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Report: Broncos had a first-round grade on safety/linebacker, Su’a Cravens

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Broncos are adding some serious talent to their defense.

NFL: Washington Redskins at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

According to NBC Sports Washington’s J.P. Finlay, the Denver Broncos had a first-round grade on Su’a Cravens prior to the 2016 NFL Draft.

As we know, the Broncos ended up trading a third-round pick to move up to select quarterback Paxton Lynch, so they never really had a chance to select him in the first-round. He ended up going to Washington in the second round, pick 53, 10 picks before the Broncos selected defensive lineman Adam Gotsis with the 63rd pick.

Now, the Broncos are on the verge of adding a player they put a first-round grade on to their defense for a relatively cheap price all things considered. Yes, he has had some concussion concerns, but the talent is there and he can become an instant impact player for the Broncos .defense

This potential trade also knocks two big needs off the Broncos list as they head into free agency. They needed another inside linebacker who can cover backs and tight ends when they’re in sub-packages, and they needed another safety with Darian Stewart coming off a down year and being a potential cap cut.

So I think we can erase Georgia’s Roquan Smith and Virginia Tech’s Tremaine Edmunds off the Broncos potential draft selections at 5th overall.

I really like this move by Elway and the Broncos. Athleticism is something they have lacked at inside linebacker and Cravens can provide that. Hybrid safety/linebacker players are becoming the norm in the NFL, and the Broncos appear to be on the verge of adding one to their already very good defense.

Update: 3-28-18

One month later, the Broncos and Washington finally got this deal done. The Broncos get Cravens, a player they targeted for awhile and swapped a few picks in exchange for him.

As I wrote one month ago, the Broncos had a first-round grade on Cravens and now add someone they pegged a first-round talent added to their secondary.

Cravens is adamant about playing safety and likely will shift into the strong safety/hybrid linebacker role for the Broncos. This should really help out their coverage woes against tight ends and linebackers.