Good morning, Broncos Country!
When the Broncos are officially on the clock for the 2023 Draft in less than two weeks, will you be confident in the picks? Assuming the worst? Or just hoping for some diamonds in the rough since Denver, barring any trades in the next 10 days, isn’t even picking until the third round?
According to a recent survey from Sportsbook Review, which asked thousands of NFL fans ahead of the NFL Draft to rate their optimism on a scale of 1-10 that their team will draft well, the Denver Broncos didn’t do so well.
It turns out that the Broncos fanbase posted the fourth-lowest score of all 32 teams with an average response of just 5.27 out of 10.
“With Denver general manager George Paton recently ranked dead last in an NFL.com list of the top GMs in the league, it’s no surprise that the Broncos also find themselves among the five most pessimistic fanbases with a 5.27 optimism score.”
Only the Raiders, Browns and Commanders were more pessimistic.
That’s quite an indictment on the franchise, though not altogether unexpected.
For all the glory John Elway brought to Denver as its first Super Bowl-winning quarterback, his time as GM was tainted with poor draft choices - primarily, and somewhat ironically, at the quarterback position.
GM George Paton seems to have raised the bar a little in Denver with some solid picks, particularly in later rounds.
The Broncos have been one of the league’s most efficient drafting teams relative to their draft capital in the last two years, which shows that on Draft Day, George Paton knows what he’s doing. https://t.co/5aqQYHdE8r— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) April 17, 2023
In 2021, after taking All Pro cornerback Pat Surtain in the first round, he nabbed Javonte Williams in the second before trading back the third-round pick for two later-round picks, which brought Baron Browning and Quinn Meinerz to the starting lineup in 2022.
That kind of efficiency is why Andrew Mason pointed out this week that the numbers show that keeping Paton in charge on Draft Day makes a lot of sense - even with Sean Payton in the building.
In fact, Mase writes that Paton has “maximized his capital better than most general managers” in his last two years in charge.
This is proved by looking at Pro-Football-Reference’s Approximate Value metric in which the Broncos have earned 74 AV points out of Paton’s 19 draft picks - putting them 13th in draft value in the league.
But when Mase applied the “Jimmy Johnson draft value metric,” the Broncos fared even better - at 6th best overall with one point of approximate value for every 38.3 points of draft-pick value.
“A significant chunk of that comes from Pat Surtain, of course. The 2021 first-round pick and 2022 first-team All-Pro has 21 points of approximate value. But the Broncos reaped rewards from Browning (11 points), Williams (9 points), seventh-round pick Jonathon Cooper (9 points) and Meinerz (8 points).” - Andrew Mason
With just five picks in the 2023 Draft that don’t even start until the top of the third round, Broncos Country is going to have to hope Paton can get the most value out of its few picks once again.
On a scale of 1-10, what’s your confidence level that the Broncos can come away from this year’s draft with great value?
This poll is closed
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