Usually, there’s a silver lining for NFL teams with terrible records — they are rewarded with high picks in the upcoming draft.
That would be the case for the 3-8 Denver Broncos this year, but they traded that upcoming first-round pick to the Seattle Seahawks as part of the trade for quarterback Russell Wilson earlier this year.
Denver is currently on track to secure the fourth overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft, but that pick will belong to Seattle in April.
There is good news for the Broncos, but even that good news comes with a side of bad news. Denver does have a first-round pick that it acquired from the Miami Dolphins in exchange for outside linebacker Bradley Chubb.
The bad news: Miami acquired that pick from the San Francisco 49ers before shipping it to the Broncos, and the 49ers are now 7-4 and on pace to make the playoffs. If San Francisco does reach the postseason, the lowest their pick could be is 19th overall. Right now, it’s pick No. 25 overall.
A late first-round pick is obviously better than no first-round pick, but the 49ers’ playoff push is an unfortunate development for Denver.