The 2024 NFL Draft could be most important in George Paton's tenure and potentially his last

New owners, new head coach and multiple other new coaching staff, new quarterback potentially in 2024 but the same general manager remains. Could the 2024 draft class be the last for George Paton's tenure in Denver?
NFL Combine
NFL Combine / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

The Denver Broncos have had plenty of turnover the last few years from head coaches to other position coaches, heck even new owners, but one thing has remained the same since 2021 and that is general manager George Paton, could this be his last year in Denver?

Listen, I applaud what Paton has TRIED to do during his tenure in Denver after taking over for Hall of Fame quarterback and Denver Broncos legend John Elway as those have been some big shoes to fill, I mean he did lure Peyton Manning to Denver to spark the most elite four-year run in Broncos history but Paton's tenure in Denver has been marred with missteps.

What is one of the first major things Paton did? He hired Nathaniel Hackett as head coach in 2022 after the firing of Vic Fangio. Ouch (especially when Denver passed on the likes of Kevin O'Connell among others.) Then he agreed to a massive trade for Russell Wilson that same year for a bevy of picks and players and we all know how that turned out. Not to mention other free agent signings including Randy Gregory, among others that didn't pan out.

While some of his offseason moves haven't panned out well (I'll give him credit for trying) another poor aspect to this franchise over the past few years has been the drafting. I'll give him credit where it's due, he nailed the 2021 Draft class as ranked it the second best in the whole league after the season concluded. After that class? They fell off a cliff, ranked the 2022 class 27th overall and the 2023 class 26th overall, that's not very good.

With a franchise that is going to be so hamstrung with dead cap this year, nailing the 2024 NFL Draft is a must for an organization that doesn't want to admit that it's rebuilding. Looking back at previous drafts, Paton and company have missed on quite a few picks and history often repeats itself doesn't it? (let's hope not.)

The Broncos have the richest owners in the entire NFL, and the crazy part is it's not even close. According to the Walton-Penner ownership group is worth a whopping $77.4 billion, the next closest? The Hunt family,l who owns the Chiefs at $24.8 billion. This ownership group has okayed changes to just about every aspect of the franchise except the general manager and I can't imagine they will tolerate another year of poor drafting especially when they are paying $85 million for Russell Wilson to go away.

dark. Next. Regrading 2023 Draft. Looking back and regrading the 2023 Broncos draft class

The Broncos are rebuilding and that is usually done through the draft to acquire young, cost-controlled talent, and this upcoming one could be the most crucial in recent memory and if Paton doesn't nail this one he may be on his way out in Denver.