I’m not going to lie, the NFL Draft is always on my mind. Now, I don’t start officially scouting the upcoming draft class until we get closer to mid-December, but I always have my eye on what’s going on in the world of college football.
The Denver Broncos should always have the draft on their minds too. The work of an NFL scout takes a ton of time during the college football season and that process crescendos with the NFL Draft in late April. It’s during this time that scouts can determine what kind of classes are coming into the league at each position.
The 2020 NFL dDraft is shaping up to be a big opportunity for the Broncos based on the talent at certain positions. However, this influx of talent at positions they really, really need also creates problems.
The Broncos can only add one player in the first round, as they only have one first-round pick, so which direction could Denver be leaning at this time?
Let’s take an early look at which direction the Broncos might go.
This is the one position that most of Broncos Country wants the team to take in the first round – especially since they need to find a left tackle. They had a swing-and-a-miss in the 2017 NFL Draft when they selected Garett Bolles and the team has been struggling to find an answer at the position ever since. The team has to make a decision on picking up the fifth-year option for Bolles after this season and I highly doubt they will pick up that part of his contract.
Instead, the Broncos should turn to the draft to build their offensive line. The game is won and lost in the trenches, and the Broncos need to build up the offensive line after adding a key piece in left guard Dalton Risner in the 2019 NFL Draft. Risner is a great start, but the team needs to find more “hits” up front in the draft so they don’t have to chase offensive line talent in free agency.
Here are some of the top tackles Denver could consider in the first round:
• Andrew Thomas, Georgia
• Alex Leatherwood, Alabama
• Tristan Wirfs, Iowa
• Prince Tega Wanogho, Auburn
• Jedrick Wills, Alabama
About a month ago, I broke down Yahoo! Sports first mock draft from trusted analyst Eric Edholm. In that mock, Edholm had the Broncos selecting Alabama wide receiver Henry Ruggs III in the first round. That may have seemed like an outside-the-box notion at the time, but after anticipating this wide receiver class, it may not be the case.
This is a historic class of wide receivers likely to enter the NFL in the 2020 NFL Draft. It could end up being the best wide receiver class I’ve ever personally scouted, including the fantastic wide receiver draft back in 2014.
Tim Patrick is a fine player, but he’s injured too often and not a game-breaking receiver like this team needs opposite of Courtland Sutton. An upgrade needs to be found, and this draft will be chock full of talent at that position.
Here are some of the names at the top of the draft who could interest to the Broncos:
• Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
• CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma
• Henry Ruggs III, Alabama
• Laviska Shenault Jr., Colorado
• Tee Higgins, Clemson
This is going to be a strong quarterback class, and I’m already getting texts from those in the scouting community about which players could rise and which players could fall. The Broncos need to find out about Drew Lock so they can decide whether or not to draft one of these top quarterbacks in the first round – even if they have to move up to get one.
The Broncos need to find their franchise quarterback and start him ASAP. If Lock is not the answer, then perhaps one of these rookies could be the day-one starter for the Broncos in 2020.
Here are some of the names at the top of the draft who could be options for the Broncos:
• Joe Burrow, LSU
• Jacob Eason, Washington
• Justin Herbert, Oregon
• Jake Fromm, Georgia
• Jordan Love, Utah State
(NOTE:I did not put Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa on this list because of his severe hip injury and the uncertain nature of his draft status at this time)
The Broncos have a lot of holes to fill, but the upcoming draft is loaded a three of their positions of need. That’s a big opportunity, but also a tough decision to make.
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