No Christian McCaffrey, Now What for the Denver Broncos?
What options do the Denver Broncos have if local boy and fan favorite Christian McCaffrey is gone when they make their pick?
Well Broncos Country, we are a little more than a week away from the NFL Draft. Loads of speculation is swirling around this time of year. Who wants who? What player will be drafted where? What teams are looking to trade?
Some of the rumors have some meat to them. Most are just smoke screens intentionally put out by teams to try to ensure that the player they covet is still available when comes their time to pick.
Easily one of the most talked about players since he declared for the draft has been Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey. A dynamic playmaker in college and the son of Broncos favorite Ed McCaffrey, rumors have persisted since the beginning that he would end up in Denver.
Ed McCaffrey and John Elway have the former Super Bowl winning teammates connection, Christian went to high school in Colorado, the Broncos had a bad enough season to be in position to have a legitimate shot at him. Broncos players even want him in Denver.
Everything seems to be in place. With the stars have aligned, Denver can bring home an instant fan favorite. But what if they don’t?
Let’s face it, New England hurt the Broncos. Again. James White’s performance in the Super Bowl absolutely increased the value of a player like Christian. Teams ahead of Denver have serious interest. Even one team has supposedly guaranteed him he will be drafted in the teens.
Yes, this could all be more rumors than anything else. But what if Denver misses out on McCaffrey? Let’s look at some options.
This is perhaps the most talked about move for Denver. Most draft pundits have the Broncos taking a tackle at the 20th spot. Ryan Ramczyk, Garett Bolles and Cam Robinson among others have all been discussed at some point or another. It’s not a sexy move by any means. Shoring up the offensive line has been an off-season priority. It would fit in that line of thinking.
I can tell you right now that if O.J. Howard or David Njoku are within striking distance for Denver, I wouldn’t be surprised to see one of them dawning a Broncos hat on draft night.
While the Broncos have some intriguing tight ends now (Virgil Green, A.J. Derby, Jeff Heuerman) none have the physical tools of Howard or Njoku. Both of these two are the type of tight end that causes defenses to gameplan for them. Something Denver has lacked since Julius Thomas took the money and ran to Jacksonville.
How about speedster John Ross?? The man who just broke the 40 yard dash record? Tell me that wouldn’t be a fun trio to watch, Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders and John Ross running in the slot.
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Whomever wins the quarterback battle this season would have three dynamic recievers to chose from. Ross would also be a boost to the return game, something Denver has struggled with mightily over the past few seasons.
There is almost no chance the Broncos draft Leonard Fournette. But there is a bevy of talented backs that could be available at pick 20. I really don’t see Denver using a first round pick on a running back not named McCaffrey though. Potential impact running backs could be available in the later rounds.
So what do you think? Will Denver make a move to ensure they land McCaffrey? Will trade out of the first round entirely or go defense? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.