Broncos Country waits with bated breath to discover George Paton’s plan to solve the ongoing quarterback conundrum, which means it’s time to start exploring various scenarios. In this first mock offseason, I took a stab at how the Broncos could look if they decided to trade for Jimmy Garoppolo. With Aaron Rodgers still a member of the Green Bay Packers in this second scenario, we took a look at how George Paton can play the long game despite the pressure of an ownership transition.
With about $38 million in cap space there’s money to bolster the Broncos roster with outside help as well as re-sign key veterans.
Nose tackle Mike Purcell is released to create $2,799,361 million in additional cap space. The Broncos incur a $1,548,334 dead cap hit for the move.
Teddy Bridgewater is re-signed on a one year $7 M contract with 7 M guaranteed
Calvin Anderson and Malik Reed return on Right of First Refusal RFA tenders, and each carries a $2.433 million cap hit into 2022.
Jonas Griffith and Seth Williams are retained as Exclusive rights free agents, which means they’re playing on one-year contracts at the league minimum.
Cornerback Darious Williams signs a three year contract worth $33 million with $20 million guaranteed, for an average of $11 million per year.
Linebacker Ogbonnia Okoronkwo signs a three year contract worth $10 million, or an average of $3.33 million per year.
Right tackle Riley Reiff is signed to a one year deal worth $5.5 million.
Shortly before it comes time to make a selection with the ninth overall pick we come to terms on a deal with the Washington Commanders. They receive 9, 144, 151, and 247, and in exchange the Broncos receive 42, 73, 111, and a 2023 first round pick. A similar story plays out on day two. Instead of making a pick with the 42nd selection, we agree to a deal with the New Orleans Saints to acquire 49 and a 2023 fourth round pick.
40. Travis Jones - DL - UConn
The sell: A monstrous 320 lb. wardaddy who can be the Broncos’ Linval Joseph
The rationale: Few players made a splash at the Senior Bowl quite like the Husky’s Jones, who showed he could bang with the big boys in Mobile. With Shelby Harris and Mike Purcell on the wrong side of 30 and the Denver run defense was a letdown in 2021, so the Broncos elect to add beef to the interior. Jones won’t notch many 10 sack seasons, but he’s a clogger who can contribute to the pass rush.
#UConn IDL Travis Jones (DT #57):— Jordan Reid (@Jordan_Reid) February 26, 2022
Massive A gap presence that has a lot of twitch overall. This is a three-down player that has some standout reps as a pass rusher and his presence frees others on the second and third levels of the defense. pic.twitter.com/3d5pdtCYyl
49. Carson Strong - QB - Nevada
The sell: Arguably the best pure arm in the class
The rationale: Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock will compete to play the bridge quarterback in 2021, but neither looks like a long term solution. If Strong didn’t have questions about his knee he’d be in the first round mix in this class with his combination of processing, ball placement, and arm talent.
64. Arnold Ebiketie - ED - Penn State
The sell: The Owl turned Nittany Lion is one of the bendiest edges in an extremely deep class.
The rationale: Bradley Chubb’s a Pro Bowl edge rusher when he’s healthy, but has spent time on Injured Reserve three of his four seasons in the NFL. Meanwhile Malik Reed is back on an RFA tag and neither Jonathan Cooper, Aaron Patrick, or Andre Mintze have proven themselves as anything more than promising so far. Ebiketie has the requisite ankle flexion, rush repertoire, and savvy to develop into a Pro Bowl edge rusher in time.
73. Trey McBride - TE - Colorado State
The sell: The former Ram is a BPA pick who gives Hackett flexibility with his personnel.
The rationale: It’s a surprise to watch McBride slide out of the second round after a solid pre-draft process. While Noah Fant and Albert Okwuegbunam look like locks ahead of him on the depth chart, both are quickly approaching the end of their rookie contracts. McBride serves as depth and insurance behind both, and his versatility means the Broncos can stress opponents with heavier personnel groupings.
Trey McBride can handle the Y-TE duties vs DEs that outweigh him by 20lbs…— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) January 19, 2022
75. Breece Hall - RB - Iowa State
The sell: An ideal fit in the new offense with his vision, contact balance, and desiveness.
The rationale: While Javonte Williams is the workhorse in the stable there are significant questions behind him. Hall’s a savvy runner who is well versed in reading the defense in a zone run scheme. He also offers the well rounded game to be a strong compliment to Pookie.
It's the receiving ability that stands out for Breece Hall. His 3.1 receptions per game in is the 90th percentile for RB prospects, and he looks like a natural receiver with YAC ability at 220 pounds pic.twitter.com/Scy1j7hK4Q— Kevin Cole (@KevinColePFF) February 25, 2022
96. Cam Taylor-Britt - CB - Nebraska
The sell: The heir apparent to Ronald Darby?
The rationale: Darby’s entering the second year of a three year contract that the Broncos could move on from in 2023, while Michael Ojemudia’s played in 18 of 33 potential games since he was drafted in the third round of the 2020 draft because of injuries and a benching. Taylor-Britt offers the instincts, physicality, and temperament to become an early contributor to special teams and a long term running mate for Patrick Surtain II.
111. Cordell Volson - OT - North Dakota State
The sell: Competition for swing tackle who has tools to develop into more in time.
The rationale: Bobby Massie and Calvin Anderson are back on one year contracts while Garett Bolles turns 30 in May. Volson is a clean scheme fit who has the reactive athleticism, temperament, and grip strength to become a starting right tackle and tone setter.
All-star games can benefit players who have true versatility the most, and that’s exactly what @NDSUFootball’s Cordell Volson (@Volson23).— Eric Galko (@EricGalko) February 23, 2022
Here he is winning passing blocking reps at RG, RT, and LG. He played four positions well during the week of practice. pic.twitter.com/qatYnrKXlZ
113. Cole Strange - OL - Chattanooga
The sell: A developmental interior player who was twice recognized as the best offensive lineman in the FCS.
The rationale: Contract questions about Dalton Risner and Graham Glasgow means the line could look a lot different by 2023. Strange is a small school prospect who survived his exposures to the ocean who has 44 starts under his belt. He offers the play strength, athletic ability, and competitive toughness to become a tone setter on the line if he can refine his technique.
What grade would you the Broncos for an offseason like this?
This poll is closed
A - I hope Paton does this.
B - Pretty solid, all things considered
C - I don’t like it, but I don’t hate it.
D - Pretty gross
F - Irrelevant all over again