The question has been asked since the season ended: What will the Denver Broncos do with their first-round pick? And it will continue to get asked until the selection is made.
For now, just about everywhere you look mock drafts have John Elway and the Broncos taking an offensive lineman. Sean Walsh, filling in for Eric Goodman and Les Shapiro on Friday’s The Afternoon Drive, took it one step further.
Walsh wants Denver to not only select an offensive lineman in the first round of the NFL Draft, he wants the organization to trade up to get Alabama’s Cam Robinson, who won’t be available to pick at No. 20. It’s an interesting thought, but Elway’s not going to trade up for an offensive lineman.
Since the Broncos won’t pick up Russell Okung’s option, the Broncos are in need of a veteran left tackle, with three guys being mentioned - Andrew Whitworth, Joe Thomas and Joe Staley. As I’ve said for weeks now, I think Elway also should target Rick Wagner and Kevin Zeitler.
If those moves happen, it frees Elway and his front-office staff to select the best player at No. 20. That could be a tight end, middle linebacker, cornerback ... you name it. All options are on the table and you’re not drafting for need. If/when Denver gets Whitworth, Thomas or Staley that also allows the team to draft someone in the next few years and have them learn from one of the best. That’s a best case, ideal scenario.
When the Broncos target the offensive line in a little less than two weeks at the open of free agency, there’s no need to draft and/or trade up for a lineman.