I’ve never been a big fan of college football for those of you who don’t already know. So what I like to do this time of year is toss in my two cents on what our team might do and what their actions might mean in the draft. Look at it as thinking a bit outside of the box. Instead of talking draft profiles, players, etc (which would be mostly useless coming from me), I’ll talk more about the actions of the front office.
The Broncos draft philosophy
I keep hammering this point home year after year, but it always bears repeating: John Elway doesn’t look at the draft in the same way that most NFL fans do. He has year after year used free agency to plug holes on the roster in so far as team needs go. That way he can use the draft in order to target what he thinks are the most talented future Broncos.
Yes, need plays into every pick that is made. But always keep in mind that his point of view has to do with a much larger window than we are likely looking out of. He’s looking for guys that can be answers to holes that are going to show up in the next 2-5 years. He knows exactly what guys we have on our roster now, what their likely future in the NFL is, how healthy they really are, and when their contracts either end or can be ended.
There is more than just an ordered list at play
Yes, the Broncos surely do use a big board. Yes, they have lists compiled of all the guys they want to see in the orange and blue. But let me assure you that it is far more complicated than just picking the guy at the top of your list. Character, fit, need, likely future potential, current strength of their position, etc come into play.
Maybe you really like about 4 tackles in the draft. Maybe 2 of them are really likely to be available in the 3rd round. That makes that top guy not such a high priority even if he’s really talented.
It is complicated. The Broncos employ many people on their staff who have been busting their tails for months now preparing for this draft.
A suggestion, if I may
As always, I invite you to join me in being curious instead of emotional when draft day gets here. We’re all huge Broncos fans. We all have spent some time reading up on prospects. Most of us have “our guys”.
Let me assure you that most of us are going to be disappointed if we think the Broncos are going to like the same players we do.
Also, let me assure you that the Broncos aren’t what I would call “great” at this piece of the pie. They kinda suck in rounds 2-3 honestly. The value they get out of trades kinda sucks too if I’m being honest.
But that’s something that as fans I think it behooves us to remember. Out of the 10 picks Denver has it is only likely that 3 of them are going to turn into guys that have an impact on the team in 3 years or so at any consistent level. You never hit on all your picks. Most players are out of the league within 3 years.
Kick back, pop open a cold one, and enjoy the rest of Broncos Country in enjoying the ride.
The No Bull Insights
First off, you may find it interesting to go back to last year’s post which you can find here. Yes, the draft is a crap shoot, but let me take a moment to toot my horn if you will. Take a peek at the end of that post where I broke down the needs. I nailed the question marks we had at tackle for 2016, the need for fresh safeties, QB, D-Line, and RB.
I also spent some time this year breaking down our personnel groups (this article has links at the top to all the groups I reviewed) and team needs. Now that we’ve been through free agency I’m going to revise what needs we have and give you my thoughts on what the Broncos will likely be looking for in the 2017 NFL Draft.
I do think we have a good short term answer in Domata Peko at NT. I don’t think we have a long term answer yet for RDE on the defensive front. Denver would be well served to find another quality end like Derek Wolfe or Malik Jackson. No one is talking much about this position for the Broncos, but I can see them taking an end that they really like.
I’m still not thrilled with the talent level we have at RB for the Broncos. C.J. Anderson is very hit or miss. Devontae Booker didn’t show anything special last year. Maybe both just need a decent line in front of them before they can really start to shine (this is a very valid argument). That being said, RBs don’t last long in the NFL and there’s some very good talent in this draft at RB.
Slot WR / Returner
We do have a guy in Khalif Raymond that may fit this bill, but he wasn’t quite ready last year and it is a position that the team really could use some depth at. Our WR corps is heavy on large, fast, possession WRs, but lack the smaller, quicker types of guys that can really tear up the middle of the field and move the chains. I’m just going to point out right here that there is one player in this draft that fills literally 3 big needs for the Broncos.
I am going to list this here as it is an area that I see on the defense that lacks talent. That being said, let me point out that the Broncos haven’t valued this position for years. Elway has mostly been content to use average quality players, poach practice squads of other teams, or draft guys to develop in the later rounds. I’d love to see Denver get a talented inside guy for their defense though.
Most would have this as a big need and while I do agree at some level, I’m leaving it as a lesser need because of what I am reading between the lines on the Broncos organization. I think we’ll take a tackle prospect, but it is likely going to be in the 2nd round or later.
This is purely a future need type of pick. The team has 2 of the best corners in the game with contracts that are coming up in a couple of years. Bradley Roby is also 2 years away from seeing free agency. I see the Broncos adding a stud at corner in order to develop them for the future so that someone can be let go without causing a big hole in the defense like what happened with Malik Jackson’s departure.
Our tight ends are a very frustrating group to me. Virgil Green is stud in-line tight end. Outside of that we have a few guys that should be studs but have been mostly duds or injury issues for the Broncos. The team could really use an upgrade at tight end who is talented, stable, and a play maker. Good thing for the Broncos that that is a position that has some depth in this draft.
Hit up the comments as always and share your thoughts. Enjoy your draft experience and remember to do so responsibly. We’ll be here at MHR providing you with the best Broncos Draft coverage in the world. Make sure to stay right here and check in for all the latest on your Denver Broncos.
What are the Broncos going to be doing in the 1st round of the NFL draft?
This poll is closed
Trade up and draft Christian McCaffrey
Trade down and pick up some value
Draft a left tackle
Draft the best Corner, D-End, Tight End, or RB available