The Broncos lost quarterback Brock Osweiler, defensive end Malik Jackson, linebacker Danny Trevathan, tackle Ryan Harris, guard Evan Mathis, and safety David Bruton to free agency. Thankfully General Manager John Elway has 10 draft picks to use to fill these holes.
So how do I see the first round playing out?
Let me get this out of the way right now, I believe it is unlikely that Paxton Lynch will fall all the way to 31. With that said, I think John Elway will do whatever it takes to land the Brock Osweiler clone.
Now this all changes if/when the Denver Broncos trade for Colin Kaepernick, but for now, I see Paxton Lynch is blue and orange.
Lynch has everything John Elway looks for in a quarterback. He is tall(6'7"), has big hands, has a strong arm, and is athletic. His size and stature remind people of the quarterback John Elway called the future of the franchise.
He would also fit very well into Gary Kubiak's offense. He has the mobility to run the bootleg and has the arm to throw on the run and throw deep. I think it's a perfect fit for Lynch.
NFL Network's Bucky Brooks stole my thunder a little bit by mocking Lynch to the Broncos at 31. This leads me to believe that it's possible that Lynch falls that far, but I think Elway will need to trade up for Lynch.
With Malik Jackson going to Jacksonville, the Broncos need to find a replacement for him, and I think Ward can be that guy.
He's a favorite of mine, and ultimately I think he could go a bit higher than this.
Senior Bowl: Illinois DE Jihad Ward (6-5, 295) has power & athleticism on the edge. He can get home to the QB.— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) January 27, 2016
He has the build you want for a pass rushing 3-4 defensive end, and I believe defensive line coach Bill Kollar will see a prospect he can mold into a great player.
He is explosive off the line, good tackler, has pass rushing ability, and would be a great addition to the Broncos defensive line.
|3||94||Nick Vannett||TE||Ohio State||6'6"||257lbs|
With Owen Daniels being released, that leaves Virgil Green, and Jeff Heuerman as the Broncos tight ends heading into the 2016 season. The Broncos are high on Heuerman who missed the entire 2015 season with an ACL injury but will basically be a rookie next season. Green has proven to be a solid blocker but hasn't put it together in the passing game just yet.
So It makes sense for the Broncos to spend a premium draft pick on a tight end.
Adding Vannett will pair him with his former Ohio State teammate Jeff Heuerman and give the Broncos two young tight ends. If the Broncos do indeed go with a rookie quarterback, giving him another big safety blanket and red zone target will pay dividends.
After the Broncos matched the offer sheet for C.J. Anderson their need at running back wasn't nearly as bad. However, they do need a replacement for Ronnie Hillman. He was speed compliment to Anderson, and that's what I see Lasco being.
Broncos and Colts met formally with Cal running back Daniel Lasco (The Woodlands) at combine, ran a 4.46, had 11-3 broad jump, 41.5 vertical— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) March 2, 2016
He showed his athleticism and explosion at the NFL Combine. He ran a 4.46, had a 41.5 inch vertical, 135-inch broad jump, 11.31 60 yard shuttle. If it wasn't for Derrick Henry people would have been talking about Lasco.
He has the cutback ability and explosion to do well in Kubiak's offense. He also can be a weapon in the passing game, and do what Hillman did for the Broncos last season.
|4||136||Willie Beavers||OT||Western Michigan||6'5"||321lbs|
The Broncos signed free agent Donald Stephenson, and are interested in tackle Russell Okung, but a young guy to groom should be high on Kubiak's priority list. The only other tackle on the roster is Michael Schofield and well...yeah
He is a very athletic offensive tackle and that's exactly what Kubiak looks for. He needs to work on his technique and could grow into the future starting left tackle for the Broncos.
My inner Al Davis(Oh god) is showing with this pick. The tape on Kearse is not that great, but his measurables and athleticism make people excited.
With the Broncos needed depth at the safety position, I could see them giving Kearse a look.
He has the size and ability to be really good, but someone needs to turn on the light for Kearse. Until then he is a late round safety prospect who could really bust despite all the athletic ability.
The fullback is making a return to Denver, for real this time.
Vitale can do it all. He can run, catch, block, and play special teams. He can play fullback or tight end for the Broncos, the exact player the Broncos are looking for.
A late round Kentucky linebacker joining the Denver Broncos? That usually ends well.
Following in Danny Trevathan and Wesley Woodyard's footsteps, Forrest will be the next late round Kentucky linebacker success story for the Denver Broncos.
Has plus athleticism, 202 tackles in two years, and has the size and range to make it in the NFL. I like his potential and history shows it will work out.
Ehinger can play inside or outside in the NFL and provide versatility and depth for the Broncos up front.
About all you can ask for in the seventh round.
The Broncos could use depth at the receiver position, and they have shown interest in Spruce during the draft process.
Spruce has met with the Broncos, so there is some potential there.
This pick is harder to project than the first round pick.