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Denver Broncos' Ten Worst First-Round Draft Picks

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Today marks the beginning of the 2016 NFL Draft.

And even though your Denver Broncos are the 31st team scheduled to pick — that's what happens to squads that win the Super Bowl — there's a lot of pressure on the Broncos to make that first selection count.

They haven't always managed to do so.

While Denver has struck pay dirt with first-rounders such as Von Miller and Bradley Roby, execs have also drafted plenty of first-round disappointments or flat-out busts over the years, as witnessed by the following top-ten list, which we first shared last year.

We hope John Elway and company do better than this in 2016....
Number 10: Tommy Maddox
Quarterback: UCLA
Number 25 overall pick in 1992

Maddox had some good years as QB in Pittsburgh, long after his Broncos days. But in Denver, he was mainly drafted because then-coach Dan Reeves was disenchanted with John Elway and seldom rose from the pine.

Number 9: Ashley Lelie
Wide receiver: Hawaii
Number 19 overall pick in 2002

Lelie never became the big-time receiver the Broncos envisioned, and he was a grumbler, leading to his 2006 trade. Two years later, he was out of the league.

Number 8: Tim Tebow
Quarterback: Florida
Number 25 overall pick in 2010

We're of two minds on Timmy. Yes, he got the Broncos to the playoffs (and won a game!) in his best season with the squad. But he was a terrible passer and a weirdly divisive presence who was disappeared from the roster at the earliest opportunity. Peyton Manning, four winning seasons and a Super Bowl championship followed.

Number 7: Don Latimer
Nose tackle: Miami (Florida)
Number 27 overall pick in 1978

The Broncos hoped Latimer would become a mainstay of the vaunted Orange Crush defense, but he proved an underwhelming talent. By 1983, he was in the USFL.

Number 6: Willie Middlebrooks
Cornerback: Minnesota
Number 24 overall pick in 2001

He was drafted with the idea that he'd become a star, but Middlebrooks was more of a journeyman. He lasted just three seasons in Denver.

Continue to keep counting down the Broncos' ten worst first-round draft picks.

Number 5: Kelvin Clark
Offensive tackle: Nebraska
Number 22 overall pick in 1979

Clark is so little remembered for his brief stint in Denver that we couldn't even find a trading-card image showing him in a Broncos uniform. This is him sporting Nebraska red. 

Number 4: Dan Williams
Defensive end: Toledo
Number 11 overall pick in 1993

One of the highest Broncos picks of the team's Super Bowl era never blossomed in Denver. Williams was out in three years as well. 

Number 3: Jarvis Moss
Defensive end: Florida
Number 17 overall pick in 2007

Moss was supposed to return the Broncos' pass rush to its former status as one of the most feared units in football. Instead, he made no impact when he was healthy, which wasn't all that often, and his attitude appeared to get progressively worse during his time with the team. A big — make that really big — disaster.

Number 2: Marcus Nash
Wide receiver: Tennessee
Number 30 overall pick in 1998

Nash was expected to be a terror of a wide receiver. But during his first year, he only played eight games and caught just four passes for 76 yards. In year two, he appeared in just two games and caught nothing but the cold chill of disappointment from Broncos loyalists. He was subsequently traded to Miami, which dealt him to Baltimore. By 2003, he was in the Arena Football League. Grim. 

Number 1: Ted Gregory
Defensive tackle: Syracuse
Number 26 overall pick in 1988

This screen capture from a Deadspin piece naming Gregory the eighth-worst NFL player ever says it all.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

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