How can Denver Broncos solve their right tackle position?
The Denver Broncos are entering yet another offseason without a long-term right tackle solution. How can they fix this during the 2022 offseason?
When the Denver Broncos broke the bank for Ja’Wuan James before 2019, the idea was that he’d be the team’s long-term right tackle solution.
I think most of us know how that worked out. The team was counting on James before the 2021 season, but he tore his Achilles, which eventually led to veteran Bobby Massie getting the starting job.
Bobby Massie played pretty well, all things considered. His 70.0 PFF grade and 1 infraction on the season are nothing to ignore, but at 32 years old, can Massie be counted on to hold the position down for the long term? Doubtful.
The 2022 NFL Draft looks to have some solid right tackle options, and the team has not drafted a tackle since Garett Bolles, so they’re long overdue for selecting one.
However, it’s not entirely likely that a rookie draft pick could start immediately, so Denver is going to have to find another temporary solution.
So, what are their options?
The free agency market is very thin, outside of Bobby Massie, the only other options that could present an upgrade to him is Morgan Moses, Trent Brown, who can’t stay healthy, and perhaps Dennis Kelly, who played for the Packers this season.
I think it’s a pretty good bet that the Denver Broncos will either retain Massie’s services or try to replace him with a free-agent buffer.
This, of course, wouldn’t happen if the team could swing a trade for a younger and better veteran, like Saints’ right tackle Ryan Ramczyk. The Saints are again in cap hell, and perhaps they would be willing to part with some veterans on expensive contracts.
This may be unlikely, so I do think, as mentioned above, the most likely option is finding a solution in free agency.
I’m high on Morgan Moses–he’s reliable and a better player than Bobby Massie, so Denver could sign him for more than a year.
However, George Paton is surely going to look at the draft to try and find a young option with higher upside.
So, who are those options? Depending on where Denver chooses to draft a right tackle, the options are plentiful.
One name that sticks out for me is Daniel Faalele from Minnesota. The man is 6-foot-9, 380 pounds and started playing football just 5 years ago. Denver would be able to nab him with one of their two 2nd round picks, and he’d surely be given the luxury of not having to start immediately.
Another name that would necessitate using a higher pick for his services is Ohio State’s Nicholas Petit-Frere.
A highly ranked player coming into college and while in college, Petit-Frere would probably be a day 1 starter, but in my opinion, sitting at tackle and allowing them to develop is the smartest route to take. Tackles sometimes take a few years to hit their stride, and I don’t see how sitting a rookie would do anything but benefit them.
Seeing that the upcoming draft has a bunch of solid right tackle options, I think Denver will take a swing on one or more of them.
The most likely scenario, in my opinion, is signing another veteran stopgap like Bobby Massie or Morgan Moses, and drafting someone to take their place for 2022 and beyond.