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Top 5 Worst Draft Picks- Denver Broncos

Updated on May 7, 2015

These guys were brought in to help the team win, but couldn't accomplish anything on the field. Today I rank the top five worst draft picks by the Denver Broncos

5. Maurice Clarett

Denver took a flyer on a troubled player and lost.

In his one year as a starter at Ohio State, Maurice Clarett ran for a freshman record 1,237 yards while helping the Buckeyes to an undefeated National Championship season. Ohio State later suspended Clarett for the 2003 athletic year after he was charged with filing a false police report.

Clarett was drafted in the third round in 2005. The guy was out of shape, psychologically damaged from his time at Ohio State and on his way to not just the poorhouse, but the big house. This pick was especially bad when you think that Brandon Jacobs and Darren Sproles were still on the board.

4. Steve Sewell

He had size. He had speed. He just didn't really have the game.

At Oklahoma, many people saw Steve Sewell as the next Eric Dickerson.

Sewell was selected 26th overall in 1985. In his seven years in Denver, he rushed for less than 300 yards each season and only had 13 career touchdowns. The pick was also head scratching when you consider Denver already had Sammy Winder on the roster who was coming off a pro bowl year and would go to another in 1986.

3. Curley Culp

He ended up in the Hall of Fame... but not as a Bronco.

At Arizona State, Curley Culp was an offensive and defensive lineman for the football team and the NCAA heavyweight wrestling champion.

Culp was drafted 31st overall in 1968. In training camp, Denver coaches thought he was too small to play defense and was traded to Kansas City. There he was turned into a Hall of Fame nose tackle by coach Hank Stram and later was the anchor of coach Bum Phillips' defense with the Houston Oilers. Imagine what the Orange Crush defense would have been like if they had kept Culp at defensive tackle to occupy two blockers.

2. Tommy Maddox

He was brought in to be the heir to a legend, but quickly proved he was too young for the pro game.

At UCLA, Tommy Maddox became the first Pac-10 player to pass 5,000 yards by his sophomore year and won first-team All-American honors in 1991. With two years of eligibility left, he declared for the NFL draft.

Maddox was drafted 25th overall in 1992. His selection by the Broncos did not sit well with Elway, because the Broncos had greater needs at several other positions and Elway was in his prime and still seven years away from his retirement. Maddox's time in Denver was a waste as he only played in relief duty or when Elway was injured and when he did see the field, he was dismal. He did have a career resurgence with Pittsburgh in 2002, but he will always be seen as a wasted pick in Denver.

1. Jay Cutler

This one was tough... Wait, no it wasn't.

At Vanderbilt, Jay Cutler was a bright spot on one of the worst teams in the SEC. He holds many school records including total offense, touchdowns, and passing yards.

Cutler was selected 11th overall in 2006. With this guy, its like taking the good with the bad. He was going to throw for a bunch of yards, bit would ultimately cost Denver the game by taking a late sack or throwing a pick. Case in point, the 2008 season. 8-5 Denver needed to win just one of their final three games to make the playoffs. They lost all three by huge margins and Cutler has to take some of the blame. Then there's the hissy fit over the team firing Mike Shanahan and hiring Josh McDaniel's. When he put his home up for sale because he heard rumors of a three team trade. Denver traded him to Chicago in 2009 for Kyle Orton and a fifth round pick. He's been an injured, turnover machine ever since.

People's Poll

Which Bronco was the worst draft pick?

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    • Ty Tayzlor profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from Anywhere

      He was on the roster, but never played

    • profile image

      Kevin Goodwin 

      3 years ago

      Did clarret even play a full season.

    • Ty Tayzlor profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Anywhere

      Just ask Mike Shanahan, Josh McDaniels, Love Smith, Mark Trestman. John Fox could be next

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      4 years ago from Oklahoma

      Jay Cutler is a great skill that never lives up to expectations. He is the perfect recipe for a "Coach Killer".


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