Next up in the Denver Broncos Draft history series is the 10th round. From the time of the AFL-NFL merger in 1967, to 1993, the NFL Draft consisted of 17 rounds. In 1994, the draft was shortened to it’s current length: 7 rounds taking place over a three day period. During that time frame, the Broncos selected 171 players from the 8th to 17th round, 27 of them were selected in the 10th round.
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. To be specific, it is about the rate of return for a team’s investment on a rookie’s contract. Even though the new Collective Bargaining Agreement now sets all rookie contracts at 4 year terms. There is an exception with the 1st rounders for a 5th year option.
For comparison sake, 2.2% of all players taken the 9th round started 56 games or more and 15.3% of the Bronco players drafted in the 9th made 69 starts. The 9th round paid excellent dividends for the Broncos. Now let’s see how the 10th round shakes out.
3 players were the primary starter for one season. However, none of them started more than 18 games. Those same 3 Bronco players appeared in 50 or more games and one player made over 100 appearances.
- DE Walt Bowyer - 104 games, 13 starts.
- LB Ken Woodard - 61 games, 18 starts.
- WR Virgil Seay - 52 games, 10 starts.
Not much of a return, but in the 2000’s, these guys would have been Undrafted Free Agents.
15 of the 27 players drafted by the Broncos in the 10th round never played a game in the NFL (55.5%).
No All-Pros or Pro Bowlers were drafted by the Broncos in the 10th round. However, they did have a player from the 10th round who made the Pro Bowl: Mark Schlereth in 1998. Another 10th rounder started for the Broncos from 1993-97. His name? Brian Habib.
708 NFL players were drafted in the 10th round from 1967-1993.
9 made the Pro Bowl at least once.
2 had an All-Pro season.
47 were the primary starter at their position for 1 or more seasons.
23 players were the primary starter at their position for 5 or more seasons.
3 were the primary starter at their position for 10 or more seasons.
13 players made 100 starts or more
25 players made 56 starts or more (3.5%).
36 players made 25 starts or more.
157 draft picks from the 10th round never played in the NFL (22.1%).
56 appeared in 50 or more games.
40 appeared in 75 or more games.
29 appeared in 100 or more games.
11 appeared in 150 or more games.
Some of the notable names that were drafted in the 10th round are: OT John Jackson, C Frank Winters, NT Tim Krumrie, DB Brian Washington, OG Duval Love, RB Earnest Byner, RB Derrick Fenner, DB Martin Mayhew and DB Shaun Gayle.
The Broncos bombed in the 10th round of the NFL Draft historically. In fact, they had a doubly worse washout rate than the league average 55.5% to the league’s 22.1%. It’s true that you can’t win them all, so we will simply move on to the 11th round next. Surely we’ll find a gem or two there.
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