The 2019 NFL Draft has concluded and the Denver Broncos came out of it while filling some needs.
In February, Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio said that the team was not going to draft for need. That could either mean one of two things.
One, the strategy going into the draft is to draft for depth. Or two, they will draft players they could use immediately, but not make the strategy a priority.
When teams talk to the media about the NFL Draft, they always mention “sticking to their board”. Which players are higher on their draft board? It could be players that they don’t necessarily need to start immediately. Depth is very important in the NFL.
The Broncos started their draft by selecting Iowa tight end Noah Fant. Fant should make an immediate impact for the Broncos. His size and speed should prove to be a mismatch for opposing defenses.
With their second selection, the Broncos took offensive lineman Dalton Risner. Risner is going to be inserted at one of the guard positions, as Garett Bolles and Ja’Wuan James are locked in at left and right tackle, and Connor McGovern is inserted as the center.
The Broncos had two picks in the second round and with their second selection, they took Missouri quarterback Drew Lock.
Lock will compete to be the backup quarterback to starter Joe Flacco, but the plan is to eventually insert him as the starting quarterback. Lock has been on the team’s radar for a while and the selection of him is very valuable, as he was projected to go in the first round.
In the third round, the Broncos selected defensive lineman Dre’Mont Jones. Defensive linemen are situational players, for the most part, so he will see how much the Broncos use him.
Jones is a solid player who will play both defensive end as well as defensive tackle for the Broncos. His versatility is very important to the Broncos because of the departure of defensive tackle Domata Peko, who the Broncos let walk.
In the fifth round, the Broncos selected linebacker Justin Hollins. Hollins is a great addition to the Broncos because of his speed (4.5 40-yard Dash). If he is put on the field alongside Von Miller and Bradley Chubb, opposing offenses better watch out.
The Broncos are in need of somebody that can cover tight ends. Covering tight ends has been their kryptonite the last couple of seasons.
Juwann Winfree was the team’s final selection in the 2019 draft. The Broncos may need help at the wide receiver position at the beginning of the season if Emmanuel Sanders isn’t fully healed from a torn Achilles.
Winfree is listed at 6’1”, 210 lbs. If he makes the team (I say “if” because of his late-round status — you never know), he could be in play to be an outside receiver on the other side of second-year player Courtland Sutton.
The Denver Broncos did not draft a cornerback in the draft this year despite the Chris Harris Jr situation. The fact that they went this direction could mean that they are confident that they can get a deal done with their star cornerback.
To recap, some of the players the Broncos drafted are set to make an impact right away, while others are going to have to wait their turn. I love the directions that the Broncos went in the draft this year. Hopefully, it all works out.
It may take a couple of years to determine how well the team did in this draft, but I have a strong feeling they struck gold.