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Horse Tracks: Reminiscing on some Denver Broncos NFL Draft history

Let’s take a trip down memory lane and revisit some daft Denver Broncos NFL Draft moments.

NFL: New York Jets at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Broncos Country.

It seems like only yesterday when Steven Jackson’s stunned look when the Denver Broncos passed on him for D.J. Williams in the 2004 NFL Draft. It’s hard to fathom that fourteen years have went by since then, but I guess time does fly by when you are having fun.

For most of us, draft season is one of the most beloved times of the year. After months of the offseason lull and the pain of not getting to watch games on Sunday — the NFL Draft provides a necessary boost of spirit to help rejuvenate one’s passion for the coming year.

On the flip side, the draft can become one of the worst experiences a fan has prior to the season. A lot of us become enamored with a handful of prospects and wish upon a star that they’ll be on the team’s roster next year. When the rubber finally meets the road and the draft actually occurs, many of us get upset because ‘They picked that guy!’ and failed to do anything remotely close to what you had envisioned for the franchise. Epic meltdowns are bound to occur, and perhaps sometimes, those manic moments are somewhat justifiable.

Over the years, I’ve been miffed more than a few times when it comes to the Broncos and the draft. Here’s a short outline of some draft picks I vividly remember disliking at the time and some miscellaneous tidbits on who I had wanted instead and how some of those picks panned out. Right after the D.J. Williams over Steven Jackson curve ball, the Broncos entered the 2005 NFL Draft with the hopes of revamping their secondary and used their first three selections on Darrent Williams, Karl Paymah and Domonique Foxworth. Even with Tatum Bell in the fold, I was hoping the Broncos would add another stud to their backfield.

I had my heart set on Minnesota product Marion Barber III, but Denver shocked me yet again by taking Maurice Clarett out of Ohio State. Talk about a miss, waste of draft capital and an unnecessary risk. While Barber never became a top-tier player at the position, he had a very productive career for a Day 3 draft pick. History wasn’t as kind to Clarett, who showed up to training camp overweight and out of his mind. He never ended up playing in a game.

A few years later, the Broncos left me shaking my head again when they moved up to select Jarvis Moss — who had an injury plagued collegiate career and had lost a ton of weight due to a staph infection prior to the draft. There was no way he was going to be an impact player right away in the league, and that was proven after he flamed out in five years and only registered six sacks. Who was I hoping for? Jon Season — who went on to earn three Pro-Bowl bids and two All-Pro designations. LaMarr Woodley would have been sweet over Tim Crowder too.

I was stoked and accurately predicted Ryan Clady to the Broncos back in 2008 and was elated with Knowshon Moreno in 2009, but the rest of that draft — primarily Alphonso Smith, Darcel McBath and Richard Quinn busting out signified it was one of Denver’s worst drafts of all time. I thought Smith was going to be great, but was never high on McBath or Quinn. Never forget that Josh McDaniels used a second round pick on a college tight end who barely caught any passes in college.

Since then, I’ve been pretty happy with what the Broncos have done, especially with their first-round selections. Demaryius Thomas, Von Miller, Derek Wolfe and Bradley Roby have been great early picks for the team. However, the consistent issues in the second and third round with a plethora of busts ranging from Ty Sambrailo to Cody Latimer have left a rather bad taste in my mouth.

Here’s to hoping that the Broncos avoid being daft in the 2018 NFL Draft and hit on a majority of their picks to help reforge the franchise into a Super Bowl contender. P.S.—Feel free to post some of your most vivid draft memories in the comments section.

As always, thank you for reading and here is today’s offering of Horse Tracks.

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