After a year, Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN has regraded the entire 2017 NFL Draft. Most teams see a slight downgrade, but the Denver Broncos were hammered and even then I think the regrade grade is generous.
Post-draft grade: B+
As I wrote at the time, I had Cam Robinson and Ryan Ramczyk rated higher than Garett Bolles, and both tackles had better rookie seasons that the mammoth Utah lineman. Yes, Bolles started every game, but he was just OK in the passing game and was called for 12 penalties, second most in the league. He has to improve if Denver wants to get back into the playoff picture.
As for the rest of the class? Not much else in Year 1. I thought DeMarcus Walker was a fringe first-round pick and good fit as an end in a 3-4 defense, but he played only 99 snaps. Brendan Langley played only 100. Carlos Henderson and Jake Butt didn’t play at all. Isaiah McKenzie was a decent punt returner but caught just four passes.
Can Walker get on the field and rush the passer? Can Butt emerge a year out from his ACL tear in Michigan’s bowl game? Both are talented. As for now, though, this class ranks near the bottom.
New grade: C
2017 Broncos Draft Class
|1||20||Garett Bolles||OT||Utah||Scouting Report||Video|
|2||51||DeMarcus Walker||DE||Florida State||Scouting Report||Video|
|3||82||Carlos Henderson||WR||Louisiana Tech||Scouting Report||Video|
|3||101||Brendan Langley||CB||Lamar||Scouting Report||Video|
|4||Traded to Browns|
|5||145 (from Browns)||Jake Butt||TE||Michigan||Scouting Report||Video|
|5||172 (from Packers)||Isaiah McKenzie||WR||Georgia||Scouting Report||Video|
|5||Traded to 49ers|
|6||203||De'Angelo Henderson||RB||Coastal Carolina||Scouting Report||Video|
|7||Traded to Packers|
|7||Trade to Browns|
|7||253||Chad Kelly||QB||Ole Miss||Scouting Report||Video|
The only significant contributor - in a positive way - from the Broncos 2017 draft class was the Broncos first-round selection, Garett Bolles. DeMarcus Walker, Carlos Henderson, Jake Butt, De’Angelo Henderson, and Chad Kelly were non-factors and Brendan Langley and Isaiah McKenzie impacted the games in rather negative ways.
It’s always tough grading a draft class after one season, but since 2013 John Elway has not done a very effective job of getting impact players in the draft. That lack of young talent is beginning to rear its ugly head as the franchise has lost 18 games over the last two seasons since winning Super Bowl 50.
Year 2 will be a more important barometer of this draft class, but collectively they are off to a rough start. It will be interesting to see how Walker, Henderson, and Butt all respond to bigger roles in the offseason. Add in Langley’s continued development and Henderson getting some looks and we could see this draft class go through another, more positive, regrade in 2019.
At this point in time, how would you grade the Broncos 2017 draft class?
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