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Who was your favorite Broncos’ draft pick?

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Mile High Report’s writers share their initial thoughts on the rookie class.

New Mexico State v Alabama
Judge Jeudy’s already an MHR favorite.
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

With the NFL Draft now past and the grades in, we thought it was a good time to look back at the Broncos’ class and weigh in. As the first round pick and a bit of a surprise slider to 15, Jerry Jeudy felt like the obvious choice for favorite rookie.

So who was your favorite Broncos’ Draft Pick outside of Jeudy?

Scotty Payne: Hamler or Cushenberry. K.J. Hamler has his flaws and I totally get why some may be against the pick, but I love the potential he brings. With Sutton, Jeudy, Fant and the run game getting the focus of the defense, Hamler should be able to take advantage of this and break off some big plays for the Broncos. Plus the versatility he brings in the screen game, the run/jet sweep game as well as the return game. He has all the makings of an impact player for this offense. Just fix the drops issue. Cushenberry is my other. Why? You got a day one starter in the late third round. If we got Cush at 46 I would have been happy. With the Broncos third pick in the third round?? A huge steal. No idea why he slid so far down.

Tim Lynch: McTelvin Agim. After watching some of his plays in college and reading through scouting reports, I think he’s exactly the kind of player the Broncos defense front will need in the near future. Patrick Mahomes has figured out how to escape outside pass rush, so Denver needs to find a way to collapse the pocket from inside. McTelvin Agim might just be that guy. Plus, he has quite an inspirational story and seeing how happy he was to have all that hard work pay off on draft night was pretty fun.

Joe Mahoney: Justin Strnad only because I am sure that I am going to spell his name Strand about 100 times during the preseason.

Jeff Essary: Lloyd Cushenberry. He has been one of my favorite linemen in this entire draft class, ever since watching and interacting with down in Mobile at the Senior Bowl. He’s a smart player who quarterbacked the best offensive line in college football, was the LSU equivalent of a team captain.

I was upset at the Hamler pick because Cushenberry was still on the board and I wasn’t expecting him to be there in the 3rd at all. He was a 2nd round talent in my book, so for Denver to get an instant starter at their open center position at #83 is incredible value.Don’t look now, but Denver has retooled 4 starters on their offensive line in the last 12 months, and have now drafted two starters on the offensive line that look like they’ll be staples in the trenches for the next few years. Drew Lock will certainly appreciate the weapons, but I promise you he’ll appreciate not being on knocked on his a** by looping blitzers or interior pressure even more.

Taylor: My favorite thing about the Jeudy pick is that with the possible exception of Cushenberry, he’s the one pick that could be considered the closest thing you can find to a sure thing in the NFL draft. And that’s particularly true regarding the other skill position draft picks: Hamler and Albert O. both have potential to be significant contributors to the Broncos’ offense, but they also both have notable risks that may derail that. Jeudy, on the other hand, is a near-certain bet to be an impact player from Day 1, and his presence will open the offense up significantly even if neither of the others pans out. With less defensive focus on Sutton and more opportunity all the way around, the Broncos offense is going to be a lot more fun than it’s been in years.

Adam: Hamler for me. It’s all about the plan. Elway and Fangio wanted to come away from the draft with weapons for Drew Lock. If Henry Ruggs was the guy who could take the top off a defense, Hamler will also bring that skill to the table. That also makes the Jeudy pick great, because he was probably the most plug and play ready WR in the draft. Now you get both a WR2 and a guy in Hamler who is going to do similar things to what Ruggs would have done.

Ian: I’m with Jeff on the selection of Cushenberry. I’ve said this a lot since the LSU center was taken by Denver, but I freaking love this pick. And the fact he was there for Elway and the Broncos to take with the second of their third-round picks is nuts. Cushenberry is incredibly smart, physical, mean, a winner, and he’s a great leader. Now he gets to work with the best offensive line coach in the NFL. If that wasn’t enough, Cushenberry was the center for the No. 1 overall pick who just had the best season in college football history. Maybe some of that magic can travel with Cushenberry to the Mile High City. All joking aside, that shows the rapport he has with quarterbacks and how well he works with them. All of the weapons aside, that should make Lock equally has happy. Lock and the Broncos have their starting center, and the interior of the line is now set for a long time.

Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann: I’m going with Albert Okwuegbunom. Mainly because I have figured out how to say his name, and I love it. In fact, I’ve been saying it non-stop since he got drafted. Also, I have a good nickname for him - “A-OK”

Although many here and around Broncos Twitter were confused by adding another tight end, I was thrilled. Noah Fant turned out to be a fantastic weapon last year, but beyond him our tight end room has been highly disappointing. Most of it has been due to injuries, so it’s not like Elway hasn’t tried to bring in good players, but another speedy, durable tight end to make defenses have to choose their target among so many makes me giddy.

Plus, I really like that Elway and Fangio took some cues from Drew Lock on this. They actually called him the morning of the Draft to ask what he thought of a guy who had been his favorite target in Missouri. And Lock went to bat for him big time. I love Lock’s confidence in his former teammate, and I love the coaches’ trust in their QB’s judgment.

JoRo: One of the things I’ve heard a lot over this weekend is how critical I am of the draft, and I get that. The truth is it’s hard for me to separate what I see as the risk vs the reward with both Hamler and Michael Ojemudia, but I do like both of the picks.

For Hamler, he’s a player that I spent a lot of work on dating back to before the Combine. He first really caught my attention when I was watching him work against I believe Minnesota last autumn. While his hands and catch radius really do give me pause, I believe he’s coming into the NFL at the perfect time to mitigate some of that risk and still present as an explosive playmaker. He’s so fluid in space and his start/stop acceleration presents so many issues for defenders that so long as Pat Shurmur can figure out ways to get the ball in his hands, he should be able to make an impact early.

Ojemudia’s biggest issue to me is that I believe I value certain traits in a corner quite a bit differently than Vic Fangio does. I blame Madden and perhaps the lens where most of the NFL is. Man coverage and the ability to mirror is very important for most teams in the league and neither of these things really show up in a big way for Ojemudia. That isn’t to say he can’t do them so much as Iowa plays a lot of static zone coverages, which kind of makes it work to discern the skills off his film.

What I find really appealing about him comes from the couple of days since to really listen to the reviews, interviews, and dwell on his fit in the roster. Everything I’ve learned about him suggests he’s the kind of smart player who can pick up Fangio’s zone match and if/then concepts without too much issue. That’s important when you consider both Will Parks and Chris Harris Jr. mentioned how taxing the system was mentally. Add to that Ojemudia’s physicality and the possibility that he could offer some potential roster flexibility early in his career, and I like the pick a lot.

I loved the Cushenberry pick. Had him as the second center on my board and would have never guessed he’d fall all the way to 83. His ability in pass pro really jumped out to me. LSU ran a lot of five man protections which put a ton of one on one responsibility on his plate. Considering the fact that Pat Shurmur tends to want to throw the ball 65+% of the time and he should be an asset very early in his career.

McTelvin Agim is a player I liked for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, it shows how serious Fangio is about boosting the interior pass rush and I love that. With Patrick Mahomes in the division Denver’s going to need to have waves of rushers and solid coverage behind it to ever beat them when it matters. Second, I believe with added strength and technique Agim could become an impact pass rusher.

When Albert Okwuegbunam was first picked I didn’t get it. I still wonder about the return on investment because of the packed tight end room and Noah Fant being present to gobble up most of the targets, but if the goal was to surround Lock with speed? It makes sense. All of the tight ends on the Broncos’ roster offer some blocking and a few have steady hands and the savvy to get open. Fant and Albert O could eventually grow into a dynamic pair of mismatch weapons. With Jeudy, Hamler, and/or Courtland Sutton to draw most of the coverage outside there should be room for the tight ends to make a lot of noise on crossing routes, posts, and corners.

I was excited about Netane Muti when it happened because I do believe there’s not really a fair way to call any fifth+ round pick bad. History has shown the vast majority of players that deep down the draft are long shot gambles, so for me it makes sense to take a few swings on high ceiling players. Muti is just that. If he can shake the injury bug that has plagued him at Fresno State, he could wind up the best player in this class.

Think about what I just said.

Lastly, Derrek Tuszka is an edge prospect I’ve been intrigued by since I saw the Broncos’ formally met with him at the Combine. He’s coming out of the pond to swim in the ocean, but has the tools and tape to suggest he’ll find a way. With Von Miller over 30-years old and Bradley Chubb coming off of injury, I’m glad Elway took a flier on him.

Poll

Other than Jerry Jeudy, who was your favorite draft pick?

This poll is closed

  • 9%
    K.J. Hamler
    (165 votes)
  • 2%
    Michael Ojemudia
    (46 votes)
  • 65%
    Lloyd Cushenberry
    (1116 votes)
  • 3%
    McTelvin Agim
    (60 votes)
  • 3%
    Albert Okwuegbunam
    (68 votes)
  • 1%
    Justin Strnad
    (22 votes)
  • 8%
    Netane Muti
    (151 votes)
  • 0%
    Tyrie Cleveland
    (6 votes)
  • 3%
    Derek Tuszka
    (67 votes)
1701 votes total Vote Now