The Denver Broncos dominated the first two days of the 2020 NFL Draft with back-to-back wide receivers and one of the top steals of round three.
The 2020 NFL Draft has been one of the most unique experiences with everything being done remotely and with no personal interaction, but the lack of bear hugs for Commissioner Roger Goodell has not prevented John Elway and the Denver Broncos from absolutely dominating.
Over the course of the last five or six months, I have put together a wide variety of mock drafts for the Denver Broncos.
Trade-up scenarios, trade-down scenarios, offense in the first round, defense in the first round. With that said, the idea of taking back-to-back wide receivers was something that really started appealing to me during the 2019 college season, and has been something I've been favoring for months.
The first mock draft I put out with back-to-back receivers to the Broncos happened in early January when I put Henry Ruggs III and Jalen Reagor to the Broncos, and both of those guys ended up going in the top 21 selections.
Earlier in the month of April, I took a look at some of the most interesting possible wide receiver combos for the Broncos in the 2020 NFL Draft, all of which would have been 1st and 2nd-round combinations.
Needless to say, when the Broncos actually pulled the trigger on both Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler with their top two picks of the 2020 NFL Draft, I was ecstatic. The Broncos' wide receiver room has players who will be nice depth pieces, but it lacked consistent playmakers and guys who would force defenses out of stacking the box.
Now, that's not the case.
Although not everyone is going to agree (and that's okay), I would argue the Denver Broncos emerged from the first two days of the draft the biggest winners in the NFL. Let's analyze the picks.
At the start of the month, I was a bit pessimistic the Broncos would be able to land any one of Henry Ruggs III, Jerry Jeudy, or CeeDee Lamb.
Thankfully, the Broncos didn't have to move off the 15th overall spot and still managed to get the player many considered to be WR1 in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Jeudy won the Biletnikoff Award in 2018 as a sophomore and continued showing improvement over the course of his junior season. Although he didn't run a 4.27 like Henry Ruggs, there's no doubt about the fact that Jeudy is an explosive playmaker with the football who can absolutely break ankles with his route running abilities.
The great thing about the Jeudy pick for the Broncos is this -- he's a WR1 type of playmaker.
Everyone was looking at whatever receiver the Broncos got in round one as a WR2 and Robin to Courtland Sutton's Batman, but Jeudy is more Batman than Robin, more Jordan than Pippen.
Jeudy is a technician and a rare rookie receiver poised to make a tremendous rookie impact because he understands how to manipulate coverage and he's pro ready in that regard.
Especially at pick 15 overall, this is a steal for the Denver Broncos.
Although he didn't run at the 2020 Scouting Combine, KJ Hamler is one of the fastest players in this rookie class and that's easy to see when you turn on the tape.
John Elway attended one game in person this past season -- Penn State vs. Ohio State -- and got to see Hamler go up against Jeff Okudah and the stellar Ohio State secondary. Hamler only had three receptions for 45 yards in the game, but Elway apparently liked what he saw.
Heading into the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, everyone was expecting offensive line or cornerback for the Broncos, some thinking that linebacker or safety could be a wild card selection.
No one really expected John Elway to use his second pick on a wide receiver, but that's exactly what he did.
Elway did what has never been done before in Broncos history. Not only was Jerry Jeudy the highest selected receiver in team history, but the Broncos doubled up on receiver with their top two picks for the first time in Broncos history.
How can this lineup not get you excited?
Drew Lock said it best:
The Broncos' offensive skill position lineup is now as follows:
QB: Drew Lock
RB: Phillip Lindsay, Melvin Gordon
WR1: Courtland Sutton
WR2: Jerry Jeudy
SLOT: KJ Hamler, DaeSean Hamilton
TE: Noah Fant
This is a dream scenario for me personally. The Broncos now have weapons upon weapons and I wouldn't hate it if on day three they found a way to add Lock's old pal at Missouri, Albert Okwuegbunam, as another dynamic receiving threat at tight end.
The Broncos have size, speed, route running, after the catch ability, and a ton of mismatches in single coverage. How do you cover all of these players at one time?
This is an incredibly exciting pick for the Broncos simply for what it means for the ripple effect of everything and everyone else in the offense.
Words cannot express how pleased I was with the Broncos going with back-to-back receivers to open the 2020 NFL Draft followed by an Iowa Hawkeyes player.
If you've been reading the site for a while, you know of my affinity for the Hawkeyes, so I like this pick for the Broncos even if they took Ojemudia 20 picks higher than I probably would have in any mock draft scenario.
Ojemudia is a tremendous zone corner with instincts and some of the best run support tackling ability in this draft.
Iowa's defense is one the Broncos will likely continue paying attention to with Fangio at the helm as their scheme is similar to what Fangio likes to run, at least in terms of the secondary and asking linebackers to cover.
Fangio also said the Broncos felt fortunate to get Ojemudia with the 77th pick despite many of us thinking it was a reach.
When the Broncos passed on Cushenberry at 77, all of Broncos Country shouted their expletives.
Thankfully, he was still on the board with the 83rd overall pick, a scenario that has been impossible in the last two months of making mock drafts.
Cushenberry is everything you look for in an NFL center, and he's even got some nice physical tools to boot. He's smart, physical, experienced, a leader, and a great teammate. He was the first offensive lineman ever awarded the jersey number 18 for the Tigers (which he couldn't wear in games) for representing the team well on and off the field.
How in the world did the Broncos get him at 83? He's going to be the team's starting center and no one would have batted an eye had Denver taken him at 46 or even traded up in round two to get him.
If you didn't already say it for the Michael Ojemudia pick, this was for sure the first pick the Broncos made where you were probably like, who??
McTelvin Agim was once a five-star recruit from the state of Arkansas who chose the Razorbacks over Alabama and pretty much any other school he could have gone to. He ended up playing defensive end for a couple of years before gaining weight and transitioning to interior line this past season, and although he's relatively unknown to the masses, I'm with what his agent is saying here:
The Broncos are going to coach up Agim to hopefully be a starter in year two, but there is no reason he can't make an impact as a rookie in situational pass rush duties.
Although it may not have been the pick everyone scripted, the Broncos got themselves a high-upside interior defensive lineman who can rush the QB, which is never a bad idea.