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Devin White
AP
Draft Decisions

NFL Draft Needs: Broncos

by Josh Norris

Evan Silva (@EvanSilva) is Rotoworld's Senior NFL Editor, and Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) is Rotoworld's lead Draft Analyst. Together, they're breaking down every team's biggest needs and offering potential solutions in April’s draft.

For a breakdown on every team, check out the team-by-team draft preview schedule.

Notable Pre-Draft Additions: QB Joe Flacco, RT Ja’Wuan James, CB Kareem Jackson, CB Bryce Callahan.

Starting Offense

QB: Joe Flacco
RB: Phillip Lindsay
FB: Andy Janovich
WR1: Emmanuel Sanders
WR2: Courtland Sutton
SLWR: DaeSean Hamilton
TE: Jeff Heuerman
LT: Garett Bolles
LG: Ronald Leary
C: Connor McGovern
RG: Elijah Wilkinson
RT: Ja’Wuan James

Starting Defense

RE: Adam Gotsis
LE: Derek Wolfe
NT: Shelby Harris
ROLB: Bradley Chubb
LOLB: Von Miller
ILB: Josey Jewell
ILB: Todd Davis
LCB: Kareem Jackson
RCB: Chris Harris
SCB: Bryce Callahan
FS: Will Parks
SS: Justin Simmons

Team Needs

Silva's Analysis

Offensive Line: OTs Bolles and James are Denver’s lone locked-in offensive line starters after C Matt Paradis (Panthers), RG Billy Turner (Packers) and C/G Max Garcia (Cardinals) left in free agency. LG Leary tore his Achilles in mid-October, and penciled-in C McGovern got pulverized in pass protection last year. OL coach Mike Munchak is a front-five mastermind but needs more talent in his interior group.

Quarterback: Squarely in quarterback purgatory with Flacco atop the depth chart, the Broncos are known to be intently investigating this year’s rookie class, especially Missouri’s Drew Lock. New OC Rich Scangarello’s background with Kyle Shanahan suggests he may prefer a mobile quarterback with an ability to make throws outside the pocket.

Inside Linebacker: From Patrick Willis, Navorro Bowman and Chris Borland in San Francisco to Danny Trevathan, Jerrell Freeman and Roquan Smith in Chicago, inside linebacker has long been a position of emphasis under new Broncos head coach Vic Fangio. And those inside ‘backers must be functional on all three downs. Elsewhere, Denver’s D-Line depth is nearly nonexistent behind Gotsis and Wolfe, and Harris would be stretched as a full-time nose. Tight end is an additional area of need.

 

Broncos 2019 Draft Picks

Norris' Options

1 (10). ILB Devin White, LSU - Evan did a great job laying out why new head coach Vic Fangio will likely focus on upgrading the off-ball linebacker spot. We only have to look back one year ago with the Bears. If your linebackers are slow, your defense is slow. White is one of the best linebacker athletes we’ve seen in the last few years and would instantly boost the run game and pass game.

2 (41). OL Dalton Risner, Kansas State - The Broncos have a variety of needs along their front five, although likely not at tackle. I know Risner played tackle in college, but practically everyone projects him inside. Even at center.

3 (71). EDGE/DL Charles Omenihu, Texas - The Broncos lack depth on the edge and in the middle. Perhaps Omenihu can help with both, as he played in a variety of alignments at Texas and during Senior Bowl week and has the size to match.

4 (125). OL Tyler Roemer, San Diego State - If the Broncos liked the finishing mentality of Bolles, they’ll be drawn to Roemer’s game as well. And if the team isn’t looking for an immediate upgrade over Flacco, then they least they can do is build up the offensive line for the present and future.

5 (148). QB Brett Rypien, Boise State - Even if John Elway doesn’t target a quarterback early, I bet he can’t help himself and will ultimately select one from this class. Rypien has a floor of a career backup with the goal of carrying out the play call in structure, even while getting obliterated in the pocket.

5 (156). Acquired from Vikings in Trevor Siemian trade - TE Isaac Nauta, Georgia - Nauta’s athleticism is very poor, yet he made a number of plays at Georgia in an H-back type role, both as a blocker and run after catch receiver.

6 (182). iOL Bunchy Stallings, Kentucky - I know, three offensive linemen. But look at the Broncos’ OL depth chart. Stallings wants to take his opponent to the ground in the run game and likely projects as a G/C utility player.

7 (237). iDL Alexis Johnson Jr, Tennessee - This class is not littered with big, two-down defensive tackles. The Broncos could sign one off the street, or select a player like Johnson.

Josh Norris
Josh Norris is an NFL Draft Analyst for Rotoworld and contributed to the Rams scouting department during training camp of 2010 and the 2011 NFL Draft. He can be found on Twitter .