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With the 2015 NFL Draft on the clock this week, BSN Denver is taking a look back at the four previous drafts during John Elway’s regime as general manager.
Today, we review the seven selections comprising the Broncos’ 2012 draft class:
Round 2, Pick 36: DT/DE Derek Wolfe (Cincinnati)
Originally owning the 25th overall pick in the first round, the Broncos traded back twice in deals involving the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers before picking Wolfe, the 2011 Big East Defensive Player of the Year. Wolfe has started in each of the 45 games he’s played as a pro – missing eight starts in 2013 due to a pair of scary medical/injury issues – and has recorded 100 total tackles, 11.5 sacks and has recovered one fumble. Certainly solid but hardly spectacular. Grade: C+
Round 2, Pick 57: QB Brock Osweiler (Arizona State)
Infamously drafted as the fifth quarterback – 18 picks before Russell Wilson and 31 before Nick Foles – and selected a pick in front of standout Bucs linebacker Lavonte David, the Big O has attempted all of 30 regular-season passes in three seasons sitting, watching and waiting behind Peyton Manning. Osweiler’s contract expires at the end of the season, and it’s possible we may never see him take a meaningful snap in orange and blue. Strictly as a player, Osweiler deserves an incomplete grade, but the (so-far) wasted pick itself has to go down as a … Grade: F
Round 3, Pick 67: RB Ronnie Hillman (San Diego State)
The Broncos traded up 20 spots, sending their original fourth-round pick to the Cleveland Browns, to draft the former SDSU standout who’s started four games and scored six TDs in three seasons. He’s been a regular in the RB mix – rushing for 979 regular-season yards – who’s shown occasional flashes, but he battled early-career fumble issues and has never made an emphatic run at the No. 1 job. Grade: C
Round 4, Pick 101: DB Omar Bolden (Arizona State)
Elway and Co. saw earlier-round talent in Bolden, who missed his senior season with a knee injury, and he has proven to be a solid backup and steady special-teams contributor despite only starting one of his 47 career regular-season games. Grade: C
Round 4, Pick 108: C/G Philip Blake (Baylor)
As die-hard fans may recall, the Broncos used the fourth-round pick they received in the Tim Tebow trade to select this All-Big 12 standout, but Blake never dressed for a regular season game and waived in the final 2013 preseason cut after switching to guard in the offseason. Blake has now signed with the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes after spending the 2013 season on the Arizona Cardinals’ practice squad and sitting out the 2014 campaign. Grade: F
Round 5, Pick 137: DT Malik Jackson (Tennessee)
This unheralded pick has proven to be quite the fifth-round find, logging 12 starts in 51 career games, including Super Bowl XLVIII. He’s logged 113 career tackles and 10 sacks with 12 passes defensed and two forced fumbles and projects as the starting right defensive end in Wade Phillips’ new 4-3 scheme. Grade: A
Round 6, Pick 188: LB Danny Trevathan (Kentucky)
The “throw-in” sixth rounder the Broncos received in the Tebow trade turned out to be Trevathan, who despite a pair of knee fractures last season that limited him to three games, has started 20 of his 38 career contests and led the Broncos in tackles with 129 tackles and three interceptions in 2013. There certainly are some health questions going forward, but for now this is a late-round find deserving of a … Grade: A
The two late-round gems – Jackson and Trevathan – have been the two best players of this draft class, which has been decidedly mediocre as a whole. Grade: C