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NFL Draft Grades: Denver Broncos get low grades for Gotsis, high grades for Simmons

Personalities around the NFL were 'meh' regarding the Adam Gotsis signing, but universally loved the Justin Simmons pick. Overall, it was a mixed bag for the Denver Broncos.

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Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos went defensive with both of their picks on Day 2. They also decided to stay put on both counts, leaving them with six more picks to finish up the 2016 NFL Draft. After a solid 'B+' from around the NFL for Day 1, here is how things played out for John Elway and company on Day 2.

With the last pick of the second round, the Broncos selected defensive lineman Adam Gotsis. The pick surprised many and that usually means some ugly grades from around the NFL. Personally, I give the pick a 'C' because I just don't believe he will contribute to this top-ranked defense any time soon.

When the Broncos drafted Justin Simmons on the other hand, it made a little more sense. He looks like someone the Broncos could develop into a starting role. He should be able to contribute early to spell both Darian Stewart and T.J. Ward. It will be hard to replace David Bruton Jr. right out of the gates as he was a savvy veteran with a high football IQ, but Simmons has the athleticism to compete from the start. As such, I give the Broncos a solid 'A' for that fantastic value pick.

Broncos Draft Grades

SB Nation:

Denver closed out the second round of the draft by surprising a lot of people by taking Georgia Tech defensive tackle Adam Gotsis. He's a good system fit in Denver's defense, but how many snaps is he going to get with Derek Wolfe and Jared Crick at end? Potentially a minimal amount of snaps isn't getting a lot out of a second-round pick.

The Broncos closed the third round by taking Boston College safety Justin Simmons. He's a solid coverage safety who has good athleticism.

Overall grade: C

Day 2 grade: B+

It's not hard to see that the Broncos viewed Gotsis as another hard-working five-technique like Derek Wolfe. Simmons is a fair safety prospect, as well.

Sports Illustrated:

Adam Gotsis, DT, Georgia Tech


Analysis: The Australian native was lightly recruited until Georgia Tech gave him a shot, and he projects as a Malik Jackson replacement with his tremendous athleticism and intensity. He's raw and will need some time to learn the subtleties of the position, but over time, he may work his way past rotational status and into the starting lineup.

Justin Simmons, S, Boston College


Analysis: Denver is lacking depth at safety. Simmons provides it, and then some. He has shown more than enough of a comfort level against both run and pass to trust him in any situations, and his versatility could lead the Broncos into three-safety looks on occasion. Excellent value to close Round 3.

Yahoo Sports:

DT Adam Gotsis – A poor man’s Derek Wolfe? Gotsis is a big, raw, physical 5-technique who grew up overseas playing Australian Rules Football. Although the game is new to him, it’s also very important to him. He was a team captain and the coaches called him the hardest worker on the roster. The Broncos helped replace their hole at end to replace Malik Jackson, but that’s a big dropoff right now. Grade: C+

FS Justin Simmons – With some great testing numbers at the scouting combine and a great frame, Simmons is a fascinating prospect. Think former Broncos S Rahim Moore, who has started games in the NFL but also bounced around and never played at a high level. Simmons might project similarly. Grade: C


Grade Look up the definition of "reach" in the dictionary, and you might just... well, you won't find this pick because that wouldn't make any sense, but you probably should. This is a huge reach for sure. I can tell you for certain that one team whose information we highly trust told us that they were targeting Adam Gotsis in the Round 4-5 range. I hadn't heard of anyone ranking Gotsis this highly, so I think this deserves a Millen, despite the fact that it fills a need.

Justin Simmons, S, Boston College A- Grade

This definitely makes up for the Adam Gotsis pick. In fact, I think it would've made more sense if the Broncos flipped their picks, and took Justin Simmons in the second round and vice-versa. The Broncos will have a starting safety (Darian Stewart) hitting free agency in 2017, so Simmons could step in as the starter right after that. He easily could've been chosen a round earlier, as he's a highly athletic prospect who had plenty of starting experience at Boston College.


Adam Gotsis | Grade: C

A high-upside selection, Gotsis posted a monster +17.2 overall grade on only 377 snaps last season. The Australian is still developing and given the pass rush potential he showed in limited time (+13.8 on 170 snaps) he could end up as a very good pick in a few years. At this stage, he’s a big projection as well.

Justin Simmons | Grade: B-

Simmons finished with the 12th-best coverage grade in the nation in 2015 while missing one of every 12.8 tackle attempts — good for 13th in the class. He can get turned around in man coverage at times, but at this point in the draft, he’s a worthwhile project for Denver.

What do you think Broncos Country?