What if the Broncos take a different approach to 2020 free agency than expected? This mock draft looks at a scenario where offense is emphasized in FA.
Throughout the early portion of the offseason, the assumption throughout much of Broncos Country has been that the team will utilize free agency assets to fill needs on the defensive side of the ball (defensive line, cornerback) while using draft assets to fill needs on offense (wide receiver, offensive line).
What if John Elway and the front office take a different approach to free agency than we expect?
What if the emphasis is actually on the offensive side of the ball?
That may sound crazy right now, but because of the strength of the wide receiver class in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Broncos and other teams might try to get coveted free agents at that position at less-than-market deals, or at the very least, deals that reflect no inflation in the market.
Even though this year's class of free agent receivers is not strong (before cuts come in), there are a number of players who will be desirable to NFL teams. One player poised to cash in similar to the way Tyrell Williams cashed in in 2019 is Jets receiver Robby Anderson, a soon-to-be 27-year old vertical threat who has proven his ability to blow the top off of a defense.
Because of the Broncos' interest in John Brown a year ago, it's not out of the question to think this team could be interested in Anderson in 2020. I wrote an article about that very subject on Monday.
So what if the Broncos make Anderson a priority? That doesn't mean wide receiver won't be drafted, it just means it doesn't have to necessarily be in the first round, though it could be.
In fact, what if the Broncos emphasize offense in general in free agency?
John Elway likes to fill needs, so what if the major free agency haul looked something like this:
- S Justin Simmons (franchise tag)
- WR Robby Anderson
- OL Joe Thuney
- OL BJ Finney
- DL DJ Reader
- CB Bashaud Breeland
It's not out of the question to think the Broncos could put together a class like this. With potentially around $70 million in cap space if the team makes expected roster cuts and franchise tags Justin Simmons, this is actually probably a pretty modest class to project for Denver.
Still, it would give them a new starting five on the offensive line of Garett Bolles, Dalton Risner, Finney, Thuney, and Ja'Wuan James. It would also give them a projected starting defensive line of Dre'Mont Jones, Mike Purcell, and DJ Reader.
The cornerback position would be led by Breeland and Bryce Callahan along with a number of other young players with potential to play key roles.
If this were the Broncos' main free agent haul, what would an ideal draft class look like?
Let's open up the Mock Draft Machine and find out...