2. Broncos should consider drafting UNC WR Josh Downs
Staring at a late first-round pick coming from the San Francisco 49ers, the Denver Broncos’ options early on in the 2023 NFL Draft are somewhat limited. But make no mistake about it — wide receiver is one of the options that will be on the table with that selection.
- Courtland Sutton has underperformed in 2022
- Tim Patrick coming off major knee surgery
- KJ Hamler once again struggling with injuries
The Broncos need help at wide receiver just about as bad as anything else, and shouldn’t compromise a better prospect at receiver just to take whatever offensive tackle is still sitting there. Josh Downs out of North Carolina is really something, and could be a prelude to the team going after his teammate Drake Maye in the 2024 NFL Draft class (though that’s probably a pipe dream).
Downs is only 5-foot-10 but he plays big, he is strong at the catch point, he creates separation, he’s crafty in space, and he’s got big-play abilities. In today’s NFL, you don’t have to be 6-foot-3 or taller to be a WR1. Downs’ size and overall game are somewhat reminiscent of Jahan Dotson, a first-round pick of the Commanders in 2022.
3. Broncos should consider drafting Tennessee WR Jalin Hyatt
Looking ahead at the 2023 NFL Draft, Jalin Hyatt may not be the only piece of the Tennessee offense the Denver Broncos target. Quarterback Hendon Hooker, given his injury status and the Broncos’ current quarterback situation, could be a fit as well.
If the Broncos go wide receiver late in the first round or trade down and take someone in the early second round, Jalin Hyatt would be a fascinating pickup. He is tied for the college football lead in touchdown catches this season at 15 and has shown off incredible, outstanding vertical speed. He’s averaging almost 19 yards per reception on 67 catches in what has been a true breakout season for him.
Given the fact that his emergence didn’t come until this season, Hyatt is still somewhat raw as a prospect so you might be able to get him for the low price of a Day 2 pick. As he develops, that price tag is going to look silly over time.