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Old 01-21-2014, 10:14 AM   #1
v2micca
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Default Three Seasons, Three Drafts. Lets see what we have so far.

Well, Elway and Co. have been calling the shots in the front office for three Drafts now. As I have noted in some of my previous threads, this office has been absolutely crushing it in free agency the last two years. So much so, that over at grantland, Bill Barwell and Robert Mays characterized this as a team largely built through free agency. Now, it is not within the scope of my current post to refute the bald-faced ignorance of that assertion. Instead, I simply want to run through the past three drafts and assess what we have gained thus far.

Grade system:

***** Pro Bowl Level player
**** Solid Starter
*** Solid Depth Rotation
** Replacement Level
* Practice Squad/Development


Note, my rating system is simply for what the player has contributed to the team at this point. So, even guys who I think may develop into future stars may not get that grade for this post. Lets get started

2011 Draft

Von Miller *****
Rahim Moore ****
Orlando Franklin *****
Nate Irving **
Julius Thomas *****
Mike Mohammad *
Virgil Green ***
Jeremy Beal *

So yeah, the front office pretty much crushed the 2011 draft. This is the kind of draft that dynasties can be built from.

2012 Draft

Derek Wolfe ****
Brock Osweiler *
Ronnie Hillman **
Omar Bolden **
Philip Blake *
Malik Jackson ***
Danny Trevathan ****

A little bit of a step back from the epic 2011 draft but there is still some good stuff in there. There are also more players on the longer development curve that may yet pan out for us in this draft.

2013 Draft

Sylvester Williams ***
Montee Ball ***
Kayvon Webster **
Quanterus Smith *
Tavarres King *
Vinston Painter *
Zac Dysert *

I so wanted to break my own rule here because I strongly feel that both Sly and Ball will soon become Pro Bowl Level players. Kayvon has been abused this year, but I honestly feel he can continue to learn and improve and eventually become a solid starter. The Broncos definitely played the long game this year with a lot of developmental guys in this draft.

So, not bad work for their first three years. I look forward to what future drafts will bring.
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:19 AM   #2
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How exactly do you differentiate a 'Development' rookie from a 'Replacement Level' rookie? Seems kinda silly to me.

I also disagree that Webster has been 'abused'. I thought he played pretty well earlier in the season and actually helped hold the secondary together during some games where they were especially thin. I think it would be hasty and over-critical to say that he's done anything other than play above what most expected (though it seems his play did drop off as the season went on).

Good post, though.
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:24 AM   #3
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Danny T is a 5 star player right now IMO.

Ball is a 4 star player right now.
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:25 AM   #4
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Quote:
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How exactly do you differentiate a 'Development' rookie from a 'Replacement Level' rookie? Seems kinda silly to me.

I also disagree that Webster has been 'abused'. I thought he played pretty well earlier in the season and actually helped hold the secondary together during some games where they were especially thin. I think it would be hasty and over-critical to say that he's done anything other than play above what most expected (though it seems his play did drop off as the season went on).

Good post, though.
As a corner, if you miss a couple plays you "suck". Such is life.

Kayvon really turned my head, that's for sure. I think he was a great pick and far better than I credited them for after the draft.
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:27 AM   #5
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I don't agree with them all. Can't call Webster a bust. He had some pretty good games before running into Rivers, Brady late in the season. They make a lot of folks look silly. Still, he's been in great position often times, just hasn't finished. I expect him to take a big step forward next year and be able to find the ball. He's already probably our best tackling CB from what i've seen and Champ has been pretty damn good at it for some years.

I don't think we know what we have with Irvin yet either. The guy has played pretty strong down the stretch here when we needed him. Sometimes these guys just need to play. I hate watching Bolden but I can see what the coaches are doing with him and see in him. I saw him make a few plays over the past few weeks that although they weren't that productive, the guy is ultra athletic and if he ever learns instincts, he could be a damn good free safety/nickel type. He's another guy that just needs to finish some plays.

I expect Jackson to start next year and Virgil Green to take up a major role on our squad. There is no way Gase give that guy the ball on 3rd and 5 unless he's planning on bringing him along. What a crazy play that was watching #85 take the handoff and run for a first. I think they are going to start moving him into an H-Back role along w/ offset TE in ACE formations.
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shananahan View Post
How exactly do you differentiate a 'Development' rookie from a 'Replacement Level' rookie? Seems kinda silly to me.

I also disagree that Webster has been 'abused'. I thought he played pretty well earlier in the season and actually helped hold the secondary together during some games where they were especially thin. I think it would be hasty and over-critical to say that he's done anything other than play above what most expected (though it seems his play did drop off as the season went on).

Good post, though.
Ah, I should have specified that.

I used the practice squad/development designation for players who have not seen enough playing time to qualify for any other ranking. Some of these guys will get chances eventually, some are just practice squad filler. Kayvon has had some playing time and while he has shown some flashes has also shown growing pains. I'm not saying he won't get better, I just feel that right now his production has been replacement level.
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:29 AM   #7
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Osweiler is the key in 2012 draft. He has all the tools to be a great quarterback. If he can sit behind and learn from Peyton for two more seasons, he'll be a fine starter, if not a Probowler. Plus, Trevathan will be a superstar, if he continues to play the way he has.

As for 2013 draft, Sylvester will be fine. DT is one of the toughest position to learn as a rookie and he's shown enough he can be a force some day. Ball and Webster are not far behind, as they have shown flashes, but also some growing pains.
I'm excited about Quanterus Smith next season.

So, all in all, I'd say Elway and Co. have been fantastic talent evaluators.
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:31 AM   #8
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Nate Irving, Danny Trevathan and Malik Jackson are too low. Otherwise pretty solid, although so many of these guys haven't been given the opportunity to show what they have yet thus trying to get a big picture look at how they score is really difficult. 3 more years.
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish Stout View Post
Danny T is a 5 star player right now IMO.

Ball is a 4 star player right now.
I'd say from all the names in those 3 drafts, Tre has to be the biggest hit of all of them- and he will likely get better as times goes on. To have a 6th rounder out Kentucky, playing at the level he is today in his second year is one heck of a find. We all expected Von to be great, few of us expected Tre to be where he is today....

and yes, I think Ball and Malik area little to low for grades as well.

Edit- tre might share hte biggest hit honor with JT- simple sick good picks.
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Nate Irving, Danny Trevathan and Malik Jackson are too low. Otherwise pretty solid, although so many of these guys haven't been given the opportunity to show what they have yet thus trying to get a big picture look at how they score is really difficult. 3 more years.
Totally agree. I also kinda think evaluating drafts more recent than 3 years ago will never tell the story, especially for a relatively successful team drafting late in the draft.

For example, think what your evaluation would be 2011 right after the season. Very very different.
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:56 AM   #11
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Agree that Malik is a future starter on this team (and possible future star). He has graded out pretty elite in his limited role at PFF.

In addition to excellent FA moves, I think we have done quite well in UDFA. Ihenacho, CJ Anderson, Larentee McCray and S. Johnson are all guys who can play roles on this team now and in the future. And, oh yeah, a guy by the name of Chris F'in Harris too.
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:59 AM   #12
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Quote:
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I'd say from all the names in those 3 drafts, Tre has to be the biggest hit of all of them- and he will likely get better as times goes on. To have a 6th rounder out Kentucky, playing at the level he is today in his second year is one heck of a find. We all expected Von to be great, few of us expected Tre to be where he is today....

and yes, I think Ball and Malik area little to low for grades as well.

Edit- tre might share hte biggest hit honor with JT- simple sick good picks.
We got pretty lucky Danny T had a crap groin during the draft process.
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Old 01-21-2014, 11:00 AM   #13
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I also think that Dreessen is for sure a goner at the end of this year due to salary cap implications (unless he takes a BIG cut) and Tamme makes quite a bit as well but I think we need to keep him (maybe he takes a small cut). We are grooming another UDFA in Gerrell that could be an intriguing option at TE in the future that does make Joel expendable and help with the cap.
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Old 01-21-2014, 11:01 AM   #14
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I also think that Dreessen is for sure a goner at the end of this year due to salary cap implications (unless he takes a BIG cut) and Tamme makes quite a bit as well but I think we need to keep him (maybe he takes a small cut). We are grooming another UDFA in Gerrell that could be an intriguing option at TE in the future that does make Joel expendable and help with the cap.
I think Dreesen, Tamme, and Champ are good places to start when trimming salary.
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Old 01-21-2014, 11:23 AM   #15
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Depending on how Champ does in SB48, he might be playing himself into a re-negotiated contract. Hope he balls out this game.
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Old 01-21-2014, 11:43 AM   #16
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Depending on how Champ does in SB48, he might be playing himself into a re-negotiated contract. Hope he balls out this game.
Champ has been a champ that last 4 games.
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Old 01-21-2014, 11:47 AM   #17
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You can't assess a draft class this soon. Besides Ball is already playing like pro bowler, he just isn't getting enough carries.
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Old 01-21-2014, 01:55 PM   #18
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What difference does draft position make in this process?

The 2011 draft SHOULD be better as all or most of those picks were at the top end of that particular draft. Last year and this year the picks will be at the bottom of each round.

It should stand to reason that there would be a greater percentage of "hits" in a draft that you pick higher. If that is true, then the draft prowess of Elway and company should really be graded in about 3 to 4 years on the 2013 and 2014 drafts.
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Old 01-21-2014, 02:03 PM   #19
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So far I agree on Oz. If he has the tools to be a great QB I've missed it. He looks like a scared puppy every time he's out there and I haven't seen a single tool. I really hope someone does a better job of assessing QB's and we possibly pick one up before Manning goes. I'm not prepared to be the Chiefs after he does.
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Old 01-21-2014, 02:06 PM   #20
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So far I agree on Oz. If he has the tools to be a great QB I've missed it. He looks like a scared puppy every time he's out there and I haven't seen a single tool. I really hope someone does a better job of assessing QB's and we possibly pick one up before Manning goes. I'm not prepared to be the Chiefs after he does.
He's got a cannon, and can make "all the throws". He's big, and agile for his size.

He's played in one meaningful half, and even the word "meaningful" in that is debatable. I haven't seen enough to tell me he's a bust, but I have seen enough to tell me he has some tools to work with. I'm not saying he will be a pro-bowl type QB, but he has a foundation to build on.
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Old 01-21-2014, 02:06 PM   #21
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Quote:
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So far I agree on Oz. If he has the tools to be a great QB I've missed it. He looks like a scared puppy every time he's out there and I haven't seen a single tool. I really hope someone does a better job of assessing QB's and we possibly pick one up before Manning goes. I'm not prepared to be the Chiefs after he does.
Dysert flashed more than I've ever seen out of Osweiler. Not sure if that's just a bad sign from Osweiler or a good sign from Dysert.
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Old 01-21-2014, 03:16 PM   #22
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I think it is very possible both PFM and Champ would consider renegotiating if they thought in doing so they could maintain a SB contending team for another year. Elway did this several times in his career.
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Old 01-21-2014, 03:17 PM   #23
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Too early and too little tape on OZ for a meaningful discussion imho.
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Old 01-21-2014, 03:25 PM   #24
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I was actually going to start a thread like this. I have some gripes. You should include the rounds they were drafted in and weight the ratings based on the rounds. And you need to include undrafted free agents. They are part of the rookie class and need to factored into evaluating this front office.

For example, the 2011 draft looks great. The front end of 2012 isn't looking so hot, but the back end really helps make up for it. Especially when you consider Duke Ihenacho was undrafted and he's been starting.

I think what you can take away from this is that the Broncos are patient with their draft picks and work hard to develop them. The coaching staff gets as much credit as the front office for working with these guys and getting them to where they can contribute.
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Old 01-21-2014, 03:28 PM   #25
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Wasn't Tavarres King picked up by another team?
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