Broncos 2006 Draft: One of Shanahan's Best

Dustin RoederCorrespondent IMay 5, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 30:  Brandon Marshall #15 of the Denver Broncos is tackled by Cody Spencer #53 of the New York Jets on November 30, 2008 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Broncos defeated the Jets 34-17.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

It's time to grade the Broncos on their 2006 draft. For grading criteria, if the player made it to the Pro Bowl, he gets an A. If he has started at least 24 games (1.5 seasons) he gets a B. C's are still on the team. D's are still in the NFL. F's are no longer in the NFL. Plus and minuses are subjective.

Round One, Pick 11: Jay Cutler, QB, Vanderbilt

A Pro Bowl selection last year. He now plays for the Bears. In three years he has already amassed 9,024 yards passing, with 54 TDs against 37 INTs. Grade: A

Round Two, Pick 61: Tony Scheffler, TE, Western Michigan

He went to the Pro Bowl last year to watch Cutler and Marshall, but didn't play. He has appeared in 42 games starting 19. With 107 receptions for 1480 yards and 12 TDs, Tony is becoming one of the better pass catching TEs in the NFL. I'm going to give him credit for the starts because he plays a lot during the games he is in. Grade B

Round Four, Pick 119: Brandon Marshall, WR, Central Florida

Another Pro Bowl selection last year. He has 2,899 yards on 226 catches and 15 Tds. He has a promising career ahead of him if he stays out of trouble. Grade A.

Round Four, Pick 126: Elvis Dummervil, DE, Louisville

Elvis is a pretty good pass rusher. He has 26 sacks in three years, and had the most sacks his senior season at Louisville. He has played in 45 games, starting 31. Grade B+

Round Four, Pick 130: Dominik Hixon, WR, Akron

Dominik now plays for the New York Giants. He has 44 catches for 601 yards, with two TDs. He has done this starting eight career games, while playing in 32. He is penciled in as a starter for the Giants this year. A little bump for that. Grade B-

Round Five, Pick 161: Chris Kuper, G, North Dakota

He has played in 33 games starting 27. Can't ask for much else from a fifth round pick. Grade: B+

Round Six, Pick 198: Greg Eslinger, C, Minnesota

Greg was a risky pick coming off a major knee injury during his senior season with the Gophers. He never played for the Broncos, as his knee didn't allow him to be the player he was before. Greg was worth the risk as he was the Rimington trophy winner in 2005. Grade D

So adding up all of the grade points, just like you would in college (grade x credits). And we'll pretend that the first round is a seven credit class, the second round is six and so forth. The Broncos have 30 credits, with 101.9 grade points. That gives them a GPA of  3.40.

First off, this is the BEST 2006 draft I have graded so far, and easily so. Looking at this draft, you clearly see Shanahan's strength: offense with six out of seven picks being offense. He hit on all but one, which was clearly a good risk/reward. The one defensive player he took was a no-brainer, even for a guy that doesn't pick defense so well. Desperately needing a pass rusher, and the sack champion on the board in round four, due to question about his size.

Check out the other articles on the other teams drafts. I think Shanahan was possibly a little under appreciated.