What would cause to you consider the Broncos draft an absolute failure?
Ian Henson: I think that Denver has so many needs (obvious and hidden) heading into the draft that they have to hope for literal luck in handling them all. Trading back is always an option on paper, but Denver has not done it a lot and when they traded back instead of addressing a need it decided their January fate in April.
You’ve got a new class of coaches who do not seem to have a ton of input thus far, and that is another definition of failure to me. If Elway spends his second and third rounds playing dodge ball with logic and need, then there is not much chance to fix much in the remaining four rounds.
They’re entering the draft needing starters still at cornerback (or strong safety), tight end, center (or right guard), but I will put cornerback as the main place they must find a starter. I do not believe that Kareem Jackson was signed to play cornerback. Gary Kubiak drafted him as a cornerback, but Houston Texans’ head coach Bill O’Brien announced prior to the 2018 season that Jackson would play safety full-time.
::Narrator Voice:: “He did not.”
The last time Kubiak suggested a safety to Elway it was Darian Stewart and that worked out perfectly for everyone for a few years. Stewart won a Super Bowl as a member of the No Fly Zone and received a few All Pro votes along the way.
If you are judging strictly off of his contract Jackson’s $11MM average annual value (AAV) compares to Earl Thomas ($13.75MM (AAV)), LaMarcus Joyner ($10.5MM (AAV)) and Adrian Amos ($9MM (AAV)).
For comparison to a cornerback, the highest AAV this offseason for cornerbacks was Bradley Roby’s ($10MM (AAV)) followed by Justin Coleman ($9MM (AAV)), while Denver’s other newest member of the No Fly Zone 2 Bryce Callahan was given $21MM for 3-years ($7MM AAV).
So, either Jackson was the highest paid cornerback this offseason or the fourth highest paid safety.
That makes drafting a cornerback early imperative in 2019 for Denver. Not drafting a starter at cornerback would be an absolute failure, they can’t repeat last season, they don’t even have Joe Woods to make a secondary out of street free agents and guys who should have retired five seasons ago.
Hart: A repeat of what the franchise embarked on with their 2017 NFL Draft endeavors. Historically, that’s one of the worst drafts you could imagine. Top picks need to play right away. I’d also be a bit miffed if the Broncos missed out on getting a tight end in what appears to be a potentially legendary class. It’s a strength for sure, and missing out on a prospect there wouldn’t be good. It’ll be a few years before we can actually judge the merits of this upcoming class adequately, I just hope that a handful of quality starters are found.
Ian St. Clair: As I said for success now on the reverse, and what Hart said, don’t do what they did in 2017.
Laurie: Missing in the first round and not ending up with a very good tight end or inside linebacker.