With the offseason in full swing in Broncos Country, we can start to turn our attention away from the action on the field, and focus on what John Elway and Vic Fangio need to be doing to improve the team. The ball started rolling with the firing of Rich Scangarello, and the hiring of Pat Shurmur as the next offensive coordinator.
Focus will continue to shift, as free agency begins, and player evaluations for the draft start up. We like to call this Scotty season here at MHR, and you can bet that his name will be in a bunch of bylines over the coming weeks and months. Being that I am no NFL Draft guru, and I let others tackle free agency, I usually stay out of the fray. However, as I told Ian St. Clair on the MHR Radio Podcast, the National Championship game between LSU and Clemson had some players that jumped off my TV screen, and into my heart.
Listeners of the show know my affinity for Trevor Lawrence, but that seems highly unlikely for the Broncos, especially since he won’t be in the 2020 draft, and Drew Lock has grabbed ahold of the starting QB spot. So, I won’t be focusing on any QBs as Joe Burrow is going to be drafted by the Bengals, and that’s the end of the list. Instead, I found myself drawn to a few other players that I would love to see in Broncos Orange and Blue.
The first player who had everyone drooling was Isaiah Simmons. The Clemson linebacker was absolutely everywhere. In a losing effort, when his team was essentially blown out, he still made a huge impact. I imagine his draft stock shot up after that performance.
On the podcast Ian asked me if I looked at him the way I looked at Roquan Smith coming out of Georgia. Admittedly, I did not see as many Clemson games this season as I had Georgia games in 2017. Smith was a monster sideline to sideline, and would have been a great pick that season (not that I’m upset that Bradley Chubb is a Bronco). All that being said, it’s been a long time since a player has popped for me like that in one game. I’m sure I am not the only one. His six tackles tell about 10 percent of the story. He was everywhere, in on seemingly every play, and without him, LSU likely runs away with that game in an even bigger fashion.
Staying with Clemson, running back Travis Etienne and wide receiver Tee Higgins are juniors who would be great for the Broncos. Higgins would be the guy who stands out the most. Denver has a need at WR, and Higgins is a beast. He drew some comparisons to Courtland Sutton, which made some say the Broncos should avoid him. I’d be all for two versions of Sutton lining up for the Broncos offense.
From LSU, the player who stood out to me was Patrick Queen. Another linebacker who seemed to be in on every play, Queen looked like a player who could make an immediate impact on defense. Fangio’s defense requires solid LB play, and just like Simmons from Clemson, Queen would be a player who could provide that as soon as he got to Denver.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire would be a solid addition to the running game in Denver if it chose to add a weapon to go along with Phillip Lindsay. Much like Etienne, it may not be a high enough need for the Broncos to go after one of these two in the first round, but they certainly would look good.
Essentially, watching the College Football Playoff National Championship was a fun way to see future NFL stars, and dream a little bit about how they would look with the Broncos. But seriously, bring me Simmons. Pair him with Justin Simmons, and Denver’s defense is just scary!
Who stood out to you in the National Championship game? Let us know in the comments.