According to KOA’s Brandon Krisztal, the Broncos were very interested in LSU’s Patrick Queen last night.
I’m told the Broncos had strong interest in Patrick Queen, but the Ravens continue their track record of stellar drafting that seems to date back to their first year in BMore. #NFLDraft— Brandon Krisztal (@BKDenverSports) April 24, 2020
Ever since 9News’ Mike Klis mentioned how the Broncos have interest in adding a pick between 15 and 46, I’ve been trying to think about who could be the apple of their eye. Queen makes a ton of sense based off of what Vic Fangio mentioned at the NFL Combine about wanting to upgrade linebacker “with nuance”, but also a willingness to go to more personnel groupings with six defensive backs. Queen is a backer who looks a lot like a safety playing in space, and he should be a big help for Baltimore as a middle of the field pass defender.
The fact that the Broncos showed interest in him and carry extra ammo into Day 2 and 3 leads me to believe John Elway will be opportunistic if the right deal materializes. With the Indianapolis Colts in talks to move down, there’s a decent chance Denver could be making a pick earlier than fans expected today.
If the #Colts trade down from 34, as is being reported as a possibility, look at Denver as a potential partner. Broncos reportedly wanted back into Round 1 last night and have 46 and three third-rounders.— George Bremer (@gmbremer) April 24, 2020
So who could the players be? Strictly following the best player’s available according to me board:
- Denzel Mims
Broncos met him via Zoom this month, and Jerry Jeudy could slide inside to give the Broncos a dynamic 11 personnel group.
- Xavier McKinney
Calling him a safety ignores that he played 220+ snaps in the box, in the slot, and at free safety. He’s a Swiss army knife and coaches described him as an “alpha dog.”
- Kristian Fulton
Played through pain in 2019 to help LSU win a national title game, and if you go back to 2018 he looked better than Cleveland’s Greedy Williams. CB1 type of ceiling.
- Josh Jones
Coming from Houston he may need a little time to acclimate to the NFL, but he’s played more than 40 games at left tackle and is a gifted pass protector.
- A.J. Epenesa
Would be a rotational pass rusher early and can eventually become a Derek Wolfe esque fit in terms of 5 technique in base and slide inside to rush in nickel personnel. Heavy hands.
- Ezra Cleveland
Broncos met him multiple times leading up to the draft, both at the Combine and since. He’s a very smooth operator with good feet and patient hands. Needs to get stronger.
- Jaylon Johnson
Instinctive corner who brings the skills to perform a variety of coverages well. May need to dial in some of his gambling, but could be a shutdown corner with ball skills in time.
Going strictly by the Broncos reported interest in Patrick Queen, another player worth mentioning is Southern Illinois’ Jeremy Chinn. He’s listed as a safety, but has the size, athleticism, and physicality to hit the ground running as a safety-backer early in his career. There had been talk leading up to this week that many in the league see him as a top-40 player.
It’s worth mentioning that when Elway was asked if the Broncos saw any more first round talent on the board last night, he said no:
No there aren’t, but we feel like at 46 we’re still going to get a very good football player. There are a lot of good football players left and being the 14th pick tomorrow in the second-round we feel like we’re going to get another really good football player. We’re looking forward to that. Like I said, there are still a lot of really good football players left.
Vic Fangio also said that there remains a number of talented cornerbacks on the board.
There are a pretty good amount of them—all of different flavors and different rounds we’d like to get them in, but yeah, there are some corners available.
It could be little more than a smokescreen, but it could also mean the Broncos are content to sit ‘til 46 and follow their board. I believe they’re moving up. We’ll soon see.
Gave you Lock first months before draft, then Fant, Risner. Jeudy in first round days ago. Now, Broncos thinking Josh Jones, Kristian Fulton or Cameron Dantzler, Lloyd Cushenberry, Logan Wilson. Probably make deal to move up.— Woody Paige (@woodypaige) April 24, 2020