Ranking the Broncos' last 10 first-round draft picks

Arguably the best and worst picks in Denver Broncos history have happened within their last 10 first-round picks.

Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos / Dustin Bradford/GettyImages
1 of 5

Considering where the Denver Broncos are at today, it's hard to imagine that this team has won a Super Bowl within the last 10 years. But it's true. In fact, as of today, it's still fair to call the Broncos one of the more "recent" Super Bowl champions, having won it in February of 2016. Although that feels like a lifetime ago, it's only because so much has happened since. And the Broncos have had many NFL Draft successes and failures within that timeframe.

As a matter of fact, you could argue that within the Denver Broncos' last 10 first-round picks are the best player the team has ever drafted and the absolute worst. We're going to take a look at the last 10 first-round picks made by the Broncos and rank each of them from best to worst.

Which players actually lived up to their first-round status? Did these players have NFL longevity outside of Denver? Did they earn a second contract with the team? Did they make any significant contributions to the Broncos even if they only lasted the length of a rookie deal? We'll also include a bit of projection for the team's most recent first-round pick (Pat Surtain II).

We're going to rank them 1-through-10, but keep in mind the Broncos haven't had any first-round picks since 2021, and they also didn't pick in the first round in 2012.

1. Von Miller, EDGE, Texas A&M (2011)

Von Miller might be the best draft pick the Denver Broncos have ever made. Miller was named MVP of Super Bowl 50 and made the type of impact off the edge that you really just dream of guys making when they come into the league. Miller was a game-wrecker in Denver from the moment he stepped onto the field, but he reached another level in the 2015 season.

He racked up a whopping 110.5 sacks with the Broncos from 2011-2021 and will likely go down as the best defensive player in franchise history.

2. Pat Surtain II, CB, Alabama

Although we're projecting a bit here, it's clear that Pat Surtain II is on the type of trajectory that will land him in the Ring of Fame (at the very least) someday. Surtain is arguably the best cornerback in the league already and he's just entering his fourth NFL season in 2024.

In an era where it's much harder to be a true "shutdown" cornerback, Surtain has done his part to lock up one side of the field for the Broncos. He's reminiscent of Hall of Famer Champ Bailey in many ways.