2023 NFL Draft: Latest Denver Broncos news

East Carolina v SMU
East Carolina v SMU / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

Under two weeks to go until the NFL draft kicks off in Kansas City, Missouri as Denver Broncos fans eerily wait to see which holes the team will address on their roster and whether or not WRs Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton will stay put in the Mile High. Only time will tell however, here are the latest updates and interesting nuggets I gathered from speaking with NFL insiders Jordan Schultz of The Score and Mike Klis of 9News:

Jerry Jeudy & Courtland Sutton

Despite previous notion and HC Sean Payton's public statement that the Denver Broncos will "not trade those two players", all options remain on the table as GM George Paton will continue to listen to offers as they are not expected to shut down leading up to the draft. While it is not expected that teams will be willing to meet Denver's asking price of a first round pick for Jerry Jeudy and 2nd round pick for Courtland Sutton, Mike Klis informed us on the Broncos Avenue Podcast that the NFL draft will be the "final hurdle" for the two young receivers meaning after April, the trade rumors will officially be put to bed.

But for now, it appears of the two receivers, there's a strong belief that Jerry Jeudy is unlikely to be dealt due to his elite route running ability that has separated himself from most star receivers. And also, simply due to the fact that multiple teams have offered 2nd round picks but have refused to sacrifice a 1st.

As for Courtland Sutton, there remains a higher possibility of a trade as news broke from Jeff Zrebriec of The Athletic that the Baltimore Ravens explored a trade for Sutton before agreeing to terms with free agent WR Odell Beckham Jr. There's no telling to how involved and willing the Broncos front office was engaged in the trade talks however, this opens many eyes as to how realistic a trade could shape out for Sutton within the next few weeks. Although, Jordan Schultz mentioned to us on the Broncos Avenue Podcast that he doesn't think "we'll get there" in terms of trade compensation and would be "surprised" if a deal is completed all together. Klis also stated there hasn't been any teams willing to meet Denver's asking price due to his $14.5M salary he will be earning in 2023.

All in all, the feeling for several weeks now has been that Denver will only agree to a trade if an offer blows them out of the water. Klis believes there's still a 5-10% chance one of the receivers gets moved but as of now, a deal seems far-fetched.

WR early in the draft?

Despite having other depth concerns on the roster, Mike Klis informed me the Broncos will still be looking to add another WR in this year's draft, even if the team retains both Jeudy and Sutton. Says Broncos are looking for a reliable down-field threat that is a dynamic weapon in open space and can stretch the field at nauseam. And despite George Paton and Sean Payton stating multiple times that this year's draft class at the WR position isn't the "deepest" group, it could very well be a smokescreen as Klis mentioned WR in the 3rd or 4th round is still a very real possibility for the team.

According to Josh Norris of Underdog Fantasy, the Broncos held a top-30 visit with SMU WR Rashee Rice on Thursday who is currently projected to be drafted in the late 2nd round and potentially early 3rd. Broncos also held a formal interview with Rice at the combine in March therefore, there is clear interest in the 6'2'' and 203 pound receiver. Rice, who has seemingly mastered contested catches and has glue for hands, is undoubtedly a great option for the Broncos in the 3rd round, if they choose that route.

Top-30 Draft Visits (18/30)

Name, Position


Rashee Rice, WR


Tank Bigsby, RB


Jordan Rhodes, G

Arkansas State

Art Green, CB


Chandler Zavala, G

NC State

Luke Schoonmaker, TE


Isaiah Bolden, CB/KR

Jackson State

DeMarvion Overshown, LB


Jordan Riley, DT


Sean Tucker, RB


Byron Young, EDGE


Garrett Williams, CB


Sean Clifford, QB

Penn State

Luke Musgrave, TE

Oregon State

Jack Colletto, FB/LB

Oregon State

Jake Witt, T

Northern Michigan

Ventrell Miller, LB


David Durden, WR

West Florida

Main Draft Needs

In speaking with Mike Klis, it became apparent the main priorities for the Broncos heading into the draft are CB, IOL and EDGE.

With the Broncos cutting veteran CB Ronald Darby earlier in the offseason, the team is in dire need of more depth behind the gifted Patrick Surtain ll and rising Damarri Mathis, who we are unsure of how he'll perform under new DC Vance Joseph. The team is one injury away (knock on wood) from the CB room being a serious concern on gameday therefore, George Paton and company will most likely need to address the position on day 2 of the draft to find more comfortability on that area of the roster. On the bright side, Paton has done an excellent job drafting CBs up to this point and hopefully will continue that trend of success come April 28th.

Interior offensive line, moreso the center position, remains a big need for Sean Payton's new offense. Payton and Saints GM Mickey Loomis did a phenomenal job drafting bulky maulers in the interior during their time in New Orleans and can most definitely be carried on by Payton to Denver.

Behind Quinn Meinerz and Ben Powers at the starting guard positions, the Broncos have a lack of depth and once again, are an injury away from disaster. Guard is more of a position that will be addressed late in the draft and through the undrafted free agency period.

For center however, Lloyd Cushenberry has simply not lived up to the expectations he had coming out of the 2020 draft and has been a bottom tier starting center in the NFL through 3 seasons. His play has steadily declined and his frame doesn't seem to fit the prototype of what Sean Payton prefers in his offensive linemen.

Coach Payton announced to the media in late March that "we see him as our starting center" (referring to Cushenberry) however, this could yet again be another attempt at a smokescreen. This statement can be interpreted as 'we see him as our starting center long-term' or 'we see him as our starting center until he loses a competition with our new rookie draft pick'. Regardless, the Broncos have made it known they aren't entirely comfortable with the center position by signing former Seahawks center Kyle Fuller to a 1-year deal to compete with Cushenberry. A competition between Fuller, Cushenberry and a 3rd round pick in training camp sounds like the best plan moving forward that will ensure a much more improved offensive line from last year for QB Russell Wilson.

Extra Draft Insight

A last few tidbits I was able to pick up from Schultz and Klis in our conversations:

  • Would not be a surprise at all for Broncos to re-sign free agent safety Kareem Jackson before or after the draft, per Schultz
  • One name to keep an eye on for Denver in the 3rd round is Keion White, EDGE out of Georgia Tech, per Schultz
  • Broncos are looking to add a RB in rounds 4-6 and will emphasize drafting special teams talent, per Klis
  • Broncos are expected to trade down from pick 68 in the 3rd round, per Klis

4 Broncos who won't be missed in 2023. dark. Next