With the 2016 NFL Draft coming up later this week, there has been much discussion around past draft classes. The Washington Post even ranked each teams drafting success over the last 20 years, which the Denver Broncos came in a paltry 22nd on their list.
That sent me into looking at how well John Elway has done in his five years as general manager. Overall, I don't think he has been a world beater in the draft, but he has done respectably well.
Eric Goodman and Les Shapiro from The Afternoon Drive delved into the topic of Elway's draft abilities on Friday. They tended to agree that Elway has done a fine job drafting for the Broncos since he took the reigns in 2011.
Let's take a look at his draft picks over the last five years.
|2015||2||59||Ty Sambrailo||T||Colorado St.|
|2015||3||92||Jeff Heuerman||TE||Ohio St.|
|2015||7||252||Josh Furman||DB||Oklahoma St.|
|2014||1||31||Bradley Roby||DB||Ohio St.|
|2014||6||207||Matt Paradis||OL||Boise St.|
|2013||1||28||Sylvester Williams||DT||North Carolina|
|2013||3||90||Kayvon Webster||DB||South Florida|
|2013||5||146||Quanterus Smith||DE||West. Kentucky|
|2013||6||173||Vinston Painter||G||Virginia Tech|
|2013||7||234||Zac Dysert||QB||Miami (OH)|
|2012||2||57||Brock Osweiler||QB||Arizona St.|
|2012||3||67||Ronnie Hillman||RB||San Diego St.|
|2012||4||101||Omar Bolden||DB||Arizona St.|
|2011||1||2||Von Miller||LB||Texas A&M|
|2011||2||46||Orlando Franklin||T||Miami (FL)|
|2011||3||67||Nate Irving||LB||North Carolina St.|
|2011||4||129||Julius Thomas||TE||Portland St.|
As bad as the 2013 NFL Draft class was, Elway actually found a few serviceable players. He did so while drafting at the back end of the draft as well.
Overall, I think Elway deserves a solid B+. He hit a home run in Von Miller the one time the Broncos were picking near the front of the draft and has gotten solid contributors with the first pick every year since, culminating in a Super Bowl championship this past February.
In fact, three of his first picks of each draft ended up being critical to that championship run. Without Von Miller, Derek Wolfe and the third member of that No Fly Zone Bradley Roby were absolutely critical to the Broncos 2015 season.
I got a chance to be on the show with Eric and Les for the first time on Friday. We mostly talked quarterbacks and what the fans hope for. Hopefully, I represented MHR well!