3. Connor McGovern figures out center
There’s no two ways around it — Connor McGovern was a downgrade at center in place of Matt Paradis last year.
It’s hard to fault him too much, though.
McGovern had just settled into playing right guard and was actually playing quite well there early on in the season.
Then Matt Paradis went down with his injury and McGovern struggled (according to PFF) pretty badly once he made the switch to center.
So bad, in fact, PFF gave McGovern a pass blocking grade of 0.2, 0.0 being the absolute drop-dead worst grade you can receive, in his week 13 performance against the Cincinnati Bengals.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a PFF grade that low and I’m pretty sure you could get a higher grade by just not playing.
The Broncos need McGovern to play at a higher level, and McGovern needs McGovern to play at a higher level because he’s in a contract year.
Can he establish himself as a legitimate long-term option at the center position? At the very least, can he improve his pass blocking substantially?
He pretty much has to.
If the Broncos can get this and the previous two factors, they will not only be a top 12 offensive line but I feel like they will take an even bigger leap into the top 10 and maybe even the top five.
Health is another major factor here, but that really goes without saying.