2019 Broncos’ Season
Other options at pick 10
The NFL Draft is just over two weeks away, and there has been a lot of speculation about what the Broncos might do. And, as they did in 2018, they seem to be doing their homework. That’s meant bringing in or working out every major quarterback prospect. They’ve seen Dennis Haskins, Kyler Murray and Daniel Jones. They are bringing in Drew Lock this week. And there’s every chance the Broncos could take a quarterback.
I’ve looked at their quarterback situation in previous posts, and while Joe Flacco may answer some of the questions in 2019 (or even 2020), there is a long-term question. You typically don’t pick in the Top 10 every year (though the Broncos have lately), so if they believe Lock or Haskins is THE GUY, and they are available, then it makes sense to pull the trigger. But what if they don’t?
Conventional wisdom was Denver would take a quarterback last year at pick five. Instead, they took Bradley Chubb, and their defense is better for it. And with going offense heavy in 2018, they could use with some defensive restocking in 2019.
Entering the off-season, the Broncos had a few key areas of focus. Two of those, the secondary and offensive line, have received quite a bit of attention this off-season. The Broncos signed Kareem Jackson and Bryce Callahan, which gives them a good corner group along with Chris Harris, Jr., and second-year man Isaac Yiadom. Then they signed De’Vante Busby, a top corner from the AAF. That should give them what’s needed in the secondary. They also signed Ju’Wan James at right tackle, making a big splash on the line. I think, while the Broncos are likely to still take a lineman somewhere, it likely won’t be at pick 10.
So if the Broncos don’t take a quarterback, offensive lineman or a cornerback, what might they take? I have a few ideas.
The Broncos have Josey Jewell, a fourth round pick from last year, and Todd Davis right now, but this is still likely a spot they’ll look to address after letting Brandon Marshall go this off-season. And there are a couple of options they might consider.
Devin White, LSU: White is a top option at inside linebacker in this draft. A three year player at LSU, he was very strong on 2017 and 2018. In 2017, he recorded 133 tackles, 4.5 sacks and an interception as a sophomore. As a junior, he was a Consensus All American and the Butkus Award winner, recording 123 tackles and three sacks.
Devin Bush, MICH: Bush also came out after his junior year and is another top option at the position. As a sophomore, he recorded 95 tackles, 5.5 sacks and an interception. As a junior, in 2018, he was a Consensus All-American and the Big 10 Defensive Player of the Year, as he recorded 66 tackles and 4.5 sacks. While pick 10 might feel high for Bush, if new Broncos coach Vic Fangio sees him as someone who can be a rock for the Broncos, that could be the pick.
The Broncos still have questions on the defensive line, particularly at the interior, which gives them a few additional options. Here’s three to possibly consider.
Quinnen Williams, ALA: Williams is the top defensive tackle on the board, and is likely to go earlier than pick 10. But most thought the same of Bradley Chubb last year, and yet the Broncos management to snag him when he fell. So it’s possible. Last year Williams recorded 71 tackles and eight sacks, and was a Consensus All American and the Outland Trophy winner.
Rashan Gary, MICH: Gary is another player projected to go in the Top 15 that could be a target for the Broncos. He had 58 tackles and 5.5 sacks in 2017 and nabbed 38 tackles and 3.5 sacks in 2018.
Ed Oliver, HOU: Finally we get to Oliver, the third interior defensive lineman projected to go in the Top 15. He was a beast for Houston, earning AAC Defensive Player of the Year, the Outland Trophy and Consensus All American honors in 2017, and earning Consensus All American honors again in 2018. He was also a three year starter, going for 65 tackles and five sacks in 2016, 73 tackles and 5.5 sacks in 2017 and 54 tackles and three sacks in just eight games in 2018. He would certainly be a road block in the middle for Denver, too.