4 star players Broncos missed out on drafting since 2015

Denver Broncos, Justin Jefferson
Denver Broncos, Justin Jefferson / David Berding/GettyImages
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The 2023 Denver Broncos are going to be a mystery for a little while. Even if they begin the season strong, questions will remain of just how long they can sustain any success.

Russell Wilson, Sean Payton and the rest of the locker room are going to try and put the 2022 campaign in the rear view while turning things around in a hurry.

But, looking back just a few years, the Broncos could have set themselves up for far more success had they made the right moves in a few drafts. Of course, hindsight is 20/20. But, had the Broncos not missed out on these star players over the years, imagine where they'd be now.

1. Orlando Brown Jr., OT

Back in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens selected offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. out of Oklahoma. The Ravens found him in the third round, at pick no. 83 overall. That ended up being tremendous value for a guy who would go on to now have made four consecutive Pro Bowls.

Brown somewhat bet on himself when he told Baltimore he wanted to be paid like a left tackle after moving to that side temporarily and playing well. The Ravens wound up trading him to Kansas City before Brown signed a massive 4-year, $64 million deal with the Cincinnati Bengals this offseason.

As one of the very best tackles in the game today, imagine if Russell Wilson had that type of protection on his blind side.

In that third round, the Broncos selected Royce Freeman with pick 71. Freeman is no longer in Denver and is an end-of-roster type journeyman at this stage.