The Denver Broncos have the 20th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Since joining the NFL, Denver has picked 20th, twice.
In 2003, they drafted Tackle, George Foster from Georgia. What makes this worth reading is what Denver did with Foster after he had two monster years.
If you know who Mike Anderson and Tatum Bell are, thank Foster. He was part of the 2004, 2005 seasons which marked historic rushing years for the Broncos.
In 2004, Denver had three running backs each have 100 yard games. In 2005, they accumulated 2, 539 rushing yards, the second most in their history.
Foster started three seasons for the Broncos, but towards the end of the 2006 season, he was benched for Adam Meadows. As a first round pick, Foster gave us highs and lows with mental mistakes that came the more he played. Only three seasons as a first round isn’t great, but Denver did have a heady run game for two years. You decide if this was a good pick or not.
Do you know who Dré Bly is? We traded Foster, Bell and a 5th round pick to the Detroit Lions for him, plus gave him a 5-year, $33 million contract which included $18 million in bonus money and $16 million guaranteed. He played in Denver for two years. For that he gave us 7 interceptions and 98 tackles. No comment on that decision.
If you don’t know who Steve Atwater is, you’re young and/or don’t know any Broncos history. He and Bobby Humphrey were Denver’s lone Pro-Bowlers from the 1989 class.
The Broncos actually traded down with the Cleveland Browns from 13 to the 20th Pick. The Browns selected Eric Metcalf. (insert huge grin and eye roll).
Steve Atwater was a Free Safety who along with fellow Ring of Famer, Dennis Smith, struck fear in every offensive player’s heart. While Terrell Davis gave Elway what he was missing to win a World Championship, Denver’s defense was equally responsable.
In Super Bowl XXXII his sack and forced fumble resulted in three needed points. Late in the fourth quarter, with a tie game, Atwater blocked a Brett Farve pass forcing the Packers to punt. On the Packer’s last drive, Atwater’s vicious hit left three players hurt and burnt time, leaving GB with no chance to score. Woohoo!
It’s no coincidence that Wade Phillips was the Defensive Coordinator when Atwater was drafted. He was fierce, as shown in this classic clip that brings me to laughter every time I see it. He was selected to the Pro-Bowl eight times (back when it really meant something).
Let’s hope that the pick this year, is worthy of a Safety who should be in Canton and better than a tackle who only produced for two years, but gave us two of our top best rushing seasons in its history. Maybe Denver should trade down.