What Broncos players could be traded to acquire 2023 draft capital?

DENVER, COLORADO - JANUARY 08: Bradley Chubb #55 of the Denver Broncos tackles Darrel Williams #31 of the Kansas City Chiefs for a loss in the first quarter of a game at Empower Field at Mile High on January 8, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
DENVER, COLORADO - JANUARY 08: Bradley Chubb #55 of the Denver Broncos tackles Darrel Williams #31 of the Kansas City Chiefs for a loss in the first quarter of a game at Empower Field at Mile High on January 8, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /

With the Denver Broncos only obtaining one draft pick for the 2023 NFL Draft, how will George Paton approach adding more capital?

At the conclusion of the 2022 NFL Draft, George Paton was thrilled with the class that he & his Denver Broncos staff put together, but the lack of future capital gained sounded like it may be his biggest concern. While Paton did make a move trading back in the third round with the Indianapolis Colts, that was it.

When asked about the draft capital in 2023, Paton said,

"We wanted to pick up picks for next year. I didn’t know how it would go. I’m happy we got a third. Would’ve liked to have maybe gotten a few more but it just didn’t work out. We were working the phones and once you get past the fourth round, it’s hard to get much value. We’re happy with the third—we have five [picks] next year. We’ll have a lot more than that, I guarantee it by the time the draft comes around.George Paton via Broncos PR"

If the 2023 NFL Draft started today, the Denver Broncos would be slated with the following draft selections:

  • Third rounder (own selection)
  • Third rounder via Indianapolis Colts
  • Fourth rounder (own selection)
  • Fifth rounder (own selection)
  • Seventh Rounder  via Minnesota Vikings (Stephen Weatherly deal)

Last year, George Paton made several trades, prior to and during the season. Acquiring some, dealing some, the Von Miller trade was the most notable bringing in a second and third-round pick from the Los Angeles Rams.

Without a first or second-round pick next year, sent to the Seattle Seahawks for Russell Wilson, some players must be shipped out in order to obtain more draft capital.

Tim Patrick just signed a new contract last season. When he was asked if he felt secure in his position with the Denver Broncos, Patrick said:

"Didn’t Von Miller get traded last year? Ain’t no security in this league. You’ve got to bring it every year. My whole mentality is every year I’ve got to prove myself. Because that year you don’t prove yourself, they’re looking for a replacement.Tim Patrick, via Broncos PR"

Shelby Harris signed a new deal prior to the year starting and he was included in the deal to acquire Russell Wilson, so certainly, the NFL is a cutthroat business that will find anyone available at the right price.

George Paton’s quote on the Denver Broncos adding more draft capital in 2023 is telling, and maybe even puts the writing on the wall for some players. Paton did not say if he would be looking to trade superstars or training camp and offseason risers like Trinity Benson, but trades are on the horizon, in my opinion.

With the Denver Broncos selecting another versatile interior offensive lineman, Luke Wattenburg, this puts guys like Lloyd Cushenberry III, Netane Muti, and maybe even Dalton Risner on immediate notice. There is an embarrassment of riches along the interior and someone in that group would be the safest bet on who may get moved.

Outside of the interior offensive line, if second-round pick, Nik Bonitto, comes on heavy Bradley Chubb could even be someone who draws interest. As a former fifth overall pick, once regarded as the best defensive player in his draft class, Chubb has struggled with injuries throughout his entire football career.

Compounding that with the fact Chubb will be needing a new contract in 2023, this raises the stakes even more. Randy Gregory just signed a lucrative deal with the Denver Broncos, Dre’Mont Jones will also be needing a new contract and D.J. Jones just signed a lucrative deal too.

Russell Wilson will be expecting a new contract that will be north of $45 million per year and that will ultimately force the hand of the Denver Broncos and George Paton to move on from some of these guys on expiring contracts.

Bradley Chubb and Dre’Mont Jones are the most valuable trade assets on the defensive side of the ball and would be the most likely candidates to be moved considering their abilities and contract situations.

I’m not lobbying for them to be moved, both of them are incredible players, but in the NFL, business decisions have to be made and unfortunately for the two of them, the Denver Broncos just signed Randy Gregory and D.J. Jones to big deals that may have George Paton looking to be cost-controlled for the rest of the depth at that those particular positions.

If either one of them were to be traded, I think George Paton could get a similar haul to what Von Miller brought in, a second and third-round pick.

If any of the interior offensive linemen get moved, I would expect it would be for a much lesser value, probably some day three picks. George Paton, however, has shown that he can still hit the dartboard with throws from a further distance, so those picks would still hold some value.

Tim Patrick and Courtland Sutton are both attractive options, but unless they come to Paton’s door refusing to play unless they get a new contract, I would keep those guys around. For what they are being paid, I’d be hard-pressed to find a better value than those two playmakers.

There will be some movement across the roster either prior to the beginning of the season or even during the season. If I had to guess, I would expect it to be an interior offensive lineman and potentially Dre’Mont Jones or Bradley Chubb.

Hopefully, George Paton can continue to work his magic and avoid dealing any big-time players, but with his comments in regards to adding some more draft capital, it almost feels inevitable that a couple of current Denver Broncos ends the season wearing a different uniform.