The 2020 NFL Draft is just under 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 15th team evaluated.
The Denver Broncos have stumbled down to the bottom of the league one Peyton Manning retired. Head coach Gary Kubiak also temporarily retired soon after Manning. The Broncos have had instability at head coach and quarterback since then. Longtime defensive guru Vic Fangio got his shot at becoming a head coach with the Broncos this past year. After an 0-4 start, the Broncos finished the year 7-9 winning four of their last five games. But that might have been because of the change at quarterback.
Last year, the Denver Broncos were surprised to see the season that Philip Lindsay had. The undrafted free agent had over 1,000 yards rushing his rookie year. This past year when the Broncos tried to integrate Royce Freeman into the offense more, Lindsay still had over 1,000 yards. Next season Lindsay will be splitting carries with Melvin Gordon who the team signed to a two-year deal this offseason.
Courtland Sutton was drafted to eventually become the team’s number one receiver. After trading Demaryius Thomas last year at the trade deadline Sutton was inserted into the starting lineup. This past season Emmanuel Sanders had the same fate getting traded at the deadline. This gave the keys to Sutton to be the team’s number one receiver and he didn’t disappoint. Sutton looked every bit the part with 1,112 yards and 6 touchdowns.
The Broncos came into the year with former Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco as their starting quarterback, but after an injury he was eventually replaced by second-round pick Drew Lock. Lock looked like the franchise quarterback the Broncos have been lacking for years. Lock went 4-1 during his time as the team’s starter only losing to the Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs and threw for seven touchdowns and only three interceptions. The future seems bright with Drew Lock under center. Besides Lock, the two guys drafted before him Noah Fant and Dalton Risner played great in their first years as well.
Under Vic Fangio, expectations for the defense were high. Expectations were high for the pass-rushing duo of Von Miller and Bradley Chubb this year, but after tearing his ACL Chubb saw his season end after four games. As well as the Broncos were playing down the stretch there were questions of whether Chris Harris would resign with the team this offseason or not. This led to trade rumors until the deadline. The Broncos held on to Harris and then he signed with the Chargers in free agency. The Broncos did not have a huge gap at the position because they traded a day 3 pick for top-10 cornerback AJ Bouye from the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Broncos also traded a seventh-round pick for Pro Bowl defensive lineman Jurrell Casey. After these additions, the Denver Broncos defense will be a force. They are going to need all the help they can get playing Patrick Mahomes twice a year.
2020 NFL Draft Picks
First Round (one pick): No. 15
Second Round (one pick): No. 46
Third Round (three picks): 77, 83, 95
Fourth Round (one pick): 137
Fifth Round (one pick): No. 178
Sixth Round (one pick): 181
Seventh Round (two picks): 252, 254
Wide Receiver- The Broncos need to get Drew Lock all the help he can get. The Broncos need a notable receiver to put opposite Courtland Sutton to take away some of the attention he gets.
Tackle- Garrett Boles and Ja’Wuan James have not played well since they’ve joined the Denver Broncos. James has been an established starter for a while in this league so he will likely bounce back. The Broncos need to bring in some competition for Boles to protect Drew Lock’s blindside
Inside Linebacker- Todd Davis is the teams only established inside linebacker on their roster. Alexander Johnson and Josey Jewell played well, but if the Broncos want to upgrade the position they can find it in one of the first two rounds.
Interior Offensive Line- After signing Graham Glasgow the Broncos have a formidable interior to their offensive line. But after letting go of Ron Leary the Broncos are going to need another starting guard.
Safety- Justin Simmons had a break out year, but Kareem Jackson is getting old and isn’t a legitimate safety. Since Will Parks signed elsewhere the Broncos should at least bring in a backup safety.
2020 NFL Draft Targets
Pick No. 15: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
The Bronco’s don’t need to take a wide receiver in the first round. But if they could get one of the top three receivers in the first round they should pounce on it. CeeDee Lamb was a human highlight reel this past season. Nobody can stop him regardless of the number of defenders that were around him. He would create an elite duo with Courtland Sutton and be a great target for Drew Lock.
Pick No. 46: Kyle Dugger, S, Lenoir Rhyne
Justin Simmons is on the franchise tag, but it shouldn’t be long till he gets a long term deal. They should draft someone early to play with Simmons. Kyle Dugger is a do it all safety. He can hit hard and is a ball hawk in coverage. Dugger’s only knock is that he played at a small school. Vic Fangio could have a lot of fun if he drafts Dugger.
Pick No. 77: Ezra Cleveland, OT, Boise State
Ezra Cleveland is a developmental tackle prospect that the Broncos should take a chance on if he is still on the board at this pick. Cleveland could compete with Garrett Boles for the starting left tackle job and if he loses could back him up until he eventually beats him. Then the Broncos can move Boles for a late-round pick.
Pick No. 83: Tyler Biadasz, C, Wisconsin
The Broncos don’t have a need at center now that they have brought in Graham Glasgow, but Biadasz has the versatility to play guard. Even if the Broncos wanted to they could move Glasgow back to guard and start Biadasz back to his natural position at center.
Pick No. 95: Evan Weaver, Inside Linebacker, California
Evan Weaver could be a starting linebacker in the NFL. He could compete and earn reps at inside linebacker with Todd Davis. Worst case scenario Weaver could be a solid contributor on special teams.