Founded in 1960 as an original member of the AFL. Joined the NFL in 1970 as part of the AFL/NFL merger, and has never relocated.
League Championships: 2 – 1997 (Super Bowl), 1998 (Super Bowl)
Conference Championships: 6 – 1977 (AFC), 1986 (AFC), 1987 (AFC), 1989 (AFC), 1997 (AFC), 1998 (AFC)
Division Championships: 10 – 1977 (AFC West), 1978 (AFC West), 1984 (AFC West), 1986 (AFC West), 1987 (AFC West), 1989 (AFC West), 1991 (AFC West), 1996 (AFC West), 1998 (AFC West), 2005 (AFC West)
Playoff Appearances: 17 – 1977, 1978, 1979, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005
2005 Finish: 13-3, 1 st Place AFC West, AFC Championship Game Runner-up
2004: 10-6 2005: 13-3 2006: 9-7 2007: 7-9 2008: 8-8 2009: 8-8 2010: 4-12
2011 Draft Grade
Denver Broncos (B-)
2: Von Miller (2, 2 = 2) +0
45: Rahim Moore (51, 54 = 53) -8
46: Orlando Franklin (66, 64 = 65) -19
67: Nate Irving (148, 168 = 158) -91
108: Quinton Carter (86, 72 = 79) +29
129: Julius Thomas (184, 177 = 181) -52
189: Mike Mohamed (213, 222 = 218) -29
204: Virgil Green (79, 143 = 111) +93
247: Jeremy Beal (109, 207 = 158) + 89
The Broncos got a lot of value in the last 5 picks of their draft, especially from their two selections in the 200’s – According to ESPN, Jeremy Beal should have been long gone by the 7th round as they had him 109th overall. The same could be said for Nevada’s Virgil Green (who ESPN ranked the 79th best player in the draft) but at 204, he was still their for the Broncos to swoop right up. I’m not too sure how I’d value this draft – I don’t love Von Miller as a value pick at #2, even if he was rated the 2nd best player in the draft. I see a lot of Aaron Curry in his game, and while I think Curry is a solid player – I’m not even sure if he’d be worth the #2 pick if he was very good. The Broncos needed a defensive playmaker, however, and Miller has great versatility and will be on the field every defensive down for the Broncos. Orlando Franklin will help a porous offensive line, and Rahim Moore will give the Broncos an added boost of youth in their aging secondary. I’d say a B to B- is right on the button for the Broncos… Go system!
Draft Pick Total: 1037 – Player Rankings Total: 1025—- TOTAL RANKING: +12
2011 Mock Draft
Denver Broncos 4-12 – Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn: I think Nick Fairley can do it all, and do it all very well. He’s a dominant force, or certainly was in college, and it wasn’t because he was freakishly stronger or faster than the competition, he just goes out and beats you. He’s got great feel for the game, and will be a pass rushing presence and a tackling machine against the run. I don’t think he is as good as Suh was last season, but he’s definitely a huge difference maker for a team that rarely stopped anybody up front, and had a lot of trouble putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
2009 Fantasy Football Notes
Kyle Orton, Chris Simms, Correll Buckhalter, LaMont Jordan, Knowshon Moreno, Ryan Torain, Jabar Gaffney, Brandon Lloyd, Brandon Marshall, Chad Jackson, Eddie Royal, Brandon Stokley, Daniel Graham, Tony Scheffler
The Broncos are all question marks, but question marks with plenty of intrigue and possibility. Kyle Orton had a pretty solid season in Chicago with a very immature offense, and little in terms of consistent receiving options. This season he’ll be asked to pass early and often, and he’s comfortable in this offense considering he ran it in college. If he struggles, Chris Simms has been looking for his second chance since he busted his spleen a couple years ago, tried to tough it out, then got kicked in the nuts by John Gruden. Okay, he didn’t get kicked, but he might as well have. He’s got a nice arm, and you need to keep an eye on Denver’s situation. The RB situation is interesting. Josh McDaniels comes from New England where he used as many running backs as he felt like, and none all that often to be fantasy starters. But Buckhalter, Jordan, and Ryan Torain all find themselves looking for a couple carries to prove themselves in Denver. And they are all behind the kid not in camp yet, Knowshon Moreno. Some might argue that McDaniels has never made a RB a fantasy stud, but why would McD draft a super talented all around RB in the 1st round, with the 12th pick, if he wasn’t ready to use him as much as possible? It’s a valid question. I think he’ll use Moreno, and I think he’ll use him well. Jabar Gaffney comes from McDaniels’ system, and he’ll find snaps, catches, and a few scores, but I doubt his presence as a normal fantasy starter. Same goes for Chad Jackson (whom McD obviously likes, and thinks enough of to bring him in after coaching him a few years ago) and the Brandon’s (both Stokley and Llyod) – both have been successful and fantasy worthy at some point in their careers, but like Chad, they find themselves standing in line behind two studs and a coaches pet. The studs are Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal. Marshall has all the tools to be a Top 5 receiver in the league. He caught a ton of balls last year, has plenty of speed, a big body, and makes tough catches. But he’s a bit of a gong show and can loose focus. Eddie Royal comes into his 2nd year after blasting past expectations in 2008. He has super quick feet, perfect hands, and his routes are flawless. He’s basically a really fast, really talented version of Wes Welker. These two cats should have huge years. As for the TE slot in Denver, your guess is almost as good as mine. I like Scheffler, he was big a few times last year, but he’s already been on the trading block, and you have to wonder what McD doesn’t like about him. Then there’s Daniel Graham, a solid all around TE that hasn’t done much since leaving New England. But McD is here, and maybe he could be the main guy? Regardless I don’t see much out of either guy unless McD changes his offense a bit. TE’s were rarely used the last 2 seasons in Patriotville.
2008 NFL DRAFT GRADES
Denver Broncos: A-
I’m not a big fan of Splinter (Shannahan) but you can’t argue with the guy’s ability to put together a solid draft. What I like most about the master mind behind the Ninja Turtles is his ability to put together his own unique draft board that doesn’t really fit with other models but works perfectly for his style. The Broncos don’t get a pure A, however, because they still failed to address their defensive line until very late.
Ryan Clady was a great pick, and in my opinion, equally as impressive as Jake Long. And the great thing about Clady, I think his upside is even greater than the first overall pick. At the 12th pick in Round 1, the Broncos grabbed a franchise left tackle. Yhatzee!
Eddie Royal is one of the guys I’m talking about when I give Splinter his due. Royal is an absolute game breaker on special teams and he was only limited offensively by the quarterbaking, or lack their of, at Virginia Tech. Ignoring catches and receiving yards, Shanny just went in and took the most talented player. Eddie Royal has been compared to Steve Smith and I think Steve is one of the 3 best receivers in the game. Royal helps immediately.
I don’t know much about Kore Lichtensteiger except for the fact that he’s durable, really smart, aggressive, and most of all he seems to really understand himself on the football field. Sometimes, that’s the most important part of being a lineman.
Jack Williams is lightning quick and timed out very well in all the speed and agility drills. He’s another example of Denver’s ability to find players in small places. Williams is strong and athletic.
Ryan Torain was a very good prospect coming into the season, and wasn’t disappointing until he got injured and missed the rest of the year. Torain is a big back that could eventually be a full-time guy. Torain’s a downhill runner that attacks a defense similarly to Ryan Grant. I love this pick.
Carlton Powell was productive in college, but many question if his size will hold up at the pro-level. Are you kidding me? Powell is 6’3″ 300lbs. Good pick this late. But does he really solve the Bronco line problems?
Spencer Larsen doesn’t have great quickness, and his coverage ability is suspect, but he can stop the run, and he could be a tackling force inside for a Bronco team that can’t seem to stop the run.
Josh Barrett, in the 7th round, was a GREAT pick. Barrett struggled a little his senior year, but his product as a junior was great. He also played pretty solid football late his senior season, and I’m willing to bet he gets some playing time early in his career. For a 7th rounder, that’s a win.
With the Broncos last pick, the grabbed probably the best fullback in the draft. While Felix Jones and McFadden are obviously very talented runners, Peyton Hillis had a lot to do with their success. Good late pick by the Broncos.
2007 Denver Broncos
After watching Jake Plummer take a step back in 2006, Mike Shanahan and the Denver Broncos turned to rookie gun slinger, Jay Cutler, late in the season. Cutler led the Broncos to two late wins, but failed to advance to the playoffs with a loss to the 49ers in the last game of the regular season. As Plummer was traded this off season, Denver has given the keys to Cutler, now we’ll see how he drives in his second season. With Javon Walker coming back now 2 seasons removed from his knee injury, and the addition of Travis Henry to the backfield in Denver, not to mention a huge contract given to former Patriot, Daniel Graham, Jay has plenty of weapons at his disposal. It will be interesting to see if Denver, who also added Dre Bly via trade with the Lions, will trade Bly to the Redskins, or just keep him signed. All in all, the Broncos have set themselves up to make a push for a playoff spot in the AFC, something they just missed last season.
2007 Off-Season Plans:
After an extremely tumultuous off season, one in which two of the Broncos brightest young stars; Damien Nash and Darrent Williams, passed away, Denver has turned the Free Agency period into a rebuilding stage. Names like Daniel Graham, Dre Bly, Dan Wilkinson and Travis Henry have been added, and still the Broncos have a fine set of draft picks to deal with. It will be interesting to see how Jay Cutler handles his full time duties in his second season, as newly signed Patrick Ramsey has proven over his first 4 seasons that he’s not to be trusted with winning football games. Graham’s signing is being criticized around the league, but many forget he’s one of the best all around tight ends in football. Not only is he a superb blocker, and will greatly help Denver’s zone blocking scheme, but he’s a damn good pass catcher as well. He was, like many pass catchers in New England, under-utilized as far as his numbers are concerned, and although the Broncos paid a hefty fee, Graham will prove to be a very good player in Denver’s scheme. Look for the Broncos to surprise everyone on draft day. Either they’ll trade Dre Bly for the rights to move up the draft board, and select a top flight pass rusher or defensive tackle, or they’ll move down a bit and take a corner. Basically, I don’t see the Broncos adding much to their offense through the draft, as free agency has proven the place to be for offensive additions. Look defense with each of the Broncos first day selections.