Before the draft started, I had the following positions of need: WR, TE, RB, DE, ILB, CB and OL. Yes, that’s most of the team, but mostly the offense. Not since Julius Thomas has Denver had a decent TE, Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are aging and often dealing with injuries. There’s been no slot since Wes Welker and the two guys drafted last season either were hurt or couldn’t catch.
We had two running backs, neither has shown the spark we need and things look iffy with Roby. Then there’s questions about Adam Gotsis and Derek Wolfe who have their own red flags. When you look at the drafting from the last seven years, there wasn’t a lot of hope or record to think all these concerns would be addressed. Happily, it appears I was wrong.
I said all last season and somewhat since 2016 that the locker room was a mess. It is unacceptable for players to air dirty laundry, post practice footage, complain about current players and this was allowed. Division was allowed and negativity to rule. How a team reacts from losses goes to the character and coaching of a team…ours was lacking, to be kind.
It was time to clean the locker room out AND for some coaches to stop being the players’ friends. Elway fired several. In addition, Teams like the Chiefs and Jaguars this off season either removed or traded players they thought weren’t helpful or respectful to their young QBs. I believe this also underfoot.
One thing we know is Denver recently had a tendency to bring in/draft guys with strong religious backgrounds and ones with character. Last year’s draft class seemed to have less, so I’d say a lack of Gary Kubiak was the reason. Not only did they pick up where they left off, they also looked for guys with strong leadership backgrounds.
Clearly, there is a culture change going on. I believe we will see more veteran players removed if they don’t step up their game, both in play and character. Denver was allowing the deck hands to run the ship and we saw mutiny. Looks like that is ending. Captain John has had enough, this should also help Vance Joseph get a grip.
With that said, welcome in your new men, each drafted/signed to replace or push the vets in place.
OLB/DE Bradley Chubb @astronaut can play outside and in, which answers the red flags on the DE’s and Shane Ray. “If you watch the film from last year I did it a lot. I stood up a lot and I was in three-point stance a lot. I’m used to both things and I’m ready to see where I fit.”
WR Courtland Sutton @SuttonCourtland is a big bodied WR who nails the deep pass and will be groomed to take over DT in the ear future. Most likely unseating E, sooner. “Wherever it is, outside or inside, if I have to motion out of the back field, if I have to block off the edge and give the allusion as a two tight end set when it is really only a one tight end set and I am blocking off on a linebacker, that is what I am going to do.“
RB Royce Freeman @rolls_royce21 not only racked up over 5,000 rushing yards, he also averaged 10 yards a catch. “I feel like all of that durability and all of those carries just reflected my productivity throughout my four years at Oregon. It is not often you get backs playing as many games or taking as many carries. I feel like the fact that I was able to do so proves I am a durable running back.”
DB Issac Yiadom @isaacshowtime was the only guy who was able to match-up with speedster DJ Chark at the Senior Bowl. He’s versatile and could play S or CB. “Every single year we know that we have such a high expectation at B.C. because of Justin (Simmons) that we all have to fulfill. We all stay in touch with Justin every day and he still talks to us. It’s something that keeps us going.”
ILB Josey Jewell @josey_jewell lives up to his namesake. He’s cool, dangerous, football smart and a sharp shooter who destroys everyone in his path. “We are in there trying to understand offenses as much as we can, understand what formations that they run certain plays to pass out of and certain three-step drops and stuff like that. There is a lot of film stuff going in to it. It really helped me because I did not run the fastest time ever – not even close. I had to be able to make up from somewhere else.”
WR DaeSean Hamilton @SkeeterMills__ is another player to push existing players. He has the potential to unseat everyone. “All of us being captains and being really prestigious football players for our universities, it’s a testament to a lot of us guys that got drafted, that these are the kind of guys you want to build a football team around.”
TE Troy Fumagalli @TroyFumagalli May be missing an index finger, but it doesn’t seem to affect his catching prowess. He’s a big boy who could (please) be an equal threat with Butt giving Case and Paxton a big red zone target whobwill fit in seemlessly. “I just think I’m a well-rounded player and I think the pro-style offense–Coach Chryst (Geep’s brother) coached in the league for so long and he has a plan, a system and a scheme. All the things we do at the tight end position, both blocking and catching, I think things like that will translate to the next level.”
G Sam Jones @samthejonesy AKA Jason Momoa helps add depth to the Guards and will duel with MCGovern at RG, is the best guess. He’s another local boy. “That’s one of the craziest situations because I have been working out with all of them. I was actually joking with Connor the other day because I have long hair right now. He had long hair when he went in and they made him cut it, and I was like, ‘Man, I don’t want to cut my hair.’ He said, ‘Don’t worry about it, I think only the Broncos do that.’ So I guess I’m going to have to say goodbye to the hair.”
LB Keishawn Bierria @KBierria is another player added for depth, but he’s fast, smart, has a nose fornthe ball and a good leader, so even if he ends up on the practice squad, he’ll be an asset to the team. “That is really what led to me leading the nation in fumble recoveries – my ability to just run to the ball and get to the ball.”
RB David Williams @D_will33 brings the drafted backs to four, as a player with good hands, he and Royce go along with Booker for this. He’s also a tough between the tackles runner. “I think I can do everything out of the backfield. I am a great pass protector. I catch well out of the backfield. I can also run in between the tackles with elite speed to get away if I am getting chased.”
The following players were signed as of tonight:
S Trey Marshall, Sr @TreyMarshall20 is a hard hitting safety who’s also played nickel. His 2017 season was marred by upheaval among the coaching staff. I’m biased and hope with better coaching he can make the final roster.
DT Lowell Lotulelei @llotulelei is a 320 big boy tackle who could be seen as competition with Kyle Peko as the back-up NT.
RB Phillip Lindsey @I_CU_boy the hometown boy has a chip and a desire to prove the Broncos were right to sign him.
WR Jimmy Williams @Pedro_Dunkin is more added depth who puts a lot of stock in his music career.
OLB Jeff Holland @holland_jeffery had double digit sacks at Auburn and 65 pressures. Not sure why he dropped, but Shaq Barrett will have someone breathing down his neck.
OG/C Austin Schlottmann @AustinS95 had been working with Denver’s new Strength and Condidiotng coach, Loren Landow, for a while, so it’s no wonder he was on their radar.
OT Leon Johnson @HTLJ53 was a starter as both a left and right tackle. His versatility is a big plus.