The Denver Broncos made a big splash in the 2016 NFL Draft when they traded up to select what John Elway hoped would be their quarterback for the future in Paxton Lynch.
Instead, Lynch wasn’t ready and Gary Kubiak went with Trevor Siemian. The rest of the draft class, outside of Connor McGovern, had significant playing time. If I were to re-grade this draft class, I’d probably bump it up to a B+ or an A-.
I see three or four starters in there and that is a significant draft in my mind. Mel Kiper of ESPN disagrees.
Post-draft grade: B-
Denver made a big splash when it moved up to get Paxton Lynch, which could go down as an all-timer regardless of whether Lynch turns into anything, because it meant that a certain team that plays in Dallas would not get Lynch, as Jerry Jones had hoped it would. So let's run this quickly: Denver gets Lynch, Dallas doesn't; Dallas ends up with Dak Prescott, so now Tony Romo needs a job. And many people think Denver should go get Romo, because Lynch isn't ready to start.
Sound about right? It actually is.
As for the draft, I wrote then, "I think Lynch is a gifted project, but I wouldn't want to start him in 2016 and maybe 2017." Seems John Elway might agree. Elsewhere, Adam Gotsis saw some useful reps, Justin Simmons saw time as well, Andy Janovich was the fullback on my All-Rookie Team, Devontae Booker overcame a fumble on the first run of his pro career to pick up 612 rushing yards, and Riley Dixon punted pretty well (though you should have good averages in Denver, of course).
The bad? We just have no idea what Lynch will become, and that clouds the future in Denver, where there's a Super Bowl defense and a big question mark at QB between Lynch and Trevor Siemian. That Siemian seems like the clear leader now says plenty.
New grade: C+
Kiper kind of discounts Riley Dixon’s amazing rookie year, making the Pro Football Writers All-Rookie team in 2016 and ignored how Justin Simmons and Will Parks impacted games in a major way on special teams.
The one thing I’ll give Kiper is that his grade may be heavily weighted by round selection over impact on the field. The Broncos first round pick rarely played and is raw, while their second round pick wasn’t very good on the field either.
What do you think of Kiper’s re-grade?