4 first-round offensive tackle prospects Broncos should be scouting

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse

The Denver Broncos were able to regain a first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft with the recent trade of Bradley Chubb.

As the Broncos have struggled through this season, one of the most disappointing factors was that their first-round pick next year belongs to the Seattle Seahawks. As the Broncos continue to lose, that pick continues to get better… for them.

That’s why the trade of Chubb was so important. The Broncos were able to recoup a first-round pick next year. That pick was obtained by the Miami Dolphins from the San Francisco 49ers as part of the Trey Lance deal, so the position in which the Broncos select from in the first round will be dependent on how the 49ers finish this year.

Still, even if it is late in the round, a first-round pick is still valuable.

Looking at the Broncos’ current roster, the offensive line might be the biggest weakness on the team.

Both tackle spots have question marks as Garett Bolles is out for the season after suffering a broken leg and the right tackle spot does not have a long-term answer. Dalton Risner and Lloyd Cushenberry are two players whose play seems to be declining and the Broncos could look for an upgrade there as well.

But because the team is tied to Russell Wilson for the foreseeable future, it makes sense to provide him with the most protection on the outside as possible. For that reason, offensive tackle will be one of the team’s biggest needs in 2023.

Since the year 2000, the Broncos have only used a first-round choice on an offensive tackle three times. Here are four college prospects that should be considered in the first round of next year’s draft.

Broncos 2023 draft prospect: Paris Johnson

Paris Johnson
OT Ohio State
Denver Broncos

Nov 5, 2022; Evanston, Illinois, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes offensive lineman Paris Johnson Jr. (77) headshot after the game at Ryan Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

You will notice that every prospect on this list comes from a major college program. For what it’s worth, Peter Skoronski of Northwestern will be the top prospect on the board and he will likely be chosen with a top 10 pick, so he will be excluded from this list as the Broncos most likely won’t have a top 10 choice.

Paris Johnson plays for one of the top schools in the nation, Ohio State.

He began his college career at guard and is a terrific run blocker. He is still settling in as a tackle but he has the physical traits and athletic ability to be quite effective, starting with great length.

He is 6-foot-6 and 310 pounds. A very powerful player, Johnson also appears to be comfortable in space. Like most pro prospects, he will have to learn how to adjust to the kind of pass-rush moves he will encounter at the pro level, but competition in a tough Big 10 Conference should help him be ready for that as well.

Johnson would not be a perfect prospect to begin with, but neither was Bolles. He could easily be molded into a long-term starting tackle, however.

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse