There have been many generational quarterbacks throughout the NFL's history, but rarely have two been part of the same draft. ESPN’s Matt Miller ranked the top-10 quarterback duos ever taken in the same draft class, and three Broncos made the list.
John Elway and Dolphins Hall of Famer Dan Marino were both selected in the 1983 NFL Draft, which is largely considered the greatest quarterback draft class in NFL history. Elway, who was taken No. 1 overall, and Marino, taken 27th, were named the top quarterback duo ever taken from the same draft.
"This was a pretty easy choice at No. 1," Miller wrote. "For years it seemed like the famed 1983 quarterback class wouldn't produce a single Super Bowl winner, after early losses by John Elway, Dan Marino and Jim Kelly. But then Elway closed out a brilliant Hall of Fame career with two rings, along with a Super Bowl MVP award, a league MVP and a then-record 148 wins. He also won a Super Bowl as a GM."
Not too far down the list are Peyton Manning and Matt Hasselbeck, who won a Super Bowl with the Seahawks, at No. 7. In the 1998 NFL Draft, Manning was selected No. 1 overall, while the Packers took Hasselbeck in the sixth round with the 187th pick.
"Peyton Manning is one of the all-time greats with two Super Bowl rings, a Super Bowl MVP, five regular-season MVP awards and an improbable Comeback Player of the Year award (2012) when it looked like his career was over following a neck injury," Miller wrote. "He had 14 Pro Bowl selections and sits third all-time in passing yardage and TDs."
Russell Wilson and Kirk Cousins were slotted at No. 9. In the 2012 NFL Draft, Seattle selected Wilson with the 75th pick and Washington picked Cousins at No. 102.
"The 2012 class has produced a Super Bowl champion and nine-time Pro Bowler in Russell Wilson while also giving us one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in NFL history in Kirk Cousins," Miller wrote. "Most telling, perhaps, is the quarterbacks drafted No. 1 and No. 2 overall — Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III — don't even make the list. Instead, it's a third- and fourth-rounder who have combined for 12 Pro Bowls."
Of course, the Broncos did not draft any of the three quarterbacks. Whether via trade or free agency, though, Denver has found a way to add some of the top signal-callers in league history.
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Mike Purcell was selected for Pro Football Focus’ Week 3 NFL team of the week. Taking on a larger role after D.J. Jones left the game, Purcell totaled five combined tackles, including a tackle for loss, and was credited with a sack when he forced Jimmy Garoppolo out of the end zone for a safety.
"I know [Garoppolo] kind of got flustered when I popped through," Purcell said after the game. "I didn't know at the moment that he stepped out. I still tried to push him out of it and got a good hit on him. I didn't even know [OLB Bradley] Chubb got the ball, potentially a score, but I'll take the safety any day. I'll take it, I'll take it."