11 former Broncos draft picks that played better after leaving

Taking a look at 11 former Denver Broncos draft picks, including Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall, and others, who played better after leaving the Broncos.

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11 players who had better success after leaving the Denver Broncos

2. Jay Cutler, QB (1st round pick, 2006)

Most notable NFL team: Chicago Bears

At one point in time, Jay Cutler was considered the crowned prince of the Denver Broncos. The Broncos have not had much success drafting quarterbacks through the years but when they traded up for Jay Cutler in 2006, expectations were high. The team had just made it to the AFC Championship game the year prior with Jake Plummer, so the selection of Cutler was a bit of a surprise. Even so, Cutler made the Pro Bowl in his third NFL season.

He was promptly traded away in the 2009 offseason by new (at the time) head coach Josh McDaniels. McDaniels alienated Cutler quickly, shipped him off to the Chicago Bears in one of the biggest QB trades ever, and Cutler went on to have some really solid success for Chicago, although probably not what Bears fans had hoped for.

Cutler averaged almost 4,000 yards and 26 touchdowns per 17 games with the Chicago Bears, and even though he threw a lot of interceptions, it's hard not to think about the "what if" scenarios with Cutler in Denver.

3. Brandon Marshall, WR (4th round pick, 2006)

Most notable NFL team: Chicago Bears

Although Josh McDaniels traded Jay Cutler away immediately, he at least waited a year with star wide receiver Brandon Marshall. Marshall was part of the same draft class as Cutler back in 2006, although he was a relatively unknown 4th-round pick at that time.

The big-bodied receiver would quickly become a hit among fans in Broncos Country, and he would quickly establish himself as an absolute star in the NFL.

After making two Pro Bowls in his first four seasons in Denver, Marshall went on to play some really tremendous seasons with the Dolphins, Bears, and Jets before finishing his career off with the Giants and Seahawks. He was named to All-Pro teams with the Bears and Jets and made the Pro Bowl with each of the Dolphins, Bears, and Jets.

I contend that Marshall is one of the most underrated receivers in the entire NFL. Marshall averaged 1,200 yards per 17 games in his post-Broncos career and is one of the best receivers to play from 2000-present.