Denver Broncos GM George Paton should firmly be on the hot seat

Is Denver Broncos GM George Paton on the hot seat? Should he be?

Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

Denver Broncos GM George Paton has really only made a handful of meaningful moves during his tenure with the team. Is his seat beginning to heat up? When you look at the roster moves that Paton has made during his now three-year tenure with the Broncos, I'm not so sure the roster is appreciably better than it was when he took over.

As far as we know, Sean Payton has the final roster authority, so I don't really think we can point to the moves made in 2023 as solely being on the shoulders of Paton. But, we can look at his moves during the first two years as GM of the Denver Broncos, and while some big names have been inserted into this team, the results have not been great.

Really, outside of Patrick Surtain II and Quinn Meinerz, what more has George Paton done to make this Denver Broncos roster appreciably better? He's made a few free agency moves that have totally backfired or simply have not worked out the way he had hoped.

He's signed free agents like Kyle Fuller, Ronald Darby, Randy Gregory, and K'Waun Williams. Kyle Fuller was a total disaster for the Broncos in his lone season with the team in 2021. Ronald Darby played in 16 out of a possible 34 games during his time in Denver from 2021-2022. Randy Gregory played in just six games last year and has largely made no impact on the pass rush, which has gotten considerably worse under Paton.

K'Waun Williams was an oft-injured player before coming to Denver, and guess what, he's on injured reserve right now. The bulk of his own free agency decisions have been suspect. I wouldn't even be willing to say that his best FA signing, DJ Jones, was all that great either.

As for his drafting, which is supposedly what he does best, it doesn't look that promising either. His 2021 draft class is obviously his best, but outside of Patrick Surtain II and Quinn Meinerz, what else is there to write home about? Javonte Williams was over-drafted to begin with and missed most of the 2022 NFL season with a torn ACL.

Baron Browning is hurt and will again miss more time. Caden Sterns will have played in just six games over the last two seasons because of injury. Jamar Johnson, Seth Williams, Kary Vincent Jr, and Marquiss Spencer are not on the team, and Jonathon Cooper isn't a good player. His 2022 draft class was horribly worse, too.

Who is the best player from the 2022 draft class for the Broncos? Greg Dulcich? Sure, that would be a fair take, but Dulcich is again set to miss more regular season time with a hamstring injury that has been bugging him ever since he entered the NFL. Nik Bonitto has been a non-factor thus far. Damarri Mathis looked horrid in Week 1. Eyioma Uwazurike is suspended for the entire year.

Delarrin Turner-Yell is a rotational player who has done jack-squat in the NFL. Montrell Washington is already off the team. Luke Wattenberg isn't any good, and for that matter, neither are Matt Henningsen or Faion Hicks. There are also possibly the two worst moves that any GM has made over the last two years in Paton hiring Nathaniel Hackett and trading for Russell Wilson.

While I do think Wilson bounces back, the Broncos have nowhere near gotten what they have expected from the QB, and the hiring of Hackett was so bad that Paton had to trade more high draft picks to acquire Sean Payton, which was a huge admittance of "I messed up, badly."

While I think the duo of Paton/Payton can work for the most part in terms of roster building, I feel that way more because of Payton. I think George Paton should firmly be on the hot seat. The Denver Broncos' roster isn't appreciably better. The pass rush is much worse. The secondary isn't good outside of Surtain. The defensive line is middling. The offensive line seems fine, but only after Sean Payton brought in two free agents.


The wide receivers are inconsistent. The tight end room looks average at best, and the running back situation seems OK, at least. Truly, the Denver Broncos have not become a better football team under George Paton.

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