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Ask Pete: Broncos Mailbag

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This week, I selected the best questions from Twitter and answered them in my new MHR Mailbag series.

Welcome to the Mile High Report Mailbag. This week, I took the best questions that are asked on Twitter and post them here with my replies. Lets dive deep into it, shall we?

I am vehemently opposed to the Broncos taking a quarterback in this year’s draft. In fact, I’m going to go one step further. I believe anyone saying that Free Agency has set the Broncos up perfectly to grab a QB is simply trying to drum up ratings and clicks.

John Elway is talking about Joe Flacco as if Flacco is not only the present, but the future of the franchise. He’s talking as if Flacco might even be extended if he has a good season. Elway said Mile High Joe is in the prime of his career. When was the last time a GM said their QB is in their prime and then drafted someone to replace them? You’d have to go all the way back to Dan Reeves drafting Tommy Maddox in 1992 to find such futility. The closest anyone has come since Dan Reeves is Ted Thompson drafting Aaron Rodgers in 2005, but by that point, Brett Favre had already waffled on retiring, so they had to draft someone as a contingency. Which means Favre was anything but entering his prime.

I said all of that to say this: The Broncos will NOT draft a QB in the first round this year. They’ll likely draft a QB at some point or get an undrafted guy, but using a first round pick on a QB this year simply isn’t happening. Besides, this QB class isn’t the QB class to draft a QB in, next year’s class is. And if you’d like a realistic name for that 2020 Draft, the realistic name is Jake Fromm. Ideally it would be Tua, but I don’t anticipate the Broncos getting the #1 overall pick, nor giving up the draft capital to obtain it.

It all depends on who is available at 10. If Devin White is there, HELL NO, you draft that dude! But I really do like the idea of trading back to collect draft picks, and Elway just might agree as he is currently throwing smoke screens to everyone by interviewing Drew Lock and Dwayne Haskins. Essentially, he’s trying to bait QB needy teams to trade with us and give up those juicy draft picks. Or he’s got a cool excel spreadsheet somewhere where he interviews all the QB’s, ranks them with how he likes them, then puts the draft pick he’d be willing to take them with, etc... and then every 2 years he pulls it up and checks on the success of all the QB’s in relation to how he ranked them and where he’d draft them to see if he’s a halfway decent evaluator of college QB’s. But something tells me that he’s not doing that.

The tricky part about moving back for next year’s QB class is that you need a team to give you a 2020 first round draft pick. Moving back from #10 this year would have to look something along the lines of “We give you our #10 this year, and you give us your pick this year and your first round pick next year (and maybe more depending on the team).” If a team is willing to do that, then the Broncos are setting themselves up beautifully to combo picks and grab Fromm or Tua (I’m not high on Herbert) in case the Joe Flacco experiment fails. And if the Flacco experiment is a success? Then we have not one, but two first round picks next year to bolster our roster even more because we don’t need a QB and Flacco might actually have 6-8 years left in the tank. I’m good either way actually.

I combo’d these two questions together as they were essentially the same. There were many questions regarding the Broncos drafting Devin White.

My answer is simple: If Devin White is there, and no team is making Elway an offer he can’t refuse, I truly believe we draft Devin White. The problem is that I’m not sure White is there at #10 for the Broncos to pick him, and I do not want the Broncos to move up to get him either. What is our biggest weakness on defense right now? Hell, it’s been our biggest weakness for years now? It’s covering the Tight End. And while Devin White is freakishly athletic, he’s never really be a cover linebacker. Devin White reminds me of Von Miller, but out of the middle linebacker spot.

Now, before anyone says “Exactly, that’s why you take him!” let me remind you that getting after the QB isn’t an issue in Denver, covering the Tight Ends are. So we don’t need an elite pass rushing linebacker, we need a cover linebacker. And while White has shown he can bat down or intercept a ball thrown directly at him in the middle of the field, he hasn’t shown the ability to actually cover tight ends and consistently prevent or break up passes. He covers them, but they always end up with the reception and he ends up with a notch in the Tackle column. Could he develop into a cover linebacker based off of his freaky athleticism? Sure he can, but you do not move up in the draft to get a player in whom you need to completely overhaul their game.

If White is there at Ten, we will draft him. I’m just not very sold on him being there for us, and we sure as hell aren’t moving up to get him.

I think when the dust settles and the smoke clears, we’ll have a Defensive Lineman, Linebacker, or Tight End.

When it comes to Tight End, it all depends on how they view Jake Butt and how they think his injury history will impact him moving forward. The dude can be an elite TE, but he’s already had 3 ACL tears. To put that into perspective, he has the same number of NFL games played as he has ACL surgeries. I hope against hope that he’s finally healthy and over the injury bug. But I’m not sure the Broncos can gamble the season on that hope.

When it comes to Linebacker, I honestly think Devin White is going to be gone, but Devin Bush will likely be there. He’s definitely a potential Denver Bronco, and I’d be A-OK with that move, should it happen.

If we go Defensive Line, it might be because Ed Oliver is available or in the rarest of chances, Quinnen Williams, the freak out of Alabama. He might be available. So look for DL if either of those guys are there. But again, the odds of either making it to 10 is slim.

Now if you’re talking Offensive Line, I really think the only chance we draft a guard or center is if we trade back in round one. We aren’t drafting a Tackle as Elway will believe it’s shored up. He also likes McGovern as the center, and he likes our guards as well. Remember, no matter what everyone’s impressions are of last year, our offensive line really wasn’t as putrid as most would have you believe. It really was in the top half of the league. I just think Elway thinks he’s done enough on the line to not spend high draft capital on an offensive lineman.

To directly answer your question, and if my feet are being held to the fire, and with full knowledge that the draft is a month away so who the hell knows who drafts who, I’ll go out on a limb and say the Broncos don’t trade back and remain at 10. And with the 10th pick, they select Devin Bush, LB Michigan.

Best case scenario with a QB at 10 and the Broncos on the clock? The best case scenario is for us to get Devin White or Devin Bush if they are there, or one of the top 2 DL’s if they’re there, or the best Tight End Elway thinks is in the draft. DO NOT DRAFT A QB.

I do like your draft compensation, but I’d like it a lot more if we traded #10 for this year’s #15 and next year’s 1st round pick. Think about it, if the Redskins are desperate for a QB and they think the Broncos want a QB, then they will OVERPAY for that draft spot. It’s supply and demand, and that Jimmy Johnson draft value chart from the 90’s goes out the window when a team is desperate for a QB. It’s the single position that completely blows that value chart up because that’s how valuable a franchise QB is. I just don’t think Drew Lock is a franchise QB. To me, Lock is a Paxton Lynch/ Philip Rivers hybrid. The good you’d get from Rivers is quickly cancelled out with the suck you get from Lynch.

And that’s why the trade back value is great for us at 10 if the few players we really want are gone. But I’d make it this year’s and next year’s first round picks. We gotta set ourselves up for the future, and having two 1st rounders next year is a monumental win for the Broncos.

Thank you everyone for participating. I got a lot of great questions and I look forward to doing this each and every week with you.

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