 3 48 (46) 6.0 1 (14) Sea DB Earl Thomas 3 48 (47) 11.0 (Pro Bowl 2011, 2012, All-Pro 2012)
3 (80) C J. D. Walton 3 36 (36) 4.7 1 (24) Dal WR Dez Bryant 3 43 (29) 8.7
3 (87) WR Eric Decker 3 46 (28) 5.7 2 (43) Bal LB Sergio Kindle 2 3 (0) 0.0
5 (137) DB Perrish Cox 1 15 (9) 3.0 3 (70) Bal TE Ed Dickson 3 44 (30) 4.7
6 (183) G Eric Olsen 1 1 (0) 0.0 4 (113) NE TE Aaron Hernandez 3 38 (29) 9.7
7 (225) DB Syd'Quan Thompson 2 13 (0) 0.5 4 (114) Bal TE Dennis Pitta 3 43 (7) 4.7
7 (232) LB Jammie Kirlew 0 0 (0) Did not make the roster 5 (146) SD DT Cam Thomas 3 37 (5) 1.7
5 (158) NO C Matt Tennant 2 28 (0) 1.0
7 (220) Phi LB Jamar Chaney 3 44 (23) 4.0
7 (231) Was T Selvish Capers 0 0 (0) Did not make the roster


McDaniels was tremendously active during the 2010 draft, ending up with nine selections. Those selections included six backup players, two scrubs and one that did not make the roster. Twelve picks were given up and used by other teams. Those picks included three starters (one with two Pro Bowl appearances and one All Pro ranking), four backups, one on the bubble between backup and scrub, three scrubs and one that did not make his team's roster.

2011 - John Fox



John Fox came on the scene with nine seasons of draft experience under his belt. He had the seven picks allotted to Denver, plus three that came from transactions in 2010 and a compensatory pick from the league. He traded five of Denver's seven picks to end up with two picks plus eight picks acquired through trade and the compensatory pick. He used seven of those extra nine picks, giving the Broncos a total of nine players chosen. Here's a summary of his first Broncos' draft:

Denver's Picks Disposition Acquired PIcks Disposition
1st (#2) Used 2nd (#45) Used
2nd (#36) Traded 2nd (#46) Used
3rd (#67) Used 4th (#108) Used
4th (#99) Traded 4th (#129) Used
5th (#135) Traded 5th (#141) Traded
6th (#168) Traded 6th (#186) Traded
7th (#205) Traded 6th (#189) Used
7th (#247) Compensatory Pick Used 7th (#204) Used


Listed below are the details of those transactions:

Round Pick How Acquired Disposition
1 2 Denver's allotted pick Denver picked LB Von Miller
2 36 Denver's allotted pick Traded to San Francisco (4-29-11); 49ers picked QB Colin Kaepernick
2 45 Acquired from San Francisco (4-29-11) Denver picked DB Rahim Moore
2 46 Acquired from Miami (4-14-10) Denver picked T Orlando Franklin
3 67 Denver's allotted pick Denver picked LB Nate Irving
4 99 Denver's allotted pick Traded to New England (9-14-10); Patriots traded pick to Seattle (10-11-10); Seahawks picked LB K. J. Wright
4 108 Acquired from San Francisco (4-29-11) Denver picked DB Quinton Carter
4 129 Acquired from Green Bay (4-30-11) Denver picked TE Julius Thomas
5 135 Denver's allotted pick Traded to Tampa Bay (4-24-10); Buccaneers traded pick to Kansas City (10-19-10); Chiefs picked QB Ricky Stanzi
5 141 Acquired from San Francisco (4-29-11) Traded to Green Bay (4-30-11); Packers picked TE D. J. Williams
6 168 Denver's allotted pick Traded to Cleveland (3-14-10); Browns traded pick to Minnesota (4-30-11); Vikings picked OL Demarcus Love
6 186 Acquired from Detroit (9-4-10) Traded to Green Bay (4-30-11); Packers picked LB D. J. Smith
6 189 Acquired from New England (9-14-10) Denver picked LB Mike Mohamed
7 204 Acquired from Green Bay (4-30-11) Denver picked TE Virgil Green
7 205 Denver's allotted pick Traded to Detroit (9-4-10); Lions traded pick to Seattle (4-29-11); Seahawks picked DL Lazarius Levingston
7 247 Pick awarded by rule to bring total number of compensatory picks to 32 Denver picked DL Jeremy Beal



Here's how the players compare, using the AV System:

Denver's Picks Traded Picks
Rd (#) Pos Player Sea Gm (St) AV Rd (#) Team Player Sea Gm (St) AV
1 (2) LB Von Miller 2 31 (31) 14.5 (Pro Bowl 2011, 2012, All Pro 2012) 2 (36) SF QB Colin Kaepernick 2 16 (7) 4.5
2 (45) DB Rahim Moore 2 31 (22) 4.5 4 (99) Sea LB K. J. Wright 2 31 (27) 8.0
2 (46) T Orlando Franklin 2 32 (32) 7.0 5 (135) KC QB Ricky Stanzi 2 25 (0) 0.0
3 (67) LB Nate Irving 2 31 (0) 1.0 5 (141) GB TE D. J. Williams 2 26 (2) 2.0
4 (108) DB Quinton Carter 2 19 (10) 2.0 6 (168) Min OL Demarcus Love 2 0 (0) 0.0
4 (129) TE Julius Thomas 2 9 (1) 0.0 6 (186) GB LB D. J. Smith 2 22 (9) 3.0
6 (189) LB Mike Mohamed 1 3 (0) 0.0 7 (205) Sea DL Lazarius Levingston 1 0 (0) 0.0
7 (204) TE Virgil Green 2 27 (5) 1.5
7 (247) DL Jeremy Beal 2 0 (0) 0.0


Fox finished the 2011 draft with nine players being selected. Those nine picks resulted in one All Pro (who earned two Pro Bowl appearances plus one 1st team All Pro recognition), two backups and six scrubs. Seven picks were traded to other teams. Those teams' picks included one starter, two backups and four scrubs.

2012 - John Fox



Fox was just as active in his second draft as the Broncos head coach. He started with Denver's seven picks plus one pick from a 2011 transaction. Six of those picks were traded and when the trading was done, Fox had acquired eight picks in addition to the one kept from the original seven. He used six of those eight additional picks, giving him a total of seven players selected. Here's a summary of his second draft:

Denver's Picks Disposition Acquired Picks Disposition
1st (#25) Traded 1st (#31) Traded
2nd (#57) Used 2nd (#36) Used
3rd (#87) Traded 3rd (#67) Used
4th (120) Traded 4th (#101) Used
5th (#160) Traded 4th (#108) Used
6th (#194) Traded 4th (#126) Traded
7th (#232) Traded 5th (#137) Used
6th (#188) Used


Listed below are the details of those transactions:

Round Pick How Acquired Disposition
1 25 Denver's allotted pick Traded to New England (4-26-12); Patriots picked LB Dont'a Hightower
1 31 Acquired from New England (4-26-12) Traded to Tampa Bay (4-26-12); Buccaneers picked RB Doug Martin
2 36 Acquired from Tampa Bay (4-26-12) Denver picked DL Derek Wolfe
2 57 Denver's allotted pick Denver picked QB Brock Osweiler
3 67 Acquired from Cleveland (4-27-12) Denver picked RB Ronnie Hillman
3 87 Denver's allotted pick Traded to Cleveland (4-27-12); Browns picked DT John Hughes
4 101 Acquired from Tampa Bay (4-26-12) Denver picked DB Omar Bolden
4 108 Acquired from New York Jets (3-21-12) Denver picked C Philip Blake
4 120 Denver's allotted pick Traded to Cleveland (4-27-12); Browns picked LB James-Michael Johnson
4 126 Acquired from New England (4-26-12) Traded to Tampa Bay (4-26-12); Buccaneers traded pick to Houston (4-27-12); Texans picked DT Jared Crick
5 137 Acquired from St. Louis (10-17-11) Denver picked DT Malik Jackson
5 160 Denver's allotted pick Traded to Cleveland (3-14-10); Browns picked G Ryan Miller
6 188 Acquired from New York Jets (3-21-12) Denver picked LB Danny Trevathan
6 194 Denver's allotted pick Traded to Philadelphia (7-30-10); Eagles picked WR Marvin McNutt
7 232 Denver's allotted pick Traded to New York Jets (3-21-12); Jets traded pick to Seattle (4-27-12); Seahawks picked DE Greg Scruggs


Here's how the players compare, using the AV System:

Denver's Picks Traded Picks
Rd (#) Pos Player Sea Gm (St) AV Rd (#) Team Player Sea Gm (St) AV
2 (36) DL Derek Wolfe 1 16 (16) 8.0 1 (25) NE LB Dont'a Hightower 1 14 (13) 7.0
2 (57) QB Brock Osweiler 1 5 (0) 0.0 1 (31) TB RB Doug Martin 1 16 (16) 14.0
3 (67) RB Ronnie Hillman 1 14 (0) 3.0 3 (87) Cle DT John Hughes 1 16 (2) 3.0
4 (101) DB Omar Bolden 1 16 (0) 1.0 4 (120) Cle LB James-Michael Johnson 1 11 (8) 4.0
4 (108) C Philip Blake 1 0 (0) 0.0 4 (126) Hou DT Jared Crick 1 15 (0) 2.0
5 (137) DT Malik Jackson 1 14 (0) 1.0 5 (160) Cle G Ryan Miller 1 6 (0) 0.0
6 (188) LB Danny Trevathan 1 16 (0) 2.0 6 (194) Phi WR Marvin McNutt 1 4 (0) 1.0
7 (232) Sea DE Greg Scruggs 1 10 (0) 1.0



Denver ended up picking seven players in Fox's second Broncos' draft. So far, those seven picks have graded out as a starter, a backup and five scrubs. Eight picks were traded away and used by other teams. Those picks graded out as an All-Pro, three backups and four scrubs.

We have looked at six seasons worth of drafts under three head coaches. During those seasons, the Broncos were allotted forty-two picks by the NFL (plus one compensatory pick). They traded picks around and were able to increase those forty-two picks into forty-seven players. Among those picks (using Pro-Football-Reference's Average Value System) Denver ended up with an All-Pro caliber player, two Start caliber, fourteen Backup caliber and twenty-seven Scrub level players. Only four picks failed to make the Broncos' active roster. A comparison of those picks to the players selected with picks Denver traded to other teams shows that there is not a significant difference in talent levels. While it is possible to make claims like "Oh we could have had Mike Wallace or Jamal Charles," there is no guarantee that the draft would have played out that way. Nor is there evidence that the coaches at the time those players were drafted were even interested in them. All this really shows us is that the Broncos have not been any more nor any less likely to trade their draft picks in order to select players they are interested in than any other NFL team.

Thanks for sticking with a rather long look at Denver's draft trading history (or at least six seasons' worth of transactions) and let's get fired up for the Broncos 2013 NFL Draft.

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