The JOHN ELWAY era in Denver has been a quandary of sorts, with his biggest challenge, being finding someone to qualify as the long term Franchise QB. In somewhat of another short term fix, ala Peyton, GM Elway has brought in JOE FLACCO. In order for the FLACCO Era to be a success, ELWAY has got to find more young talent to bolster the offense. Protecting Flacco is a prime consideration, as well as adding targets for him. But he can’t forget to keep adding quality to a sound Defense. Let’s make some Picks for Mr. ELWAY.
Round 1, Pick 10
ANDRE DILLARD OT WASHINGTON ST 6’5/310 PP#15
FLACCO has limited mobility. Therefore, it is imperative that the OL be bolstered. BOLLES has been a disappointment out at LT, and may need to slide inside to cover up some of his flaws. DILLARD is simply the best OT option in this Draft. He has plenty of experience in pass-pro from his days toiling in the LEACH air-attack in the Palouse. For those who question his run blocking, I will tell you that he showed that he can handle those chores with his work at Senior Bowl week. Take this man and plug him in out at LT. Move BOLLES in to RG. DILLARD, in combination with VFA JA’WUAN JAMES at RT, will provide a huge upgrade for the Broncos OL overall. That set of OT could be the best the Broncos have had in decades.
Round 2, Pick 41
A.J. BROWN WR OLE MISS 6’1/226 PP#40
For all the hullabaloo surrounding an Adonis named METCALF from Ole Miss, an awful lot of folks, (yours truly amongst them), think BROWN is the better pro prospect from Ole Miss this year. He certainly was more productive in his college career than Metcalf. In the past two seasons, BROWN has caught 160 balls for over 2,800 yards and 17 TD’s. He’s built like a RB, and has good play speed and burst after the catch. He is a good route runner. He’s not a track guy, but he gets open and piles up the YAC. Gotta luv those 9 3/4″ hands. Add him to a receiving corps that features EMMANUEL SANDERS, (coming off injury), and COURTLAND SUTTON, and FLACCO will have a nice blend of size, speed, and quickness in the top end of their receiver corps.
Round 3, Pick 71
DRE’MONT JONES DT OHIO STATE 6’3/281 PP#78
In some ways, a bigger body for the Nose slot might be more of a need right here, but the quick, athletic JONES is the best value to add to their DL at this spot. He’s explosive off the snap, and gets penetration into the backfield. In the Buckeyes DL rotation, he recorded 43 tackles in 2018, and 11 of those were TFL, including 8 sacks. He will make a hustling, chasing defender which fits their defensive scheme nicely. If he could add another 10 lbs. without sacrificing quickness, he’d be the whole package for them. He’s a need Pick, but also brings value as an athlete.
Round 4, Pick 113
LONNIE JOHNSON DB KENTUCKY 6’2/210 PP#114
JOHNSON used his size and strength to great success as a college CB. Now the question is, can he repeat that success at the pro level? His Combine 40-time was 4.52, which concerns some, but his length works to his advantage. The Broncos have lost a lot of good DB’s in recent years, and JOHNSON should be able to handle multiple spots in their Nickel and Dime coverage units. It wouldn’t be a wasted pick if they even moved him to primarily S play. The buzz is pretty positive about JOHNSON as we approach the home stretch here.
Round 4, Pick 125
VOSEAN JOSEPH LB FLORIDA 6’2/230 PP#126
The GATORS are never lacking for talent on their roster, and the DAN MULLEN staff clearly got more out of what they inherited last year than their predecessors did. VOSEAN was one of those guys. The active, athletic JOSEPH compiled 93 tackles during the 2018 season. He has very good speed in pads. Best of all for his pro potential, is his fluidity in pass coverage. JOSEPH had 5 PD from his LB slot last season. He is very instinctive to the ball. Most feel that his upside is excellent. He might add a few pounds, but that is secondary to his current speed and agility. His prospects in their D look to be of Pro Bowl caliber.
Round 5, Pick 148
MICHAEL DOGBE DL TEMPLE 6’3/286 PP#149
DOGBE is amongst a group of DL prospects who have gotten lost in the shuffle because of some elite talent in the position group, which has stolen much of the attention. DOGBE was not even invited to the Combine, but I will tell you after watching him during Shrine Week action, that this guy is legit. He is tough. He is strong. He is athletic. In today’s NFL of DL unit rotation and mixed defense front alignments, his versatility will be a big plus. DOGBE should add a lot to the depth along their DL. He will also help set a standard of hard work in the weight room and elsewhere.
Round 5, Pick 156
KEATON SUTHERLAND OG TEXAS A&M 6’5/322 PP#156
Let’s get back to Offense for some more OL reinforcements. This big guy made a positive impression on me during Shrine Week. He’s more athletic and flexible than you might imagine. I believe that the only reason he was not out at OT for the Aggies, was concern on the edge about his 32 5/8″ arms. His weight is well distributed over his long frame and his knee bend is very good. He could be a nice depth upgrade for the team, with position versatility on game days.
Round 6, Pick 182
DREW SAMPLE TE WASHINGTON 6’5/250 PP#201
SAMPLE is a good athlete who does a variety of good things from his TE slot. He has nice hands, and can catch effectively. He isn’t a weight room warrior, (yet), but he has decent strength, and is a willing blocker. The Broncos have a group of young TE’s, most of whom have yet to distinguish themselves as pros, mainly because of injuries. For the value at this pick, it is worth adding another good athlete to that group. Somebody has to stay healthy and emerge in that position group. Sample looks to have enough tools to possibly be that guy. For FLACCO a good TE to target has been big in his weapons cache.
Round 7, Pick 237
MITCH WISHNOWSKY P UTAH 6’2/219 PP#237
On paper, WISHNOWSKY is the best Punter in this draft class, with a career gross average of 45.7, kicking in the altitude of Utah. Welcome to the Mile High City, Mitch. He has a strong leg, and gets very good hang time. He also gets the ball off quickly with a 2-step approach. He shows the ability to control direction and distance on his Punts. Of his 59 punts in 2018, 24 of them were inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. Given his background, he can also kick the ball rugby style on the run, which can come in handy on bad snaps or with unblocked rushers. Having a strong kicking/punting game is especially important in Denver, where the elevation can be used to good advantage by high skill level P/K’s. This could be an excellent value at the Pick.
Having 9 Picks in a very deep Draft can be quite a competitive edge for any team, and right now the Broncos can use the added roster depth of a good draft effort.