By all accounts, the Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos rolled out of Chicago with a pretty great draft. When Broncos Country wraps their brains around the talent that John Elway and Gary Kubiak were able to add, everyone will have to try and hide their smug faces. More than just filling holes, the Broncos were able to make impact picks that have the potential to effect the team starting in Week one.
Great, right? Everyone is happy. Even Mark Sanchez walked away from that draft feeling pretty good. After just a few days, the glow is starting to dim, and the doubt starts to take hold. Was this really a great draft for Elway if Sanchez feels comfortable in the starting role, and Paxton Lynch is a couple seasons away from winning the starting job? Winning Super Bowls is rare. The window rarely stays open for long. When it shuts, it closes tight and fast.
The Broncos defense is still one of the best in the league. The additions of Justin Simmons and Adam Gotsis will be great, but this is an offensive league. DeMarcus Ware is back, and the No Fly Zone should still be great in 2016. It would be hard to deny how great the Broncos are on that side of the ball. Defense wins championships, but offense gets you into the playoffs.
Make no mistake, the AFC West is much tougher than it appears. Is a Sanchez-led offense going to be able to navigate the difficult waters of one of the toughest divisions in the NFL? Is Lynch going to be ready to play in a pro-style offense in time to take advantage of the talent that Denver is putting on the field? Kubiak is capable of installing his offense now that Peyton Manning is out of the picture, but will that mean anything if it is too late to take advantage of the talent on the defensive side of the ball?
Wade Phillips and Kubiak proved to be a formidable duo in 2015. The Broncos were no fluke as Super Bowl champs. However, the target is that much bigger when the Lombardi Trophy is at your house. Teams will take advantage of the lack of talent or experience under center. If the butt fumble makes you cringe, get ready to have that as your starting quarterback.
Great defenses have trouble repeating as champions. Look no further than the 1985 Bears. They lost their quarterback, and could not get back to the big game. Elway and Kubiak are looking to bring balance, but wasting this great defense would be a travesty. No one is saying Colin Kaepernick would have been the answer, but it may have felt a little more secure heading into the season.