Denver Broncos biggest needs heading into 2023 NFL Draft
Denver Broncos Top 2023 NFL Draft Needs
3. Offensive Line
I think that you could look at this area of need from a variety of angles. On the one hand, you might not be able to convince many in Broncos Country right now that center is not a top need for this team. There are few people out there who are confident Lloyd Cushenberry can still play to the level of his pre-draft hype. Free agent signing Kyle Fuller is a backup player and spot starter. Luke Wattenberg is an option as a 2022 fifth-round pick, but he's not inspiring a ton of confidence at the moment.
The interior offensive line also just generally needs more depth. The tackle position also lost three players in free agency (Calvin Anderson, Cam Fleming, Billy Turner) and the starter at left tackle -- Garett Bolles -- is coming off of a season-ending injury. I think the Broncos still need a starting-caliber offensive tackle. Where that's coming from? I'm not so sure.
Ideally, you'd love to see a multi-position player fall to the Broncos but they can't bank on that. This is not a very deep tackle class, though there could be some gems in the later rounds.
The Broncos have arguably the best cornerback in the NFL right now in Pat Surtain II. On the opposite side of the field, they're putting confidence in second-year pro Damarri Mathis, a 2022 fourth-round pick out of Pitt. It speaks volumes to the rookie season Mathis had that the team has placed even this much confidence in him, meaning they didn't sign any free agents and they cut Ronald Darby to free up space.
Even with a solid veteran like K'Waun Williams in the nickel, I don't know what kind of depth the Broncos have right now at cornerback. Essang Bassey, Ja'Quan McMillian, and free agent Tremon Smith (a special teams ace) are the current names of note. I think the Broncos need to take advantage of what looks to be a rather robust cornerback class and take someone early.
5. Edge Rusher
I think the Broncos could go with an edge rusher in this draft because you typically operate under the assumption that you can never have too many good pass rushers. The Broncos found that out the hard way last year as injuries ravaged this position group and Bradley Chubb was shipped out to Miami.
The team is understandably counting on 2022 free agent Randy Gregory to step up in 2023 after missing most of last season due to injuries. They are also counting on continued development from young players like Baron Browning and Nik Bonitto. Jacob Martin was added at the trade deadline last year and provides depth along with Jonathon Cooper, but there are questions about whether this group currently has the top-end talent to thrive over the course of a regular season.
I'm skeptical that a third-round pick is going to fix that, but we'll have to see where the Broncos are at with some of the guys in this class.