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Horse Tracks: Remember normal Broncos drafts?

I’m old enough to remember when the Broncos picked on the first day.

2021 NFL Draft Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

In 2021, the Denver Broncos selected, with the 9th pick in the 1st round, Patrick Surtain II. In 2022, the Broncos traded two 1st and 2nd round picks (2022 and 2023), among other things, for quarterback Russell Wilson. At the time, Broncos Country wasn’t thrilled about the loss of draft capital, but were satisfied that the quarterback carousel would stop with the acquisition of the perennial Pro Bowler.

Then the 2022 season played out like it did and suddenly, fans missed those draft picks a whole lot more than they thought they would.

With this years draft a little more than weeks away, it’s tough to get excited knowing that, unless someone trades for Jerry Jeudy, Denver won’t make an appearance until they make back-to-back picks in the 3rd round at 67 and 68 overall.

Denver did have a 1st round pick after trading Bradley Chubb to the Dolphins last year during the season, but that pick, along with a 2024 2nd rounder went to the Saints for coach Sean Payton.

This year’s draft will be a stunted affair this year with the Broncos only coming to life in the 3rd round. In 2024, the Broncos will finally have a 1st round pick, but won’t be participating in the 2nd (Sean Payton). Heck, in 2025 Denver gave up their 5th round pick in the Bradley Chubb trade. So if you’re looking for a full slate of unspoiled draft picks, it’s going to be the 2026 draft when things project a return to normal. Subject to change, of course.

I miss the old days of day 1 draft excitement. Last year, I was okay with it because I figured all our problems were solved with the Wilson trade. This year, I’m annoyed by the whole thing. Who knows, maybe Wilson will find himself and it will end up being worth it in the end. Probably not, but hey, it’s the offseason. A time for hope.



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