The 2019 NFL Draft is just over a month away, which means that The Game Haus will be doing draft profiles for every team. Each NFL team will be looked at heading into this year’s draft including what their needs are and who they could be targeting. The Denver Broncos will be the 10th team evaluated.
Vance Joseph was the coach for the 2018 season and the Broncos had something to look forward to with a solid defense. Case Keenum was signed to run the offense, but the team still struggled to a 6-10 record, which resulted in Joseph being fired and Vic Fangio being hired.
The offense averaged 20.6 points per game, which ranked 24th in the league. They ranked just above average in running the ball and below average in passing. Keenum couldn’t recapture the magic he found in Minnesota in 2017, throwing for just 15 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Emmanuel Sanders and Courtland Sutton were the teams leading receivers, as Demaryius Thomas was traded just eight games into the season. The Broncos found a diamond in the rough in Phillip Lindsay, who was undrafted, yet led the team in rushing yards. Their offensive line struggled at times last season. Joe Flacco was traded for to play quarterback and Ja’Wuan James was signed to play right tackle to improve the offense.
The defense allowed 21.8 points per game and could have done even better had the offense controlled more of the clock. Adam Gostis, Domata Peko, Shelby Harris and Derek Wolfe teamed up to form a solid defensive line in their 3-4 defense. At outside linebacker, the Broncos are the strongest with two players that had double-digit sacks in Bradley Chubb and Von Miller. The inside linebackers were ok, but not outstanding. Chris Harris Jr. and Bradley Robey manned the corner spots, while Justin Simmons was a solid safety. Peko and Robey are both no longer with the Broncos, while Kareem Jackson was added at cornerback to help make the secondary better.
2019 NFL Draft Picks
Denver will have eight picks to use in the 2019 NFL Draft.
First Round (one pick): No. 10
Second Round (one pick): No. 41
Third Round (one pick): No. 71
Fourth Round (one pick): No. 125
Fifth Round (two picks): No. 148, No. 156
Sixth Round (one pick): No. 182
Seventh Round (one pick): No. 237
Young Quarterback- Trading for Joe Flacco is a short-term solution. The Broncos need a quarterback of the future.
Offensive Guard/Center- The tackle spots are accounted for now with James and Garrett Bolles, but the interior line play needs to improve.
Wide Receiver- Sanders and Sutton are a good start to a receiving core, but more is needed.
Tight End- Jeff Heuerman is starting at tight end. They’ll need a better one if they want to compete.
Inside Linebacker- The inside linebackers on the team are average at best. For the defense to be great they need to get better players at the position.
Nose Tackle- Peko is gone, but Harris did play well in limited snaps. They’ll need a plan if Harris isn’t the answer.
2019 NFL Draft Targets
Pick No. 10: Christian Wilkins, Defensive Tackle, Clemson
Wilkins is athletic, big and versatile. He should be able to fit in somewhere along the Denver defensive line. He could spell Harris at nose tackle or play defensive end if needed. He was a good pass rusher from the interior in college and should be able to do more of the same in the NFL. Denver could be a team that trades back, as a lot of their major needs won’t have prospects worth taking at pick number 10.
Pick No. 41: N’Keal Harry, Wide Receiver, Arizona State
The Broncos need to get some more wide receiver help. Luckily for them, there are a lot of talented wide receivers in this draft class. Harry is a big, physical receiver that could specifically help Flacco. He can run deep routes and goes up for jump balls, which could help Flacco draw more pass interference calls.
Pick No. 71: Michael Jordan, Offensive Guard/Center, Ohio State
If Denver can improve their interior line play, Lindsay can be even more effective than his rookie year. Flacco may also be able to help make the Broncos more competitive if he has more protection. Jordan has a lot of experience at Ohio State, but is probably better suited to be a guard than a center.