Biggest hole: Quarterback
Drafting a quarterback after having just paid Case Keenum would have been a tough sell. Keenum is good enough for the team to compete, and certainly is an upgrade over Trevor Siemian. However, the terms of a contract speak volumes about how a team views a player, and Keenum’s contract does not scream long-term quarterback. When Minnesota was rostering Keenum for a roughly $2 million cap hit, not the $15 million and $21 million marks Denver is looking at, Keenum was a success. But if Keenum repeated his play in 2018 under his new contract, he would not be any sort of bargain.
The Broncos had three of the top quarterbacks fall to them at the fifth overall pick, yet they chose to ride with only Keenum. Maybe Denver is planning to give Keenum a real chance before committing to a new rookie, similar to what the Kansas City Chiefs did with Alex Smith. Whatever the plan might be, there is very little long-term certainty emitting from Denver’s quarterback room right now.
I normally like the stuff ESPN does that comes from Football Outsiders, but this analysis just feels lazy. Let’s break down offensive positions on the Broncos roster that could be a bigger problem for the Broncos in 2018 than Case Keenum.
Offensive Guard: The Broncos did not do much to address the interior of their offensive line and will be rolling with Connor McGovern most likely. While he struggled in 2017, he was no where near as bad as Max Garcia out there. Still, he’ll need to improve greatly in 2018 for this position not to be of major concern.
Offensive Tackle: Jared Veldheer should stabilize the line provided he stays healthy. And that is the caveat, because Veldheer is an aging veteran who hasn’t been able to stay healthy in recent history.
Tight End: The veteran in this group is Jeff Heuerman who has a combined eight starts over the last two seasons. Jake Butt is a promising talent, but no one knows how he’ll play out. Behind them are a bunch of players who are unlikely to be seen as starters.
Running Back: C.J. Anderson is now with the Carolina Panthers, which means the Broncos will rely on Devontae Booker and rookie Royce Freeman. While Freeman could be a great complement to Booker, that whole situation is an unknown heading into this season.
In short, literally every other offensive position on the Broncos could have been named their “biggest hole” in 2018 over Case Keenum. The Broncos quarterback situation long-term does appear to be in question, but that wasn’t the premise of ESPN’s article. They were looking at the “biggest hole” right now and they could not have been more off base in my opinion.
What is the biggest hole on offense for the Broncos?
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