The Denver Broncos won their first game of the season this past Sunday when they came back to defeat the Chicago Bears. This ended their three-game losing streak to start the season and moved them out of the winless team club that now just includes the Bears and Panthers.
Those hoping for the Broncos to get the number one overall pick and select USC quarterback Caleb Williams probably were not thrilled with this outcome, but there is a lot of season left. Right now, according to Tankathon, the Denver Broncos currently own the 4th overall selection in the 2024 NFL Draft.
Only the Bears(twice, since they own the Carolina Panthers first-round pick) and their divisional rivals the Las Vegas Raiders are ahead of the Broncos right now in the draft order. It is only October 3rd, so a lot can and will change, but it appears the Broncos could be in the Caleb Williams and Drake Maye sweepstakes for the long haul.
I say this because the Broncos' schedule looks pretty brutal from here on out. Sure, they did win this past Sunday, but that defense still gave up 335 yards passing and four touchdowns to Bears quarterback Justin Fields. Sure, they had a nice come-from-behind win, but the fact it took a crazy comeback to beat the Bears is not a great sign for the Broncos.
This upcoming Sunday, the Broncos host the New York Jets who are in a bit of a spiral themselves. They lost Aaron Rodgers after just four snaps and Zach Wilson has not played well. However, he did look good this past Sunday Night vs. the Chiefs and the Broncos defense just made Justin Fields look good, so we shall see.
After the Jets game, things get rough. They play the Kansas City Chiefs twice in a three-week span. First, they head to Arrowhead on Thursday Night to take on the Chiefs, then host the Packers, then play the Chiefs again before heading east and playing the Buffalo Bills on primetime. That’s a tough stretch of games where the Broncos likely will not be favored. At the very best, the Broncos are looking at a 3-5 record heading into the trade deadline and the bye week before their primetime matchup vs. Josh Allen and the Bills. It’s unlikely they beat the Chiefs with how bad this defense has looked, but they could potentially beat the Jets and maybe the Packers. Even then, we could see the Broncos trade some pieces at the deadline and just have a tough second half of the year.
I hate to be all doom and gloom, but the Broncos fumbled the “easy part” of their schedule and now head into a tough stretch at 1-3 with the league's worst defense. So, I have a feeling we will be watching the draft order a good bit in the coming weeks and months.