Top 5: Denver Broncos Draft busts by Mike Shanahan

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Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn, USA TODAY Sports

The Broncos won two Super Bowl titles with Mike Shanahan as their head coach. Denver also was one of the more consistent teams in the NFL during his tenure.

But Shanahan didn’t have a lot of success without John Elway as his quarterback. The coach only won one other playoff game with a different QB and that was Jake Plummer in 2005.

Shanahan also had his fair share of swings and misses in the NFL Draft. As a coach that probably had too much power, he took some risks that set the Broncos back.

Here are his five worst draft picks:

5. Marcus Nash, WR, 1998, No. 30

The receiver from Tennessee did absolutely nothing in the NFL. He never started a game for the Broncos and only played in eight total. Nash compiled a whooping four catches in his career for 76 yards. He was out of the NFL the next season.

4. George Foster, OL, 2003, No. 20

Shanahan tried to bolster his offensive line by picking the big man from Georgia. The right tackle played four seasons for the Broncos but was never really the anchor on the offensive line the Broncos were looking for. His career ended in 2008.

Willie Middlebrooks, DB, 2001, No. 24

Shanahan struggled with first-round defensive players in general. None have really panned out for the Broncos. Middlebrooks was no different. The Broncos tried him at corner and safety. He never had an interception in his five-year career in the NFL.

2. Jarvis Moss, DE, 2007, No. 17

An undersized defensive end that was undisciplined is a good way to describe Moss. Not an ideal fit for the Broncos. Moss never did anything that warranted him being the No. 17 pick. He has six sacks in his career which ended in 2011 with the hated Oakland Raiders.

Maurice Clarett, RB, 2005, No. 101

The rest of the list is all first round selections but the picking of Clarett is tops no matter what. He never played a down in the NFL. He spent some time in jail after being cut by the Broncos in camp. He is rumored to have sipped on some vodka while in camp from his water bottle. He was the worst draft pick in Broncos history not just Shanahan’s.

Chris Schmaedeke is currently the Assistant Sports Editor at the Daily Camera in Boulder. He has worked in sports journalism in Colorado since 2001 when he started at the Rocky Mountain News. He has covered the Denver Broncos for several websites over the past two years.

Follow Chris on Twitter at @ChrisSchmaedeke


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