By Michael Spencer

DENVER (CBS4) – With the NFL Draft set to kickoff on Thursday, we thought the time was right to revisit the first round selections John Elway has made during his tenure with the Broncos.

2011: Von Miller, 2nd overall pick

(credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

There is no arguing Elway hit a home run with his first ever selection as GM. Miller will go down as one of the best to ever play the game, and the Super Bowl 50 MVP will no doubt find his name in the Broncos Ring of Fame when his playing days are over, and will more than likely end up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Miller was voted a unanimous All-Decade selection, and is currently tied for 25th on the NFL’s all-time sacks list with 106, second most of any active player.

2012: No First Round Pick

2013: Sylvester Williams, 28th overall pick

Williams started just four games his rookie season, but then started in 44 out of a possible 48 games the final three years he was in Denver, including all 15 games he played in during the Broncos run to Super Bowl 50. Williams was the starting nose tackle in Denver’s win over the Panthers.

He left Denver after four seasons and signed with the Titans. He played in 15 games for Tennessee in the 2017 season, but has struggled to find his footing since then. He spent time in Detroit and Miami in 2018, and made five appearances for the Chargers in 2019.

2014: Bradley Roby, 31st overall pick

(credit: CBS)

Roby had a solid career in Denver before signing in free agency with the Texans.

Through five season with the Broncos he had seven interceptions, including two pick-six’s.

As the 5th member of the “No Fly Zone,” he only started 14 games in his first four seasons, but then started 15 games in 2018.

He was named the AFC Player of the Week for Week 8 of the 2016 season, and seems to have found himself a nice home in Houston where he signed a 3-year $36 million deal this offseason.

2015: Shane Ray, 23rd overall pick

The 2014 SEC Defensive Player of the Year showed a lot of promise through his first two seasons in Denver, but his production dropped off due to injury in 2017 and 2018.

Ray had four sacks his rookie season, and then doubled that number during his sophomore campaign, but recorded just two sacks in 19 games during his final two seasons with the Broncos.

Ray didn’t play in the NFL in 2019, and it isn’t a stretch to think he might have played his last down of professional football.

2016: Paxton Lynch, 26th overall pick

Quarterback Paxton Lynch of the Denver Broncos warms up on August 26, 2017 in Denver. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

Who can forget this pick? Truth be told, Broncos fans would like to.

The Broncos traded up for Lynch, but the move never panned out as he played in just five games before the Broncos released him prior to the start of the 2018 season.

Since his release, Lynch has spent time with the Seahawks and Steelers but has yet to take a regular season snap for either of those teams.

2017: Garett Bolles, 20th overall pick

Bolles has had his problems with penalties, but has started every game of his NFL career. His 48 consecutive starts are the most for any Broncos player on offensive, but his penalties seem to be the number one topic when you ask any Broncos fan about Bolles’ performance.

2018: Bradley Chubb, 5th overall pick

Linebacker Bradley Chubb #55 and linebacker Von Miller #58 of the Denver Broncos sack quarterback Jared Goff #16 of the Los Angeles Rams at Broncos Stadium at Mile High on Oct. 14, 2018. (credit: Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

Chubb started 16 games his rookie season, and then saw his second season as a pro cut short thanks to a knee injury.

His 12 sacks in his rookie season tied him for 9th most in the NFL that year, and Chubb expects to return to that caliber of play when the 2020 season begins.

2019: Noah Fant, 20th overall pick

The Broncos traded back and landed Fant who had an above-average rookie campaign.

The rookie from Iowa started 11 games and finished the season with 40 receptions, third most on the team.

His 562 receiving yards put him second on the team behind only Courtland Sutton. The Broncos have been looking for a game-breaking tight end since Julius Thomas left town, and while it’s still too early to say for sure, they may have found that guy in Fant.

Michael Spencer

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