clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

What’s a sneaky need the Broncos need to address in the NFL Draft?

New, comments

Everyone knows about the Denver Broncos need at wide receiver, but what else should John Elway chase?

Los Angeles Chargers v Denver Broncos
Kareem Jackson was a really good addition last year, but he’s also 32.
Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The vast majority of Broncos’ Country agrees that wide receiver is a critical need. But one thing became clear to me as I looked over the entirety of the roster: Denver has some needs that the media and fans just aren’t talking about enough. So I wanted to ask Mile High Report:

Do you see any needs on the Broncos’ roster that aren’t getting talked about enough? Any players you’d like to address them?

Scotty Payne: Safety. Kareem Jackson is old and likely a cap cut at the end of the 2020 season. Will Parks signed with the Eagles and his old role remains unclaimed. Safeties play an important role in a Vic Fangio defense and I think we’ll see one added in the first two days of the draft.

Could the Broncos grab Utah’s Terrell Burgess? He has hints of Eddie Jackson in his game.

Joe Mahoney: We need offensive line talent. Bolles is mediocre at best. James is terribly injury-prone. Wilkinson was a below average guard when he played guard. We currently don’t have a center with any real playing experience. The only above average player in the entire returning OL group is Risner. That is a recipe for getting your young QB seriously injured during his first 16 starts. I’d love to avoid that if at all possible. DRAFT OFFENSIVE LINEMEN!!

Could Houston’s Josh Jones make sense to help improve the pass protection?

Jeffrey Essary: I agree with Scotty. Defensive back depth in general is a question mark, and having a 3rd safety isn’t out of the realm of possibility if they have the flexibility to play dimebacker or slot, they could still see plenty of snaps behind Simmons and Jackson early on.

Technically a safety, Clemson’s K’Von Wallace played a lot of slot for the Tigers.

Ian St. Clair: Edge rusher. I get it, the Broncos have Von Miller and Bradley Chubb, but Miller isn’t ageless and if the team struggles, he may want to bounce. There’s also the injury history with Chubb. As the old adage goes, you can’t have enough pass rushers. Better to start to stock piling now than being caught with your pants down.

Wisconsin’s Zack Baun fits the Fangio D in much the same way Justin Hollins did last year. He’s an Edge rusher who’s also comfortable in space.

Joe Rowles: Both safety and offensive line make too much sense to ignore, if you ask me. It’s a big reason I sincerely hope they don’t sell the farm to trade up in this class as the talent in that 20-100 range is really great for so many of the roster’s needs in both the short and long term.

I also agree with Ian. Ever since I wrote my roster review last week I’ve been thinking about Von Miller’s contract. The fact that Elway chose to tinker with Joe Flacco’s contract last year rather than extend Von could mean nothing, but it could also be a sign that the Broncos do not plan to keep Miller in the fold for the last leg of his career.

One way we’ll know for sure is what they do in the draft. This isn’t necessarily a great Edge crop, but there are a few players that really intrigue as far as upside and fit with the Fangio defense. Zack Baun is one, in many ways he’s a better version of the same type of prospect Malik Reed and Justin Hollins were. Another sleeper to keep an eye out for is Julian Okwara. He needs to get stronger, but flashed some enticing explosiveness before an injury derailed his 2019.

Like Baun, Okwara looks fluid in space and can rush the passer.