DENVER (KDVR) — The Denver Broncos had five picks in the 2023 NFL Draft with the first selection slated for the second round.
How did the Broncos get so far down in the pecking order? Star quarterback Russell Wilson and head coach Sean Payton.
Denver traded two first-round, two second-round and a fifth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft for Wilson along with other current players at the time. That depleted the team of all draft picks it had in the queue.
The Broncos acquired a first-round pick from the Miami Dolphins when they traded Bradley Chubb, but gave that up when they made a deal with the New Orleans Saints to hire Payton, as he was still under contract with the team.
The Broncos didn’t have a first-round pick last year (see Russell Wilson trade above) but before that, the last time the team didn’t have a first-round pick was in 2012, when they signed quarterback Peyton Manning.
Denver traded up with the Detroit Lions for the 63rd overall sending them their 68th overall. The Broncos also swapped its 138th overall for Detroit’s 183rd overall.
The Broncos selected Oklahoma wide receiver Marvin Mims Jr. at the 63rd spot and got Arkansas linebacker Drew Sanders with the 67th-overall pick.
“All week, we kind of had some players that we targeted, and if they fell close enough to us, we’d go get. That was the case with Mims and Moss. We just didn’t want to lose those players,” Broncos general manager George Paton said. “We didn’t lose any picks this year—we still stayed with our five. We just felt they were really good value for where we took them and that’s why we moved up and got them.”
Iowa defensive back Riley Moss was picked 83rd overall, Boise State safety JL Skinner was 183rd-overall, and Oregon center Alex Forsyth with the 257th-overall pick.
“One of the things we talked about during the process of the evaluation is—it’s with the scouts and then with the coaches—’What’s our vision?’
I think George and I both have a similar background. We want to draft the best football players, especially when there’s a magnet that sits north of the others. I say magnet, but we’re using video,” Payton said. “We said this in the pre-draft press conference. When you’re projecting all these mocks with two [third-round picks], there are so many variables. The spray gets wider the further you get in the draft.”