Our recent roller coaster record, coupled with some of the struggles we’ve endured on defense seems to have brought out the strongest of naysayers concerning the Broncos and the annual college draft. National, local and even in-office critics say that our current plight is a direct result of our inability to evaluate and ultimately select young college talent. They point to the numerous misses, reeling off the names as if “on the clock” themselves, yet never providing the circumstances or thoughts surrounding a particular selection. If only it were as easy as choosing a QB, RB, 2 WR’s and a shutdown Defense. Now that would be a true “Fantasy” League!
Here are a few historical tidbits & subsequent facts to help fill in the gaps.
In 1998 coming off our Super Bowl win, we were awarded the distinction of selecting 30th (last) in the first round. Rod Smith, Ed McCaffrey and Willie Green had been our 3 receivers and the staff felt the influx of a young player at the position would strengthen the unit overall. Marcus Nash had been a highly productive 3-year starter at the University of Tennessee. Peyton Manning’s go-to guy had the size, athletic ability and big-play production we were looking for at the position. He was the 2nd leading all-time receiver in Tennessee Vol’s history. Street & Smith’s had projected him a late first round pick. The Sporting News (TSN), Pro Football Weekly (PFW) and Mel Kiper all had Marcus as a solid to high second round pick. Since Denver wasn’t scheduled to select again until #61, we felt Nash wouldn’t be available & took him betting on the considerable upside. Last of the three receivers deemed worthy, the others were Randy Moss and Kevin Dyson (both selected prior to #30).