List of Denver Broncos first-round draft picks

A football player in a blue-and-orange uniform stands on the field.
Jay Cutler earned a Pro Bowl selection with the Broncos in 2008.[1]

The Denver Broncos are a professional American football team based in Denver, Colorado. They are members of the American Football Conference West Division in the National Football League (NFL). The franchise was formed on August 14, 1959 to compete in the American Football League (AFL). The first AFL Draft was held three months later.[2] The last AFL draft the Broncos participated in was the 1966 draft, due to them joining the NFL as part of the AFL–NFL merger on June 8, 1966.[3]

The Broncos first participated in the NFL Annual Player Selection Meeting, more commonly known as the NFL Draft,[4] in 1967. In the NFL Draft, each NFL franchise annually seeks to add new players to its roster. Teams are ranked in reverse order based on the previous season's record; the worst record picks first, the second-worst picking second and so on. The two exceptions to this order are made for teams that appeared in the previous Super Bowl; the Super Bowl champion always picks 32nd, and the Super Bowl loser always picks 31st. Teams have the option of trading away their picks to other teams for different picks, players, cash, or a combination thereof. Thus, it is not uncommon for a team's actual draft pick to differ from their assigned draft pick, or for a team to have extra or no draft picks in any round due to these trades.[5]

The Broncos selected Roger LeClerc, a placekicker from Trinity College, in the 1960 AFL Draft.[6] In their first NFL Draft, the Broncos selected Floyd Little, a running back from Syracuse University. The Broncos have selected players from the University of Nebraska, University of Florida, and University of Tennessee three times each, the most from any university in the first-round. The team's most recent selections were Tim Tebow, a quarterback from Florida University and Demaryius Thomas, wide receiver from Georgia Tech. Three selections, Floyd Little, Merlin Olsen and Bob Brown, were enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1982 and 2004, respectively.[7] In 1991, Mike Croel became the first Bronco to win the Defensive Rookie of the Year award, receiving 68 out of 82 votes.[8]

The Broncos' latest first-round pick is University of Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch, who they picked 26th overall in the 2016 NFL Draft.


A man wearing a white polo looks straight ahead.
Randy Gradishar, a seven-time Pro Bowl participant[9]
Table key
^ Indicates the player was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The Broncos did not draft a player in the first round that year.
Year Each year links to an article about that particular AFL, Common, or NFL Draft.
Pick Indicates the number of the pick within the first round
Position Indicates the position of the player in the NFL
College The player's college football team

Player selections

Denver Broncos first-round draft picks
Year Pick Player name Position College Notes
1960 LeClerc, RogerRoger LeClerc Center Trinity College
1961 Gaiters, BobBob Gaiters Halfback New Mexico State
1962 Olsen, MerlinMerlin Olsen ^ Defensive tackle Utah State
1963 Alexander, KermitKermit Alexander Defensive back UCLA
1964 Brown, BobBob Brown ^ Offensive tackle Nebraska
1965 No pick [a]
1966 Shay, JerryJerry Shay Offensive tackle Purdue
1967 6 Little, FloydFloyd Little ^ Running back Syracuse
1968 No pick [b]
1969 No pick [b]
1970 11 Anderson, BobbyBobby Anderson Running back Colorado
1971 12 Montgomery, MarvMarv Montgomery Offensive tackle USC [c]
1972 5 Odoms, RileyRiley Odoms Tight end Houston
1973 9 Armstrong, OtisOtis Armstrong Running back Purdue
1974 14 Gradishar, RandyRandy Gradishar Linebacker Ohio State
1975 17 Wright, LouisLouis Wright Defensive back San Jose State
1976 15 Glassic, TomTom Glassic Guard Virginia
1977 18 Schindler, SteveSteve Schindler Guard Boston College
1978 27 Latimer, DonDon Latimer Nose tackle Miami (FL)
1979 22 Clark, KelvinKelvin Clark Offensive tackle Nebraska
1980 No pick [d]
1981 15 Smith, DennisDennis Smith Defensive back USC
1982 21 Willhite, GeraldGerald Willhite Running back San Jose State [e]
1983 4 Hinton, ChrisChris Hinton Guard Northwestern
1984 No pick [f]
1985 26 Sewell, SteveSteve Sewell Running back Oklahoma
1986 No pick [g]
1987 27 Nattiel, RickyRicky Nattiel Wide receiver Florida
1988 26 Gregory, TedTed Gregory Defensive tackle Syracuse
1989 20 Atwater, SteveSteve Atwater Defensive back Arkansas [h]
1990 No pick [i]
1991 4 Croel, MikeMike Croel Linebacker Nebraska
1992 25 Maddox, TommyTommy Maddox Quarterback UCLA
1993 11 Williams, DanDan Williams Defensive end Toledo [j]
1994 No pick [k]
1995 No pick [l]
1996 15 Mobley, JohnJohn Mobley Linebacker Kutztown
1997 28 Pryce, TrevorTrevor Pryce Defensive tackle Clemson
1998 30 Nash, MarcusMarcus Nash Wide receiver Tennessee
1999 31 Wilson, AlAl Wilson Linebacker Tennessee
2000 15 O'Neal, DelthaDeltha O'Neal Cornerback California [m]
2001 24 Middlebrooks, WillieWillie Middlebrooks Cornerback Minnesota
2002 19 Lelie, AshleyAshley Lelie Wide receiver Hawaii
2003 20 Foster, GeorgeGeorge Foster Offensive tackle Georgia
2004 17 Williams, D. J.D. J. Williams Linebacker Miami (FL) [n]
2005 No pick [o]
2006 11 Cutler, JayJay Cutler Quarterback Vanderbilt [p]
2007 17 Moss, JarvisJarvis Moss Defensive end Florida [q]
2008 12 Clady, RyanRyan Clady Offensive tackle Boise State
2009 12 Moreno, KnowshonKnowshon Moreno Running back Georgia
2009 18 Ayers, RobertRobert Ayers Defensive end Tennessee [r]
2010 22 Thomas, DemaryiusDemaryius Thomas Wide receiver Georgia Tech [s]
2010 25 Tebow, TimTim Tebow Quarterback Florida [t]
2011 2 Miller, VonVon Miller Linebacker Texas A & M
2012 No pick
2013 28 Williams, SylvesterSylvester Williams Defensive tackle North Carolina
2014 31 Roby, BradleyBradley Roby Cornerback Ohio State
2015 23 Ray, ShaneShane Ray Linebacker Missouri
2016 26 Lynch, PaxtonPaxton Lynch Quarterback Memphis



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  2. "NFL History by Decade - 1951-1960". National Football League. Retrieved 2009-08-12.
  3. Lahman, Sean (2008). The Pro Football Historical Abstract: A Hardcore Fan's Guide to All-Time Player Rankings. Globe Pequot. p. 34 of 576. ISBN 1-59228-940-1.
  4. Branch, John (2000-04-09). "The 2000 Liars Club/ Draft makes Broncos coach cloak intentions". The Gazette. Retrieved 2008-07-15.
  5. Pittman, Andrew; John Otto Spengler; Sarah J. Young (2008). Case studies in sport law. Human Kinetics. p. 41. ISBN 978-0-7360-6821-5.
  6. Pennington, Richard (2007). Denver Broncos Trivia Teasers. Big Earth Publishing. p. 7 of 145. ISBN 978-1-931599-92-4. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
  7. "Hall of Famers by Year of Enshrinement". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2009-08-22.
  8. "Russell, Croel get rookie honors". The Free Lance–Star. Associated Press. 1991-12-27. p. B6. Retrieved 2009-08-26.
  9. "Denver Broncos: Randy Gradishar". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved 2009-08-12.
  10. "Broncos; 2008 Media Guide" (PDF). Denver Broncos. p. 624 (321 of 362). Retrieved 2011-03-01.
  11. Football Register. Sporting News. 1969. p. 229. Retrieved 2009-08-07.
  12. Lea, Bud (1971-09-22). "Devine Defends Horn Trade". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 2009-08-10.
  13. "Jets Trade Matt Robinson to Broncos; Provide Leadership Duel in Training Camp Jets Trade Robinson to Broncos". The New York Times. 1980-02-02. p. 15. Retrieved 2009-08-10.
  14. Stein, Joe (1994-04-24). "Rams took Bettis after Cards selected Hearst". The San Diego Union-Tribune. p. C12.
  15. "Notable blockbuster trades in NFL history". USA Today. 2008-08-07. Retrieved 2009-08-10.
  16. Balzer, Howard M. (1988). Football Register. Sporting News. p. 206. ISBN 978-0-89204-286-9. Retrieved 2009-08-14.
  17. "NFL Draft Trades". USA Today. 1989-04-25. p. C11.
  18. Barnard, Bill (1989-07-08). "Cowboys make Walsh surprise pick". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. p. 11 (6 of 23). Retrieved 2009-08-12.
  19. Ruxin, Robert. An athlete's guide to agents. Jones and Bartlett Publishers. p. 165. ISBN 978-0-7637-2349-1. Retrieved 2009-08-14.
  20. "Broncos; 2008 Media Guide" (PDF). Denver Broncos. p. 623 (320 of 362). Retrieved 2011-03-01.
  21. "The Broncos Acquire Vikings' Zimmerman". Los Angeles Times. 1993-08-24. p. C7.
  22. "Broncos deal for receiver Atlanta's Pritchard goes to Denver in trade involving draft picks.". The Kansas City Star. Associated Press. p. C2.
  23. "Ravens, Broncos swap picks". TimesDaily. 2000-04-13. Retrieved 2011-03-01.
  24. Pasquarelli, Len (2004-04-09). "Broncos, Bengals swap draft positions". Retrieved 2009-08-10.
  25. LaCanfora, Jason (2005-04-20). "Redskins Swap Draft Picks". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-08-11.
  26. Pasquarelli, Len (2006-03-23). "Falcons send pick to Denver to get Abraham from Jets". Retrieved 2009-08-12.
  27. "Broncos deal 22nd overall pick to 49ers". 2006-04-20. Retrieved 2009-08-12.
  28. "Rams take Clemson CB Hill with 15th pick". 2006-04-29. Retrieved 2009-08-12.
  29. Legwold, Jeff (2007-04-28). "Broncos trade up for Florida DE Moss". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved 2011-03-01.
  30. "Cutler goes to Bears for Orton, picks". 2009-04-03. Retrieved 2009-08-12.
  31. "Draft trade tracker: Let's make a deal: Broncos make push to get receiver". National Football League. April 22, 2010. Retrieved 2011-03-01.
  32. "Draft trade tracker: Let's make a deal: Broncos take a chance on Tebow". National Football League. April 22, 2010. Retrieved 2011-03-01.

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