John Elway will forever be linked to Miami Dolphins’ great Dan Marino thanks to the stellar 1983 draft class.
John Elway is in the Hall of Fame and he has two Super Bowl rings but his career didn’t get off to the best start. Drafted number one overall by the Baltimore Colts, Elway refused to play for them and forced a trade to Denver after he was selected by the Colts.
In his first season with the Broncos, Elway started 10 games losing six of them. He threw for only 1,663 yards and seven touchdowns to 14 interceptions. By today’s standards, Elway should have been released or trade to another team for a veteran aging quarterback.
At the time, Dan Fouts was renegotiating his contract and it had stalled in San Diego. There was talk prior to the draft that Baltimore could draft Elway and trade him to the Chargers in exchange for Fouts. So naturally, if we were looking at the situation through today’s lenses, Elway should have been kicked to the curb and Denver made a big mistake. 16 years later, well, you know the rest.
John Elway: 10 starts, 4-6 record, 1,663 yards, 7 touchdowns, 14 interceptions. 47.5% completion rate.
Tua Tagovailoa: 9 starts, 6-3 record, 1,814 yards, 11 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions. He had a 64.1 % completion rate.