3 Draft Picks the Broncos Gave Up on Too Early

Danny Trevathan
Chicago Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan | Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

The Denver Broncos were able to get to two Super Bowls over the last decade, winning one in the process. Peyton Manning obviously was the main factor that turned them into winners, but John Elway's shrewd drafting at several key positions helped Denver add some franchise players. Unfortunately, Elway and former GM Ted Sundquist weren't always the best at retaining players, as evidenced by these three studs the Broncos let go.

3. DT Malik Jackson

Malik Jackson
Former Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle Malik Jackson | Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Jackson started to emerge as a stud with the Broncos during their championship run in 2015, but he didn't start to get national publicity until he signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jackson recorded 18 sacks in three years in Duval County, making a Pro Bowl while dragging Blake Bortles to an AFC Championship. If Jackson was on an already loaded defensive line that featured Bradley Chubb and Von Miller, a playoff berth in 2020 would be all but assured.

2. LB Danny Trevathan

Danny Trevathan
Chicago Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan | Will Newton/Getty Images

Trevathan had to fight for every scrap of playing time in Chicago, as the former Kentucky star overcame DJ Williams and Wesley Woodyard and recorded two 100-tackle seasons as a Bronco. As a free agent, Trevathan landed in Chicago, where he has amassed 327 tackles in four years at the heart of one of the league's best defenses. Denver is currently thin at inside linebacker, and Trevathan has proven he can give Vic Fangio his best in the past.

1. WR Brandon Marshall

Brandon Marshall
New York Jets receiver Brandon Marshall | Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Marshall was a bit of a diva early in his career, and Denver decided that four seasons was enough of the physically talented receiver. While Marshall became a bit of a football nomad, as he played for five teams in nine years and never won a playoff game, he recorded 8,332 yards in those nine seasons, ripping off five 1,000-yard campaigns in six years while leading the league in touchdowns as a Jet. At 235 pounds with speed and a tremendous football IQ, Denver probably regrets trading him to the Miami Dolphins in 2010.