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Taking a wide receiver with the 15th overall pick would be a mistake

(Photo by Daniel Dunn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

I’ve got very few complaints about what the Broncos have done during free agency. I’m especially happy they followed by advice to use some of their overflow of draft picks to make a couple of shrewd trades for A.J. Bouye and Jurrell Casey.

The idea the Broncos would draft 12 guys that would make their football team was silly considering the crapshoot nature of the draft. So it’s better to use some of those picks as currency to acquire proven NFL talent.

So good job, Broncos.

Now the downside. With them having done what they’ve done thus far, it gives me clarity as to what they’ll probably do with the 15th pick in the NFL Draft. I don’t like it. I don’t agree with it. But, I’m mentally preparing for what’s coming.

The Broncos are going to draft a wide receiver.

Ugh. I hate the idea. Especially this year. I’m fundamentally against the idea of over-investing in a wide receiver. They play a dependent position. They’re only as good as the quarterback throwing them the ball. If a team is lucky enough to have an elite QB, they have a guy that will make receivers look better than they really are.

I understand when a team is trying to develop a young QB like Drew Lock, they will need to give him some help. Fine. The Broncos have already provided that with Courtland Sutton and Noah Fant.

Sutton is on an obvious trajectory to becoming a No. 1 WR in the NFL. Fant was drafted with the idea that he’ll be an elite pass-catching tight end like a Travis Kelce. If he isn’t, then why the heck did the Broncos spend a first-round pick on him when most of the top pass-catching tight ends in the NFL all were drafted in rounds two through five? Fant’s rookie year numbers were comparable with other top tight end’s rookie years, so he appears to be on the right track.

Why then the need to take a receiver at No. 15? It makes no sense when this is universally considered to be one of the deeper wide receiver classes in recent memory. There are easily a dozen receivers with first- or second-round grades.

If you’re the Broncos, you should be emboldened by Sutton’s success that you can find receivers without having to use the 15th pick. Taking a WR in the middle of the first round is a waste when you could use that selection to improve other areas of your team (OL, DL, LB) and then still find your required one or two WRs in rounds two and three.

Something else to consider. If the Broncos take a WR at No. 15, don’t kid yourself, they’re taking him with the express purpose they believe he will be a superstar.

Okay. Put aside the fact I can’t remember the last time a so-called superstar wide receiver won a Super Bowl. By signaling that you believe this wideout is a clear cut No. 1, what does that mean for Sutton? What does that mean for Fant?

Please don’t give me that garbage that young players like that will sacrifice their numbers for the good of the team. They need targets and catches to get paid. Plus, they rightly believe they can be “The Man.” How are you going to satisfy three guys who all believe they can, and should be, The Man? It’s unrealistic. So what you would be left with is wasting the value of a Sutton, or wasting the value of a Fant, or wasting the value of the receiver you take at No. 15.

It is much easier to take a receiver from this deep and talented class in the second round. Let that guy come in with less pressure to deliver. If he ends up being better than Sutton and/or Fant, then so be it. What a great “problem” that would be. The Broncos would end up with an embarrassment of riches at the WR position and will have drafted a potential stud at another position at No. 15 to help continue the rebuild of this football team.

It makes so much sense.

Which is probably why the Broncos won’t do it.

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