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Draft Analysis

NFL Draft Needs: Broncos

by Evan Silva
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Evan Silva (@EvanSilva) is the Senior Football Editor for Rotoworld's NFL Page, and Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) leads Rotoworld's college football and NFL draft coverage. Together, they're breaking down every team's biggest needs and offering potential draft-day solutions.

 

For a breakdown on every team, check out the team-by-team draft preview schedule.

Broncos No. 1 Team Need: Offensive Line

 

Silva’s Analysis

 

In both run and pass blocking, last year’s Broncos line play was bad enough that you could argue 4-of-5 starters needed to be replaced. The lone bright spot was C Matt Paradis, who is recovering from two hip surgeries. GM John Elway signed RG Ronald Leary and RT candidate Menelik Watson to big-money deals, but a gaping hole remains at left tackle. In OC Mike McCoy’s return to Denver, the Broncos will implement more power-blocking concepts and run less zone scheme.

 

 

Broncos No. 2 Team Need: Defensive Line

 

Silva’s Analysis

 

The Broncos’ interior defense fell off a cliff after losing DT Malik Jackson and ILB Danny Trevathan last season, plummeting from No. 4 to No. 21 in Football Outsiders’ run-defense DVOA as offenses gashed Denver up the gut. RE Jared Crick would be better suited as a limited-snap lineman, and disappointing NT Sylvester Williams walked in free agency. Denver’s lone notable interior addition was Domata Peko, who turns 33 this season and struggled in run defense with Cincinnati last year.

 

 

Broncos No. 3 Team Need: Tight End

 

Silva’s Analysis

 

McCoy’s past offenses in San Diego (Antonio Gates, Hunter Henry) and Denver (Julius Thomas) made aggressive use of catch-first tight ends, creating mismatches and often incorporating two-tight end sets. In-season trade acquisition AJ Derby did flash promise in limited opportunities before suffering a year-ending concussion. Whether it’s a tight end to threaten the middle of the field or a slot receiver to complement Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, the Broncos need another weapon.

 

Other Consideration: Inside Linebacker

 

2017 NFL Draft: More coverage here

 

 

Norris’ Mock Draft


Round 1 (20): T Garett Bolles, Utah - My pal Eric Galko is certain Bolles will be selected in the top-15 picks. The talent warrants it, but it isn’t easy to find a top-15 fit. At No. 20, the Broncos are the perfect fit in round one. Bolles will be 25 years old as a rookie and is under 300 pounds, two points teams might bring up as questions. However, Bolles is athletic and finishes on a consistently high number of plays. The NFL's barren left tackle market makes it clear that edge blockers could be drafted earlier than many expect.

 

Round 2 (51): TE Evan Engram, Ole Miss - Evan mentioned a slot receiver or tight end as needs in Denver. Engram can be both. McCoy utilized Antonio Gates and Hunter Henry together, particularly highlighting both in the red zone. Engram is one of my favorite prospects in this class.

 

Round 3 (82): DL Chris Wormley, Michigan - Wormley is one of the more underrated and underappreciated prospects in this class. I think the Broncos still have high hopes for Adam Gotsis, but Wormley has experience rushing the quarterback from practically every alignment.

 

Round 3 (101): EDGE Daeshon Hall, Texas A&M - The Broncos need to replace 315 DeMarcus Ware snaps. Hall played opposite Myles Garrett and currently wins with athleticism, size and fluidity but needs to improve his hand and hip use.

 

Round 4 (126): RB Jamaal Williams, BYU - It is interesting that Evan pointed out the Broncos moving away from zone to more of a power style. Williams certainly runs with power, but also gets up field with cuts and agility to anticipate angles. The Broncos lack a consistent and reliable ball carrier.

 

Round 5 (177): LB Matt Milano, Boston College - The Broncos have a track record of selecting linebackers late, turning them into very solid players, then allowing other teams to pay them big contracts. Milano could fit that mold as he flies to the ball.

 

Round 6 (203): CB Nate Hairston, Temple - A project corner with athleticism.

 

Round 7 (238): WR Krishawn Hogan, Marian - A small-school player with a large market share of his team’s production. Hogan also tested in the 78th percentile.

 

Round 7 (252): DL D.J. Jones, Ole Miss - Late-round nose tackle.

 

Round 7 (253): WR Austin Carr, Northwestern - Non-Combine invite. Projects as a slot receiver. Wins on breaking routes.

Evan Silva
Evan Silva is a senior football editor for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .