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Notable Hits: Knowshon Moreno, Ryan Clady, Eddie Royal, Ryan Harris, Jay Cutler, Tony Scheffler, Brandon Marshall, Elvis Dumervil, Chris Kuper.
Biggest Whiffs: Jarvis Moss, Tim Crowder, Alphonso Smith.
Looking through the Denver Broncos' drafting over the past five years really does shine a light on the limitations of Josh McDaniels during his time there.
Peyton Hillis, seventh round, has been one of the best value draft choices in the past five years but cannot be considered a hit considering he was given away to the Browns and never really used in Denver.
Most of the team's good selections came before McDaniels' arrival.
The first four selections of the 2006 draft were some of the best during the evaluation period by any team. Jay Cutler was a franchise quarterback in Denver before he was traded, and even after the trade he brought the team two first-round picks and a third, not to mention Kyle Orton.
That pick was followed by Tony Scheffler in the second. Scheffler is a good tight end that was inexplicably given away by the Broncos to the Lions in 2009. That pick was followed by another player who has subsequently been traded in the fourth—Brandon Marshall. Marshall is the highest paid receiver in the league now in Miami. He brought the team two second-round picks.
The fourth pick from that draft was Elvis Dumervil. Dumervil is still in Denver. He led the league in sacks two years ago but missed all of last season through injury. Dumervil may be a one-year wonder to this point, but as a fourth-round pick, that's one more than expected. Which is not to say that he won't come back and be just as good.
Offensive line has been a good well for the Denver Broncos to return to over the years. After picking up a starting guard, Chris Kuper, in the fifth round of 2006, they struck gold in 2007 and 2008. Ryan Harris arrived in the third round in 2007 while Ryan Clady came to Denver as the 12th overall pick in 2008. Clady is now a contender to be the best left tackle in the league.
Alphonso Smith was taken in the second round of 2009. It was a heavily scrutinized pick by the Broncos, which eventually backfired as he was traded after his rookie season to the Detroit Lions. Jarvis Moss never lived up to his first-round billing and is now an Oakland Raider while Tim Crowder, the second-round pick in 2007, only lasted two seasons before traveling to Tampa.
Robert Ayers is looking like a bust already for the Broncos too, but considering he is only going into his third season, it's not fair to write him off just yet.
Without Ryan Clady and Knowshon Moreno, this draft grade would be very close to a D-, passing only because of the value their traded players brought to the team.