The Denver Broncos have a bounty of selections in the 2017 NFL Draft — ten to be exact — with four selections in the Top 101 picks overall. Most teams would be content with that sort of haul, but I'm not so sure the Broncos can live with that sort of complacency. It is a great stash of picks to have, but the Broncos have a lot of needs. Unquestionably, they could use every bit of help they can get to build the foundation of a franchise that hopes to compete year in and year out for a Lombardi Trophy.
Under the leadership of John Elway, the Broncos haven't been shy about moving picks. They have traded up in the first round the past two years to land Paxton Lynch and Shane Ray. Three years ago, the Broncos moved up in the second round to acquire Cody Latimer. In the 2012 NFL Draft, Elway moved out of the first round and selected Derek Wolfe, but orchestrated a trade with the Cleveland Browns to move up in the third round to select Ronnie Hillman.
If there is a player the Broncos fall in love with, they certainly have shown their willingness to give up draft capital to bring them into the fold and future foundations of the franchise. But with a draft as deep as this one, it could be in Denver's best interest to move back and accumulate more selections to help fill out the plethora of needs on their roster.
Many well-respected draft analysts feel that this years' crop of talent is the best in recent memory, with the ability to land future starters with confidence on the draft's third day. The overall theme is that offensive skill positions, as well as defensive line, pass rushers and secondary are filled with quality players who can make an immediate impact upon entering the league.
This draft is so deep. I have about 70 guys worthy of a top 50 spot. The 2nd/3rd round is going to produce a lot of future pro bowlers.— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) February 25, 2017
That's great news for the Broncos, who could use upgrades and prospects with long-term potential at running back, wide receiver, tight end and in the defensive trenches. Unfortunately, the draft isn't that talented and deep in an area where the Broncos need use the most help — their offensive line. The Broncos declined to pick up Russell Okung's option, which leaves a huge void at the left tackle position. Additionally, the team needs a significant upgrade at the right tackle over Donald Stephenson and Ty Sambrailo, who were two of the worst performers league-wide at the position in 2016.
"It's not deep and it's not top heavy" - Steve Muench on the offensive tackle class in this year's NFL draft— ESPN Charlotte (@ESPNCharlotte) February 21, 2017
That being said, the Broncos shouldn't force themselves into having to take an offensive tackle in the first round. Cam Robinson, Garrett Bolles and Ryan Ramczyk are widely-regarded as the three best players at the position, but all have significant concerns.
If Elway and his staff don't feel comfortable with taking them that early, they should consider another top-flight prospect who can make an immediate impact on the team. Moreover, if they feel confident in this years' talent pool, they would be wise to trade down and accumulate more selections. Four picks in the first three rounds is great, but having an additional selection or two throughout the draft would be beneficial to their long-term goals of winning another Super Bowl championship.
Given the Broncos' lackluster history at hitting on picks (especially early on) in the NFL Draft, having a few more darts to throw at the board certainly couldn't hurt. In most drafts, I'd take the quality of a pick over quantity, but given this drafts' historic overall depth — the more picks the merrier.