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4 winners and 4 losers for the Broncos after the 2023 NFL Draft

The Denver Broncos draft class does shake things up a bit on the roster. Here’s who we think are the winners and losers in Denver.

NFL: Houston Texans at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos picked up five draft picks and have reportedly signed a lot of undrafted free agents this weekend, which should shake things up on the roster heading into the rest of the offseason. Coming up with winners and losers from this wasn’t easy, since most picks after the third-round tend to be more depth-like options. However, there are a few takeaways worth discussing here.

Looking over the changed landscape in Denver, I came up with four winners and four losers to go with one area that is “to be determined.” Take a look and let me know what you think about this list in the comments section below.


Lloyd Cushenberry III

George Paton and Sean Payton waited until the third-to-last pick in the draft to address the center position. It was a position many of us felt was one of the more important needs on this team. That should mean Lloyd Cushenberry is at least safe in 2023, but I would remiss to point out that Tom Nalen - the greatest center in Broncos’ history - was once a seventh round pick. He also didn’t start right away. We’ll have to wait and see how Alex Forsyth does as a rookie in training camp.

Courtland Sutton & Jerry Jeudy

By virtue of not being traded, you’d have to put both Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton in here as winners. There was a ton of buzz around both players being on the trade block. It would appear they’ll both be with Denver this season. The Broncos do have an important decision coming up with Jeudy’s fifth year option. The deadline on that is this week.

As for the roster, I think Sutton, Jeudy, and Tim Patrick will be the big three. I also think Marvin Mims Jr. will figure heavily into Payton’s game plans. There is a lot of talent all over the place at this position group, so we could see some moves made ahead of the season. For now, however, I think those three veterans and the rookie Mims will be the main focus for the starting offense.

Samaje Perine

Most daily readers here would know that I was an absolutely “RB-bro” leading up to the draft. I felt that was the biggest position of need for Denver given the uncertainty of Javonte Williams’ return from a devastating multiple-ligament tear on his knee last season. They signed Samaje Perine in free agency, but he seemed like a good complementary back - not the kind of guy you’d think of as a ‘bell cow’ type player. For now, he’s definitely a big winner from this draft. We’ll also need to keep an eye on the running backs they’ve signed as undrafted free agents. One of those guys could also emerge in training camp.


KJ Hamler & Montrell Washington

The addition of Marvin Mims Jr. could likely spell the end in Denver for not only KJ Hamler, but also Montrell Washington. Mims does everything both players can do. He’s likely better than Washington right now and since Hamler can’t stay healthy, he’ll likely be considered a better option for a roster spot than him as well.

Essang Bassey

Denver did address an area of need on Day 2 when they traded back into the third round to select cornerback Riley Moss. Moss is likely to stick on the roster barring catastrophe, so that would put bubble guys like Essang Bassey in danger of being cut after training camp.

Justin Strnad

Another bubble guy that is now facing a tough road to the final 53-man roster would be linebacker Justin Strnad. Third-round pick Drew Sanders already looks like he’d likely be a big upgrade over Strnad. Sanders has a knack for successful inside blitzes and is very sticky in coverage for an inside linebacker. Those are both roles that Strnad would have needed to fill on defense. He’ll also need to have a big training camp to get one of those roster spots.


Tight End Position

While the Broncos didn’t draft a tight end, they did trade for one when they picked up New Orleans Saints tight end Adam Trautman. Trautman is a former third-round pick by Sean Payton in 2020, so the new head coach clearly has plans for him in his offense. As more of an in-line tight end, he could poach playing time from Greg Dulcich who was more of a pass-catching tight end as a rookie last season. We’ll have to keep this battle in the TBD category to see how the camp battles play out.

Who were your winners and losers for the Broncos after the completion of the 2023 NFL Draft?