With the rush of free agency in the rear view mirror it is time to focus in on the NFL Draft, specifically on team needs. In this article we look at the Super Bowl Champions Denver Broncos draft needs for 2016 as we approach the April 28th 1st round from Chicago. The world champions appear to be falling apart on offence, Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler have left the Broncos in the off season, Ronnie Hillman has not been re-signed in free agency and CJ Anderson was days away from a move to the Dolphins. Not to mention a broken offensive line and a need for a new tight end.
The team added Mark Sanchez at quarterback and if the Broncos had a stronger run game and relatively strong offensive line he wouldn’t be a bad game manager for a year. But the fact is, at this current moment in time Denver need a QB to carry this offence and Sanchez is not that man. While the Broncos continue to dance around Colin Kaepernick in their search for a starter if he proves unwilling to stomach the pay cut Denver GM John Elway is proposing it may lead the team to be aggressive come draft time in order to move up the board.
A deep pool of offensive linemen is on offer this year and Denver could potentially solve their issues in the first 3-5 rounds on this year’s draft. The signing of Russell Okung to what is essentially a 1yr deal does not preclude the Broncos from looking to solidify the position in the draft. The interior of the line is also in need of an overhaul and it would be little surprise to see Denver expend draft capital re-enforcing this area of the team.
Interior Front Seven Defender
The losses of Malik Jackson and Danny Trevathan will hurt the team on the interior of the defense. While the pass rush will still be fearsome with Demarcus Ware and Von Miller both returning the interior strength of the defense, versus both the run and the pass is now in need of upgrading. The versatility of Trevathan as both a run and pass defender is what partly allows Miller and Ware to be so effective in pass rush as he can run and cover from the interior of the 3-4 defense. Replacing that will be a key priority for Wade Phillips as he looks to replicate last years dominant defensive performance.
Vernon Davies – gone, Owen Daniels – gone, Julius Thomas (2014) – gone. Virgil Green is certainly effective as a blocker and will do wonders for the run game but the Broncos currently lack a weapon in the passing department past Emmanuel Sanders. DeMarius Thomas didn’t have a great season last year and the team will be looking for him to re-emerge as a threat but adding a viable Tight End will help draw some coverage away and create openings for both Thomas and Sanders to work in.