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Friday, 13 February 2015

Denver Broncos: Biggest Draft Day Regret In Franchise History

The Broncos were preparing for the future. Faced with the reality that John Elway would not play forever and the star was aging, (although still among the best in the game) Denver needed to make sure there was a plan in place once No. 7 hung it up.

The move proved to be more of a pain in the backside of the organization than a gradual transitioning of the porch being passed from veteran to eager neophyte.

His selection by the Broncos did not sit well with Elway, for two reasons. One, the Broncos had greater needs at several other positions, which Elway felt should have been addressed with their first pick instead of using it on Maddox. Second, Elway was in his prime and still seven years away from his retirement in 1999, so selecting a successor so soon was extremely premature. However, Elway understood that Maddox had no control over the Broncos selection and was always professional in dealing with him, doing what he could to incorporate Maddox into the Broncos system.

Then the disaster starter. He was traded two years later.

As a rookie, Maddox was served by coach Dan Reeves. Maddox took his first snaps during the Week 6 (October 6) game against the Washington Redskins, completing 2 of 8 passes for 10 yards and one interception in the 3-34 loss. In that game, Maddox became the youngest NFL quarterback to complete a pass since Elmer Angsman in 1946.

Maddox took over the week 11 (November 15) game after starting quarterback John Elway left with a shoulder injury and led the Broncos to a 27-13 victory over the New York Giants.  Maddox would start the following four games from weeks 12 to 15, all losses. In his debut start in the week 12 0-24 loss to the Los Angeles Raiders, Maddox completed 18 for 26 (69.2%) of his passes for 207 yards and 2 interceptions (both by Terry McDaniel), was sacked 4 times, and committed 3 fumbles (including one lost).

Maddox only learned that he would start three hours before kickoff. The Los Angeles Times account of the game reported: "Every time Denver moved the ball, Maddox would be pressured, sacked or simply dropped the ball."

The Broncos troubles with Maddox only caused the battle between Reeves and Elway to intensify. It was a topic of conversation in the media and in the city of Denver.

While Maddox’s pick was considered a huge mistake, it is not the only blunder within the organization.

Maurice Clarett was picked in the third round of the 2005 NFL Draft and never panned out as a pro player.

Ted Gregory, a defensive tackle out of Syracuse was drafted in 1988. He was listed at 6’1” and actually measured out at 5’9”. He hurt his knee in training camp of his rookie season and was traded to New Orleans before taking a snap in Denver.

Jarvis Moss, a player who dominated the game from the University of Florida, was dominated in the NFL. At 260 pounds, he has 3.5 sacks in three seasons with the team.


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