It is customary this time of year to look forward to the next NFL season and wonder, for teams who performed poorly the previous year, what can we do to get over the obstacles that kept us back? Free agency and the NFL Draft help answer that year in and year out.
Focusing on the draft, I have done my share of studying to get ready for who’s name we may hear the Broncos call at fifth in the first round. Of course these predictions hinge on the fact that Denver doesn’t spend outrageous money on a veteran QB in free agency. So for this article, Cousins doesn’t don the Orange and Blue.
Baker Mayfield: Given that the Broncos end up being outbid for a starter caliber quarterback before the draft, I believe the most NFL ready gunslinger that will be available at the fifth pick would be Mayfield. He is a proven winner and his passion is a trait the Broncos need at the position now more than ever. He started 40+ games in college and his TD/INT ratio has improved drastically over his four years in college. For a two time walk-on to make the impact he did at both schools impressed me a lot and I believe every team that passes on him will regret it.
Saquon Barkley: Barkley may not make it past the Colts or Browns at third and fourth overall. If he does he is a Back that would automatically turn the offense into a powerhouse. Given the depth at quarterback in this years draft it’s not outlandish to grab Barkley before making a pick to fill the QB spot.
Minkah Fitzpatrick: Following the same logic as my last pick, if Fitzpatrick makes it past Indy and Cleveland, he would instantly become a starter in the Broncos secondary. With speculation that Talib may be released still heating up this would be a solid pick. Roby isn’t on the same level as Talib at the moment so Fitzpatrick could compete with him to solidify Denver’s secondary for years to come.
Quenton Nelson: The offensive line is in massive need of retooling in 2018. Max Garcia’s biggest weakness is his consistency. He can be serviceable when he’s on his game but when not, he is a literal turnstile. Quenton Nelson would again be an immediate impact player the Broncos desperately need at the guard position.
Mike McGlinchey: Tackle is another major need for the Broncos o-line. Denver took a real gamble on Menelik Watson in 2017 when he failed to produce with the division rival Raiders. It’s nice when a deal like that works out but it seems he was for us what we thought he’d be when Watson was acquired. McGlinchey could be another starting caliber Right Tackle on day one.
(Wild Card) Trading back with the Arizona Cardinals at No. 15
Josh Allen: Trading down is always an option, though the Broncos are in rare territory when it comes to picking this high in the draft. Denver could decide Allen did enough at the senior bowl to garner a middle of the pack position in the first round. Though he is a raw talent, he has the size and gunslinging ability GMs in the NFL nowadays would like to have on their roster. If Allen is able to progress and prove he can be worthy of a first round grade it’d be worth the chance. Elway has struggled to pull the trigger on quarterbacks in the draft of late so this pick may be one he steers away from.
Let me know what you want to see happen on draft day! Any crazy trades you see happening in round one?