Where Do Our Starters Come From?

Sitting back, marveling at the weeping pile of desperate goo that we've turned the last two Super Bowl champs into, I started asking myself: Where did our starters come from? Which regime can take the most credit for all this success? Are we building from the draft? I was surprised to see how many McDaniels holdovers we have, despite two extremely befuddling drafts and some questionable roster maneuvering. And yet somehow, I was equally surprised to see how many new starters the Elway regime has had to bring in such a short time. Make no mistake, today's starting Broncos squad is absolutely a hybrid of three different leaders.


WR Demaryius Thomas - DRAFT: McDaniels

LT Ryan Clady - DRAFT: Shanahan

LG Zane Beadles - DRAFT: McDaniels

C Manny Ramirez - FREE AGENT: Elway

RG Louis Vasquez - FREE AGENT: Elway

RT Orlando Franklin - DRAFT: Elway

TE Julius Thomas - DRAFT: Elway

WR Eric Decker - DRAFT: McDaniels

WR Wes Welker - FREE AGENT: Elway

QB Peyton Manning - FREE AGENT: Elway

RB Knowshon Moreno - DRAFT: McDaniels


LDE Derek Wolfe - DRAFT: Elway

DT Kevin Vickerson: FREE AGENT: McDaniels

NT Terrance Knighton - FREE AGENT: Elway

RDE Robert Ayers - DRAFT: McDaniels

SLB Nate Irving - DRAFT: Elway

MLB Wesley Woodyard - UDFA: Shanahan

WLB Danny Trevathan - DRAFT: Elway

LCB Champ Bailey - TRADE: Shanahan

RCB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie - FREE AGENT: Elway

SS Duke Ihenacho - UDFA: Elway

FS Rahim Moore - DRAFT: Elway

SLOT Chris Harris - UDFA: Elway

Special Teams

K Matt Prater - FREE AGENT: Shanahan

P Britton Colquitt - FREE AGENT(PS)*: McDaniels

LS Aaron Brewer - UDFA: Elway

KR/PR Trindon Holliday - WAIVER CLAIM: Elway

*Britton Colquitt was a Broncos UDFA in 2009. He was waived by the Broncos, signed to the Dolphins' practice squad, and then signed back to the Broncos active roster.

27 Starters By The Numbers

Shanahan: 4
McDaniels: 7
Elway: 16

By Way Of
Trade: 1
Waivers: 1
Free Agency: 9
Draft: 12


  • I noted the leaders of each regime responsible for "last say" on personnel decisions. At times there were different GMs, Exec VPs and Coaches, but Elway, McDaniels and Shanahan were the personnel honchos in their respective eras.
  • Why 27 starters? I have 12 defensive starters, including the slot corner, who often plays more snaps than some starting LBs.
  • Chris Clark, now the starting LT for the foreseeable future, came as a waiver claim in the McDaniels era.
  • Von Miller will obviously supplant fellow Elway draftee Nate Irving, keeping numbers the same.


  • At first thought, would you have ever imagined that the McDaniels experiment, largely a media-gurgling-circus failure, would still be responsible for eight of our starters (now 9 with LT Clark)?
  • Seeing 16 of our starters attributed to Elway is a testament to two things: The McDaniels era was majorly boom and bust. His greasy fingerprints still remain on the offense: Beadles, Moreno, Decker and Demaryius are all vital cogs in the machine. And yet, in just two years, 16 of 27 starters needed to be replaced.
  • 0 starters in the defensive back seven from the McDaniels era. Hm.
  • We currently have 9 starters that come as draftees or UDFAs from the Elway era. That's a solid average of three new starters per draft.
  • How good does the 2011 draft look now? Four every down starters: Von Miller/Nate Irving, Orlando Franklin, Rahim Moore, Julius Thomas. With Virgil Green currently the 2nd TE.
What do you think, Country? Surprised to see the blueprint?

This is a Fan-Created Comment on The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

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