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.
No. 1 Team Need: Quarterback
Following the retirement of Peyton Manning and free-agent exodus of Brock Osweiler, the Broncos' quarterback depth chart is topped by journeyman Mark Sanchez, with only 2015 seventh-round pick Trevor Siemian behind him. Coach Gary Kubiak runs a zone-blocking, bootleg-heavy offense that requires its quarterback to have movement skills and make throws on the run.
No. 2 Team Need: Offensive Line
One of the few weaknesses of last year's Super Bowl champs was offensive line play. GM John Elway is fully aware, landing bookend tackles Russell Okung and Donald Stephenson in free agency. While Matt Paradis provides adequate center play, 2015 fourth-round pick Max Garcia struggled in pass protection last season and second-rounder Ty Sambrailo will spend the offseason learning to play guard after spending his entire college career and rookie NFL season at tackle. The Broncos need reinforcements on the interior.
No. 3 Team Need: Defensive Line
Another strong consideration for Denver's third need is inside linebacker, where Danny Trevathan bolted in free agency and Brandon Marshall is in a contract year. The Broncos' defensive line also lost a stud in Malik Jackson, and free agent interior rusher Antonio Smith has not been re-signed. The Broncos need a starting-caliber 3-4 end to play across from LE Derek Wolfe. In DC Wade Phillips' version of the 3-4, defensive linemen are asked to get upfield and penetrate rather than occupy blocks.
Norris' Mock Draft
Round 1 (31): T Jason Spriggs, Indiana - As Evan mentioned, The Broncos prioritized tackles in free agency, but neither contract can really be deemed “long term.” Spriggs could be that long term option and offers a good amount of athleticism for an offensive tackle. To fulfill more buzzwords, Spriggs also has very long arms.
Round 2 (63): QB Christian Hackenberg, Penn State - You have to wonder if Elway sees some of himself in Christian Hackenberg. Really, it is a complete unknown where the PSU quarterback lands. His best season came as a freshman, aided by Allen Robinson and an offense Hackenberg successfully functioned in. Perhaps the Broncos can offer a similar scenario.
Round 3 (94): LB Dominique Alexander, Oklahoma - Alexander’s tape is far better than his testing numbers. He tested like one of the worst linebackers in this class (despite a 4.76 forty), so those are long odds to overcome. However, he is a physical player, solid against the run and some teams might see his forty time and not factor in the rest.
Round 3 (98): DL Dean Lowry, Northwestern - A great fit for the Broncos’ defensive line. Lowry is an outstanding athlete who can really get upfield with explosion. He can play on the edge and also work inside to different alignments.
Round 4 (136): G Connor McGovern, Missouri - Another great athlete among his peers. McGovern has experience at left tackle, right tackle and right guard. His game is growing in pass protection, but he has the power to create push in the running game.
Round 5 (144): S Will Parks, Arizona - A really fun prospect to watch. Parks has plenty of quickness and speed, playing from a variety of alignments and closing on the football.
Round 6 (219): RB Peyton Barber, Auburn - A really power runner who can slice through lanes, get downhill and fall forward on final contact.
Round 7 (253): CB Kevin Seymour, USC - Depth at corner. That is all I’ve got.
Broncos Current Offensive Depth Chart
QB: Mark Sanchez
RB: C.J. Anderson
WR: Demaryius Thomas
WR: Emmanuel Sanders
TE: Virgil Green
TE: Jeff Heuerman
LT: Russell Okung
LG: Ty Sambrailo
C: Matt Paradis
RG: Max Garcia
Broncos Current Defensive Depth Chart
LE: Derek Wolfe
RE: Vance Walker
ILB: Brandon Marshall
ILB: Todd Davis
OLB: Von Miller
OLB: DeMarcus Ware
LCB: Aqib Talib
FS: Darian Stewart
SS: T.J. Ward