Rotoworld's Patrick Daugherty ranked all 32 NFL General Managers from best to worse, and Denver Broncos General Manager John Elway was ranked second on this list.
NFL's Best GMs 2017. Ranking and evaluating the league's general managers. https://t.co/03ZTMrqv7F— Patrick Daugherty (@RotoPat) April 18, 2017
Daugherty states that Elway didn't have the best 2016 season with Okung being a bit of a bust (more on that later) and the C.J. Anderson signing kinda busting, but all perfect streaks always come to an end.
"At some point, the hot streak — Von Miller, Julius Thomas, Peyton Manning, Derek Wolfe, Malik Jackson, Danny Trevathan, Brandon Marshall, Chris Harris, Aqib Talib, DeMarcus Ware, Emmanuel Sanders — was going to end. In 2016, John Elway used his first-round pick on Paxton Lynch. Free agent LT Russell Okung was a bust. A re-signed C.J. Anderson struggled. It wasn’t Elway’s best year, and yet, arguably the top move of free agency was his reluctance to win a bidding war for Brock Osweiler. While Osweiler loads down the Browns’ roster, Elway is still reloading. Quarterback remains a trouble spot for a team adjusting to life without Manning, but Elway has made an executive career out of getting the big decisions right. His refusal to panic at football’s most important position could create headaches now, but leaves the Broncos better off for the long run. That’s not to mention that Lynch could still pan out. Elway’s near perfect streak is over. That’s life. Broncos fans can rest easy knowing they have a general manager with the patience and personnel skills to ensure they’re competitive for years to come."
As for Okung being a "bust," the contract the Broncos convinced Okung to sign should make up for his play. Also, while his play wasn't great, Okung didn't play terribly for the Broncos.
Since Elway joined the Broncos as the GM the Broncos have gone 67-29. They won five-straight AFC West titles up until this past season under Elway, appeared in the Super Bowl twice, and won Super Bowl 50.
Elway's first draft choice was Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller. Elway lured Peyton Manning to Denver where he won a Super Bowl and rode off into the sunset as a champion, he signed veterans DeMarcus Ware, Wes Welker, Aqib Talib, T.J. Ward, Darien Stewart, Emmanuel Sanders and many more players who contributed to roster in a big way.
His success did not stop there. His draft picks have had success in this league as well. Von Miller, Shane Ray, Bradley Roby, Derek Wolfe, Sylvester Williams, Malik Jackson, Justin Simmons, Will Parks, and others have contributed important roles in the Broncos defense.
Elway has also struck gold with some under the radar signings and waiver wire additions. Terrance Knighton was an overlooked signing but was a big reason for the Broncos' success in 2013. The Broncos nabbed starting inside linebackers Brandon Marshall and Todd Davis off the waiver wire after their respected teams parted ways with them (Jaguars and Saints). Now both are big parts of the dominant Broncos defense.
So, yeah, Elway has done a pretty damn good job and there's a reason why he's only trailing the Patriots Bill Belichick on these rankings.
Elway doesn't tolerate failure and wants the Broncos to "win from now on" and continue to be Super Bowl contenders and eventually build a winning dynasty. He has built a winning culture in Denver, and the team has never been below .500 during his six years as general manager.
The Broncos are in good hands as they head into the uncertain future. Also, Elway should be receiving a very well deserved contract extension here pretty soon making him the highest paid general manager in the league.