clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

How well has John Elway drafted in his first five years?

Patrick Smith/Getty Images

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.

Year Rnd Pick Player Pos College
2015 1 23 Shane Ray DE Missouri
2015 2 59 Ty Sambrailo T Colorado St.
2015 3 92 Jeff Heuerman TE Ohio St.
2015 4 133 Max Garcia C Florida
2015 5 164 Lorenzo Doss CB Tulane
2015 6 203 Darius Kilgo NT Maryland
2015 7 250 Trevor Siemian QB Northwestern
2015 7 251 Taurean Nixon DB Tulane
2015 7 252 Josh Furman DB Oklahoma St.
Year Rnd Pick Player Pos College
2014 1 31 Bradley Roby DB Ohio St.
2014 2 56 Cody Latimer WR Indiana
2014 3 95 Michael Schofield OL Michigan
2014 5 156 Lamin Barrow LB LSU
2014 6 207 Matt Paradis OL Boise St.
2014 7 242 Corey Nelson LB Oklahoma
Year Rnd Pick Player Pos College
2013 1 28 Sylvester Williams DT North Carolina
2013 2 58 Montee Ball RB Wisconsin
2013 3 90 Kayvon Webster DB South Florida
2013 5 146 Quanterus Smith DE West. Kentucky
2013 5 161 Tavarres King WR Georgia
2013 6 173 Vinston Painter G Virginia Tech
2013 7 234 Zac Dysert QB Miami (OH)
Year Rnd Pick Player Pos College
2012 2 36 Derek Wolfe DT Cincinnati
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.
2012 4 108 Philip Blake OL Baylor
2012 5 137 Malik Jackson DT Tennessee
2012 6 188 Danny Trevathan LB Kentucky
Year Rnd Pick Player Pos College
2011 1 2 Von Miller LB Texas A&M
2011 2 45 Rahim Moore DB UCLA
2011 2 46 Orlando Franklin T Miami (FL)
2011 3 67 Nate Irving LB North Carolina St.
2011 4 108 Quinton Carter DB Oklahoma
2011 4 129 Julius Thomas TE Portland St.
2011 6 189 Mike Mohamed LB California
2011 7 204 Virgil Green TE Nevada
2011 7 247 Jeremy Beal DL Oklahoma

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.

Bonus Listen

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!