3 Draft day trades that make sense for Broncos
As we inch closer and closer to the 2023 NFL Draft, it is no secret that the Broncos are strapped for picks in the draft. Their first and second round picks were moved in the Russell Wilson trade, and the first rounder they received for Bradley Chubb was moved for Sean Payton just months later.
Their first selection does not come until the third round, the round in which they pick 68th and 69th. However, if there is one thing that we know about George Paton, it is that no one loves to move around the order and accumulate picks quite like George Paton. So what moves are there for him to make this year? Here are three draft day trades that make sense for him and his group
1) Courtland Sutton and a fourth-round pick (109) to the Giants for a 2023 first
There have been trade rumors around the Broncos' wide receiver room for some time now, and Courtland Sutton added gasoline to the fire the other day by cryptically tweeting "I just want to be where I’m wanted and appreciated." Sutton struggled at times in 2022, and had a share of injury issues to boot.
Sutton is under contract through the 2025 season, so there is no rush for the Broncos to move his contract or begin to find his replacement. However, that wouldn't stop Sutton from wanting to find a new home. And if he has a bit of a sour taste in his mouth from his time in Denver, it isn't too hard to understand why. He's played under three head coaches already, and has been a bright spot during arguably the worst stretch in team history.
If the Broncos decide to move down the path of moving Sutton, the Giants could make a ton of sense as a suitor. The Giants just signed Daniel Jones to a massive deal to make him their franchise QB, and brought back Saquon Barkley on the franchise tag. In a world where the Broncos are moving Sutton, they're also faced with the decision of pre or post June 1. The Broncos would be down about $5 million in dead cap if they move him before June 1st, but a deal that moves Sutton out of Denver would make far less without being able to recoup some talent in the 2023 draft. In an ideal world, the Giants are motivated to add a legitimate weapon to their offense at a position of need, and the steep price for Sutton helps offset some of the dead cap money. The Broncos re-enter the first round for the second time, while the Giants add to their offense.
2) Garett Bolles to the 49ers for a 5th round pick (164)
There have been rumors of a Garett Bolles trade for a little while now, and moving on from the left tackle could make a lot of sense for the Broncos. The Broncos wouldn't save a ton of money in 2023 if they move on from Bolles, but would recoup roughly $16 million in 2023 if they do so. Moving Bolles now could be a smart way of still being able to get some value for the now 30 year-old, while also setting themselves up for a lot more cap space next off-season.
At his best, Bolles is one of the better left tackles in football and can be very valuable to just about any team. However, he missed just about all of his 2022 campaign after breaking his leg early in October. The Broncos were able to find a worthwhile replacement in Cam Fleming, who could be the direction they decide to go in the future. Fleming could be had at a much more reasonable price than Bolles is currently on, which would definitely be appealing to the Broncos.
If the Broncos decide to go down that road, the 49ers could be a possible landing spot for Bolles. Bolles could be a fit considering the success that the 49ers have had in getting the most out of offensive veterans who had only scratched the surface of their potential in their previous stops. There is no doubting the talent Bolles has, a team like the 49ers could help him finally reach his full potential as he sits on the other side of 30.
3) God father offer for Arizona's no. 3 overall pick
This one feels like the least likely, but if the Walton-Penner and Paton era has shown us one thing so far, nothing is off the table. The Cardinals have been speculated to be "auctioning" off their first round selection this year, which could give the Broncos reason to get involved in the process. The Bears' move off the first pick set the bar for what moving into the top-3 could cost: with the Panthers moving two first round picks, two second round picks, and DJ Moore.
That move would likely cost the Broncos around the tag of multiple firsts, and multiple upper-middle round selections. If the Broncos were to find a way to acquire a first round selection before draft day, there could be a move that could include that pick, their thirds this year, a future second, and other lower picks. This move does seem very far fetched and would require bringing in a first round pick before it, but we should never rule anything out with George Paton. It should also be noted that the Broncos could have fallen in love with a talent at the combine, which could motivate them to move up in April.
The likely move up would be into the backend of the first, especially if a tackle that they have their eyes on falls into a range their comfortable spending to get into. However, there's always the chance that the likes of Jalen Carter begins to slip and the Broncos decide to move up to grab him. If the Broncos find themselves in this spot, theres always a chance for George Paton to send a god father offer over to the Cardinals for their third overall selection. This type of development would be wildly incredible for the Broncos, but you can't rule anything out. A talent the type of Carter would solidify a huge need for the Broncos for years to come, and offer them an immediate force on the defensive line, where they are in danger of losing their biggest factor from the past few years, Dre'Mont Jones.