clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Reviewing the Draft - 2001 Edition

People always argue if a draft class was good or not and grade it. Most people including me think that it take 2 or 3 years before you can actually grade a class. Leading up to the draft we will take a look at who the Broncos drafted in the past 10 years. These drafts were conducted by Mike Shanahan and Josh McDaniels.

Willie Middlebrooks - Defensive Back- Minnesota - 24th overall pick

The pick surprised a lot of people since the Broncos took a cornerback in 2000 being Deltha O'Neal. The Broncos saw they had a need for for a cornerback and had high hopes for Middlebrooks at 6'2 200 pounds. Middlebrooks was supposed to be a force at a defensiveback because of his speed and large size for a DB. In five seasons, Middlebrooks had only 30 tackles and no interceptions. His most productive season was 2004 where he started two games with seventeen tackles. He was released in 2006 by the Broncos. Today, he is a defensive back in the CFL for the Toronto Argonauts. Middlebrooks was a sloppy tackler with bad mechanics and couldn’t stay healthy.

Paul Toviessi - Defensive End - Marshall- 51st overall pick -

Drafted jn the 2nd round, the Broncos looked to add talent to their need at defensive line. Unfortunately, Toviessi suffered a freak knee injury during camp and was not able to recover. Toviessi never played a down in the NFL. He tried to return the following year but ended up back on IR and was on it until an injury settlement was reached.

Reggie Hayward - Defensive End - Iowa State - 87th overall

Haywafd was the second defensive end drafted for the Broncos in the 2001 draft. A large defensive end at 6'5 270 pounds, Hayward didn't make much of an impact in his first two years starting two games and picking up three sacks. But his next two seasons, he was one of the Broncos best end's in years. In 2003 and 2004, he combined for 19 sacks. He was a very productive defensive end for the Jaguars when he signed with them in 2005 but unfortunately after suffering an ACL tear. He is currently a free agent.

Ben Hamilton - Guard - Minnesota - 113th Overall

Ben Hamilton was drafted in the fourth round. He was standard size for an offensive lineman at 6'5 303 pounds. He was originally a center in college but started at guard for the Broncos in his rookie season. Afterwards, he played a center for a bit. Until 2009, he started every game for the Broncos and was part of the 2008 offensive line that only gave up 12 sacks. (Think Jay Cutler misses that?)

Nick Harris - Punter - California 120th Overall

Nick Harris is a Punter who drafted fourth round by the Broncos. He didn't last long with the Broncos and was soon waived and was then picked up by the Bengals. Today he is with the Lions.

Kevin Kasper - Wide Receiver - Iowa - 190th overall

Kevin Kasper was short for a receiver at 6'0 but was fast running a 4.42 at the combine. He started five games for the Broncos being a kick returner. He only had 8 receptions as a rookie and in 2002 was moved to Seattle.

If you look back at who was available in the first round instead of Middlebrooks, there were a few options who turned into Pro Bowlers. Obviously guys like Drew Brees were available but the Broncos felt good with Brian Griese at quarterback. Another possible pick that turned to be a pro bowler was Kyle Vanden Bosch. A lot of mock drafts however had the Broncos taking Willie Middlebrooks which made sense at the time. Unfortunately, he turned out to be a bust. Fortunately Champ came along a few years later.

Who should the Broncos have drafted? What would you grade this draft?