Having covered high school sports in Colorado, I’m biased towards Christian McCaffrey as the Broncos' first-round pick (even though there is plenty of evidence to support the selection). This year’s tight end class is also full of high-value guys that can have an impact in the passing game, so picking a TE (Ole Miss’ Evan Engram, perhaps?) on Day Two could prove to be a great move.
And as long as we are mentioning personal biases, I think a Michigan Wolverine on the second or third day would be a great addition in the later rounds (DL Chris Wormley would be my pick).
Caroline Deisley, Social Media Engagement Coordinator:
Since my male counterparts tell me this isn't necessarily possible in the current draft format, then I guess I'll give you all a couple more-feasible options.
Christian McCaffrey — yeah, he's good. I was at the Pac-12 Championship game when he ran for a billion yards, and I can still hear USC's defensive coordinator at the time screaming as McCaffrey roasted their defense. He is exactly the type of playmaker the Broncos need, but the likelihood of him being around at No. 20 is about as likely as it was for a USC defender to stop him from setting a Pac-12 Championship record for all-purpose yards.
The tight end class is one of the best in years so the Broncos should use their first-round pick on a guy that could strengthen the tight end corps. I'd vote for O.J. Howard or David Njoku, if they're still around.
Outside of the first round, the Broncos should pick up some bodies in the second or third round to back up the offensive line and add some depth to the inside linebacker corps.
Finally, since we have the last two picks in the NFL Draft that are usually deemed "irrelevant," I vote we make it relevant. Draft a female kicker or punter!
Aric DiLalla, Associate Editor:
In an ideal world, the Broncos won’t have to break the bank to get him. The Broncos will give up a third-round pick to move up a few spots, but they’ll find a little luck, as well. One team will spell McCaffrey’s name wrong on the draft card, another will lose the card on the way to the podium and a third will try to draft Ed McCaffrey.
With Christian McCaffrey added to the roster, the Broncos will find a quality tackle who slips to Round 2 and can develop into an eventual starter. Alvin Kamara out of Tennessee, though not a first-round pick, would be another strong candidate for that all-purpose spot. The rest of the draft will have them find a tight end, an inside ‘backer (Anthony Walker Jr. out of Northwestern would be a great choice) and depth along the defensive line and in the defensive backfield. The Broncos almost certainly won’t have 10 rookies make the team come August, so I’m all for packaging picks to move up whenever possible.
Andrew Mason, Senior Digital Reporter:
A team in the top 10 does not submit its selection card in the allotted 10-minute window, a la the Vikings in 2003. A handful of teams picking behind them, looking to capitalize off the dawdling club, stampede to the league official receiving picks before before the original team awakens from its mid-evening nap and makes its choice. As a result, an hour's worth of selections are made in two minutes.
For the Broncos:
Other teams reach for need, causing quarterbacks and offensive linemen to go off the board earlier than their skill sets would merit. The Broncos sit back and pick a top-5 caliber defensive player in Round 1, a versatile, first-round-caliber tight end in Round 2 and a starting-quality cornerback and a quick, game-breaking receiver or running back in Round 3.
Phil Milani, Coordinating Producer/Reporter:
The Broncos added two offensive linemen so far during free agency, and I think there is room for one more, specifically at left tackle. This year’s class of offensive linemen may not include any day-one starters. Denver could once again look to free agency at tackle (King Dunlap or Ryan Clady), but in the second round, Alabama’s Cam Robinson or Utah’s Garrett Bolles present great value. One thing is clear, the Broncos want linemen that play with a nasty streak, and Robinson or Bolles would fit the bill.
With two picks in the third round, I think the Broncos should go defensive line and tight end. Stopping the run was an issue at times in 2016, and Florida State’s DeMarcus Walker could be the disruptive force to solve that problem. The ACC Defensive Player of the Year can play anywhere along the line and finished his senior season with 21.5 tackles for a loss. As for tight end, ESPN’s Todd McShay told me this is the deepest class he’s ever seen. At the end of the third round, there should be prospects available that will immediate push the Broncos current tight end corps for playing time. I like Evan Engram out of Ole Miss and Bucky Hodges from Virginia Tech. Both would add an element to the Broncos passing game, especially in the red zone, that was missing last season. Here’s hoping that one of them will be available late on Day 2.
Ben Swanson, Managing Editor:
Moving on, it seems that this year’s offensive line prospects don’t have the top-line expectations of previous years, so maybe one of them slides into the second round, either to the Broncos at No. 51 or to a point where the team feels comfortable trading up. This class is quite deep at tight end, so the Broncos could add to their group there in the third round. From there, the Broncos could build depth at defensive tackle, inside linebacker and other positions on Day 3, hopefully finding players who, though not yet ready to start, could develop into starters or long-time reserves when the time is right.
Don’t ask me for the names, though. I don’t know that much about the draft.