4. CJ Stroud, QB, Ohio State
I think if you are going to talk about Will Levis, you’ve also got to talk about CJ Stroud. You could certainly add a player like Bryce Young out of Alabama to that list, but in reality, Young is the odds-on favorite to go no. 1 overall and the Broncos aren’t catching the Texans there.
But CJ Stroud out of Ohio State may have been a possibility for this team if they were picking in the top five of the 2023 NFL Draft without Russell Wilson in the fold.
Stroud has shown outstanding arm talent and ball placement throughout his time at Ohio State and the ability to distribute the ball to all of his playmakers. He’s had no shortage of elite receiver prospects to throw to there at Ohio State, but those guys just go out there and help highlight the great throws Stroud makes on a week-to-week basis.
I don’t think Stroud is nearly as dynamic of a talent as Justin Fields was coming out in 2021, however, so perhaps the Broncos — who passed on Fields — would not be hot on Stroud either.
5. Jordan Addison, WR, USC
This might be the biggest disappointment of all. For a brief time, the mock draft machines had Jordan Addison lasting well into the later portion of the first round, but those times have changed. I think Addison might end up being the best receiver in the 2023 NFL Draft class with shades of his game that remind people of Stefon Diggs and others that are reminiscent of Davante Adams.
The 2022 season has uncovered a bunch of needs for the Denver Broncos. What should their top priority be in the coming free agency period?
Those are some pretty big names and comparisons but you don’t have to try very hard to see those things when you watch Addison play. The Broncos not having a top-five or potentially top-10 pick that will be going to Seattle has prevented them from adding the WR1 on their board, and I would venture to guess Addison is up there.