DENVER — So, here we go, time for another NFL Draft. The Broncos, like most teams, hope to get the lady and not the tiger when they choose 25th in Thursday’s first round. The Broncos hit it big last year with Von Miller, but that was a lot easier as they had the 2nd overall pick.
The draft is always a crapshoot…remember, back in the late 80’s, they had back-to-back years where they were choosing in the 20’s. In 1988 Dan Reeves & Co. ended up with one of their biggest busts ever, taking Ted Gregory out of Syracuse. The very next year they traded down to take Steve Atwater out of Arkansas, who played his way into the Ring of Fame.
Mike Shanahan won two Super Bowls, but his work as General Manager saw the Broncos spend consecutive 1st Round picks on Willie Middlebrooks, Ashley Lelie and George Foster. Those picks were part of a Bronco talent erosion. You can have a bad pick, you can even have a bad draft…but you can not have an era of empty drafts.
This year’s draft may not necessarily grab headlines when the Broncos pick, but remember that this team has a great legacy of harvesting astounding talent in the late rounds. No one was high fiving when Karl Mecklenburg as taken in the 12th Round in 1983, or when Hall-of-Famer Shannon Sharpe was taken in 1990’s 7th Round. ESPN didn’t come unglued when Terrell Davis was taken 196th over (6th Round) in 1995.
The Broncos need to become one of those organizations that perennially draft well, and their annual test begins Thursday night in new York.