The 2019 NFL Draft is over. The Denver Broncos have made their picks; let’s grade them on how they did.
The 2019 NFL Draft has come and gone. There is no more speculation or debate. Draft picks have found the team they will call home, and undrafted free agents are working to find their spot with a team.
John Elway and the Broncos made their draft selections, now it’s time to give them a final grade.
First, let’s do a quick recap of the Broncos 2019 Draft Class.
1st round- Noah Fant (TE)
2nd round- Dalton Risner (OL)
2nd round- Drew Lock (QB)
3rd round- Dre’Mont Jones (DL)
5th round- Justin Hollins (LB)
6th round- Juwann Winfree (WR)
Many fans on social media were scratching their heads when the Broncos traded the 10th pick to the Steelers to trade down to the 20th, where they eventually took Fant. However, Elway received picks for the 2019 and 2020 draft in this deal and was wheeling and dealing during the rest of the draft, even bringing back Dekoda Watson in a trade with the Niners.
This is definitely an exciting move for Broncos Country. For those who may not recall, Watson played for the Broncos in the 2016 season.
So, how did the Broncos do?
I give John Elway an A on the 2019 draft.
Elway catches a lot of flack for his quarterback track record outside of Manning and occasionally missing on a draft pick (what GM hasn’t?), but he followed up his outstanding 2018 draft class with a star-studded 2019 draft. Through in draft trades, Elway managed to land three first-round talent players with just one first-round pick–Fant, Risner, and Lock were all typically mocked in the first round.
While many may not have felt that TE was a need, Fant is the perfect fit for Joe Flacco and an overall good addition, especially considering the question mark at the TE position. We are still unsure of how Jake Butt will recover from injury, and we really have yet to see Jeff Heuerman reach his full potential. I personally can’t wait to see what Noah Fant brings to this offense.
The Dalton Risner pick really speaks for itself. Risner was high on the list of available offensive line prospects, and fans already love him. Risner, a Colorado boy, promised himself that one day he would be a Bronco, and that wish came true on Friday. While Denver’s offensive line started off hot last season, like much of the team, they sputtered out and struggled to find common ground in the interlude of the 2018-2019 season.
Risner is a player that is capable of making an immediate impact and will be an important piece of the offensive puzzle.
While I am unsure of Drew Lock, he has tremendous upside and reminds many of the (good) qualities of Jay Cutler. The best part of obtaining Lock is that many expected Elway would have to take him with the 10th pick if he was even available. Not only did Elway not have to take him that early, but he was also able to get the opportunity to nab him on Day 2.
Being a 2nd round pick takes the pressure off of Lock to produce immediately, and he will get time to sit behind Joe Flacco and learn.
Dre’Mont Jones and Justin Hollins, both defensive players, will add depth to the defense and while they may not play immediately, they will get to learn behind some of the best and provide an opportunity to expand the Broncos’ talent on the defensive side.
WR Juwann Winfree will provide depth to the wide receiver position and adds youth to the position. If Winfree becomes an immediate role player, the Broncos have a very, very young and potentially very talented receiving core- Emmanuel Sanders may be considered a veteran, but he has lots of miles left in the tank, while Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton are only second-year players.
Perhaps Winfree could even find a role as a special teamer; Denver has been seeking out a consistent punt returner since the departure of Trindon Holliday.
Overall, Elway was able to deal his way into drafting three first-round talents, fill some position need and add depth to the roster. This was a very successful draft and a deserved A grade. This season will be very fun to see how these picks are utilized.
Broncos Country, what did you think of the Broncos 2019 draft class?
Let us know!