Broncos should target players whose fifth-year options were declined

NFC Championship - San Francisco 49ers v Philadelphia Eagles
NFC Championship - San Francisco 49ers v Philadelphia Eagles / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

The 2020 NFL Draft has had a record-low number of fifth-year options picked up. The fifth-year option is reserved for first-round players, and the rules state that the option must be decided on before the player begins their fourth season in the NFL.

Quite a few players have had their fifth-year options declined, and the Broncos should do their best to try to target a few of these players. Perhaps a new start for these players is what they need, or maybe their teams made the wrong decision in declining their option.

Which players should the Denver Broncos target from the 2020 NFL Draft who have seen their fifth-year options declined?

Broncos should target players whose fifth-year options were declined
Chase Young, DE, Commanders

The Washington Commanders declined the fifth-year option for former second overall pick Chase Young, who won the Defensive Rookie of the Year award in 2020. He's played in 12 games over the last two seasons and is probably someone who could be had now and not at the trade deadline or next year.

Denver could use Young along their defensive line and his talent might be unleashed with a fresh start.

Isaiah Simmons, ILB, Cardinals

This one is a bit shocking, honestly. Isaiah Simmons was the 8th overall pick back in 2020 and is kind of a hybrid player who can play all around the defense. Simmons was playing under now Broncos' defensive coordinator Vance Joseph for the first three years of his career.

He had a career-high 105 total tackles in 2021 and had 4.0 sacks to go with 99 total tackles in 2022. Simmons also adds four interceptions and 16 passes defended over his career. Denver could part with Josey Jewell to fit Simmons in the ILB room, or even just send the Cardinals a pick to add Simmons to the group without subtracting anyone.

Mekhi Becton, OT

Left tackle Mekhi Becton was the 11th overall pick in 2020 and played in 14 games in his rookie season, but has played in just one game over the last two seasons. He has appeared to have slimmed down a bit which bodes well for his chances to stay healthy.

The New York Jets might not want to give up on Becton right now, but perhaps this is someone who the Broncos should keep an eye on in the future as a potential replacement for Garett Bolles.

Next. Denver Broncos 53-man roster prediction post-Draft. dark