NFL Draft: Who Would the Broncos Trade Up For?


The Denver Broncos have been quiet in the early stages of free agency, but don’t expect that to last forever, especially with the number of needs this team has. John Elway and company are setting the table for the depth chart to be filled with more home grown Broncos, and that means that for a team with Super Bowl aspirations, it’s going to take a lot of significant growth from young players to make a run.

That will include the performance of the Broncos’ rookies, which won’t be determined until April and early May. With as many needs as the Broncos have and the way the market for free agents has been, it’s going to be a shock if the Broncos don’t go into this year’s draft with at least one or two prominent needs, whether for an immediate starter or someone who can be on call.

More from Predominantly Orange

For those reasons, it wouldn’t be out of the question for the Broncos to make some kind of move to go up in the draft and get a player they feel not only fits their scheme, but someone who can come in and start right away on a team that hopes to compete for a championship.

In this draft, what would be worth trading up for? Well, certainly not a running back, as this year’s class is as deep as I’ve ever seen. The Broncos might have a fourth or fifth round grade — no, seriously — on a guy who slips through the cracks entirely as an undrafted free agent.

There’s no need to trade up for a wide receiver, since the Broncos are pretty well set there. Obviously, the Broncos could shock the world and trade up for a quarterback, but I really don’t see that happening.

For my money, I think we could see the Broncos move up in the draft for a pass rusher or offensive lineman, two spots that are really top heavy in the draft and very deep at the top.

To be specific, one player that I would really like to see the Broncos trade up for is Iowa offensive tackle Brandon Scherff, and there are a variety of reasons why.

Not the least of which is the fact that I am an Iowa football fan, and I’ve seen every game of Scherff’s career, but I think he provides the Broncos exactly what they need on the offensive line and gives them tremendous versatility and flexibility.

Scherff has been an All-American caliber left tackle for the Hawkeyes, but in studying his game more closely, I think he has the potential to be an All-Pro guard for years to come. His movement skills are fantastic, which would suit the Broncos’ zone blocking scheme ideally. He has excellent technique, which is not uncommon for a Kirk Ferentz pupil, and is something that NFL teams covet.

Because of the offense run at Iowa, Scherff is well-versed in different blocking schemes, including zone concepts already. He has excellent power and is a mauler when he gets to the second level.

The biggest knocks on Scherff are quick feet in pass protection and his injury history, which teams will certainly have to look at moving forward. The fact that he doesn’t have the quickest feet leads me to believe the 6-foot-5, 320 pound mauler is going to be better inside at guard, because though he struggles with edge rushers, he is completely capable in pass protection and is pro-ready in nearly every phase of his game.

The questions the Broncos will have to have answered are in regards to his health. There’s no question Scherff can play, is a top 15 prospect (likely), and would fill a major void on the line. We saw the Broncos let go of Orlando Franklin, who signed a huge deal with the San Diego Chargers. They snagged Franklin in the middle of the second round of John Elway’s first draft with the team.

The high first round is not the only place to find a lineman that can excel at the next level, but it’s not a bad place for the Broncos to look in this particular draft as I feel Scherff is such an excellent scheme fit and provides versatility.

With Michael Schofield already in the fold as a potential starting right tackle, adding Scherff to play left guard next to Ryan Clady and hopefully a free agent signing at center would give the Broncos a young, unproven, inexperienced, but talented offensive line.

That would basically be the opposite of what they had this past year, when the line was a bit older, proven, experienced, and clearly not as talented as it needed to be.

Peyton Manning covers a multitude of errors committed by the offensive line because of his pre-snap reads and quick release, so that could make it an ideal year for the Broncos to bring along a rookie and a redshirt in the same year.

They could sit at pick no. 28 and probably take someone, but he wouldn’t likely be as talented as Scherff. Or maybe he would. Maybe Scherff will unexpectedly fall to the 28th spot.

Who knows?

I just feel like if there’s a player the Broncos could trade up for in this year’s draft, Scherff has got to be near the top of the list.

Next: Broncos Will Need Young OL to Step Up