Since taking over as EVP/GM in 2011, John Elway has made a number of strong draft selections. As the 2017 draft approaches, the Broncos' digital media staff took a look at his best pick from each round. (Photos by AP)
The NFL Draft as a television production has given the Broncos and other teams opportunities to announce their picks in novel ways. When given the chance, Denver often asks its legends to represent the team, but the team has also experimented with other ideas recently as the league explores ways for teams to showcase their communities during their picks.
Here are just a few ways the Broncos have announced their picks without the commissioner at the podium:
Upchurch brings down the house
After a brief introduction from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Ring of Fame receiver/returner Rick Upchurch took the podium at the 2015 NFL Draft. But his first announcement wasn't the Broncos' pick; it was to thank Broncos Country for their support as he continued to fight leukemia. The crowd gave him a standing ovation before he proceeded to tell the world the Broncos' pick, Ty Sambrailo (second round, 59th overall).
Upchurch is just one of a handful of legends to announce picks for the Broncos. Others include Hall of Fame running back Floyd Little (Zane Beadles, 2010), Ring of Fame halfback/kicker/returner Gene Mingo (Cody Latimer, 2014) and Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe (Rahim Moore, 2011).
But one of the more memorable alumni picks came just last year when former quarterback Jake Plummer hit the slopes at Winter Park Resort, stopping to announce fourth-round pick Devontae Booker.
Making a wish come true
Like many Denver natives, Daniel Hailpern naturally loves his Broncos. But what separates him from the thousands of other Broncos fans is his devotion through difficult times in his life. As a leukemia patient at Children's Hospital Colorado, Hailpern won a Broncos-themed "Frozen"-parody contest which then sparked an hour-long radio show he hosted from the hospital's Seacrest Studios booth. Since then, Hailpern has visited Broncos practices as a junior reporter and done interviews on NFL Network. In 2016 the NFL and Make-A-Wish Colorado granted his wish to announce the Broncos' first pick, Paxton Lynch.
Two rounds after Hailpern's appearance, DeMarcus Ware and his son, DeMarcus Jr., stepped onto the stage at Chicago's Auditorium Theatre to announce the 98th overall pick, Justin Simmons, on behalf of the Broncos. Ware, in town for the draft, a legends luncheon with the commissioner and to provide commentary on ESPN, decided to make it a memorable father-son trip.
Salute to Service
In 2015, Buckley Air Force Base service members announced the Broncos' third-day draft selections, welcoming Max Garcia, Lorenzo Doss, Darius Kilgo, Trevor Siemian, Taurean Nixon and Josh Furman into the NFL.