Posted Tue Oct 18th by Jon Heath
Former General Manager of the Denver Broncos, Ted Sundquist, recently wrote an article about a high-tech scouting system which was developed by the Broncos and which he says would have been worth “hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
“The company’s engineers told us we couldn’t do the things we did with it, but we did. … We had rosters, depth charts, practice squads, positional outlooks, street free agent lists, NFL Europe reports – all with a click of the button. …
“We could pull a current prospect and side by side compare him to the past Pro Bowl players, or last year’s first round pick, or against whomever he’d like. We could grab a handful of “like players” based on correlated criteria. …
“We did away with magnetic boards and built our own tracking system through the database. … Draft meetings looked more like NASA’s mission control than another club’s cramped warroom with their white walls and stacked name tags.”
The system, says Sundquist, was taken for granted by Josh McDaniels and immediately scrapped. With the arrival of McDaniels, “back came the magnetic boards, back came the name tags, back came the binders.”
Could this partly be one of the reasons that the Broncos’ drafting under McDaniels was particularly poor? In two years, McDaniels drafted nineteen players and only seven of them remain on the team.
If receiver Demaryius Thomas starts this week, the Broncos will have six starters (all drafted in or above the third round) from the two drafts under McDaniels. Those numbers in themselves are not particularly terrible, but the facts below are quite depressing:
- Center J.D. Walton and receiver Eric Decker are the only players remaining on the team that McDaniels drafted in the third round or later (eleven selections). Update: I forgot safety David Bruton and cornerback Syd’Quan Thompson (injured reserve) are still on the team, so make that 4-of-11.
- Only one of McDaniels’ second round picks (guard Zane Beadles) remains with the team (four selections).
- McDaniels’ four first round selections have started a combined 34 games since 2010, a number which could be as high as 84 games (if each of the players had started all 21 games since 2010).
If you read the article, it sounds like the Broncos had a system unlike the NFL had ever seen. Sadly, it was all tossed aside when McDaniels arrived. I believe it could have only benefitted the Broncos to keep it. What’s your take?