We've broken down the Top-10 Draft Busts of the Denver Broncos, so let's change the mood a bit. Over the next several days we will look at the Top-10 Draft 'Hits' the Broncos have had, and let me tell ya, it was a hard list to compile. The Broncos have enjoyed their share of draft surprises over the years in all rounds. Narrowing the list to just 10 was challenging.
Anyway, like the last list, this is purely subjective. Many of these guys could appear anywhere on the list, and several others could have made the Top-Ten. That's the fun part - debate about it, come up with your own list, and let's create some positive energy for the 2011 NFL Draft.
With that said, let's get the list underway!
#10 - Chris Hinton - Guard, Northwestern(1983, 1st Round, 4th Pick)
How about some fun right off the bat. The first player on the list never played for the Broncos, never signed a contract for the Broncos. He was, however, a huge part of Denver Broncos history. Chris Hinton was drafted by the Broncos with the 4th pick in the 1983 draft. He was then traded to the Baltimore Colts for the rights to the #1 pick John Elway.
The story ends there for the Broncos, but it is just the beginning for Hinton. After landing in Baltimore - then Indianapolis - Hinton became one of the most reliable offensive linemen in the game. Hinton was a Pro Bowler as a rookie, then proceeded to get selected for six more over his 13 years in the NFL. After spending 7 years with the Colts, Hinton went on to the Atlanta Falcons, then to the Minnesota Vikings.
Hinton also remembers the first Monday Night game in Indianapolis - a game against John Elway and the Broncos.
"We beat them pretty bad. I'll always remember that game because it was the first Monday Night game in Indianapolis I believe. Running back Eric Dickerson could have ran for 300 yards had he stayed in the game. That was some game. I have a lot of memories of that game."
You can hardly blame Hinton for feeling pretty good about that night, or the career he had. After he retired, Hinton became the first Colts player - after the move to Indy - to be elected into the Colts Ring of Fame. Not often you can say two guys that were traded for each other went on to 'Ring of Fame'-type careers.
Perhaps placing Hinton on the list is more of a history lesson than true indication of his draft worth. While the Broncos clearly made out on the trade, Hinton was a solid, Pro Bowl player. It was worth the mention here.
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