As I write this, the Broncos hold round 1 pick 5. With all the talk of the Buffalo Bills looking to trade into the top 5 and holding picks 12 and 22, are the Broncos a viable trade partner? Simple answer is, yes. Below are my top 5 picks at each possible draft position.
Round 1 Pick 5
The signing of Case Keenum should eliminate the Broncos taking a QB at 5 in my opinion. After comments by head coach Vance Joseph this weekend, this seems like a strong liklihood.
The team as a whole has far too many needs that a generational player could walk in and change straight away, rather than sit behind a QB for 2 years. To me that would be a wasted pick. I’m a defensive person so my number 1 prospect at 5 is linebacker Tremain Edmunds. Instant 3 down starter that can cover a slot receiver, tight end or running back, has the ability to fill out more allowing for a stronger performance versus the run. When you review the 2017 Broncos, they ranked 31 against tight ends and running backs – Edmunds would improve this linebacker core to be top 10.
Options 2 and 3 are an A or B sort of scenario. If you’re an offensive person, Nelson is probably the best player in the draft, a nasty lineman who will be a pro bowler every year he will be in the league.
If you’re a defensive person, Derwin James could be the ultimate swiss army knife hybrid to ever enter the league. Capable of playing in the secondary, linebacker core or edge rusher he’s also an alpha dog who clearly would neutralize the acidic locker room the Broncos currently have.
Saquon Barkley is the best skill player in the draft and at this stage of the process a luxury to the Broncos. He can run, catch and return, he’s explosive at every stage of his run with the ability to turn a 3 yard loss into a touchdown.
Denzel Ward is my 5th option. Pure skill at the cornerback position. Can cover any receiver from day 1, he’s easily the best man-to-man bump and run cover corner in this draft.
If the Broncos trade with the Bills and they get 12 and 22, below are my top 5 at each pick position.
Round 1 Pick 12
Round 1 Pick 22
If the Broncos get two 1st round picks this year, Elway will have a dilemma of sorts. I personally think Linebacker and offensive line are the 2 urgent needs that must be addressed first. If the linebacker they fall in love with is still on the board then they should take him at 12 and an olineman at 22. If the linebacker has gone, but the olineman is still there, then they should take him at 12 and linebacker at 22. If by some miracle, Minkah Fitzpatrick is still available, then they should take him without hesitation. I’ve probably graded Isiah Wynn and Mike McGlinchey too high, but I don’t think they will be available at 22.
All in all, the Broncos have plenty of options and flexibility and most could be impact players that can start week one as both Matt Russell and Vance Jospeh have said they want.