Denver Broncos Day 2 NFL Draft Recap: Grades and Analysis
By Amir Farrell
Round 3 Pick 67: Drew Sanders, ILB, Arkansas
Definitely a pick that nobody remotely predicted happening prior to the draft, especially in the 3rd round. Drew Sanders, who was receiving praise from analysts and even 1st round projections in almost every mock draft, shockingly fell to the 3rd round before being selected by the Broncos.
Entering the draft, it was paramount that the Broncos did not necessarily need to address the linebacker position in the draft, especially early on, following the re-signing of standout LB Alex Singleton and the team bringing back ERFA Jonas Griffith for another year. So of course, the pick was a definite surprise to many who follow the Broncos closely.
This selection was as BPA (best player available) as it gets and I doubt the Broncos' war room anticipated as a target in the 3rd round prior to Friday. Sanders was and is considered by many to be the best linebacker in the draft and the Broncos managed to snag him that late, despite receiving first-round grades.
Sanders brings great versatility to the NFL as he has useful experience at both inside and outside linebacker and performed productively at both positions when asked to. While he does show great twitch and bend off the edge, Sean Payton did inform the media that his plans for Sanders are at ILB, despite already having a dangerous tandem in Josey Jewell and Alex Singleton.
You can imagine with only one year left on Josey Jewell's contract, Sanders will be able to pick Jewell's brain during his rookie season and will become the team's starter in 2024 given his high upside. His overall versatility and production at both positions make him such an exciting prospect for Vance Joseph's defense and you can't help but compare him to the Micah Parsons role in Dallas. Sanders does not have nearly the same dominance and pass-rushing ability as Parsons, hence his falling in the draft however, has a great amount of athleticism to become of the next star linebackers in the NFL. It's safe to say Broncos fans won't have to worry about LB for a while.