Broncos face difficult end to 2018 season

Part three of our roundtable looks at what Denver needs to do after the bye week

Broncos guard Connor McGovern celebrates with Royce Freeman. Credit: Keith Allison

With the Denver Broncos on a bye in week 10 and no real desire to rewatch games from this season, we asked some of our contributors to assess the Broncos’ 3-6 record, what they’re hoping to see in the final seven weeks of 2018, and what 2019 and beyond should bring.

This is part three of our roundtable featuring Broncos Europe TV’s Michael McQuaid and Colum Cronin, and columnist Kade Rucker.

Should the Broncos tank the 2018 season?

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Kade: As of this moment, there is no real reason to tank. Which potential draft picks would be worth tanking? Unless Oregon’s Justin Herbert enters the draft, there are no viable QB options worth picking in the first round at all.

The Broncos have many other needs besides QB but will tanking guarantee they get those players? Currently, the Oakland Raiders are in full tank mode while the New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers, and Arizona Cardinals also have worse records than the Broncos.

The Raiders and Giants may be looking to pick up a new QB and are likely to have a higher draft pick than the Broncos.

The Broncos are likely to pick in the top 10 of the 2019 Draft and could find a very good player there or trade back to build draft capital.

Michael: It’s important to see some sort of progress in the franchise. The Cleveland Browns got rid of Hue Jackson. We can’t even speculate about the firing of our head coach, or defensive coordinator.

At the end of the day, it’s not the first season for either Vance Joseph or Joe Woods. Both men have had the time and haven’t shown the necessary skills to succeed in Denver.

In a perfect world, the Broncos would move on from both Woods and Joseph now and try and regain some sort of pride in this season.

Realistically, John Elway and Joe Ellis will not do this. Therefore, tanking is probably the best option, however, next season, it isn’t the head coach on the line. It’s Elway. 

Derek Wolfe dropped a huge, steaming shit on John Elway’s desk this week.

Colum: Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be a generational talent in next year’s draft which would make tanking worthwhile. The players seem to have quit on both VJ and the front office — see Derek Wolfe’s quotes to Nicki Jhabvala yesterday — so improvement is unlikely.

John Elway continues to blather on that he can see us winning every remaining game, so perhaps a historic loss is needed to truly draw attention to the mess the franchise finds itself in.

There isn’t even a young QB to give game time to; that would at least add intrigue in the remaining weeks.

Broncos safety Su’a Cravens still needs to show he can stay healthy and play in the NFL. Credit: Ryan Koenigsberg/BSN Denver

Which players do you want to see given more game time?

Michael: It’s important to see more players on the offensive side of the ball. Matt LaCosse is a player that has not seen a lot of action and it’s important that the Broncos try to utilize the options they have.

Tight end usage has not been maximized in Denver in years. Yes, there are injuries to Jake Butt and Troy Fumagalli, so give Matt the ball. Let’s see something different on the offensive side of the ball. 

ColumOnce fully healed, Royce Freeman desperately needs more carries. Overshadowed by Phillip Lindsay in a stop-start debut campaign, he’s shown flashes but has to date been underutilized. 

Su’a Cravens is clearly a talented player, but can he stay healthy? The Broncos have struggled at safety since TJ Ward’s final season. Cravens has the opportunity over the next seven games to demonstrate that he has the physical and mental toughness to be an NFL starter.

DeMarcus Walker, drafted with much hype in the second round in 2017, has done little to prove he’s worthy of the fanfare thus far. He needs to finish strong down the stretch otherwise the entirety of the 2017 draft will have been a bust for the Broncos — “Bolles-Holding” only starts by default

Kade: Anyone and everyone not sitting behind a proven veteran. The Broncos need to see what they have in their young players to help them decide what areas need more attention.

Players like Brendan Langley, Issac Yiadom, DaeSean Hamilton, and Sam Jones could all use the reps and it wouldn’t be much of a drop-off from the production of current starters, with the exception of Emmanuel Sanders, but both he and Hamilton can be on the field together.

Part four of our roundtable, looking at where the Broncos’ problems come from, will be online on Wednesday evening.

About Paul Thomas 170 Articles
Paul is one of Broncos Europe's main contributors, based in London, England. When not providing us with the latest Denver Broncos news, he can be found in a sports bar watching any sport. A long-time Broncos fan, he tries to forget many of the bad pre-Manning years.

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