Even franchise legends can't live off their old legacy forever. Eventually there has to be some recent success for them to stick around.
That's the situation it feels like we're in with John Elway and the Denver Broncos. As a quarterback, Elway was a Hall of Famer. He was a two-time Super Bowl champion, a nine-time Pro Bowler and an NFL MVP. As a general manager, Elway's time in Denver was sweet to start. His Broncos won double-digit games in each of their first four seasons, including a Super Bowl in 2015. But Denver hasn't made the playoff since, and since Peyton Manning retired in 2015, Elway hasn't been able to get the roster on track.
But this past 2019 draft is poised to turn that around. Here's what it looked like.
Round 1, Pick 20: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
Round 2, Pick 41: Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State
Round 2, Pick 42: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
Round 3, Pick 71: Dre'Mont Jones, DT, Ohio State
Round 5, Pick 156: Justin Hollins, EDGE, Oregon
Round 6, Pick 187: Juwann Winfree, WR, Colorado
My Broncos Draft Mulligan: DT Dre'Mont Jones for DT Renell Wren
I thought the Broncos draft was top notch. Moving back from No. 10 to No. 20 to still pick up a high impact player like Fant was a big win, as was getting a starting-caliber, versatile offensive lineman like Risner in the second round. Throw in the fact that we thought the Broncos were likely going to have to pick Drew Lock at No. 10 to get him and got him at No. 42 instead, and those first three picks were all home runs, as a total package.
One pick I would have liked to change in Denver's draft, however, was the selection of defensive tackle Dre'Mont Jones. Even though I still wouldn't have picked Jones quite that high, the range isn't the thing that bothers me the most; it's the play style. Jones is a smaller, more finesse interior player who uses quick movements and slipperiness to move through gaps and make tackles in the backfield. But I have my worries about how effective he'll be in that role in the NFL with the game getting faster and stronger all around him. Plus I think the Broncos would have been better suited with a more powerful interior player rather than a speed one.
That's why I think Arizona State's Renell Wren would have been a better choice. Wren is nearly 6-foot-5, 320 pounds and did 30 reps on the bench press. This dude is big, mean and strong. I think that would have been the better compliment to guys like Von Miller and Bradley Chubb as the primary pass rushers on the edges. I thought the Broncos needed more of a stout presence in the middle, rather than the finesse one they drafted.