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Peter King gives us some inside information on the Broncos draft plans

Some interesting info from his weekly MMQB piece.

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Texas Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Sports Illustrated’s Peter King released his weekly Monday Morning Quarterback and gave us some insight into what the first six picks of next week’s NFL Draft are shaping. This includes some inside information on what the Broncos are planning to do on that Thursday night.

Here is what King had to say about what Broncos General Manager/President of Football Operations John Elway is thinking or planning on doing during the first-round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

DENVER, PICKING FIFTH (OR TRADING)

I’m told a few things about GM John Elway’s draft-night preference:

1. He’s very unlikely to trade up.

2. He doesn’t think Bradley Chubb will be available here (nor do I), but he also views Quenton Nelson as a long-time great guard who could anchor his offensive line for years.

3. He hasn’t given up on Paxton Lynch, and though there’s a quarterback he likes a lot here (my guess is Mayfield or Darnold), having Case Keenum in the house for two years makes the drafting of a quarterback in this draft a lower priority. And if Elway picks one, Lynch would be the Rocky Mountain version of Christian Hackenberg—living on borrowed time.

4. Per Albert Breer, the Broncos are also smitten with two other ideas: trading down, or replacing Aqib Talib with Ohio State star cornerback Denzel Ward.​

There is a lot to take in here so let's start from the beginning.

1. He’s very unlikely to trade up.

King states that the Broncos and Elway are very unlikely to trade up. So those of you hoping for the Broncos moving up to the second overall pick can probably let that dream die right now.

However, one NFL executive told NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah that he could see Denver moving up to the second overall pick.

Executive 2: Denver Broncos

Currently hold: Pick 5 in Round 1

”The Bills are the obvious choice. They need a quarterback. I wouldn’t sleep on the Broncos, though. They could move up a couple spots for a quarterback or (Bradley) Chubb. If the Giants don’t want to fall all the way back to 12 (Bills pick), the Broncos would make sense as a trade partner.”

Personally, I would side with King here, but it is the NFL Draft and anything and anything will happen. However, it does seem unlikely that the Broncos would trade back or want to pay the price needed to make such a move.

2. He doesn’t think Bradley Chubb will be available here (nor do I), but he also views Quenton Nelson as a long-time great guard who could anchor his offensive line for years.

First, let us address the Bradley Chubb mention. King says that Elway(and himself) do not envision North Carolina pass rusher being available at the 5th overall pick. The New York Giants at second overall are rumored to be interested and if he’s available at the 4th overall pick, he’ll likely be a member of the Cleveland Browns. So with Elway unlikely to trade up, we can probably cross Chubb off the Broncos potential selections at 5.

The second part of this is extremely noteworthy. King states that Elway views Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson as a “long-time great guard” who could anchor the Broncos offensive line for years to come. Pretty strong words about a player who has been widely connected to the Broncos throughout the process.

Nelson is a stud and likely the best or second best player in the entire draft. He has instant Pro Bowl/All-Pro quality talent and if he develops like most assume he will, has Hall Of Fame like traits. Those are some big expectations but the talent is there.

The next question is if a guard is worth the 5th overall pick? I say no, but, a talent like Nelson could be an exception to the rule. It all really comes down to if a quarterback the Broncos like is available at 5. If so, they may go that route, if not? Nelson will be strongly considered.

3. He hasn’t given up on Paxton Lynch, and though there’s a quarterback he likes a lot here (my guess is Mayfield or Darnold), having Case Keenum in the house for two years makes the drafting of a quarterback in this draft a lower priority. And if Elway picks one, Lynch would be the Rocky Mountain version of Christian Hackenberg—living on borrowed time.

King states that Elway still hasn’t given up on former first-round pick Paxton Lynch who is now entering his third NFL season. He also states that signing Case Keenum lowers quarterback on the Broncos priority list, but doesn’t take him out of the quarterback market entirely.

He says that there is a quarterback that Elway likes a lot and guesses that quarterback to be Sam Darnold or Baker Mayfield. My educated guess here is that the quarterback Elway(and Gary Kubiak) likes a lot is Baker Mayfield. The same smoke, whispers, and rumors that connected them to Paxton Lynch and Garett Bolles the previous two years are there with Mayfield. Now, will he be there or go third overall to the Jets? That is the big question.

Now if the Broncos do indeed select a quarterback, look for Paxton Lynch to be dealt on day two or three of the draft.

4. Per Albert Breer, the Broncos are also smitten with two other ideas: trading down or replacing Aqib Talib with Ohio State star cornerback Denzel Ward.​

It appears that it is between Nelson and Mayfield at 5th overall, but the Broncos are keeping their options open. King’s colleague Albert Breer states that the Broncos are smitten with the idea of trading back or selecting Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward.

Rumors started to swirl last week that the Broncos are looking to trade back with teams like the Arizona Cardinals and Buffalo Bills who are desperate to move up for a quarterback. If the price is right and the right quarterback isn’t there, I would expect Elway to seriously consider making that deal.

The Bills have a lot to offer and could entice Elway and the Broncos to make this deal. They have multiple 1st, 2nd, and 3rd rounders and are desperate so hopefully, Elway can swindle them into paying up if it comes to that.

One trade back option for the Broncos appears to be Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward according to Albert Breer.

Ward is a 5’10”, 191lb corner who is considered by some the top cornerback in the entire draft. Ward is ranked as the second-best corner in the 2018 NFL Draft according to NFLDraftScout.com and is also ranked as the 8th overall prospect in the draft.

NFL Network’s draft expert Daniel Jeremiah has Ward ranked as his 4th overall player in the draft.

Ward is an undersized cornerback (5-foot-10, 191 pounds, per school measurements) with excellent quickness, toughness and ball skills. In press coverage, he is patient and he’ll catch and re-route before settling on the receivers and mirroring down the field. In off coverage, he is a fluid mover and explodes out of his plant to drive on the football. He is very twitched up. Ward’s ball awareness is excellent -- he can locate and high-point the ball down the field. His lack of size does show up on occasion vs. taller opponents, but overall, he plays much bigger than his height. He’s very aggressive in run support and has some snap on contact as a tackler. At the end of the day, Ward might lack ideal size, but he is a very skilled player and I love his competitiveness. He reminds me of a young Adam Jones.

Ward would give the Broncos a talented rookie replacement for Aqib Talib. Actually, Roby would be replacing Talib and Ward would replace Roby’s old role in the Broncos defense. Either way, it would give the Broncos another talented corner in their No Fly Zone secondary.

This means Ward would be a potential trade back option for the Broncos if they do decide to go that route. However, he could be off the board if they trade back to the 12th or 15th overall pick.

So to sum everything up, it seems like the Broncos are considering a certain quarterback(Mayfield), Nelson, or trading back potentially for cornerback Denzel Ward in the first-round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

Poll

What would you like to see the Broncos do in the first-round of the NFL Draft?

This poll is closed

  • 26%
    Draft a quarterback(if the right one is there)
    (1244 votes)
  • 46%
    Go "BPA" and take Quenton Nelson
    (2160 votes)
  • 27%
    Trade back for more picks and take cornerback Denzel Ward?
    (1285 votes)
4689 votes total Vote Now