This year's draft didn't have that same level of urgency. With Peyton Manning aboard, the team was looking for its picks to gradually develop rather than make massive contributions right away.
Top pick: DL Derek Wolfe (second round, No. 36 overall) -- It didn't take long for the University of Cincinnati product to rise from rotational player to one now expected to play on every down. A combination of factors helped Wolfe, the biggest of which was Jason Hunter's torn triceps muscle, which forced Wolfe's promotion to starting left defensive end. But before Hunter's injury, Wolfe had already worked his way onto the first team as a defensive tackle when it went into a nickel package, beating out 2009 first-round pick Robert Ayers. Now Wolfe has the left DE slot that Ayers held in 2011 -- and he should keep it. Grade: A-
No. 3 pick: RB Ronnie Hillman (third round, No. 71 overall) -- The Broncos drafted Hillman with the expectation he could provide a change of pace and a breather for Willis McGahee. Hillman showed flashes of brilliance early in training camp. His open-field moves and body control when making cuts low to the ground were just as effective as they were at San Diego State. But a hamstring injury has hindered his progress, and after he aggravated it last week the Broncos will be cautious. Grade: Incomplete