Good morning, Broncos Country.
I admire Miller’s motivation, but I will wait to restore my faith in the franchise when they rightfully turn things around and embark on a multi-game winning streak to wipe their current four-game skid from my memory. Like John Elway said, the only way to get out of the darkness is with a win and that starts with defeating the struggling Cardinals on Thursday Night Football. However, I’m not sure how much enthusiasm a victory against a team with one win will produce across Broncos Country. Alas, with the struggles the Broncos have had on the road in the lowly Vance Joseph era, achieving victory is far from certainty even though they are favored to win.
Do I want the Broncos to win? Absolutely. I want this team to win every week. I want them to give all of us something to be inspired about. I’m not going to actively root for them to lose, but I do see where folks jumping around in the “tank mode” talk are coming from — especially given the struggles we all have endured over the past few seasons — which is a source of inspiration for this Wednesday morning installment of Horse Tracks.
After the first six weeks of the season, the Broncos are sporting a 2-4 record and are currently slated to pick seventh overall in the 2019 NFL Draft. Sunday’s loss against the Los Angeles Rams catapulted them up six spots from thirteenth overall, which is the draft ranking I had used to complete last week’s Future Broncos segment that featured a three-round mock draft. Listed below is the current Broncos’ draft order courtesy of Tankathon.
Broncos 2019 NFL Draft capital: 7, 38, 72, 103, 134, 146 (via Minnesota Vikings), 168, 199, 224 (via of Los Angeles Rams)
That being said, if the Broncos were to lose to the Cardinals on Thursday, that would move them into the draft’s top five selections. That would prime position to land another blue-chip prospect to a roster that needs a desperate influx of top-tier talent, but a lot of fans have already given up on Case Keenum and want the team’s next first round selection to be a high-profile collegiate signal caller.
In yesterday’s Horse Tracks, my colleague Joe asked the question “Is it time to suck for the Duck?” — with the Duck being highly-touted Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert. That’s an absolutely reasonable and interesting question to ponder.
While I’m a huge fan of Herbert’s overall game, it’s currently unknown whether or not the junior signal caller will even declare. First and foremost, he has one year of eligibility remaining. It is also worth nothing that he is on his third offensive system and third different head coach since arriving on campus. Earning his degree and finishing his career at Oregon with some sort of finality, cohesion and a bit more polish is reasonable to suspect. Not only that, his brother Patrick, a 4-star tight end committed to the Ducks earlier this spring. Rumors are he would love to play college ball with his brother.
They have a few teams ahead of them that present hurdles in respect to finding a QB in the 2019 NFL Draft. Moreover, it's not a certainty Herbert declares. From my perspective, the 2020 QB class will be much better. That's a long time for #BroncosCountry to wait for a QB though. https://t.co/GYp556nWHn— Christopher Hart (@topherhart) October 16, 2018
But if he feels confident enough in NFL Draft Advisory Board’s projection (which is certainly going to be high first-round status), he very may well opt to declare. It’s just too early to know at the point. Additionally, there are a handful of teams such as the New York Giants, Miami Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars and potentially even the Oakland Raiders who would like to upgrade the position as well. That’s a lot of competition for Herbert, especially since the Giants are currently the worst team in football and hold the top pick in the draft.
If he doesn’t declare, Missouri senior Drew Lock likely becomes the default “QB1” on most team’s boards, but I’m not so sure he is a top-tier prospect worth investing such a potentially high selection in. Half of this year’s college season is over, but to me the 2019 NFL Draft class at quarterback is tenuous at best. Unless Daniel Jones of Duke or Dwayne Haskins of Ohio State opt to go pro, I’m not sure the Broncos are in a great position to find their next signal caller, regardless of where they end up picking. From the outside looking in the 2020 NFL Draft looks much more enticing overall, but that’s a long time for fans to wait for the quarterback savior.
When it comes to the draft — expect the unexpected. Yet this early on, it’s probably best to pump the breaks on assuming we can land the best draft-eligible QB (who hasn’t even declared) at this point in time given all of the aforementioned. It may save yourself a bit of disappointment, but also allow you to focus on the immense talent that will be available next April outside of that position.
As always, thank you for reading. Since today’s article theme was draft related, I’m making the Horse Tracks below heavy with numerous NFL draft related articles and tidbits of information. Feel free to discuss the article, as well as all things draft in the comments section. Enjoy!
2019 NFL Draft order, team needs: Bills, Broncos slide into top 10 - NFL.com
Which pick in the 2019 NFL Draft does your team hold, and what are the top needs for all 32 clubs? Have a look at where things stand for your squad entering Week 7.
2019 NFL Mock Draft: Jaguars move on from Blake Bortles, Dolphins do the same with Ryan Tannehill - CBSSports.com
It’s slim pickings with this QB class but desperate times call for desperate measures for teams like Jacksonville and Miami.
2019 NFL draft: Way-too-early top 5 by position
Gavino Borquez takes an early look at the top five prospects at every position for the 2019 NFL Draft.
2019 NFL draft - Todd McShay's Top 32 prospect rankings, grades
Three more Alabama players enter Todd McShay's updated ranking of the best NFL draft prospects, including standout safety Deionte Thompson.
Solak's 2019 Midseason Big Board: Top 75 - The Draft Network
The Draft Network's Benjamin Solak pieces together his midseason Top 75 2019 NFL Draft big board.
Nick Bosa leaving Ohio State to prepare for NFL draft - NFL.com
Ohio State pass rusher Nick Bosa will prematurely end his college career and focus on his NFL future. The university announced Tuesday that Bosa intends to withdraw from school to focus on rehab and the 2019 draft.
NFL Prospect Recap: Alabama a breeding ground for NFL-ready players on the defensive line – The Athletic
Draft analyst Dane Brugler of The Athletic takes a look at three Alabama defensive lineman who will be immediate contributors and top-40 draft picks in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Mara: Beckham needs to do more playing, less talking - NFL.com
New York Giants co-owner John Mara told reporters at the Fall League Meeting that he wished wide receiver Odell Beckham would focus on making headlines on the field rather than off it.
Raiders' Johnson cut; Lynch dealing with groin strain - NFL.com
The Oakland Raiders have released veteran linebacker Derrick Johnson while running back Marshawn Lynch is dealing with a groin strain, head coach Jon Gruden said Tuesday.
Bills expect Josh Allen to miss at least 2-3 games - NFL.com
Bills quarterback Josh Allen received a second opinion on his sprained elbow from Dr. James Andrews, and while he won't need surgery, the expectation as of now is Allen will miss at least two or three games.
Falcons’ Devonta Freeman to undergo groin surgery - NFL.com
Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman is set to undergo groin surgery, a source tells NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. Freeman will also be placed on injured reserve.