Few fans in Broncos Country could have imagined that the Denver Broncos would land three first-round talents in the 2019 NFL Draft, but that’s just what general manager John Elway achieved over three days of wheeling and dealing.
The initial dismay at trading down from #10 to #20 in the first round, which meant eschewing the chance to draft Michigan linebacker Devin Bush, and a
In the space of 23 picks, the Broncos selected Iowa tight end Noah Fant, Kansas State offensive lineman Dalton Risner, and Missouri quarterback Drew Lock, which is impressive.
Fant’s Iowa teammate T.J. Hockenson was the tight end mocked to the Broncos often behind Lock, but he went to Detroit at #8.
Not only did the Broncos receive extra capital by trading down but, in Fant, they also found a legitimate pass-catching tight end absent from the roster since 2014.
In Risner, the Broncos landed a high-character young man with a nasty streak on the gridiron. He’s also plenty versatile and hails from Wiggins, Colorado. We’ll hear all of those points mentioned a lot in his rookie season.
The Broncos would draft Lock anywhere from #5 to #20, according to several analysts’ mock drafts. Few had him sliding as far as he did. The temptation to get him was too much for Elway to resist, despite taking Risner at #41.
In Ohio State’s Dre
Oregon’s Justin Hollins is a reach in the fifth round, but he could develop under Fangio’s tutelage. He’s plenty versatile, which Fangio likes, so could appear inside or out, on the line or in coverage.
At the very least, he could be in the mix to spell Von Miller and Bradley Chubb. As well as getting after the quarterback, he’s also partial to a strip or two, which could help the defensive takeaways.
The Broncos’ sixth-round pick seems like another reach, mainly because Elway traded away two picks.
Juwann Winfree didn’t have a whole load of production at Colorado because of injuries and not being Laviska Shenault but has size and speed on his side. To make the 53-man roster, he’ll have to be a training camp star.
Despite the last two picks, Elway’s work at the top of the draft to snatch three great offensive players was superb, and it’s difficult to knock him for swinging at developmental players in the later rounds.
Time, of course, will tell just how well Elway did, but at this early stage let us say that he won again, and the Broncos should have a strong core on offense over the next few seasons.