Players the Denver Broncos could have drafted besides Nik Bonitto

Las Vegas Raiders v Denver Broncos
Las Vegas Raiders v Denver Broncos / Michael Owens/GettyImages

With the Broncos' first pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, they took pass rush specialist Nik Bonitto out of Oklahoma, but who could they have drafted instead? Hindsight is always 20/20, but for the sake of this article, could the Broncos have drafted a better player than Bonitto?

To be fair, it's going to take more than a year to figure out of Bonitto can truly play in the NFL, but the early returns were nothing special. Bonitto managed 1.5 sacks, 14 total tackles, and three QB hits in 15 games played.

He wasn't much of an impact on defense for the Broncos which is a shame since he was picked in the top 65, but we'll see if year two brings anything more.

Who could the Broncos have taken instead of Nik Bonitto?

Players the Broncos could have drafted instead of Nik Bonitto
1. Luke Fortner, G

The player who went after Nik Bonitto was Luke Fortner, a guard out of Kentucky. Fortner was a 24-year-old rookie, which is less than ideal, but he was a 17-game starter for the Jacksonville Jaguars, played every offensive snap, and was only called for three penalties, according to Pro Football Reference.

2. Martin Emerson, CB

Martin Emerson was the 68th overall pick of the Cleveland Browns and had a 72.5 PFF grade, which is very good.

He played all 17 games for the Broncos and had 63 total tackles. He's a talented player that the Broncos missed out on.

3. Abraham Lucas, RT

This is perhaps the biggest whiff, but every other team who was picking around this spot and could have used a right tackle also missed out on Abe Lucas, who started 16 games for the Seattle Seahawks in 2022. He looks to be a franchise right tackle and was penalized seven times in 2022. His 68.5 PFF grade also sticks out a bit as well.

Offensive linemen are more valuable than edge rushers in my opinion, and if the Broncos would have taken Lucas, they probably don't spend $87.5 million to sign Mike McGlinchey, but instead allocate that to other areas on the roster.

Next. 7 free agents the Broncos need before the 2023 Draft. dark