clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The path back to relevancy for the Denver Broncos might be a long one

If you have been following our State of the Broncos series, it’s quite obvious the Denver Broncos have a lot of work to do to become legitimate contenders.

Denver Broncos v Detroit Lions Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

Good morning, Broncos Country.

Over the past two weeks, the staff at Mile High Report covered the major position groups in our State of the Broncos series. We reflected on last season and pontificated about what the future may hold with respect to all of them.

And after going over each review one line of thought seems to be constant and resonates above all others—the Denver Broncos have a lot to do in order to reforge themselves into legitimate contenders.

Very few position groups have a surplus of quality talent. In my opinion, most all of them are in desperate need of a complete makeover and overhaul. Most importantly, the Broncos lack a franchise caliber player at the quarterback position. And as I’ve wrote over the season numerous times, if you don’t have a quarterback in this league—you really don’t have anything.

Lacking picks in their draft arsenal, a dubious cap situation, and the reality of the Broncos having to get rid of quality players just to be cap compliant—it’s hard to imagine Denver will be able to acquire enough talent this offseason to be a formidable contender in 2024. With that in mind, it’s reasonable not to expect a huge turnaround for the team next season or much improvement compared to this last season.

In fact, I think the Broncos’ path to relevancy is a multi-year endeavor. I give Sean Payton and his coaching staff a lot of credit to getting this team to eight wins last year. However, I’m not so certain they will be much better next year if some major improvements aren’t made. And the number one improvement to be made is quite obvious.

It’s no secret, the preferred selection for most folks across Broncos Country at #12 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft would be a quarterback. But will there be one Payton and his staff covet that is worth rolling the dice on? That remains to be seen.

I’ve went on record stating I’d be just fine with Michigan standout J.J. McCarthy if Denver isn’t able to secure Caleb Williams, Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels. Your mileage may vary, but I think he is a great fit for Payton’s offense and has the traits and football intelligence to make a big impression for evaluators in the Mile High City. On the flip side, I’m not a fan of using that selection on Bo Nix or Michael Penix Jr. In a trade down? Certainly. Perhaps the decisions makers in Dove Valley feel differently. Only time will tell.

If they don’t take a quarterback at #12, the best move they could make would be to trade back and acquire more draft picks to patch holes in a proverbial ship that is struggling to stay afloat. Getting back a second rounder would be tremendous, but that would require a large move back and a team falling in love with someone to move up that high.

Nevertheless, that happens every draft. So, the Broncos may get lucky and get a nice bounty of picks from a playoff caliber team who feels they are only a piece or two away from completing a championship caliber roster. That would be a dream come true.

The dichotomy at play here is George Paton’s philosophy, which is acquiring as many picks as possible versus Payton’s, which history has shown he isn’t afraid of being aggressive in the draft to get his guys. It will be interesting to see how that plays out and whose voice ends up being heard when the rubber meets the road.

As eager as we all are to see the Broncos be competitive again, eight years after their Super Bowl 50 victory, a little bit more patience might need to be exercised before that transpires. What do you think, Broncos Country? Can the Broncos make enough moves this offseason to propel themselves into legitimate competitors in 2024? Sound off in the comments section and let me know what you think!

As always—thanks for reading. Here is today’s offering of articles and media for Horse Tracks.

Broncos News & Tidbits

Mile High Morning: Peyton Manning, John Elway highlighted in Super Bowl LVIII program feature story on championship quarterbacks
In the official game program for Super Bowl LVIII, the Broncos’ two world championship-winning quarterbacks are recognized for their athletic and mental prowess under center.

Randy Gradishar waits for formal election to Hall of Fame
The linebacker from the Denver Broncos' famed Orange Crush defense should hear his named announced Thursday during the NFL Honors program.

Douglas County distributes nearly $1M in Denver Broncos sale funds for youth causes
Douglas County leaders decided how to distribute nearly $1 million in funding, triggered by the Denver Broncos sale, with help from youth.

What kind of quarterback is Broncos HC Sean Payton looking for?
We all know Denver Broncos HC Sean Payton did not mesh with veteran QB Russell Wilson. So, what type of quarterback is he looking for?

Guest Column: Denver Bronco Player Explains Why Financial Literacy is Essential for Equality
Ryan Harris, Denver Broncos Super Bowl 50 Champion and Board Member of Economic Literacy Colorado, believes financial literacy is the key to equality.

NFL News & Tidbits

RB Index: Ranking all 72 starting running backs from the 2023 NFL season
Maurice Jones-Drew ranks all 72 starting running backs from the 2023 NFL season. How high does Rams RB Kyren Williams fly after a breakout Year 2? Does Lions rookie Jahmyr Gibbs crack the top 10?

Andy Reid had former Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy talk to offense ahead of AFC Championship Game
Chiefs coach Andy Reid noted during Wednesday's Super Bowl LVIII availability that he had Eric Bieniemy in to talk to the offense before the AFC Championship Game, and the former Chiefs OC's voice clearly resonates with the club after one season away in W

Super Bowl LVIII: Brock Purdy has San Francisco 49ers sitting pretty at QB for near future
Brock Purdy's meteoric rise didn't just help put the 49ers on the path to Super Bowl LVIII -- it also set them up beautifully for 2024. Jeffri Chadiha digs into San Francisco's fortunate quarterback situation.

Tom Brady 'surprised' team did not hire Bill Belichick as head coach for 2024 season
Tom Brady recently said on his "Let's Go" podcast that he is "surprised" that former Patriots head coach is not expected to be the head coach of a team this upcoming season.

Former Bills, Jets HC Rex Ryan interviews with Cowboys for defensive coordinator position
The Dallas Cowboys have interviewed Rex Ryan for their vacant defensive coordinator position, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Wednesday. Ryan was previously the head coach for the New York Jets and the Buffalo Bills, but has been out of the c