Day One of the NFL Draft was a mixed bag.
Fans of the Denver Broncos loved the pick of tight end Noah Fant, but some were anxious and holding their breath over what would happen in Rounds Two and Three. It was the, “Really like the pick, but ...” I love the pick because of the matchup nightmare Fant poses. I think he could develop into a player in the mold of Shannon Sharpe — too big for defensive backs, too fast for linebackers.
After Day Two, Broncos Country is way more giddy. Though right before the first selection in the second round, it seemed as if the pick had been traded. Only to find out John Elway had actually traded up to get the very next pick. To acquire that second-round pick (42nd overall) from the Cincinnati Bengals, the Broncos gave up 2-52, 4-125 and 6-182.
With the first second-round pick, Elway filled a huge need with a stud (on and off the field) in Dalton Risner. The Kansas State product brings attitude and nastiness to Denver’s line, plus a work ethic new offensive line coach Mike Munchak will love. Risner is exactly what this line needs and at a position they need even more. Elway told Mike Klis that Risner will play guard to start out, but one of the other great aspects of Risner is his versatility.
“We’re very fortunate. We didn’t think he would fall nearly this far. … Right now, we’ve got a starting quarterback in Joe Flacco, so he’ll be an understudy.” - GM @johnelway on @Drewlock23 pic.twitter.com/lviWZ1tAsy— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) April 27, 2019
Next came the unexpected back-to-back second-round pick. Would it be cornerback Greedy Williams?
Then we heard it from the lips of former Broncos linebacker Al Wilson: “Drew Lock, quarterback, Missouri.” Holy shit, Denver got him.
A player Elway and Denver has been linked to since the Senior Bowl, and whom some thought would be the pick at No. 10, was the target for the trade up. However you feel about Lock, that is incredible value for Elway and the Broncos. Some had Lock ranked higher than Dwayne Haskins, who was taken in the first round.
Make no mistake, Elway and Denver are still all-in on Joe Flacco, as I said after the Fant selection. Heck, even the pick of Risner backs that up. What the selection of Lock does is end the talk of Band-Aids and bridge quarterbacks. As Sam Farmsworth noted on Twitter, for the first time since Peyton Manning came to Denver, the Broncos have a plan at QB: try to win now with Flacco while training Lock for the future under the tutelage of a veteran.
For those who say this just brings back the quarterback controversy, Elway shot it down quickly.
As he told Klis: “No, because it’s not a competition. Joe Flacco is our starter. We know that Drew has a long way to go. But he’s a very talented young guy that wants to be great. It’s a great situation for him.’’
What I love about the Lock pick isn’t just the fact he’ll learn from Flacco or that he was a team captain for Missouri, but the drive he’ll have to prove people wrong and succeed. There really isn’t immediate pressure on him, either. Then there’s Lock’s confidence, and that’s always needed for a quarterback.
For multiple reasons, I also love the Risner pick. If you have’t seen the feature on what he does off the field, here it is. On top of that, he’s a Broncos fan. So not only did Risner see his dream come true, he sees it happen with the team he loves. The combo of Risner and Munchack is almost too good to be true.
After Day One of the Draft, there was a mixed-bag feeling. Denver fans liked the pick, but they were anxious over what Elway would do on Day Two. It was as if the fanbase was holding its collective breath.
Now that we know, that anxiousness has been replaced with excitement, and we can all relax for a bit.
Elway continued to have a strong draft with the selection of defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones. As our Christopher Hart said, Jones is an explosive penetrator with a great get-off. Very disruptive. He had 13 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks last year for Ohio State. Hart added that Jones is a great pick!