Drafting late not only means that the team had a successful previous season, but it also means that the team can still get a high-caliber player at a good value.
As NFL runners-up in 2013, Denver holds the 31st pick in each round of this year’s draft.
“I will say this, we’re proud, we’re thrilled to be picking 31,” Elway said. “I wish we were picking 32 but we’re picking 31. It’s not necessarily the best spot to be, but that means you’re a pretty good football team.”
With so much talent available, the mock drafts that the Broncos’ personnel department put together have been more difficult to predict.
“I think there are a lot of good football players,” Elway said. “So any time you have as many good football players, it is going to make it more confusing and the mocks are going to be up in the air.”
One position that Elway pointed to as particularly deep this year was the wideout group.
“Obviously looking at wide receiver, it’s a deep draft, there’s no question about that,” Elway said. “But for the most part, the wide receivers are really what makes it deep. For the most part I think everything else is pretty normal for what I’ve seen the past three years.”
Selecting in a deep draft helps the Broncos stick to their strategy of drafting the best player available, as opposed to targeting specific needs.
Elway said the team uses free agency to fill those holes on the roster, and then uses the draft to add whichever players the personnel department thinks could best help the team.
"We felt like we've done a nice job in free agency filling most of our holes there,” Elway said. “You never fill all your holes the way you like to, but we feel pretty comfortable going into the draft that it's going to allow us to take the best player available.”
When teams feel pressured to fill voids on the roster, Elway said that can cause clubs to reach for picks that are more likely to not pan out.
“Knowing that if you have to reach for certain guys, those are the guys that have the most potential to bust,” Elway said. “Even though it looks like we built through free agency, we built through the draft as well as free agency. So it's important for us to be accurate in the draft picks that we do have and make sure that the players we do draft are going to be able to help us, whether it's a position of need or not. We want to draft players that are going to be able to come in here and help us."