Patrick Chiotti joined the Broncos Country Tonight crew Monday night and right at the start Ryan Edwards asked about the “debate” that had been circling on Twitter regarding the potential Hall-of-Fame status of Patriots receiver Julian Edelman, who announced his retirement on Monday.
Obviously the answer is “what potential HOF status?”
But since Patriots fans are insufferable, it’s a debate that somehow got magnified and a lot of Broncos media personalities joined the fray to remind Patriots fans that not only is Edelman not HOF-worthy, there are dozens of FAR more deserving wide receivers than Edelman could dream of being.
Namely, former Broncos wide receiver Rod Smith.
So I want to point out that our own Jess Place made that point first.
And in glorious fashion.
Dang, did you hear about Edelman? Sure-fire Hall of Famer right there.— Jess Place (@Jezru) April 13, 2021
2x Super Bowl Champion
11,389 rec yards
Just kidding, that’s Rod Smith #Broncos. This is Julian Edelman. pic.twitter.com/nGqvD8gHD2
But in a far more impactful discussion, Chiotti was asked what positions he thinks Denver should target for its premium draft picks - players to take basically in the first three rounds.
“I’m going to stray away from quarterback because I feel like everyone would pick that,” Chiotti joked. “But for me it would be corner, edge and either linebacker or offensive tackle, in no particular order.”
The key, Chiotti noted, would be using the draft to get guys who could be depth now and be ready to take over next season for vets with just a year or two on their contracts.
“Getting a corner to replace players on short-term contracts, getting another edge rusher to complement Bradley Chubb, Von Miller and Malik Reed next year and maybe even be a Miller replacement,” Chiotti said, adding that linebacker is a position “everybody wants” but there’s also Justin Strnad waiting in the wings to prove himself after a season-ending injury last year in training camp.
One offensive tackle Chiotti specifically has his eye on for the Broncos in those first rounds is Spencer Brown. Coming out of Northern Iowa, a school that doesn’t often get the NFL’s attention, Chiotti pointed out that the lineman could be picked up to ultimately replace Ja’Wuan James in 2022 or even compete for a starter’s job in 2021.
Along those lines, Benjamin Allbright asked if Chiotti had any players in mind that the Broncos “didn’t need” but he would “absolutely pound the table to have.”
North Texas wide receiver Jaelon Darden and University of Washington edge rusher Joe Tryon would be on Chiotti’s list along with Brown.
Chiotti called Darden “one of my draft crushes,” mainly because “his footwork is absolutely insane.”
And with Tryon, Chiotti likes how “he gave Penei Sewell (the Draft’s highest rated offensive lineman) fits multiple times. He would be ideal for Vic Fangio to mold into one of those players, even a Von Miller replacement.”