This off season John Elway and the Broncos have had one clear goal in mind. Fix the Broncos offense. Through free agency and the NFL draft the Broncos have certainly attempted to address this issue. They spent big money in free agency to get Running Back Melvin Gordon and Offensive Guard Graham Glasgow along with spending heavy draft capital to get high profile college Wide Receivers Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler in the first and second rounds, respectfully. Combined with Cortland Sutton, Noah Fant, and Phillip Lindsay, the Broncos seem to have done everything possible to set up sophomore QB Drew Lock with as much talent as possible in hope that this translates to success on the field.
The Quarterback position is the most important position on any given team. How good a team’s quarterback is the easiest way to project success for a team. If a team has a good quarterback the team will likely be good as well and if a team has a poor preforming quarterback the team will likely flop and struggle to find success. In the Broncos situation, there are major question marks that mist be discussed. Although Drew Lock preformed tremendously in his first 5 starts going 4-1, we can not jump the gun too early and claim that he is the tried and true next franchise quarterback for Denver due to the fact that he has only played five total games at the professional level. Additionally, the Broncos backup QB situation is very shaky with more inexperienced QB’s. At the end of the day, the upside is certainly there with a talent like Drew Lock leading the charge of the Broncos offense. For that reason, I do tend to be very optimistic about the group as a whole going forward.
Running Back: A
After adding Melvin Gordon, the Broncos have arguable the best running back duo with himself and Phillip Lindsay. Both were pro bowlers in 2018 and have had great success early on in their young careers. It will be very interesting to see how touches between these two stars will get spread around, but on paper this is an excellent group. Additionally, you can’t forget about 3rd year RB Royce Freeman. He was drafted in the third round of the 2018 draft but has never really gotten his chance to shine due to Phillip Lindsay incredible efficiency. He provides the Broncos with great stability at the position even if Gordon or Lindsay go down to injury.
Wide Receiver: A-
After drafting Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler, the Broncos have great optimism and talent at the position going forward. Adding these two great prospects to the Broncos who already have a generational talent at the WR1 spot in Courtland Sutton should make opposing defensive secondaries tremble with fear. Although I love each of these players, due to the fact that two of the three starters are rookies forces me to temper my expectations and grades a little bit. I do believe, however, that this corps will be the Broncos best positional group by the time we hit the 2021 season. But for now, we must wait and see what we get from these guys on the field first.
Tight End: C+
Here is a position where I probably could have been a little more generous. The Broncos do have second year tight end Noah Fant who looks to be developing into stardom right before our eyes, but he still does have a ways to go. The tight end position is one of the trickiest positions for young players in football because of the tasks at hand. They are expected to run routes and catch balls like wide receivers but also be able to block like an offensive lineman. I do think Fant’s time will come to produce on the football field at an elite level but I’m not entirely sold on that being this year in 2020, especially when you consider the guys he will be competing for targets with and the inexperience of his quarterback. The Broncos also have solid, reliable backups in Jeff Heureuman, Nick Vannett, and Troy Fumagali. None of those guys are special but they are good blockers who will generally produce adequately when they’re number is called.
Offensive Line: B
The Broncos offensive line has been a significant area of weakness for the last few seasons but I don’t think they will be as bad in 2020 as some others may think. After moves made this off season, the interior of the line looks to be set for the Broncos for years to come. Dalton Risner is coming off of a fantastic season at left guard while the broncos signed the very reliable former Lions right guard Graham Glasgow and got a steal by drafting who many believed to be the second best center in the draft Lloyd Cushenberry III with a THIRD round pick. The areas to be called into question are the right and left tackle positions. Garret Bolles has been very disappointing for a first round pick while Ju’Wuan James could stay healthy after getting the bank thrown at him by the Broncos in the 2019 off season. If James can actually stay healthy and Bolles can play at least sufficient by cutting down on the penalties, I actually think this offensive line can finish in the top 10 overall. Luck MUST go the Broncos way for this to happen, however.
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