Don't look now but another NFL draft is nearly upon us, and another crop of college standouts are set to become Denver Broncos.
So with the future at hand, what better time than the present to relive Bronco drafts past? And what better way to accomplish that than indulging in a trivia challenge covering the Broncos' past 46 drafts and dating back to the institution of the AFL-NFL common college selection process in 1967. The Broncos have made 487 draft picks over that span, so let's test the memories of all you self-described Bronco draftniks out there.
Answers to the following 10 questions can be found at the end of this narrative, but, hey, no peeking.
Ready, set …
1. What college/school has produced the most Bronco draft picks?
Hint: It's a three-way tie with all three programs having a "southern" connection.
2. Narrowing things down, what college/school has produced the most Bronco first-round selections over that same span?
Hint: It's another tie, this one with two programs involved. And also, think south, again.
3. What the most common position among Denver first-round picks?
Hint: It's yet another deadlock - this one involving one offensive and one defensive position.
4. Seven Denver draft picks since '67 have gone on to play 180 or more games with the franchise. How many can you name?
Hint: Only one of the seven was a first-round pick.
5. What position has produced the Pro Bowlers among Bronco draftees?
Hint: Seven different Broncos have been named to the Pro Bowl at this spot.
6. Speaking of Pro Bowl, what Denver draft pick has gone on to play in the most NFL all-star games.
Hint: Two players -- one offensive, one defensive -- share this honor with eight apiece.
7. Pro Bowls are nice, but how many future Hall of Famers have the Broncos drafted since '67?
Hint: One of them was traded before ever playing a down in orange and blue.
8. The Broncos have drafted 24 quarterbacks since '67. How many have gone on to throw for more than 8,000 career yards in the NFL?
Hint: No, Colts' draftee John Elway doesn't count.
9. What Bronco draft pick over the past 46 years has gone on to record the most interceptions in his NFL career?
Hint: This Tulane product finished with 44 picks in 11 seasons.
10. Of the Broncos' 38 first-round selections over the past 46 years, name the only one not to star at a Division I school.
Hint: The program's mascot is the Golden Bears.
- 1. Florida, the University of Southern California and Houston have each had 12 players drafted by the Broncos since 1967.
- 2. Florida (WR Ricky Nattiel, DE Jarvis Moss, QB Tim Tebow) and Tennessee (WR Marcus Nash, LB Al Wilson, DE Robert Ayers) have each produced three first-round Denver draft picks.
- 3. The Broncos have most frequently drafted running backs and linebackers - six apiece - in the first round.
- 4. K Jason Elam (236), C Tom Nalen (194), LB Tom Jackson (191), G Paul Howard (187), S Dennis Smith (184), DE Barney Chavous (183) and LB Karl Mecklenburg (180) are the only Bronco draft picks to hang around and play 180 or more games with the franchise, with Smith being the only first-rounder in the bunch.
- 5. The Broncos have had good success drafting linebackers with a position-high seven (Michael Brooks, Ian Gold, Randy Gradishar, Jackson, Mecklenburg, Von Miller, Wilson) having gone on to represent the franchise in the Pro Bowl.
- 6. S Steve Atwater and TE Shannon Sharpe lead all Denver draftees with eight Pro Bowl selections apiece.
- 7. Three Denver draft picks since '67 -- RB Floyd Little (1st round '67), DE Curley Culp (2nd round '68) and Sharpe (7th round '90) -- have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Culp never played for the Broncos after the team foolishly tried to move him to guard and then traded him to the Kansas City Chiefs when the switch didn't work out in training camp of Culp's rookie year.
- 8. Of the 24 QBs the Broncos have drafted since '67, only Jay Cutler (21,316), Brian Griese (19,440) and Tommy Maddox ((8,087) have thrown for more than 8,000 yards in the pros.
- 9. S Steve Foley, an eighth-round pick in 1975, leads all Bronco draftees with 44 NFL interceptions over the past 46 years.
- 10. Super Bowl XXXII final-play hero John Mobley is the Broncos' only first-round pick since '67 not to come out of a Division I program. Mobley, a linebacker, played for Division II Kutztown (Pa.) and picked 15th overall by the Broncos in the '96 draft.
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