It is widely agreed among fans that the Denver Broncos nailed the 2018 NFL Draft with their selections and that is without even counting Pro Bowl undrafted running back Phillip Lindsay in that. Overall, the class could help the franchise turn the corner in the post-Peyton Manning era.
The class included starters in Bradley Chubb and Courtland Sutton, along with major rookie role players in Royce Freeman, Josey Jewell, and DaeSean Hamilton. Both Sam Jones and Isaac Yiadom could have potential as well. That’s a pretty damn good draft.
2018 Denver Broncos Draft Class
|1||5||Bradley Chubb||OLB||North Carolina State||Scouting Report||Video|
|2||40||Courtland Sutton||WR||SMU||Scouting Report||Video|
|3||71||Royce Freeman||RB||Oregon||Scouting Report||Video|
|3||99||Isaac Yiadom||CB||Boston College||Scouting Report||Video|
|4||106||Josey Jewell||ILB||Iowa||Scouting Report||Video|
|4||113||DaeSean Hamilton||WR||Penn State||Scouting Report||Video|
|5||156||Troy Fumagalli||TE||Wisconsin||Scouting Report||Video|
|6||183||Sam Jones||OG||Arizona State||Scouting Report||Video|
|6||217||Keishawn Bierria||ILB||Washington||Scouting Report||Video|
|7||226||David Williams||RB||Arkansas||Scouting Report||Video|
Mel Kiper of ESPN had initially graded the class fairly well, but even that deserved an upgraded in his eyes. He moved his grade to an A- after reviewing the entire class and noting the impact undrafted rookie Phillip Lindsay had.
Post-draft grade: B+
GM John Elway really needed a strong 2018 draft after a few down years. And though it wasn’t enough to get the Broncos back to the playoffs, it’s safe to say Elway hit a home run.
The star of the class wasn’t even in the class. Undrafted running back Phillip Lindsay quickly passed up third-round pick Royce Freeman on the way to a Pro Bowl season, totaling 1,278 yards from scrimmage with 10 touchdowns. Lindsay and Freeman figure to be the one-two punch of the future behind new quarterback Joe Flacco.
Top pick Bradley Chubb was my No. 1-ranked pass-rusher, and he showed it as a rookie with 12 sacks on the other side of Von Miller. Chubb is a stud. The Broncos also got promising first seasons from wideouts Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton, who combined for 72 catches and six touchdowns. Sutton figures to be a starter -- his ascension helped the team feel good about trading away Demaryius Thomas at midseason -- while Hamilton could be the No. 3 guy going forward. Linebacker Josey Jewell, an early Day 3 pick, also played a lot as a rookie and could replace Brandon Marshall in the starting lineup.
Overall, this is a great class, and if Flacco is competent in 2019, Denver could be a sneaky playoff team.
New grade: A-
I’ll take an A. How about you?