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Elway’s picks earn Broncos among ‘most improved’ after draft

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Draft guru Todd McShay gave Broncos’ GM John Elway high praise for his picks and named Denver one of five most improved following the Draft.

Miami Ohio v Michigan Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

Good news, Broncos Country - NFL draft guru Todd McShay includes Denver on his list of top five teams that improved their chances for 2017 thanks to their rookie class acquired just over a week ago.

This comes after Mel Kiper Jr. also praised two picks in particular for possibly making an impact right away - DeMarcus Walker and Carlos Henderson.

If you’re an ESPN Insider, you can read the full story. If not - and you rightfully only care about the Broncos anyway - we’ve got all the important stuff here.

Leading McShay’s opinion for the Broncos’ improvement was not just the addition of one of the top offensive linemen in the draft in Garett Bolles - a player whose “upside” just gets better and better the more we know about him - but also what McShay called John Elway’s “plugging holes” moves.

“Denver saw its quarterbacks get pressured on 31.5 percent of dropbacks last season, 26th in the NFL. The addition of Utah's Garett Bolles, who has the quick feet and length to grow into a starting left tackle, is a good first step toward better protecting whoever starts at QB next year for the Broncos.”

McShay pointed out that the players Elway added at defensive end, slot receiver and tight end were among his overall favorites in the draft.

Demarcus Walker, defensive end:

Walker plays his tail off and gives Denver a strong run defender who can be disruptive as a pass-rusher when reducing inside.

Carlos Henderson and Isaiah McKenzie, wide receivers:

Henderson and McKenzie made my 2017 All-Satellite team because of their speed and ability to make defenders miss in space. Henderson is the better receiver of the two (19.6 yards per catch in college), but don't overlook McKenzie's ability in the return game (six career return TDs).

Jake Butt, tight end

The Broncos got one of the biggest steals of the draft when Michigan's Jake Butt fell into their lap in the fifth round. He's still recovering from a torn ACL, but Denver's offense was one of the league's worst at tight end last year (53 catches, ranked 31st overall). Butt will be an immediate upgrade when he's healthy.

Joining the Broncos on McShay’s list of teams that improved most from the draft are the Jaguars, Vikings, Titans and also, unfortunately perhaps, the Los Angeles Chargers. Because the Patriots are always smart in the offseason, they are kind of a defacto inclusion, but to save us all from rolling our eyes too much, McShay graciously left them off.

Plus, McShay pointed out that his list is the teams who should “feel a lot better” about their upcoming season thanks to the draft.

Poll

How much better are you feeling about the Broncos after the draft?

This poll is closed

  • 31%
    MUCH better - agree we filled some holes.
    (1187 votes)
  • 49%
    Feeling pretty good but waiting for season to start.
    (1873 votes)
  • 7%
    Stop it, I always feel good about this team.
    (263 votes)
  • 11%
    I’ll let you know end of September.
    (428 votes)
3751 votes total Vote Now