It has been an offseason filled with speculation that the Broncos would pursue quarterback Tony Romo if he was released by the Cowboys. All along, the Broncos’ braintrust said they were comfortable with Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch battling for the job, and that’s what will happen.
With Romo retiring, the narrative in Denver can return to what they have to do to get back to the playoffs after a disappointing end of the 2016 season left them on the outside looking in.
With Vance Joseph as the new head coach and Joe Woods replacing Wade Phillips as defensive coordinator, things will change, but enough talent is in place for the Broncos to compete for a division title if the quarterbacking is consistent. Most important is stabilizing an offensive line that struggled at times last season.
Here is a look at the Broncos’ five-year draft record with roster tallies reflecting totals as of the end of the 2016 season. Below that are key personnel moves made this year and the team’s current needs heading into this draft and our projection for all their 2017 picks.
FIVE-YEAR DRAFT BREAKDOWN
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .2012 . .2013 . .2014 . .2015 . .2016
TOTAL PICKS . . . .7 . . . . . .7 . . . . .6 . . . . .9 . . . .8
STARTERS . . . . . .1 . . . . . .1 . . . . .2 . . . . .3 . . . .2
BACKUPS . . . . . .0 . . . . . .1 . . . . .3 . . . . .3 . . . .6
OTHER TEAMS . . .4 . . . . .3 . . . . .0 . . . . .1 . . . .0
OUT OF LEAGUE . .2 . . . . .2 . . . . .1 . . . . .2 . . .0
Top three draft needs
–1. Left tackle: The Broncos don’t have a natural fit for the position on the roster. As of right now, either Donald Stephenson or free agent Menelik Watson would get the nod, but this is still a position the Broncos are likely to try and fortify with a veteran pickup or via the draft.
–2. Slot receiver: Broncos head coach Vance Joseph indicated that Demaryius Thomas could see some slot work, and Emmanuel Sanders is an option to move inside when the Broncos go three-wide. But the Broncos’ only natural slot receiver, Kalif Raymond, is a second-year player who saw most of his work on returns after joining the 53-man roster late last season.
–3. Tight end: The Broncos bring back Virgil Green, A.J. Derby and Jeff Heuerman, but the quality of tight ends in this year’s class means that the Broncos might be able to find a better, more versatile option for their offense even as late as the third or fourth round.
Let’s make every Broncos pick
Below is a list of every pick for this team in the 2017 NFL Draft, with players suggested by NFLDraftScout.com Sr. Analyst Dane Brugler. Who would you take? Let us know in comments.
Round and overall pick number listed, along with player, position, school, height, weight and 40-yard dash time. (*indicates compensatory pick)
1/20: Garett Bolles, OT, Utah (6-5, 297, 4.95)
2/51: Adam Shaheen, TE, Ashland (6-6, 278, 4.79)
3/82: Ryan Anderson, LB, Alabama (6-2, 253, 4.58)
3/*101 Eddie Vanderdoes, DT, UCLA (6-3, 305, 4.99)
4/127: Ryan Switzer, WR, North Carolina (6-4, 221, 4.53)
5/*177: Bryan Cox, DE, Florida (6-3, 265, 4.89)
6/203: Des Lawrence, CB, North Carolina (6-0, 187, 4.53)
7/238: William Likely, CB, Maryland (5-7, 180, 4.44)
7/*252: Sean Harlow, OG, Oregon State (6-4, 303, 5.15)
7/*253): Joe Williams, RB, Utah (6-11, 210, 4.41)
–Now it’s your turn. NFLDraftScout.com is ready to help with its list of the top 1,000 prospects in this draft.
–Frank Cooney and TSX NFL team insiders contributed to this analysis.