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Are you mocking me: What if the Broncos tank into Trevor Lawrence?

If the Denver Broncos land the top pick of the NFL Draft, how could things go?

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0-2 comes with a lot of negativity. It also comes with hope. With a murderer’s row of a schedule it looks like Draft Season will come early for Broncos’ Country this year. In fact, Denver landed the number one overall pick in 10.3% of Football Outsiders’ Playoff Odds simulations this week.

A 1/10 chance at the top pick of the draft is just that. A chance. I’ve seen a lot of arguments about how the Broncos are too talented a team to lose more than the Jets, Dolphins, etc. I’ve seen few people argue that the roster is not more talented than either squad. Sometimes a talented roster alone doesn’t win the games.

The reality is the Broncos have a decent chance to bottom out because they’re arguably the most injury ravaged team in all of football. It started early with Von Miller and hasn’t let up since. By the time 2020 comes to a close the best offensive and defensive player on the Broncos roster will have played in less than one full game.

Beyond injuries, the big reason Denver has a good chance at the top of the draft order is all of the uncertainty around the quarterback. Whether you believe in him or not, the truth is no one is sure if Drew Lock is the guy right now or a future backup. If you want to argue Lock is too good for the Broncos to fail that badly, maybe you’re right. We just don’t know right now.

Drew Lock is a talented passer and all reports suggest he’s a quality dude. In 2021 he’s also a soon-to-be 25-year-old quarterback heading into year three with serious questions about his mechanics, poise, and decision making. If the Broncos lose enough games to climb to the top of the NFL Draft order, the truth is he will have failed to answer those questions adequately. As a second round pick, he’ll also be a year away from where Elway would need to give him a big money extension.

The Broncos can’t afford to enter 2021 with so many questions around the quarterback position.

1.1. Trevor Lawrence - Quarterback - Clemson

Since he won the National Title his freshman year Trevor Lawrence has been touted as the most talented quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck. He definitely looks the part at 6’6 and 220 lbs. with elite arm talent and very good athleticism.

One area where Lawrence stands out above Lock right now is his poise in the pocket. Remember how Peyton Manning would make subtle adjustments within the pocket to buy time for Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders to get open? Lawrence shows he’s capable of that on a weekly basis.

I’m really curious to watch how Lawrence looks reading the field. There were questions about his decision making early last season.

2.33. Paulson Adebo - Cornerback - Stanford

Let me start by saying I think the trade for A.J. Bouye was a savvy gamble by John Elway. He was such a good scheme fit Vic Fangio’s Bears team offered him more money than he eventually took to sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars and looked very good in the little action we’ve seen of him so far.

That all said he’s only played in a full 16-game schedule once in his career, will be 30 at the start of the 2021 season, and the Broncos can save $13.5 million by moving him next season. There’s a very realistic possibility the Bouye experiment ends after one season.

If Elway elects to move on from the veteran or Michael Ojemudia does not progress as hoped, cornerback is a huge need. Patrick Mahomes and his aerial circus aren’t going anywhere so it’s critical Denver continues to stock the secondary with talented pieces.

In Adebo they’d get talented, experienced prospect who also looks like a scheme fit. He’s got a long frame at 6’2 and shows a willingness to come up and take on the ball carrier. Like O.J. he’s instinctual, which helps him to make up for good-not-great athleticism. I suspect the Broncos will like how he works at the catch point as that’d be an asset when he’s left isolated on the backside of 3X1 sets.

I suspect he’ll need time under Ed Donatell and Fangio to refine his footwork and hand placement in press, but the tools are there for him to come in and grow into a starting caliber boundary corner.

One player I just missed on is Miami’s Quincy Roche, who intrigues me.

3.65. Hamsah Nasirildeen - Safety - Florida State

I totally understand if you hate this pick because the Broncos seem to have one of the best safety duos in the NFL. I can’t get over how it’s possible neither returns to the roster in 2021. Justin Simmons is playing the year on his franchise tag tender and may not be extended, while Kareem Jackson’s going to be 33 in April and the Broncos can create $10 million in cap space by moving him next spring.

In Nasirldeen, the Broncos would be adding a freaky athlete who looks like a linebacker and moves like a defensive back. He’s explosive and athletic and comes with the aggression to be a factor coming down from the alley against the run. The Seminoles have used him all over the field so he comes with experience playing deep in coverage, in the slot, and around the line of scrimmage.

The big concerns I have about him are fit and injury. He’ll need to show growth reading plays in coverage this year and there remains a possibility the Broncos see him as a nickel linebacker. An ACL tear last year is what kept him in school, so his progress returning from that bears monitoring.

Poll

What grade would you give this draft?

This poll is closed

  • 48%
    A - TREVOR!!!!!!
    (511 votes)
  • 18%
    B - If it comes to this, I dig it.
    (190 votes)
  • 2%
    C - Meh.
    (27 votes)
  • 5%
    D - Dumb.
    (58 votes)
  • 24%
    E - Too Early.
    (260 votes)
1046 votes total Vote Now

Your Broncos’ News

Film Review: Can the Denver Broncos win with Jeff Driskel starting? - Mile High Report

Will the backup QB provide a spark? Let’s break down how the Denver Broncos might utilize Jeff Driskel while Drew Lock recovers from injury.

Denver Broncos film: Michael Ojemudia’s tough game - Mile High Report

The rookie was beat a few times on Sunday, but still deserves to be in the starting lineup.

Week 2 Film Room: 7 things I liked from the Broncos loss to Steelers - Mile High Report

It’s not all doom and gloom. The Denver Broncos have some really exciting players!

Will Bradley Chubb and KJ Hamler help the Broncos upset the Buccaneers? - Mile High Report

I spoke with Bucs’ Brawls’ Jeff Olson about Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers playing the Denver Broncos this weekend.

Week 2 Quick Reads | Football Outsiders

Driskel replaced an injured Drew Lock late in the first quarter. He only played about 49 minutes of the game but still gave up six sacks, most in the league this week. Four of them came in the second quarter alone; only seven other quarterbacks gave up four sacks in Week 2.

NFL Draft News

2021 NFL Draft: Preseason safety rankings | NFL Draft | PFF

2020 Outlook Obviously, Nasirildeen’s health is priority number one. Proving he’s all the way back from his ACL is why he returned to school in the first place. From a draft stock perspective, I think he can push to go the highest if he buys into the linebacker role. There aren’t many guys playing that position with his movement skills, whereas his height and length would be wasted playing deep safety. If he comes to the combine in the 225-to-230-pound range he could be a Round 1 linebacker.

What happened to Stanford defensive back Paulson Adebo in 2019? | PFN

The former four-star recruit from Mansfield, Texas has no issues flying forward in run support or mucking it up with receivers trying to block him. His ultra-aggressive style in coverage carries into the pride he takes attacking the football on runs as well. It was giving him a ton of first-round buzz and even had some listing him as their top corner going into 2019.

Trevor Lawrence vs. Justin Fields: How the race for the No. 1 overall pick in 2021 became wide open | NFL Draft | PFF

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence’s less-than-ideal start to the 2019 season allowed Justin Fields to close the gap for best quarterback prospect entering the 2021 college football season.

Trevor Lawrence QB Clemson - Draft Player Profile | The Draft Network

Physically gifted. Has terrific size, athleticism and arm talent. Does well to read coverage and identify leverage. Willing to challenge tight windows and trust his ability to place the football. Has just the right amount of arrogance to believe he can make every throw. Always keeps his eyes down the field and makes subtle moves within the pocket to avoid rushers and find throwing windows. Comfortable navigating the pocket in every direction. Patient and allows for routes to develop without getting panicky. Demonstrates good poise and comfort under pressure. Willing to take an extra hitch when necessary and remain balanced. Ball placement is generally outstanding to all levels of the field. Works the entire field in terms of depth and width. Does well to lead targets into space and maximize post-catch opportunities for his weapons to work. Throwing motion and release are efficient. Quickly snaps off throws with no elongated movement. Deliberate with his lower body mechanics to set his platform and rotate through throws with ideal weight transfer. Has no limitations in terms of arm strength to throw the ball into deep windows and generate the velocity needed for deep outbreaking patterns. Is an excellent runner with the football both by design and when he scrambles. Super tough - takes hits and keeps battling. Isn’t afraid to drop his pad level and challenge tacklers with physicality when a first down is on the line. Comfortable working off-script and keeping plays alive.

NFL News

NFL Teams Should Be Embarrassed That They Let the Patriots Get Cam Newton So Easily - The Ringer

The rest of the NFL could have prevented Newton from going to New England if they had simply picked up the phone this offseason

Breaking Down Jonnu Smith’s Hot Start | The Draft Network

The Titans like to get creative with how they use Smith on and around the line of scrimmage. Over the course of the first two games, I saw him on the line with his hand in the dirt, standing up just off the line in a two-point stance, and also as a wing player a step behind the end of the line, as seen above.

Nick Mullens will start at quarterback for 49ers - ProFootballTalk

Remember when Broncos’ Country wanted to trade for Mullens?