When the Denver Broncos traded for quarterback Joe Flacco they thought they had found their starting quarterback for the next 1-2 years. General Manager John Elway believed Flacco was entering his prime at 34 years old and as expected he was wrong with that statement as Flacco would lead the Broncos to a 2-6 record before being placed on injured reserve with a neck injury.
With Flacco out for the year, rookie quarterback Drew Lock was the next man up and shined in his role as the new starting quarterback leading the Broncos to a 4-1 record finishing the 2019 season 7-9. Denver has made some notable off-season additions to the team like trading for cornerback A.J Boyue, signing center Graham Glasgow and stealing running back Melvin Gordon from their divisional rivals the Los Angeles Chargers.
Despite the Broncos making some key additions to their roster they still can build up their team in the draft in hopes of returning to the playoffs. Denver has a total of 12 picks in the 2020 draft and here are some positions the Broncos could look to address with them in the draft.
Denver’s d-line tied 17th for the most sacks by a defense with 40 sacks after ranking an impressive 8th in 2018. The Broncos lost their 8-year starter in defensive end Derek Wolfe in free agency to the Baltimore Ravens. Wolfe was a key part to the Broncos d-line last season as he recorded 7 sacks, 1 forced fumble, and 1 pass deflection as he stepped up his game as outside linebacker Bradley Chubb tore his ACL four weeks into the season.
The Broncos did sign defensive end Jurrell Casey in efforts of boosting up their d-line and also adding a veteran who brings his 9-year veteran knowledge with him. They also picked up the 5th year option for linebacker Von Miller which was no surprise as he is the piece that has been holding Denver’s defense together for the last 9 years.
The Broncos can add some young talent to their defense to make their d-line one of the best in the league for 2020 and beyond. A prospect to look out for is defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw who is coming off a decent 6 sack season for South Carolina. Kinlaw is considered the second-best defensive tackle in the draft behind Derrick Brown, with his impressive 6’5 315 lbs frame. Kinlaw has impressive speed and athleticism for his size. Kinlaw can definitely provide for the Broncos future becoming a key part to their d-line; he may even have a possibility to become the starting defensive tackle for the Broncos week 1.
The Broncos traded away wideout Emmanuel Sanders and a 5th-round pick to the San Francisco 49ers for a 2020 3rd rounder and 4th rounder before the trade deadline. Sanders was one of the Broncos top receivers for the last 6 years he was with them, but now the Broncos have found their new #1 receiver in Courtland Sutton. Sutton had an impressive sophomore season with Denver recording 1,112 receiving yards on 72 receptions and had 6 touchdowns. Sutton is really the only top receiver that Denver has as the other 2 starting receivers (Tim Patrick and Desean Hamilton) both had below 300 receiving yards and only one recorded a touchdown (Hamilton) for the season.
Luckily for the Broncos, there will still be some decent talent available in the 2nd round as this wide receiver class is deep as it has ever been.
A prospect to look out for is wide receiver Tyler Johnson who is coming off an impressive season for Minnesota where he played a big role in their receiving corps. Johnson recorded 1,318 receiving yards along with 13 touchdowns, he is not the speed type of receiver or twitchy type but still manages to find the ball with his excellent route running. Johnson can definitely provide some help to Sutton and become his sidekick and even come up with a play when needed.
The Broncos offensive line allowed the 16th most sacks this past season with 41 sacks and had a total of 84 QB hits. Denver is headed in the right direction to give their quarterback of the future Drew Lock some protection by adding right guard Graham Glasgow who played 872 snaps last season and allowed 0 sacks for the season.
The Broncos still have a problem in their o-line specifically at their left guard position not in their starting position but in depth.
Denver currently has 1 backup for their left guard position and could look to add one maybe even find a new starter with their current starter Dalton Risner allowing 3 sacks and had 3 penalties in 2019. A prospect to look out for is 6’6 312 lbs Terrance Steele who could be a starter after a couple of games as a backup. Steele was a decent blocker for Texas Tech his previous years but his 2019 campaign really helped boost up his draft stock. Steele’s most notable attribute is his 36-inch arms that give him a huge advantage when blocking against bigger defensive players.