The Broncos came into 2017 with aspirations of returning to the playoffs two years after winning the Super Bowl, but an offense that couldn't find a starting quarterback combined with a defense that wasn't historically great against the pass led to a year closer to the top of the draft than the playoffs. What do they need to focus on this offseason? Let's dive into it.
2018 draft picks
- Round 1: Denver
- Round 2: Denver
- Round 3: Denver
- Round 4: Denver, San Francisco
- Round 5: Denver, Atlanta
- Round 6: Denver
- Round 7: Denver
The Broncos picked up a couple extra Day 3 picks for this draft, including trading their fifth-round pick in 2017 plus Kapri Bibbs to the 49ers in exchange for San Francisco's fourth-rounder in 2018. They then landed a 2018 fifth-rounder from Atlanta for Ty Sambrailo in September, giving them some ammunition to move up on the draft's first two days if a particular target starts to slip.
Biggest offseason needs
- Wide receiver
- Offensive line
- Inside linebacker
It all starts with finding a capable quarterback, as the Broncos' offense has been brutal to watch in 2017 with Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch and Brock Osweiler. Even though Lynch was drafted in the first round himself in 2016, it would be no surprise if the Broncos scouted the QB options heavily leading up to the draft.
The Broncos have had two rock solid options at receiver for years, but they continue to get virtually nothing from their secondary receivers. It's time to find some young talent to make the offense more dynamic and potentially prepare to take over a lead role in the offense once Emmanuel Sanders moves on.
The Broncos should be happy with three-fifths of their line, but they need to fill holes at left guard and right tackle, the latter of which being occupied by free-agent bust Menelik Watson this past season. Releasing Watson would save about $5 million on the 2018 cap.
On the defensive side, the Broncos will need to find someone to pair with Brandon Marshall if Todd Davis isn't re-signed. They could also add to their strength at cornerback and give themselves the flexibility to move on from one of the big contracts of their top three options at the position when needed.
Prospects to watch
Finely probably won't go in the first round, but if that's the case, he'll represent enticing value in the second or third round. The 6-foot-4 pocket quarterback is a rhythm passer who flashed impeccable accuracy down the field for the Wolfpack this season and has adequate mobility to be a somewhat effective scramble and even be used on designed runs if need be. He completed 63.9 percent of his passes this season with 16 touchdowns and six picks.
With Demaryius Thomas entering his 30s, the Broncos could be interested in a similarly sized wideout. No, Scott isn't as solidly built at Thomas was when he entered the league out of Georgia Tech in 2010, but he has comparably dominant contested-catch ability and is underrated after the catch at 6-foot-5.
Geron Christian, OT, Louisville
Christian is tall, well-built tackle who, at times, has issues with smaller speed-rushers. More often than not, he's an overpowering tackle with the mobility to effectively climb to the second level and quickly get out in front of screens.
Edmunds doesn't make the game-to-game impact Roquan Smith does from his off-ball linebacker spot, yet his twitchy athleticism and size will allow him to quickly translate to the YAC-predicated NFL. He had 94 tackles and 16.5 tackles for loss last season and 101 tackles with 14.0 tackles for loss this year.