With the results of Sunday’s Conference Championship games, the Denver Broncos now know which slot they will choose from in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
The Broncos’ first-round pick was tied to the San Francisco 49ers even though it was the trade that sent Bradley Chubb to the Miami Dolphins that allowed the Broncos to regain a first-round choice.
When the 49ers lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship Game, the Broncos still needed to wait for the result of the AFC Championship Game. If the Kansas City Chiefs won, the Broncos would have the No. 29 overall choice. If the Cincinnati Bengals won the game, that pick would come at No. 28.
With the Chiefs’ last-second victory, the Broncos will have the 29th overall pick in the first round. That pick will of course likely go over to the New Orleans Saints if the team is still looking to hire Sean Payton as its next head coach.
If the Broncos do keep that pick, there will be plenty of great players to select from.
Though most fans would expect the team to look at an offensive tackle with that pick, a pass-rushing prospect can never be totally dismissed. In his first mock draft of this offseason, Bucky Brooks of NFL.com has the Broncos taking Lukas Van Ness, an Edge rusher from Iowa.
If the pick is sent away in a package to acquire Payton, the Broncos will likely give up other draft choices as well. Though some reports out there would suggest that the Broncos have soured on Payton, or vice versa, there is also a reason why the team has yet to hire a head coach.
That could be due to a number of things, but it could also be that the details of the compensation to acquire Payton are still being ironed out.
The Broncos have made selections at several spots in the first round throughout their history, but they have never made a choice with the No. 29 pick.