Day three of the NFL Draft is mostly for the hardcore fans and draft lovers around. All the top names the casual fan may know are already picked and heading to their new city, and all the intrigue is now gone. It also happens on a Saturday morning/afternoon so most are out enjoying their weekend instead of sitting down watching rounds four through seven, but not Broncos fans.
Today is the day we should be the most excited about. It's the day that Denver Broncos General Manager John Elway and his staff and scouts find late round gems that turn into stars in this league.
Let's take a look at the gems the Broncos found on day three of the NFL Draft under John Elway.
Tight end Julius Thomas, 4th round, pick 129:
Thomas didn't do much his first two year's with the Broncos but broke out under quarterback Peyton Manning in 2013. He went on to have great years in 2013 and 2014 before signing a big free agent contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2015. He is considered one of the better tight ends in the NFL today
Tight end Virgil Green, 7th round pick 204:
Green was a seventh-round selection for the Broncos back in 2011 and since has been to two Super Bowl(winning one) and becoming the team's blocking specialist tight end/fullback. He has yet to break out in the passing game but has flashed at times. Heading into the 2016 season with the Denver Broncos he is competing for the starting tight end job.
Defensive tackle/end Malik Jackson, 5th round, pick 137:
Malik Jackson was overlooked pick at the time but turned into one of the Broncos best defensive players after a few years. He was a constant interior pass rushing force for the Broncos and was one of the reasons why the Broncos defense was so dominant in 2015. He was also a big reason why the Broncos won Super Bowl 50 this past season
Linebacker Danny Trevathan, 6th round, pick 188:
Trevathan had a breakout second season with the Broncos totaling 129 tackles that season. Unfortunately, he suffered through an injury-plagued 2014 season before bouncing back and having another 100+ tackle season for the Broncos this past season. He left the Broncos this past free agency and signed a big free-agent contract with the Chicago Bears.
Center Matt Paradis, 6th round, pick 207:
The Broncos drafted Paradis in the 6th round from Boise State and stashed him on their practice squad his rookie season. This past season he won the starting center job and didn't look back. He improved as the season went on and quickly became one of the Broncos more consistent offensive lineman in 2015. Now heading into the 2016 season, Paradis is looking to improve on his solid 2015 season.
General Manager John Elway has proven he can find talent in the later rounds. Thomas, Green, Jackson, Trevathan, and Paradis were or are current starters and all have played at a high level for the Broncos or their other team. That's a pretty good track record if you ask me.
Once you head into day three of the NFL draft you really are not looking for high level of play starters. You're looking at projects, depth players, character risks, injury risks, and usually guys who are out of the league quickly or are nothing more than backups during their career.
Finding high-level day three starter in three out of four(not counting 2015 or 2016 yet) drafts is impressive.
Will the Broncos day three success continue today?:
I do not see why not?
Heading into day three of the draft the Broncos have six draft picks to fill out their roster.
- 4th round, pick 136
- 5th round, pick 144
- 5th round, pick 157
- 6th round, pick 219
- 7th round, pick 228
7th round, pick 253It's safe to assume the Broncos will find another future high-level starter in this group of players. Will that player be a tight end? a running back? an offensive lineman? an inside linebacker? an edge rusher? or possibly another safety?
We'll find out, but Broncos fans should feel confident about what the Broncos do today.