Tonight is a make-or-break night for John Elway because there’s no one left to blame for underperforming draft picks. John Fox and his staff are gone, and Elway handpicked his replacement. If this coaching staff can’t get high draft picks on the field, Elway can only find fault in the mirror.

The minute Gary Kubiak was hired, the mantra from Dove Valley has been that the young talent on this team was under-coached. Reportedly, this was at the core of Fox and Elway’s “mutual separation.” Fox wanted more power in personnel decisions because he felt he didn’t have talent to work with, while Elway felt Fox was doing a subpar coaching up the talent he had.

Tonight’s draft pick will either prove that Fox’s staff was the problem or that Elway is at fault. That makes the pressure on Elway to deliver monumental.

Elway does have first-round momentum coming into tonight. Last year’s No. 1 pick, Bradley Roby, was by far his best pick in four years. Elway deserves credit for that. Grabbing a day one contributor at 31 is much harder than nailing the second-overall pick in the draft.

He’s also had success in the later rounds of the draft, but that’s more blind luck than a measure of his evaluating. Danny Trevathan was a great pick, but don’t let anyone try to convince you Elway and Company knew he was going to be this good. If they did, they wouldn’t have waited to grab him in the sixth round. Landing steals in later rounds isn’t Elway’s issue; it’s that he hasn’t landed much of anything in the first three rounds.

The 2012 season marked the first year Elway officially became anything and everything in the Broncos front office. The departure of Brian Xanders meant that No. 7 not only held the vice president of football operations title, but also effectively was filling the general manager role. That’s when the buck started and stopped with Elway.

Since becoming the be-all, end-all leader in the front office, Elway has made 20 draft picks. Describing those 20 picks as underwhelming would be generous. The reality is much more depressing.

Of his 20 selections, only two hold any value for the Broncos – Roby and Trevathan. Sure, Derek Wolfe and Sylvester Williams are considered starters, but ask yourself this: Would the Broncos be any worse if Wolfe or Sylvester weren’t on this roster? No is the simple answer, those two are just warm bodies. Outside of his first pick last year and his last pick in 2012, Denver’s last three drafts have been a disaster.

Elway and the Broncos could have sat out the 2012 and 2013 drafts and this team would look no different. Truth be told, if every player from those drafts where cut tomorrow, no one would bat an eye. No, seriously. And, 2014 wasn’t much better.

I’ll concede that there’s a healthy debate to be had whether grading Elway on all 20 picks those three years is fair. Rounds five, six and seven are definitely more of a crapshoot.

With that being the case, lets just focus on the first four rounds. Players taken in rounds one or two have to be starting, while players taken in rounds three or four have be pushing for jobs or, at the every lest, teams shouldn’t be looking to replace those guys in the following draft.

With that, of Elway’s 11 picks in rounds one through four, only one is worth a darn – Roby. Here’s a quick rundown of King Elway’s disasters on those rounds:

Cody Latimer, WR (second round, 2014) – Part of the deepest wide receiver class ever and he played in only eight games, catching two balls last season.

Michael Schofield, OL (third round, 2014) – This right tackle wasn’t even printed a jersey last year; mind you, right tackle was Denver’s weakest position in 2014.

Williams, DT (first round, 2013); Wolfe, DT (second round, 2012) – Warm bodies (at best) and Sly was drafted because Wolfe was a disappointment.

Montee Ball, RB (second round, 2013); Ronnie Hillman, RB (third round, 2012) – Lost their jobs to an undrafted free agent. Also, Ball was drafted because Hillman was a disappointment.

Kayvon Webster, DB (third round, 2013) – Made Philip Rivers look like the greatest QB in NFL history. Roby was drafted because Webster couldn’t be trusted.

Omar Bolden, DB (fourth round, 2012) – To be fair, Bolden was one of three players to show up against the Colts in the playoffs this season. That said, that was the first, and only, time he’s done anything in three years. Bolden was so underwhelming Webster was drafted.

Phillip Blake, OL (fourth round, 2012) – No longer with the team.

Brock Osweiler, QB (second round, 2012) – Ugh.

Let that sink in, Elway is one of 11 in rounds one through four in the last three years. That’s baffling and completely unacceptable, but don’t think heads haven’t rolled. Elway has fired his GM and an entire coaching staff, all while never taking a lick of blame. That’s no longer an option.

Elway ran all of his contemporaries in the front office out of town, fired an entire coaching staff and handpicked a new one. No. 7 now has what he wants – total control. But with total control comes total responsibility.

Tonight is make-or-break for John Elway; there are no more excuses and no one left to blame.