Why the Broncos aren’t down on last year’s rookie class

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DENVER — Garett Bolles.

That's the all-encompassing list of rookies that started a game for the Denver Broncos last year. Not started the entire season, or even multiple games, but just a single game.

In fact, in Week 15 against the Indianapolis Colts, Bolles was the only drafted rookie to be active. Although all eight of the Broncos’ draft choices were still with the organization at that time — and still currently are — seven of them, or 87.5 percent, were not wearing a jersey 15 weeks into the season.

To be fair, Carlos Henderson, Jake Butt and Chad Kelly spent the entire season on the injured reserve, not allowing them a chance to play. However, second-round pick DeMarcus Walker, third-round pick Brendan Langley, fifth-round pick Isaiah McKenzie and sixth-round pick De’Angelo Henderson never touched IR and yet also never started a single game.

Although Bolles showed potential to be a quality tackle in the league for many years — enough so to be named to the Pro Football Writer’s of America All-Rookie Team — McKenzie was certainly the most talked about rookie for all of the wrong reasons.

Primarily tasked as a punt returner, McKenzie’s six fumbles were the second-most in the entire league among non-quarterbacks.

Saying it was an incredibly tough season for the 2017 draft class would be an understatement.

But don’t be so quick to write them off already.

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