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Denver Broncos draft picks from left to right, Royce Freeman, Courtland Sutton and Isaac Yiadom at Dove Valley April 28, 2018. (Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
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Bye: Broncos need to draft ‘good football players, not projections’

Denver Broncos draft picks from left to right, Royce Freeman, Courtland Sutton and Isaac Yiadom at Dove Valley April 28, 2018. (Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

After the NFL Draft in late April last year, Denver Broncos general manager John Elway called the 2018 class he’d just selected “a special group,” with many coming out as seniors and having played leadership roles with their college teams.

“It just so happened that the guys who were falling close to us were high-quality guys,” Elway said. “We always try to go high-character, but we were fortunate with all these guys.”

Little did Broncos Country know at that time the impact the Broncos 2018 rookie class, including undrafted college free agent Phillip Lindsay, would have on in its first NFL season.

Reflecting on what may have been learned from the Broncos 6-10 campaign last year, “Stokley and Zach” co-host Zach Bye said on Friday that what Denver did roughly a year ago in the NFL Draft they need to make a point to “do it again.”

“You know what I learned from this past year? Draft good football players, not projections. Draft good football players, proven football players,” Bye said.

Bye’s comments come after a tweet by Rotoworld.com’s Evan Silva, who pointed out the lack of contribution from most of the first- and second-round draft picks by the Broncos from 2013 to 2017.

“That is just about as bad as you can get. But it takes someone like Evan Silva actually putting it down on paper, if you will, looking at it from afar over a sample size of five seasons here, and going holy crap,” Bye said. “And then, to have such a marked difference from drafts like that, from a four- or five-year stretch, to then have a draft that’s rated ‘A’ by everyone that is grading, that was my biggest takeaway.”

Follow digital content producer Johnny Hart on Twitter: @JohnnyHart7.