I’m not one to give in to speculation about future draft picks. It’s arbitrary and very rarely are predictions correct outside of the first 10 draft picks. Instead of yet another article on a whim about future draft picks, what if I were to grade the players from the previous one?
Before I begin grading, I want to go over the scale of my system. I will be using the American education standard of A – F, except I will use E, as follows:
- A – Performed at an elite level
- B – Performed at an NFL level
- C – Performed as expected
- D – Performed below expectations
- E – Excused. Little to no data exists
- F – Failed at an NFL level
Now that the grading scale is established, let’s start!
Shane Ray started the season with some expected bumps. As he earned more playing time, he finished the season strong with 20 total tackles, 4 sacks, and 1 pass deflected. He sits just behind Todd Davis’ 21 total tackles, but the one stat that isn’t discussed is the amount of times he pressured the quarterback. I could count a few times where his presence caused the pocket to collapse. Overall, I think he played very well, but I wouldn’t consider him elite yet. I think he’ll get there in the next two seasons.
|2||59||Ty Sambrailo||OT||6’6″||311||Colorado State||B|
Ty Sambrailo was a staple of the offensive line the first three games. He shined throughout the preseason, but his shoulder injury bothered him until it eventually required surgery. He was without a doubt, in my opinion, the best offensive tackle we had this year. It was unfortunate that he was unable to play beyond the third game of the season. I’m giving him a B for two reasons: we don’t know how well and how long he would’ve played at that level the rest of the season, and even though he was our best offensive tackle, he’s not on the same level of the elite in the NFL. If he progressed throughout the year like Max Garcia, he would’ve gotten an A.
|3||92||Jeff Heuerman||TE||6’5″||254||Ohio State||E|
Jeff Heuerman was a bustling star in the rookie’s minicamp. On the last day of practice he tore his MCL. Unfortunately, I have no data on his transition to the NFL so he receives an E.
Max Garcia played 16 games and started 5. He allowed 1 sack and was called on 5 holding penalties. He was a strong rotational player and fit in nicely when Evan Mathis was out for an injury. He receives a B because he played beyond expectations given his pick. I was expecting some rotations, if any, but to mostly sit on the practice squad as he transitioned to the NFL. However, his presence as a rotation guard in our starting offense pushes him up to a solid NFL player. I expect him to be a starter in 2016.
He played in 6 games, but I can’t find any statistics beyond this. He cracked the 53-man roster out of necessity and remained an inactive player on game day. There were some successes in training camp, but not enough to crack the active roster. We’ll see in the upcoming season if he can find a spot on the roster, or remain on the practice squad. For a 5th-round pick, though, I’m surprised he couldn’t stay on the active roster and play a down. He receives a D for playing below expectations.
Darius Kilgo finished the season with 5 tackles and 1 pass deflected in 9 games. He shined in the first two games against Baltimore and Kansas City, but saw less playing time throughout the season. I wouldn’t count him out as a solid player. For a 6th-round pick, he performed slightly better than I expected him to.
Trevor Siemian didn’t play a single game. When Brock Osweiler was starting quarterback, we signed Christian Ponder as a backup player, likely because we didn’t believe Trevor Siemian was ready to play at an NFL level. The defenses he played against in the preseason were players fighting for the final spots on a roster. However, his rocket arm and his quick and smart decisions based on what I’ve seen surprised me for a 7th-round pick. Thus, he receives a C. Since there is no data on him in a regular season game, I cannot give him anything better or worse than a C.
Taurean Nixon also got promoted from practice squad out of necessity, but never played a single down. Like Lorenzo Doss, Nixon saw some successes (here and here) in training camp. We’ll see in the upcoming season if he can find a spot on the roster, or remain on the practice squad.
|7||252||Josh Furman||S||6’1″||210||Oklahoma State||F|
Josh Furman is the only player on this list to receive an F. He was waived when the Broncos had to cut down to the 53-man limit and never re-signed. We had other players come on board throughout the season like Josh Bush and Shiloh Keo, but Furman was never considered.