It’s not easy to get to the top of the mountain in the NFL. It’s even harder to stay there. And GM JOHN ELWAY finds himself in major retool mode with no desire to concede their title to other teams. So let’s look at what ELWAY did to restock his roster which took some heavy hits in the VFA market place.
Round 1 PAXTON LYNCH/QB/MEMPHIS 6’7/245 4.81/40 9″H/34 1/4″A
LYNCH was a passing machine at Memphis and will remind a lot of folks in the Mile High City of the recently departed BROCK OSWEILER. Of great importance to ELWAY was LYNCH’s TD/INT ratio of 28/4 in 2015. Those are PEYTON type numbers. It should also be noted that LYNCH’s reported ball velocity of 59 MPH was fastest among those throwing at the Combine. It seems clear to me that ELWAY has his QB of the future, and it may be as early as later this season if SANCHEZ falters in any way, or repeats his propensity for injury.
Pick # 26 GBN Rank: 20 Ourlads Rank: 34 PP Rank: 14
Round 2 ADAM GOTSIS/DL/GEORGIA TECH 6’4/287 5.10/40 10 3/4″H/34 1/8″A
GOTSIS was expected to have a stellar senior season to display his talent. But he injured his left knee and missed much of the season, plus the post season doings. But the BRONCOS still liked his game tape and his potential. IMO, a great deal of his appeal to the Broncos comes from his similarities to DEREK WOLFE/DE, who has emerged as a star for the team under WADE PHILLIPS. Expect the long Aussie to get plenty of playing time with the departure of MALIK JACKSON in VFA. Enjoy your new toy WADE!
Pick # 63 GBN Rank: 243 Ourlads Rank:228 PP Rank: 164
Round 3 JUSTIN SIMMONS/FS/BOSTON COLLEGE 6’2/202 4.56/40 9 5/8″H/32 5/8″A
The long rangy defender was the leader of a solid BC Defense. He was the top ranked S at the Combine from a workout performance perspective. He compiled 67 Tackles along with 5 INT in his senior season for the Eagles. His ball sense is excellent and all he needs to do for NFL wars is gain a few pounds of muscle to take the pro game pounding. Look for him to win a starting job for the team in 2017 if not this season. In the meantime WADE will find multiple ways to blend him in on sub-packages. Very solid Pick.
Pick # 98 GBN Rank: 100 Ourlads Rank: 126 PP Rank: 95
Round 4 DEVONTAE BOOKER/RB/UTAH 5’11/219 4.55/40 8 5/8″H/31 5/8″A
For a team that runs a ball-control Offense the RB tandem of HILLMAN/ANDERSON is not wearing out many opposing defenses. BOOKER brings a more physical presence as well as solid receiving and blocking skills to the RB stable. He was a team captain at Utah. Although 25-years old as a Rookie he could end up as the team’s leader in overall touches from the get-go. Let’s just say that the team was fortunate to have him last into Round 4, and they jumped on his availability.
Pick # 136 GBN Rank: 63 Ourlads Rank: 78 PP Rank: 80
Round 5 CONNOR McGOVERN/OG/MISSOURI 6’4/306 5.06/40 10 3/8″H/33″A
A solid 3-year starter from a program that has cranked out more than it’s share of Interior OL in recent years. He’s a good athlete with great weight room strength, which translates to the field. He could take a turn out at OT in a pinch, but he should be able to battle for a starting job at OG, perhaps even as a Rookie. At the very least he could serve as an upgrade back-up at 3 spots minimum, to start his pro career.
Pick # 144 GBN Rank: 85 Ourlads Rank: 92 PP Rank: 127
Round 6 ANDY JANOVICH/FB/NEBRASKA 6’1/238
Looks to me like KUBIAK has had enough of trying to use a TE as FB for a team that likes to run as much as they do. Clearly the strong, but reasonably athletic, JANOVICH looks to them like a FB worth keeping on the roster. He should excel on Special Teams as well. It feels to me like with PEYTON gone this team will run the ball even more in 2016 and a FB is still a key part of any running game, at any level of play. Solid Pick, for their needs, this late in the Draft.
Pick # 176 GBN Rank: NR Ourlads Rank: 300+ NR PP Rank: 300+ NR
Round 6 WILL PARKS/SS/ARIZONA 6’1/214 4.60/40
The BRONCOS like their S to be athletic big hitters first, with coverage skills second. PARKS was a solid performer for a solid Wildcats Defense. He may also see some duty as a sub-package LB, and of course excel on Special Teams. He was not a star prospect, but fits this team, which is a bit thin in the back 8.
Pick # 219 GBN Rank: 318 Ourlads Rank: 300+ NR PP Rank: 300+ NR
Round 7 RILEY DIXON/P/SYRACUSE 6’4/221
So why a Punter? Well COLQUITT has been around a while and his cost is starting to be felt on their Cap chart. DIXON was solid at Syracuse and has the kind of leg and punting from that could really play well in the mile high air, that rewards a big leg. He was at the Senior Bowl and didn’t do anything to really impress me, but I’ve reached the stage where I don’t get too critical of teams picking a “fit” type player this late.
Pick # 228 GBN Rank: 328 Ourlads Rank: 300+ NR PP Rank: 300+ NR
I have been very impressed with the work JOHN ELWAY has done building up and re-shaping his roster since taking over the reins of the franchise as GM. This guy knows his stuff, and this Draft is a large step in reshaping a team that lost a lot to retirement and VFA in recent months. Perhaps most importantly he seems to have a plan, guided by some balance of finance and talent value that he sticks to. Ask BROCK OSWEILER and his agent, and COLIN KAEPERNICK. Good work again Nr. ELWAY.