As long as we had to wait for the draft, the wait is finally almost over and it now feels like there’s a lot of information to cram in before everything kicks off on Thursday night.
For the Denver Broncos, this year’s draft is something that they are going to be able to use to supplement their current roster depth as well as get some players that can be eventual starters and replacements down the road. Or is that the goal of every draft ever?
Anyway, here are five bold predictions for the Broncos this week:
1. The Broncos Will NOT take a MLB in Round One
As much as I believe Ryan Shazier is a perfect fit for the Broncos, people are getting a little crazy thinking the Broncos will trade UP to draft a non-pass rushing linebacker. This is insane for 2 reasons.
1. John Elway isn’t displeased with Nate Irving, apparently.
2. John Elway says MLB is a 2-down position.
Therefore, the Broncos have no need to use a premiere pick (1st round) on a non-pass rushing linebacker that will come off the field on third downs. Shazier is a different player because of his ability to move around the formation and the fact that he has safety like speed, but he’s now expected to be gone when the Broncos pick. Even so, I’m going to boldly predict that what we thought was the top need all along — MLB — will not be picked in round one.
2. The Broncos Will Take a WR in Round One
This may be my boldest prediction. With Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker’s contracts expiring after this season coupled with the fact that Eric Decker is now gone, why would the Broncos not take a WR with size when it’s the deepest position in the draft?
John Elway specifically noted the WR position as the reason why this draft has such great depth, so the likelihood of the ‘best player available’ being a WR when the Broncos pick is pretty high.
Plus, you need at least a year in the NFL as a receiver to come in and learn the speed of the game. Look at the first years of players like Brandon Marshall and Demaryius Thomas with the Broncos for a reference.
3. The Broncos Will Address the PR Situation
It dawned on me as I was looking over the Broncos’ roster that one of the greatest deficiencies is at punt returner. The team wants Emmanuel Sanders to be more of a focal point offensively, so they hope to not have to use him on punt returns. This is why a player like Marqise Lee in the first round would satisfy both my 2nd and 3rd predictions.
4. The Broncos Will Draft a TE
Crazy as it sounds, the Broncos could upgrade at TE. They use a LOT of 2 and 3 TE sets and need some more guys that are good blockers. For this reason, they had representatives at the Pro Day of the Washington Huskies (Austin Seferian-Jenkins) and brought in Iowa TE C.J. Fiedorowicz for a pre-draft visit. Those are two of the top 5 TEs in the draft with speed and blocking ability. You might see this as high as round 2 or 3.
5. The Offensive Line Is Not a Weakness, As Many Believe
If the Broncos want to upgrade on the OL, the player better be someone who was in the top 25 of their final board. They have a solid starting five right now, even with Orlando Franklin moving to LG and Chris Clark moving to RT. Both players did well this past season, and with Ryan Clady coming back, the OL is already getting a huge upgrade.