With the Denver Broncos season being frustrating, depressing, and at many times, infuriating, let us start taking a look toward the offseason. College players are starting to declare for the 2023 NFL Draft, the draft order is starting to take shape and some fans(like me and you) are starting to look toward the future. So, let us take a look at a mock draft!
Tis the season!
SB Nation’s Joseph Acosta recently released his updated mock draft and has the Broncos selecting an offensive tackle to help protect the Broncos quarterback.
NFL mock draft 2023: Updated first round projection ahead of bowl season https://t.co/0wDhscE961— SB Nation NFL (@SBNationNFL) December 5, 2022
In this mock draft, he has the Broncos selecting Georgia offensive tackle, Broderick Jones with their 25th overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Jones is a 6’4”, 315-pound offensive tackle from Georgia and is considered one of the top offensive tackles in the draft. The Draft Network has Jones ranked as their 11th overall prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft(rankings are pending to change once prospects declare and whatnot for the draft).
Pros: If there’s one thing about Broderick Jones, he looks the part as an offensive tackle. He has a build and carries his weight well. His movement skills are good and provide hope for his development. His sufficient lateral agility allows him to redirect and handle twists/stunts well without giving up much ground. I like the flashes of versatility in his pass sets—Jones uses short and vertical sets. In the National Championship game, he had impressive reps versus Will Anderson Jr. Jones shows a strong grip to latch his hands onto his opponent. Once he’s engaged and secure, Jones can use his functional reach to essentially “box from the outside.” He can long-arm defenders and hold them at bay. There is an exciting toolbox with Jones to develop and refine his tools this season.
Cons: From a technical standpoint, Broderick Jones is a work in progress. He uses a low hand carriage and “claps” instead of shooting to engage in pass sets. His hand placement is wide and late, allowing defenders free access to his chest. I like the arm length and reach he possesses, but Jones does not maximize his natural advantage. I would like to see him turn his defenders once he has latched. As a run blocker, he can benefit from improving his pad level at the point of attack. As a result, there are instances where he gives up natural leverage.
As we know, the Broncos have issues all over the offensive line. Left tackle Garett Bolles broke his leg, left guard Dalton Risner has struggled and hasn’t received an extension offer from the team, center Lloyd Cushenberry has struggled and is injured as well, right guard Quinn Meinerz needs development, and the right tackle position has been a weakness for over a decade now. So, any help the Broncos are able to get this offseason would be welcomed.
Broderick Jones in pass protection this season:— PFF College (@PFF_College) December 1, 2022
85.4 Pass Block Grade
Zero Sacks Allowed
Zero QB Hits Allowed pic.twitter.com/C5CZB5B9Sm
Another reason why improving the offensive line is needed is the declining mobility of quarterback Russell Wilson. He has shown he isn’t able to escape pressure as he used to, so being able to protect him better has to be a priority this offseason.
The Broncos need more than just a tackle, but getting a rookie tackle to hopefully solve the right or left tackle position for the next four or five years would be ideal. That has been the case for over a decade it seems, so hopefully we can finally get that guy this year.