I have and still am a big proponent of taking a quarterback, specifically quarterback Baker Mayfield with the 5th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. However, the Keenum deal being an ironclad two-year deal and now the New York Jets trading up to the third overall pick has thrown a bit of a wrench into those plans.
So it’s possible top 3 of Big 4 QBs — Darnold, Rosen, Allen, Mayfield — are gone by time Broncos will pick at No 5. Increasing odds Broncos do not go QB, although the Baker possibility will be rich talk-show fodder for next 6 weeks. #9sports— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) March 17, 2018
USC's Sam Darnold is going one overall to the Cleveland Browns. That is a given and anyone suggesting otherwise is just drumming up some clicks for themselves. The Giants figure to go with a quarterback here, potentially UCLA’s Josh Rosen’s or Wyoming’s Josh Allen. They could also trade back. They weren’t going to help their same city rivals secure their quarterback of the future, so the second overall pick could still be up for bid. The Jets go Rosen, Allen or Mayfield.
Cleveland at 4 is where it gets interesting. They could continue their trend of trading back and collecting more picks or allow the best non-quarterback prospects fall into their laps. Edge rusher Bradley Chubb, Alabama’s do it all defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick and Penn State’s running back Saquon Barkley all figure to be there.
Now we get to the Broncos. If Cleveland doesn’t trade back, the last remaining “big four” quarterback will be there. My guess is that it will be Mayfield or Allen. Does Denver pull the trigger on a QB? Or do they take one of the top overall prospects in the draft? Or do they trade back and collect more 2018 picks and potentially another 2019 1st rounder? All options are open to them.
Draft scenario’s for the Denver Broncos
Stand pat and take the best remaining quarterback:
If everything plays out like I think it will, one of the top four quarterbacks will be there at 5. UCLA’s Josh Rosen, Wyoming’s Josh Allen, or Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield could be there at 5. If the Broncos like the remaining quarterback, they could just take him and let him sit and develop behind Keenum.
Take the top non-quarterback prospect:
The Keenum deal does give the Broncos some flexibility. They’re not desperate for a quarterback at 5 and could take the best-remaining non-quarterback on their board. A run on these quarterbacks will drop the top-rated prospects down the board.
Here is who figures to be there at 5 for the Broncos.
- Penn State running back Saquon Barkley
- North Carolina State’s Bradley Chubb
- Alabama’s CB/S Minkah Fitzpatrick
- Notre Dame OG Quenton Nelson
- Ohio State CB Denzel Ward
Barkley, Chubb, and Nelson figure to the final three choices for the Broncos and all three make sense. Barkley will give Keenum a strong running game to lean on as well as a very talented receiving back. Chubb is the drafts top edge rusher and someone the Broncos can pair with Von Miller for foreseeable future. Keep in mind, Shaq Barrett will be a UFA next year and the Broncos have to decide to pick up Shane Ray’s 5th-year option. I am not fond of a guard at the 5th pick, but Nelson is a beast and would be an instant All-Pro addition to the Broncos offensive line.
A quarterback figures to be there at the 5th pick and the Broncos could very well be fielding calls for that selection. The Broncos have multiple holes on their roster and could as many top 50 selections as they can get. The Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills, and Arizona Cardinals could all be looking to trade up for Mayfield, Allen or Rosen at 5 if the Broncos choose to pass on a quarterback.
I would rather them not pass on a QB, but if they acquire a 2019 1st-round pick in return, then I am much more open this idea. Like it or not, Keenum is the Broncos starter in 2018. Passing on a QB would allow them to continue to develop Paxton Lynch without any pressure and see if all the fan hype surrounding Chad Kelly is legit or not. If they do not like what they have, they will have two first-round picks to use to find their quarterback in 2019.
Trading back also allows them to get the top offensive tackle on their board if they decide to go that route.
Trade up for a quarterback:
This trade by the Jets could make the Broncos among other teams desperate which very well could lead to another trade. The Giants if they choose to bow out of the quarterback market could hold an open bidding process for their pick. This would allow the Broncos to get their choice of Rosen, Allen, and Mayfield with the 2nd overall pick.
This trade up would be costly, but would also make sure the Broncos get their guy. The price doesn’t matter if you’re getting your future Franchise quarterback.
Broncos General Manager John Elway has flexibility here to do what is best for the team. Taking the final remaining top quarterback out of desperation could very well lead to another bust so they need to really like that guy if they plan on taking him. If they do not, take the top remaining player available or auction off the pick to another quarterback-desperate team.
- Draft Baker Mayfield
- Trade up for Josh Rosen/Josh Allen/Baker Mayfield
- Take Bradley Chubb or Saquon Barkley
- Trade back and acquire a 2019 first-round pick.
That is how I rank the scenario’s in my mind. What do you think Broncos Country? Lots of ways this could go and we have six weeks to find out which way it will go.
What should the Broncos do with the 5th overall pick
This poll is closed
Take the best remaining quarterback at 5
Draft Saquon Barkley
Draft Quenton Nelson
Draft Bradley Chubb
Trade back and acquire a 2019 1st round pick
Trade up with the New York Giants if possible