The mystery is solved. Since the end of the Denver Broncos season, some outlets have reported that the team has seven draft picks in the 2012 draft while others have reported that the team has six picks.
Jeff Legwold of the Denver Post has done some digging and he reveals that the team does in fact have six picks this year. They have one in each round except the sixth.
Their current fifth-round pick is the selection they received from the Rams in the Brandon Lloyd trade. The pick was originally a conditional pick that started as a sixth-rounder, but he caught enough passes for St. Louis to make it a fifth-rounder.
The Broncos’ own fifth-rounder this year went to Cleveland in 2010 as part of the trade for quarterback Quinn.
The Broncos’ own sixth-rounder this year went to Philadelphia, also in 2010, as part of the trade for linebacker Mays. The pick was insurance the Eagles wanted in the deal.
The Broncos originally shipped running back J.J. Arrington to the Eagles for Mays, straight up, but the Eagles had language in the deal that they would get a draft pick if Arrington, who had a long list of injuries and had undergone foot surgery, didn’t make the roster out of training camp in summer 2010. He didn’t.
So, that’s where the sixth is. – Jeff Legwold (Denver Post)
Legwold goes on to explain that the Broncos have had to spend a lot of money in free agency to fix some of the damage from previous years of poor draft strategy (see Josh McDaniels).
The statement “building through the draft” is used a lot. It’s what the Patriots, Giants, and Steelers have done successfully over the last decade and they all have recent Super Bowl wins to talk about because of it.
John Elway, Brian Xanders, and John Fox’s strategy of building through the draft induces a level of comfort that I haven’t felt in a long time regarding the Broncos’ future. They also know how to supplement the team in free agency. Just look at the signing of Willis McGahee last off season.
The primary job of the front office is to give the team a chance to win. The players do the rest. That’s something that McDaniels failed to realize as he was busy mishandling power and authority.