Few teams saw their preseason dreams turn into a regular season nightmare quite like the 2022 Denver Broncos.
The Broncos, who entered the season with a Colorado sports betting projected win total of 10.5, finished the year 5-12 in a campaign that cost coach Nathaniel Hackett his job.
One of the reasons for Denver’s struggles on the field last fall was the team’s draft production (or lack thereof).
Using Pro Football Reference’s Weighted Career Approximate Value (wAV) system, BetColorado.com stacked up where the Broncos’ draft class from a year ago ranked leaguewide.
Unfortunately for Denver fans and those backing the Broncos on Colorado sportsbooks, the 2023 class might not provide much relief without a first-round pick and with only five selections.
Broncos 2023 NFL Draft Class
- Round 2, Pick 63: Marvin Mims Jr. (WR, Oklahoma)
- Round 3, Pick 67: Drew Sanders (LB, Arkansas)
- Round 3, Pick 83: Riley Moss (DB, Iowa)
- Round 6, Pick 183: JL Skinner (S, Boise State)
- Round 7, Pick 257: Alex Forsyth (C, Oregon)
Broncos 2022 Class Among Least Productive
After being ranked 10th overall by analysts from the NFL Network, the Broncos’ 2022 draft class failed to pan out, producing the 22nd most wAV of any NFL team at 13. Overall, Denver trailed No. 21 Buffalo, which had 15 wAV, while finishing in tie for 22nd alongside the Saints.
The Broncos finished well behind the top five, including Seattle (40 wAV), the N.Y. Jets and Kansas City (30 wAV each).
NFL Network analysts rated Denver’s 2022 draft class as the 10th best, between Carolina and the N.Y. Giants. Carolina finished tied for 27th in the league with the Browns at 10 AV, while the Giants had 28 wAV from their rookie class.
Denver’s 115th pick, Damarri Mathis, was the only Bronco draftee to accumulate more than 3 wAV in 2022 (finishing with a team-high 4).
Of the other eight picks, only outside linebacker Nik Bonitto (2 wAV) and tight end Greg Dulcich (3 wAV) contributed multiple wAV during the season.
Re-Ranking 2022 NFL Draft Class
Broncos 2022 Class Couldn’t Get on Field
Denver’s 2022 draft class combined to appear in 104 games and started 20 of them.
Of Denver’s nine rookies, Mathis had the most impact, appearing in 16 games and starting 11, while finishing with 65 total tackles.
Dulcich, who had the next highest wAV of any Broncos rookie at 3, had 411 receiving yards on 33 catches and two touchdowns. Matt Henningsen (17 games, 0 starts), Montrell Washington (15 games, 1 start) and Delarrin Turner-Yell (14 games, 0 starts) were the only other Denver rookies to appear in at least 10 games.
What About the 2023 Draft Class?
With four fewer draft picks and less skill position players to choose from, it seems likely the Broncos’ 2023 draft class is bound to fall even further down the wAV leaderboard come season’s end.
Although things may seem bleak, the addition of new coach Sean Peyton has boosted the Broncos odds at BetMGM Sportsbook Colorado. Denver is tied for 14th in Super Bowl futures at +4000.
Unless the Broncos’ four skill position draft picks can get on the field early and often, there’s likely not enough draft capital for Denver to make up much ground against their NFL competition. Colorado sportsbooks had the Broncos playoff chances drop following the NFL Draft this year. Last year’s top-five by teamwide wAV values all had at least seven draft picks in their classes.