Mile High Sports

Elway, Broncos placed in the perfect position to succeed in the 2018 Draft

“In Elway We Trust.” That’s been the saying around Denver for years, and up until 2017, he’d never given the fans any reason to doubt him — but even if John Elway is the perfect man for the job, no one is perfect.

Since Elway took over as the Broncos general manager in 2011, he hasn’t exactly nailed the draft. The free agents he was able to land helped make the Broncos into contenders, and they’ve also covered up the struggles the Broncos have had in the draft department.

It’s safe to say that no one in Denver cares more about the Broncos success than John Elway. After back-to-back disappointing seasons, Elway’s revealed himself to be a human, and humans make mistakes.

But he can’t afford to make any mistakes in the 2018 NFL Draft. Fortunately, he has no reason to.

He’s promoted former head coach Gary Kubiak to a larger role in the personnel department because he knows he needs help — and he knows that Kubiak can help him.

The Broncos were also presented with a wonderful opportunity to have their coaching staff coach the North team at the 2018 Reese’s Senior Bowl this week, culminating in Saturday’s game. This allows head coach Vance Joseph and his staff the perfect opportunity to get to know some of the top players in college football ahead of the draft.

“I think it’s a clear advantage to have a chance to coach this game, to watch those kids in meetings, to watch them in practice and to watch them in install meetings to see how they react to information,” Joseph said on Monday. “Can they retain information? That’s the game we’re playing. More games are lost than won. The player that can retain information, the player that can sit through meetings, really get it and leave the meetings knowing what to do, that’s important. If you don’t have this access, how do you know with a 15-minute Combine meeting — a fly-by combine interview in the train station? You don’t know. To coach this game is really, really valuable for our football team to have a chance to really sit and learn [about] the player.”

Among the players on the North roster that Joseph and his staff will get to work closely with this week includes former Oklahoma quarterback and the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield and Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen. Even if Mayfield won’t commit to playing in the game itself, this week still provides a great opportunity for the Broncos to get to know him a little better.

“Like most positions, you want to see guys operate in the meeting room, how they engage with their teammates and obviously the football part — the arm talent, how they move in the pocket and those things,” Joseph said of the quarterbacks on his roster. “To have a chance to coach the Senior Bowl allows you to have an intimate setting to evaluate all of the players here. To me, it’s a clear advantage to be here coaching this game.”

With the fifth pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Broncos simply can’t afford to botch it. With the opportunities presented to them, they shouldn’t.