The Denver Broncos had a rather active offseason. This is a fact that many are overlooking in their analysis of the moves the team made to get better from their 5-11 season. A recent ESPN Insider graded each teams’ offseason moves giving the Broncos a ‘B’ grade.
”Keenum is not going to carry a team, but he is not going to have to,” an exec who is optimistic on Denver said. “He is just going to have to score 21 points a game and not lose it for them. I liked the [running back] Royce Freeman pick. I liked the [receiver] Courtland Sutton pick. I think the defense will trust the offense this year and know they are not going to be in bad situations, so the defense will be able to be more aggressive.”
”You add Chubb, and yeah, they are going to have one of the best pass-rushing sets in the league,” an exec said. “I also really like Sutton, who makes it easier to move on from their receivers’ contracts in the future. But the offensive line has questions. The running game is a question. If Keenum plays the way he did last year, they could be really good. They just feel like an 8-8 team to me.”
The entire snippet talked mostly about Case Keenum and Bradley Chubb with brief mentions of rookies Royce Freeman and Courtland Sutton. However, that Broncos offseason had so much more to offer.
- QB Case Keenum
- CB Tramaine Brock
- DL Clinton McDonald
- P Marquette King
- S/ILB Su’a Cravens
- OT Jared Veldheer
The Broncos did not make a huge splash signing in free agency. They paid Keenum a respectable contract and then signed veteran contributors in Brock and McDonald. From there, John Elway and his staff focused on some impact players through trade with both Cravens and Veldheer likely being major contributors on the team.
Although there were no huge splashes, I’d grade this free agency for Denver as fairly solid. If you include the trades, I’d grade it out as a high ‘B’ or low ‘A’.
2018 NFL Draft/UDFA
- EDGE Bradley Chubb
- WR Courtland Sutton
- RB Royce Freeman
- CB Isaac Yiadom
- ILB Josey Jewell
- WR DaeSean Hamilton
- TE Troy Fumagalli
- OG Sam Jones
- ILB Keishawn Bierria
- RB David Williams
- EDGE Jeff Holland
- WR John Diarse
- RB Phillip Lindsay
Here was where Elway and his staff nailed it. From top to bottom, the Broncos added impact players at several key positions. Chubb is already on his way to being a great player in this league, but both Sutton and Hamilton have impressed enough to work with the first team when Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders were absent from practice this week.
Freeman and Jewell both figure to make an impact on the team. To have half a draft class have that kind of potential is pretty amazing. Then you add in some of the undrafted free agents that have been making waves in OTA’s and the class looks even better.
Of course, all of these guys have to play in games and live up to the hype I’m give them all right now, but all I can say is so far so good. I’d give the Broncos a solid ‘A’ for their rookie class.
Grading the Broncos offseason
While the ESPN piece above gave the Broncos a respectable ‘B’ grade, the fact that they basically only looked at the Keenum signing and the Chubb draft pick was annoying and a bit lazy.
If we’re going to grade at teams offseason then look at the whole damn picture. I can’t see any way one wouldn’t give the Broncos an ‘A’ this season. This is all hypothetical, because a number of things can go wrong during the regular season, but we’re months away from that. Right now, the Broncos did just about everything they could to make their team better heading into this season.
And that’s all we can really hope for in June.
How would you grade the Broncos offseason moves?
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