Here are my rankings of the NFL draft picks the Broncos have made since 2011, John Elway’s first year running the show. I did not include the 2016 selections in these rankings, because one year is not a large enough sample size for me to fairly rate the picks. Riley Dixon could honestly be a top-15 pick a year from now based on my criteria of ranking picks based on performance and draft position (Dixon was a seventh-round pick). Let me know what you think of the list - and more importantly how you would rank the picks.
2011 Round 1 (Pick 2): Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M: When a team takes a linebacker with the No. 2 pick in the draft it is expecting an impact player who can dominate the game. Miller has been just that and has a Super Bowl MVP for his efforts. Some would argue that Miller is doing what he is supposed to do with such a lofty pick, but there are plenty of teams at the top of drafts who take can’t-miss prospects who don’t pan out.
2011 Round 4 (pick 129): Julius Thomas, TE, Portland State: Had back-to-back seasons with 12 touchdown receptions and is a two-time Pro Bowl player. Some bitter Broncos fans could say that Thomas’ production was a result of playing with Peyton Manning, but he does have nine touchdowns in 21 games after leaving Denver for Jacksonville.
2012 Round 6 (pick 188): Danny Trevathan, LB, Kentucky: Trevathan's problem is he can't avoid being injured. When healthy, the sixth-round pick is one of Denver's best selections. In 2013 and 2015 he was healthy and Denver made the Super Bowl both years.
2012 Round 2 (pick 36): Derek Wolfe, DT, Cincinnati: Wolfe has 11 sacks in his past 26 regular-season starts with the Broncos. He had 10 tackles and 2.5 sacks in Denver's three playoff games in 2015 on the way to a Super Bowl title.
2014 Round 6 (pick 207): Matt Paradis, OL, Boise State: Has started every regular-season game for the Broncos the past two seasons. Denver’s line was a weakness last season, but it did help the Broncos win Super Bowl 50.
2014 Round 1 (pick 31): Bradley Roby, DB, Ohio State: Had two interceptions and two touchdowns in 2016. He is buried behind All-Pros on the depth chart but still forces his way onto the field and makes plays. Once given the chance to start he will likely move up this list.
2011 Round 2 (Pick 46): Orlando Franklin, T, Miami (Fla.): Started 63 of 64 regular-season games with the Broncos. Played right tackle his first three seasons before moving to left guard. Played the last two seasons with the Chargers.
2012 Round 5 (pick 137): Malik Jackson, DT, Tennessee: Has 21 sacks in his career and has started 40 games. He has a knack for getting in the QB's face and batting down passes. He had 17 pass deflections in 32 games with Denver from 2013-15. He played for Jacksonville in 2016. Denver wouldn’t have won the Super Bowl without him.
2013 Round 1 (pick 28): Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina: Started 48 games in four seasons with the Broncos. At 6-3, 313 pounds, Williams was a key in clogging up the middle of the field. He signed with the Titans this offseason.
2015 Round 7 (pick 250): Trevor Siemian, QB, Northwestern: Seventh-round pick with an 8-6 record as a starter and an 18:10 touchdown ratio. I am really curious how injured he was during last season.
2015 Round 1 (pick 230): Shane Ray, DE, Missouri: Made eight starts last season and also had eight sacks. He will be counted on heavily to replace DeMarcus Ware and, like Roby, could significantly move up this list quickly.
2012 Round 2 (pick 57): Brock Osweiler, QB, Arizona State: Say what you want about Osweiler, but the Broncos wouldn't have won Super Bowl 50 without him. He is 13-8 as an NFL starter and has thrown 26 TDs with 22 INTs. He was dreadful last year and could move down this list with another bad campaign.
2012 Round 3 (pick 67): Ronnie Hillman, RB, San Diego State: Had a career-high 863 yards rushing in 2015 and did average 4.1 yards per carry with the Broncos from 2012-15.
2011 Round 7 (pick 204): Virgil Green, TE, Nevada: Played in 84 games with 33 starts. Has 616 yards receiving and three touchdowns over that span. Has not been a consistent factor in the passing game.
2014 Round 3 (pick 95): Michael Schofield, OL, Michigan: Has started 29 games in the past two seasons. He is the target of the wrath of many fans on Twitter, likely because his last name is the same as a character on "Prison Break."
2011 Round 2 (pick 45): Rahim Moore, DB, UCLA: Moore hasn't played in the NFL since 2015 and will always be remembered for the "Mile High mistake" in the playoffs against the Ravens. Has eight interceptions in four years with Broncos. It should also be remembered that he had acute compartment syndrome and reportedly could have lost his leg or his life.
2015 Round 4 (pick 133): Max Garcia, C, Florida: Has started 21 games in first two seasons at left guard.
2015 Round 2 (pick 59): Ty Sambrailo, T, Colorado State: Has played left and right tackle in his two seasons with the Broncos. Made four starts last season despite the struggles of others on the line. Has not performed like a second-round pick, but Elway backed him this week. Sambrailo hasn’t been able to stay healthy.
2011 Round 3 (pick 67): Nate Irving, LB, North Carolina State: Has started 14 games in five-year career. In four years with the Broncos he had 67 tackles.
2011 Round 4 (pick 108): Quinton Carter, DB, Oklahoma: Played in 30 games in three years with the Broncos. Had two sacks in his career.
2015 Round 3 (pick 92): Jeff Heuerman, TE, Ohio State: Was injured in 2015 and made nine receptions for 141 yards in 12 games in 2016. He started two games.
2012 Round 4 (pick 101): Omar Bolden, DB, Arizona State: The defensive back made his biggest contributions as a kick returner. He started one game in four seasons with the Broncos.
2013 Round 2 (pick 58): Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin: Averaged 34.8 yards rushing per game in his two seasons and 21 games with the Broncos. He has recently revealed that he is dealing with alcohol abuse. Many were expecting Ball to be the next star runner for the Broncos.
2014 Round 7 (pick 242): Corey Nelson, LB, Oklahoma: Started six games for the Broncos in 2016. Had 40 solo tackles in 2016 with 18 of them coming in the final three games.
2013 Round 3 (pick 90): Kayvon Webster, DB, South Florida: Had his most productive season as a rookie when he started two games and had an interception.
2015 Round 6 (pick 203): Darius Kilgo, NT, Maryland: Has seven solo tackles and one pass defensed in 18 games with the Broncos.
2015 Round 5 (pick 164): Lorenzo Doss, CB, Tulane: Has four solo tackles and two passes defensed in 12 games in Denver.
2013 Round 5 (pick 146): Quanterus Smith, DE, Western Kentucky: Played in seven games with the Broncos in 2014.
2011 Round 6 (pick 189): Mike Mohamed, LB, California: Played three games with the Broncos and then played for Houston and New Orleans. Had two starts and one career interception.
2014 Round 5 (pick 156): Lamin Barrow, LB, LSU: Started one game for the Broncos as a rookie before playing for the Bears in 2015 and not playing in the league last season.
2014 Round 2 (pick 56): Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana: This ranking may seem low, but he has 16 receptions in three seasons and the longest reception of his career is for 16 yards. He was selected before the Jaguars took Allen Robinson and the Dolphins took Jarvis Landry in the second round in 2014. Can you imagine if the Broncos had one of those two wide receivers?
2015 Round 7 (pick 251): Taurean Nixon, DB, Tulane: Recorded his first tackle with the Broncos in 2016.
2013 Round 5 (pick 161): Tavarres King, WR, Georgia: Was a training camp standout with Denver, but never played for Broncos. Has a combined four receptions in his career with the Buccaneers and Giants.
2013 Round 6 (pick 173): Vinston Painter, G, Virginia Tech: Never played in a game for the Broncos. Did play for Cleveland (2014) and Washington (2016).
None of the next four players listed have played in an NFL game according to profootballreference.com
2012 Round 4 (pick 108): Philip Blake, OL, Baylor
2013 Round 7 (pick 234): Zac Dysert, QB, Miami (Ohio)
2011 Round 7 (pick 247): Jeremy Beal, DL, Oklahoma
2015 Round 7 (pick 252): Josh Furman, DB, Oklahoma State
Here is a look at the 2016 draft class. It is too early for me to rank them.
Round 1 (pick 26): Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
Round 2 (pick 63): Adam Gotsis, DT, Georgia Tech
Round 3 (pick 98): Justin Simmons, FS, Boston College
Round 4 (pick 136): Devontae Booker, RB, Utah
Round 5 (pick 144): Connor McGovern, G, Missouri
Round 6 (pick 176): Andy Janovich, FB, Nebraska
Round 6 (pick 219): Will Parks, S, Arizona
Round 7 (pick 228): Riley Dixon, P, Syracuse