John Elway is facing his most important draft in seven years and he will do so mostly with those who brought 'em.
With the exception of enhancing the role of Gary Kubiak, Elway said he wouldn't make any changes to the Broncos' personnel department until the bulk of his offseason roster reconstruction is completed.
“On the personnel side, we're in the middle of our season,'' Elway said in an interview with 9NEWS. “We really don't evaluate the personnel side until after the draft. With Adam Peters going to San Francisco last year, Brian Stark moved up to our college director and is doing an outstanding job. We interchanged scouts from last year. The process is always done in May.
“It's two different seasons: Coaching evaluation is done when the season's over, the scouts and personnel side, that evaluation is done when the draft's over. We're always trying to get better on that side.''
Elway heads the Broncos' football operations as general manager. Matt Russell is second in command as director of player personnel. Then it's Kubiak, who served this past season as senior personnel advisor, director of pro personnel A.J. Durso and director of college scouting Brian Stark.
Tom Heckert is also a senior personnel advisor but he has been in a part-time, out-of-town role.
Elway admits he's missed on some draft picks in recent years, but in fairness, his average first selection the past six years has been 27th.
He picks No. 5 overall this year, the highest since his first GM season of 2011 when he took Von Miller with the No. 2 pick and added the likes of Julius Thomas in the fourth round and Virgil Green in the seventh.
“You're always learning,'' Elway said in his state-of-the-Broncos press conference Tuesday. “You're learning every year. You look at different players and how you evaluate players that got better and played as well as you thought they should, or other players who didn't play as well as you thought they should. Evaluations are always tough.''
Elway was just starting to get worked up, even pounding the table as he talked.
“I think every time you make a choice or make a decision on a guy, you see how it turns out,'' he said. “Then you look at it and ask, 'How could I have gotten better? What did I miss? What did I get?'
“Every player that you pick in the draft, we go back and evaluate every player in the draft and what this kid was when we go them and what we thought he was before we got him, then we learn from that.
“I always try to get better. I don't have all the answers. I want to search and find all the answers because I want this team to be as good as they can possibly be.
“I'm fortunate in the fact that I played for a long time. I've been in this job now for seven years, therefore, I'm always trying to get better.
“As soon as I think I have it down, I'll retire. Then, I'll be doing what you do because then you know it all.”