Most teams feel good following their draft, and if they don't, there's a problem. The case can be made, the Broncos felt good prior to the draft because they traded for a franchise quarterback last month in Russell Wilson. Thus, they didn't have a pick in the 1st round, or their early pick in the second. Nonetheless, general manager George Paton and head coach Nathaniel Hackett were both pretty happy with the nine selections they did make Friday and Saturday.
However, Paton did acknowledge following the conclusion of the draft, that it's too early to know how good this draft really is. "It’s yet to be seen," he said. "We have to get these players here. They have to get to work. I do feel like we’ve helped our football team. We’ve helped our depth. But we have to get them in here. They have to practice, they have to learn our culture and get with the coaches. But I do feel like we are a better football team. We’ll see how we do come the fall."
The Broncos made 9 selections in total, 6 defensive players, 2 offensive players, and a return specialist, who certainly could be used as an offensive weapon as well:
Round 2 - No. 64 - Nik Bonitto - EDGE - Oklahoma (Draft Profile)
Round 3 - No. 80 - Greg Dulcich - TE - UCLA (Draft Profile)
Round 4 - No. 115 - Damarri Mathis - CB - Pittsburgh (Draft Profile)
Round 4 - No. 116 - Eyioma Uwazurike - DL - Iowa State (Draft Profile)
Round 5 - No. 152 - Delarrin Turner-Yell - Safety - Oklahoma (Draft Profile)
Round 5 - No. 162 - Montrell Washington - WR/KR - Samford (Draft Profile)
Round 5 - No. 171 - Luke Wattenberg - OL - Washington (Draft Profile)
Round 6 - No. 206 - Matt Henningsen - DE - Wisconsin (Draft Profile)
Round 7 - No. 232 - Faion Hicks - CB - Wisconsin (Draft Profile)
Hackett has been around the NFL most of his life, with his Dad having been a coordinator a number of places, and then working his way up the ladder to finally having a chance to sit in the Head Coach's chair in the "War Room." And while his personality made him the perfect person to keep things "light" as he said, he did enjoy his front row seat to watching Paton and his personnel staff work. "You go in with kind of an idea of what it might be—I kind of talked about it yesterday, it was unbelievable. [General Manager] George [Paton] gave so much credit to so many people but everything runs through him and watching him lead the whole group—lead the whole room and really make it a collaborative effort was just awesome to see," Hackett said. "It's something I want to keep doing myself with our coaches—watching out he truly listened to every single person. There was no conflict, it was just all about what was right for the team in the end. It was unbelievable to be a part of and just the different trades that could've happened—might've happened—did happen. That was kind of the thing that was the most exciting. It's funny because you're sitting there waiting and that clock is going down continually but it's way more intense than I had anticipated. It was great—It was awesome to be a part of. It was awesome to be just there for anything I can do to help [General Manager] George [Paton]. I think we came out with a really good class."
The Broncos rookies will have their first mini-camp the weekend of May 13th. Watch Paton and Hackett's Post Draft Press Conference below: