Denver Broncos: Three LBs to target in the draft with free agents gone

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BOULDER, COLORADO - OCTOBER 05: Brian Casteel #5 of the Arizona Wildcats tries to break free from Davion Taylor #20 of the Colorado Buffaloes in the second quarter at Folsom Field on October 05, 2019 in Boulder, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

The Denver Broncos were said to be targeting linebackers in free agency, but with the top names picked over, here are some 2020 NFL Draft targets.

The Denver Broncos apparently weren't all that interested in the veteran free agent market at the linebacker position.

The Broncos, at one point or another, were connected to:

  • Nick Kwiatkoski
  • Cory Littleton
  • Joe Schobert
  • Christian Kirksey
  • Danny Trevathan

Among other names, the Broncos have seemingly sat out the big money portion of free agency as it relates to off-ball linebackers, and with Todd Davis on a team-friendly $6 million cap hit in 2020, would the Broncos dip their waters into the free agent pool at this point if they weren't getting a clear upgrade?

There's still a possibility that the Broncos will pursue a reclamation project in free agency, but with 11 picks in the 2020 NFL Draft, that seems to be the (wiser) play.

Who would they target in the 2020 NFL Draft? If they were to look at someone in the first round, they might consider LSU's Patrick Queen or Oklahoma's Kenneth Murray, but let's look at some guys they could find on day two and day three.

1. Troy Dye, Oregon

At 6-foot-3, 231 pounds, Troy Dye is a physical specimen with range, instincts, and a lot of football experience.

Over the course of his four years at Oregon, Dye racked up 391 total tackles, 41.5 tackles for loss, 13 sacks, and five interceptions along with 14 pass breakups.

A true three-down threat at the linebacker position, the Broncos undoubtedly have good intel on Dye as they have spent plenty of time around the Oregon Ducks program in recent years and have a trusted scout in the Pac 12 region.

Dye would fill the Broncos' need for a tremendous third-down playmaker, as would all of these possible players.

2. Malik Harrison, Ohio State

Although Harrison is much more of a bull than the other guys on this list, he's the most physically gifted.

At 6-foot-3, 247 pounds, Harrison ran a respectable 4.66 in the 40-yard dash and had a very good 36-inch vertical jump. He's a big, long, strong, athletic linebacker prospect, but you have to project him in coverage.

He may not be as natural playing in coverage as other linebackers, but Harrison is as physical as they come and he has the athletic traits to translate in coverage eventually.

With Todd Davis still under contract, it could be an ideal chance for the Broncos to develop a player like Harrison.

3. Davion Taylor, Colorado

The local product Davion Taylor, who runs a 4.39 in the 40-yard dash, is a fascinating prospect from an athletic standpoint.

His production over the last two years at Colorado was solid, but Taylor's allure is all about what you can do with him in different matchups. He's fast enough to run with any running back or slot receiver, but he's not necessarily a natural in coverage at this point either.

Taylor's religious background prevented him from playing football until he got to college, and although he was productive at Colorado, he still has a lot to learn.

The NFL athletic traits are there for a day three flyer, however.

Next: Broncos day two free agency rumors

Ultimately, it would not be surprising to see the Broncos come away from the 2020 NFL Draft with one of these three guys, especially after striking out in free agency (if you want to call it that).