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Should the Broncos trade back from No. 5?

It all depends on who could be gone by the fifth pick.

NCAA Football: Louisville at North Carolina State Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Broncos Country!

We’re zeroing in on Draft Day, and that means the speculations and rumors are heating up -but it’s still too early to take any of them very seriously.

Will the Broncos’ top quarterback choice be available at No. 5?

Will the Jets take Baker Mayfield ? Or are they still jonesing for Josh Allen?

Do the Bills trade up to grab one of the Top Four QBs projected in this Draft?

Do the Broncos try an expensive trade-up (likely the Giants) to ensure their QB-of-choice is still available?

Or should the Broncos trade back?

Will the Browns “Brown?”

So many rumors, so little time. But why should that stop us? We could talk about the preseason schedule unveiled Wednesday...but why? It’s four weeks of meaningless opponents as the primary goal of the games will have virtually nothing to do with the other team.

So let’s speculate!

In recent days, there’s been chatter that the Jets are now interested in taking quarterback Baker Mayfield with their No. 3 pick (traded with the Colts last month).

Assuming the Browns take Sam Darnold or Josh Allen with their No. 1 overall pick, there’s an outside chance the quarterback the Broncos may be considering will be off their board by No. 5.

What’s John Elway’s best play at that point?

Option 1 - Stay at 5 and pick...

Quenton Nelson? No.

I know, I know. He’s considered one of the best overall athletes in the draft and one of the best offensive linemen to come around in a long time.

But ... HE. IS. A. GUARD.

And you don’t spend your fifth pick overall on a guard. Even a really, really good one.

As much as the Broncos could still shore up their O-line, as much as Nelson is talented and deserves a first-round grab, and as much as OL talent is crucial for a quarterback’s success, that is not the best move for Denver at No. 5.

The Broncos are in a unique position to be picking this high in the draft (“unique” being my euphemism for “because they had a sh**** season”) - and their draft capital need not be wasted on a position that will bring average overall value to the team.

While Nelson would certainly improve the Broncos’ offensive line, that line is already better than last season thanks to free agency and there are other offensive linemen to be had in the second and third rounds. Those rounds are where the Broncos should be finding their OL help.

Given that, it would be far more beneficial to the team’s future if Elway goes with a high-impact player. A game-changer like Saquon Barkley, or top defenders like pass rusher Bradley Chubb or linebacker Roquan Smith would be deserving of that fifth pick - and all three could bring electricity to an area of the Broncos game that could definitely use a spark.

Option 2 - Trade back...

There were whispers weeks ago about the Broncos trading back with the Bills for a couple of Buffalo’s 14 picks in the first round (OK, two) - which is a tantalizing offer.

Although I’m tempted to lean toward the “game-changer” option, probably the smarter play is trading the No. 5 pick for Buffalo’s two later first-round picks, therefore doubling Denver’s draft capital in the most impactful round of the draft.

Here the Broncos could likely snag Isaiah Wynn or Will Hernandez and get that O-line help they need or go with defense and take linebacker Tremaine Edmunds while picking up a player like Mike McGlinchey.

Option 3 - Trade up to get...

If the Broncos really want Baker Mayfield - or possibly even Josh Rosen - there’s a chance they’ll need to make a big move on Draft Day to leapfrog the Jets and get their guy.

For a franchise-QB-in-the-making, it’s worth it. As Andrew Mason noted, “although there is a fixation on the early-round busts at the position, your chances of finding a long-term starter are by far at their best in the first five picks.”

This year’s crop of first-round quarterbacks is an unprecedented “four” - so it is certainly the Broncos best chance for a long-term solution at quarterback. Depending on the asking price, this could very well be more like “Option 1.”

Horse Tracks - docllv’s pick of the day

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Horse Tracks

ATN Podcast: Sam Darnold Talk With Rotoworld -
A room filled with heroes -- Dan Hanzus, Gregg Rosenthal, Marc Sessler, Chris Wesseling and Colleen Wolfe -- discuss the latest QB rumors leading up to the draft.

Broncos know No. 5 pick has to be able to handle more than football - Denver Broncos- ESPN
With a rare top-five pick, the Broncos want a player who will meet their high expectations on and off the field for the long haul.

A Broncos' first-round option: Trade back, take a corner or linebacker |
Most draft mocksters suggest the Broncos' No. 5 draft spot is a tad rich for Ward or Smith. But who says the Broncos have to stay at No. 5?

Ranking the 18 quarterback classes since 2000 -
Marc Sessler ranks all 18 quarterback draft classes of the millennium. Where does the Class of 2016 sit after hot sophomore efforts by Carson Wentz and Jared Goff?

Why the Broncos should ... pick a quarterback at No. 5
In the first of a series, Andrew Mason takes a look at the reasons why a QB can be worth taking at the fifth spot.

NFL Network analysts weigh in on Broncos' fifth-pick 'dilemma'
Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks explained what they would do with the fifth-overall pick.

Mel Kiper Jr. still believes Broncos want quarterback - Denver Broncos- ESPN
Mel Kiper continues to predict a QB for the Broncos, though this time it's Baker Mayfield; Todd McShay has them going CB in the first round.

Raiders' pass rusher Bruce Irvin asks to play punt return vs. Broncos' Marquette King -
The rivalry between the Broncos and Raiders intensified when King signed with Denver after getting cut by Oakland

2018 NFL preseason schedule: Five games to watch -
With the NFL announcing the 2018 preseason slate on Wednesday, it's time to daydream of football games. Kevin Patra breaks down five games to watch this August.

NFL player arrested for joke about packing ‘explosives’ for flight to Hawaii - The Washington Post
Repeat after me: "What an idiot!"

Eli Manning says all is well between him and Odell Beckham Jr. as Giants begin workouts - The Washington Post
So that Super Bowl ad wasn't a mirage after all. “I look forward to playing with him this year and for years to come,” the quarterback says.

New Redskins QB Alex Smith is looking forward to ‘getting the ball rolling’ - The Washington Post
At a meet and greet with season ticket holders, the team’s marquee offseason acquisition says he is just trying to get up to speed with offseason workouts starting Monday.

2018 NFL Mock Draft: Cardinals move up for Josh Allen; Minkah Fitzpatrick lands with Patriots -
There are two trades for quarterbacks in this mock, and Bill Belichick drafts a dynamic defensive back.