3 surprise Denver Broncos positions to target early in 2023 NFL Draft

2023 CFP National Championship - TCU v Georgia
2023 CFP National Championship - TCU v Georgia / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
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3. Cornerback

This may qualify for the "least" surprising position group to be targeted early by the Denver Broncos in the 2023 NFL Draft, but I think attacking the cornerback position before offensive line, defensive line, or perhaps some other spots might surprise folks.

The Broncos have one of the game's top cornerbacks already in Pat Surtain II. Last year, we saw the emergence not only of Surtain but also 2022 fourth-round pick Damarri Mathis, who fell to the fourth round despite some day two hype in the weeks leading up to the event.

Even with Surtain and Mathis, even after the addition of Tremon Smith, even after retaining Essang Bassey, I think this is a position the Denver Broncos will want to look at early on in the NFL Draft. You can find good players in this pick range at the cornerback position, and it's a position group that is getting more and more expensive every year in terms of keeping guys around on long-term contracts.

As Vic Fangio once put it, there are 96 starting jobs in the league, essentially, and there aren't 96 guys to fill them. If you can find an option in the middle rounds of the draft at this position group, it might be worth sacrificing someone you have on your target list on the interior offensive line to snag them.

You never know, because growth is not always linear in the NFL (almost never) -- what happens if Damarri Mathis takes a step back in year two? Nobody wants to see that, but what if he does struggle? It seems like the Broncos are banking a lot on his development without a real fail-safe in place.

Adding a player with one of these two picks would be a smart idea even if it might surprise some people to see this position prioritized.

dark. Next. Denver Broncos mock draft with off-the-wall picks