The Denver Broncos have had a pretty good offseason as far as the fans are concerned, so when a national media outlet tends to agree then it definitely feels good to hear. Mike Sando of ESPN graded each teams offseason and the Broncos ended up with one of the higher grades with a ‘B+’.
The Broncos finished last season with Case Keenum and Kevin Hogan atop their QB depth chart. Joe Flacco and second-round pick Drew Lock fill those roles now. And while stats say Flacco and Keenum are about the same, it’s tough finding anyone who would rather have Keenum.
Anyone who says Joe Flacco is basically Case Keenum is out their minds, so I agree that the team is in much better hands with the Flacco/Lock pairing than anything they’ve had since Peyton Manning retired.
As for free agency, the Broncos picked up some solid talent all around.
Denver replaced head coach Vance Joseph with Vic Fangio. Failing to reach agreement with offensive coordinator candidate Gary Kubiak was one of the few staff-related disappointments, but landing Mike Munchak to coach the offensive line looked like a home run, especially with the Broncos investing big free-agent dollars in tackle Ja’Wuan James before using a second-round choice for Dalton Risner.
”There are very few great players who are really good coaches, but Munchak is one of them,” an exec said. “He does such a good job of not asking his guys to do things they cannot do. Ja’Wuan James will look better. It will end up being a good signing for them.”
Mike Munchak might have been the most important hire John Elway made this offseason. The work he will do with the offensive line should turn that weakness into a strength pretty quickly.
Elway then moved to the secondary to shore things up with both Jackson and Bryce Callahan on the back end.
Execs disagreed over whether 31-year-old corner Kareem Jackson was a good signing at $11 million per year.
”What you have to remember is that Jackson played great against Denver, and he gives them some flexibility because he can play corner or safety,” an exec said. “They are paying him $9 million in the first year and it’s not like they need him for five years. They will take him for three.”
Overall, the Broncos are a much improved team. If they were 6-10 last year, it should translate into a .500 or better season this year. We’ll just have to wait and see.