Denver Broncos GM George Paton might be the worst GM in recent memory

I mean, who else could you argue has been worse?

Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

Besides drafting Patrick Surtain II and Quinn Meinerz, Denver Broncos GM George Paton truly might not have anything else to hang his hat on during his time with the team. And as far as we can tell, Sean Payton is now the one who has the final say on all roster matters, so effectively, Paton got demoted when Sean Payton came aboard.

At least, that's the way I see it. When the Broncos made the move to hire George Paton following the 2020 NFL Season, the move was truly praised league-wide. Paton was, maybe still is, viewed as a very intelligent GM and someone who has a strong skill in scouting college players. In fact, Paton had interviewed with a plethora of other teams in previous years before finally settling on the Broncos' job.

He had initially called the roster a "sleeping giant" and surely wanted to wake the giant up.

Well, the giant was still very much asleep during his first two seasons on the job. In fact, I think the giant took some melatonin and got himself into an even deeper sleep.

Besides his below-average track record in the NFL Draft, his free agency signings have truly been horrid:

Now, I personally view the signings this past offseason as more credited to Sean Payton. If you look at the big-name signings George Paton made before the 2023 NFL Season, you have guys like Ronald Darby, Kyle Fuller, Randy Gregory, and DJ Jones. K'Waun Williams was also one of his signings.

Darby was very good but played in just 16/34 regular season games before being cut. Kyle Fuller was a total disaster in his one year in Denver. Randy Gregory was effectively the Broncos burning money. And I am truly not sure what the team is paying DJ Jones to do. According to Over the Cap, his valuation in 2023 was just $3.4 million.

And we haven't even gotten to the historically bad hiring of Nathaniel Hackett and the mind-bogglingly bad trade for Russell Wilson. You could argue that both the Hackett hire and Wilson trade are two separate, fireable offenses. Paton's free agency track record is also another fireable part of the job he's done.

Folks, we haven't even talked about his track record in the NFL Draft yet. I will say that his 2021 draft seems to be pretty solid, as Patrick Surtain II and Quinn Meinerz are two of the very best at their positions. Baron Browning looks like a solid pass-rusher who could stick around on the team. Caden Sterns has a ton of talent and is a starting-caliber player, but does get hurt quite a bit, and seventh-round pick Jonathon Cooper has turned into a slightly above-average pass rusher.

In fact, Cooper had 8.5 sacks, eight tackles for loss, and 13 QB hits in 2023, which are great numbers for being a seventh-round pick. Javonte Williams was a bad draft pick and was inefficient as a runner in 2023. Paton's 2022 NFL Draft was putrid, in my opinion.

Besides Nik Bonitto, who did take a step forward in 2023, Paton's 2022 draft class features guys like Greg Dulcich, Damarri Mathis, Eyioma Uwazurike, Delarrin Turner-Yell, Montrell Washington, Luke Wattenberg, Matt Henningsen, and Faion Hicks.



If you asked George Paton what he's done to warrant keeping his job, I am not sure he'd be able to give an honest, genuine answer. He's unfortunately been an objective disaster of a General Manager and Sean Payton being with the organization is a life-saver.

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