After months of anticipation, the Denver Broncos are days away from the NFL Draft. Thanks to the Russell Wilson trade, odds are George Paton won’t make his first selection until Friday. This could make it harder to address the remaining needs on the roster, but gives the team a future Hall of Famer under center. It’s a trade all of us would probably make again. The Broncos’ second year general manager followed it up by adding eight other veterans in free agency, which left us debating:
What do you think the Broncos biggest remaining need is?
Tim Lynch: Cornerback. When looking over the roster, it feels like the Broncos simply don’t have enough defensive backs. They have Ronald Darby, who has durability concerns, and Patrick Surtain II. Outside that, they signed K’Wuan Williams. That leaves Michael Ojemudia and Essang Bassey to fill in the depth chart. To get through a full 17-game season and, hopefully, some playoff games, I feel like Denver is going to need to bring in some youth to fill out that part of their depth chart.
Scotty Payne: Edge or Cornerback. Randy Gregory is coming off surgery that will sideline him for the entire offseason, Bradley Chubb has been injured and ineffective, and the depth behind them is iffy at best. Adding someone who can either add depth or even replace Chubb should be a priority.
Cornerback because Ronald Darby has injury concerns, K’Waun Williams is a solid slot option but the depth behind him is iffy at best. Michael Ojemudia doesn’t appear to be in the plans of Paton/Hackett, so adding someone who can play inside or outside should be key.
Mike DeCicco: Cornerback, preferable one who can help in the return game. We haven’t been able to rely on a game changing play in the return game since Fumblin’ Trindon Holliday (whom I adore). We’ve had big plays in the return game, but they’ve been against us. So somebody who could tackle seems important. But it’s 2022. You always need more cornerbacks. Draft ‘em all and let god sort it out.
Adam Malnati: There’s a bit of a theme here with what the biggest need is for the Broncos in the draft. I’m going to try and go a slightly different direction. How about RB? Javonte Williams proved to be a stud as a rookie, but pairing him with another young player, and creating a solid 1-2 punch that Russell Wilson can rely on to keep defenses honest would be a great move. With Melvin Gordon gone, and Mike Boone an unknown, picking a running back doesn’t seem like that bad of an idea.
Sadaraine: The biggest need in my books is pass rushing talent. The sad thing about that is that unless you move up, I don’t find it likely you are going to find a player who can really impact things this year. Don’t get me wrong: the team does need corners. At the end of the day, I look at what this defense did last season and question what is the one thing that they could do to improve. The answer to that question without a doubt is “get better at rushing the passer.”
Joe Mahoney: Except you can find pass rush talent in the 3rd and 4th rounds and there is a high chance that this draft is one of those where good pass rushers can be found in the 3rd or 4th. The question becomes then, can you find an edge in the 3rd or 4th who will have an impact as a rookie?
Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann: I have a hard time choosing between edge, corner AND O-lineman for biggest need. In our division, we are absolutely going to have to have cornerbacks to handle the receiving threats - and there are many. We need another solid edge rusher - also because of our division and the QBs - but I think we can probably get some great talent in the later rounds. And now that we have a quarterback worth protecting for many years to come, we can always use some o-line depth if not another stud because as good as our o-line could be, it’s also fragile, and one of them will get banged up at some point in the season. So mostly...it’s a good thing I’m not George Paton because I’d have a hard time deciding.
Ian St. Clair: Not to beat a dead horse, but cornerback or edge. If there’s a way for Paton to fill that immediate need with a player the Broncos love, they need to do it. If that means trading up to do so, make it happen. Everyone else has stated the case as to why Denver needs a cornerback or edge rusher and that shows it’s the biggest need. At the same point, I could see Paton using the Broncos’ first pick of the draft on a running back. I’m interested to see what Paton and the front office staff do with this draft. The good news is Denver finally has a QB.
Joe Rowles: The biggest immediate need is depth at cornerback and edge because both spots are stocked with a slew of players with some sort of durability questions. Patrick Surtain II, Ronald Darby, K’Waun Williams, Michael Ojemudia, Essang Bassey, Bradley Chubb, and Randy Gregory all missed time to injury last year. Darby, Williams, Chubb, and Gregory have combined to play two full regular campaigns in their 22 NFL seasons. Looking past this season tackle is the biggest need, however. Garett Bolles is the only tackle that’s been drafted since 2017 and he turns 30 in May.
Grant Johnson: A long-term solution at right tackle. Billy Turner is fine for now, but the one-year deal just screams that the revolving door will just open right back up next offseason. It’s been an issue for as long as QB was before last month