The Denver Broncos have found themselves in an 0-3 hole to start the 2023 season. It doesn't spell doom for the entire season just yet, but it certainly feels like things are trending in that direction. Part of the problem is obviously the way the team has been built over the last handful of years, which at this point is a direct reflection of general manager George Paton reshaping the roster from 2021-22.
The Broncos were dubbed a "sleeping giant" by Paton when he was hired and many other pundits had decided that this team was just a "quarterback away" or a "head coach away". I can't deny that I concluded that myself, but the Denver Broncos have a Super Bowl-winning head coach at the helm and a Super Bowl-winning quarterback, and they still are struggling as a team.
Hopefully this team can turn things around, but I think it's fair to look at some moves made just last offseason that are looking like disasters at this point, and perhaps one move that is turning around rather quickly.
Moves from 2022 looking disastrous for Denver Broncos in 2023
1. Not using draft picks on offensive skill players
The Denver Broncos' decision to invest in Melvin Gordon as opposed to just using a mid-late-round pick on a running back last year is somewhat haunting the team. Not that the Broncos necessarily need a new RB1 at this point, but their decision to pass on running backs in the 2022 NFL Draft has cost the team in the talent department.
The Broncos were within range and even passed on players like Dameon Pierce, Brian Robinson Jr., and Tyler Allgeier among others. They decided to roll with Javonte Williams, Melvin Gordon, and really nobody else in the 2022 season and that came back to bite them. The Broncos found themselves scrambling for help at the position and poaching 32-year-old Latavius Murray off of the Saints' practice squad.
Players like Pierce, Robinson, and Allgeier are proving to be effective every-down backs already in the NFL and the Broncos could have had them in place last year during a year that ended up being all about evaluating pieces for the future.
But this is less about not having the specific running backs and more to do with the fact that the Broncos have gotten little or poor contributions from the guys they actually took within these pick ranges. Players like Delarrin Turner-Yell, Montrell Washington, Luke Wattenberg, and Faion Hicks were selected instead of the team taking a shot on a talented running back class. We didn't even mention Isiah Pacheco before, but he was taken with pick 251 when Hicks was taken with pick 232.
Yes, the NFL Draft is a crapshoot, but the Broncos have borderline neglected offensive playmakers under George Paton. There are only six selections from George Paton currently on the roster offensively. One of them is Greg Dulcich, who is on IR. Two of them are backup offensive linemen Luke Wattenberg and Alex Forsyth.
The only offensive draft picks making an impact in Denver right now are Javonte Williams and Quinn Meinerz.