The Broncos currently sit right in the middle of the NFL Draft. With a ton of needs that still need to be addressed – like wide receiver, offensive tackle, cornerback, middle linebacker – where does Denver go in the first round with the 15th overall pick?
Wide receiver is a position of need for the Denver Broncos. It’s not the smartest option for Denver in the first round, but if they chose to fall in love with one of them, like Alabama pass catchers in Jerry Jeudy or Henry Ruggs III, they will have to trade up for one of them.
Denver might have to go as high as No. 8 to get ahead of the Jaguars to draft the wide receiver of their choice. The Jaguars (No. 9) have plenty of needs themselves and they might consider adding a wide receiver to help out Gardner Minshew. Denver would also need to get ahead of the Jets, Raiders and 49ers (Nos. 11-13).
With the ammunition the Broncos have with their five picks in the first three rounds, it would make no sense for Denver to trade up for a wide receiver due to the fact that this might be the greatest receiving class of all-time. They can afford to wait.
There is one position of need that the Broncos might have to move up for in the first round, however, and that’s offensive tackle. Denver needs to move on from left tackle Garett Bolles. The best left tackle in this draft is Andrew Thomas and this should be the primary target for the Broncos if they want to protect Drew Lock.
The only question is, how far would John Elway and company have to move up to secure the left tackle? The Cardinals at No. 8 are a team that could take a tackle, as well as the Browns at 10. Denver could have another offensive tackle ahead of Thomas on their draft board like Mekhi Becton, Jedrick Wills or even Triston Wirfs. The Buccaneers are one pick ahead of the Broncos and need to add some help on the offensive line to protect Tom Brady, so Denver might have to jump them.
Who could the Broncos trade up with to ensure they draft their offensive tackle? Honestly, none of those teams are in desperate need of draft picks other than the 49ers. San Francisco doesn’t own a single pick in rounds 2,3 and 4. The most-logical option would be for the Broncos to make a call to their old friends John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan to offer them a third-round pick to move up two spots to jump the Buccaneers at 14 to get a tackle.
Another option for the orange and blue is to trade down in the first round and gather more picks in the second and third round. Denver already owns one pick in the second round and three third rounders. If Elway’s top offensive line prospects are off the board and their No. 1 receiver is also gone, Denver can take calls from teams like the Eagles and Jaguars who might be looking to get a wide receiver.
The Dolphins and Vikings are teams that have multiple first-round picks after the Broncos at 15 and they might be willing to swap to move up for a player they like, as well. Miami has two second rounders and if they are targeting someone around 15, they might be willing to send a second rounder Denver’s way while also swapping No. 1s.
It would be smart for Denver to trade down in the first and draft an inside linebacker in Kenneth Murray out of Oklahoma or Patrick Queen from LSU. Denver has been in need of a good covering middle linebacker since the departures of Danny Trevathan and Brandon Marshall. If the Broncos move back, they can grab the linebacker of Vic Fangio’s choice and grab a wide receiver in the second round like Denzel Mims, Jalen Reagor or even Laviska Shenault.
With the number of needs the Broncos currently have, it would be smarter if they trade down in the first round if their top offensive tackle isn’t there and draft another position of need. Denver will have great talent left in rounds two and three and if they get more picks in those rounds, they will have tons of great talent to choose from as well as adding good depth on this roster.
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