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Mason's Mailbag: Who in the draft class could start immediately?

Posted Apr 30, 2018

Bradley Chubb is the obvious choice, although his position group is stacked. But there are other potential Day 1 starters in Denver's draft haul.

One to three, barring injuries elsewhere on the roster. Outside linebacker Bradley Chubb and running back Royce Freeman are the top candidates. Wide receivers Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton have a chance to have a first-team situational role, as one of them could end up as the Broncos' No. 3 receiver.

Tight end Troy Fumagalli could also be in the mix at tight end, as the Broncos' entire complement of tight ends has just 12 career starts, creating a wide-open situation. Fumagalli could have a better chance at a starting role if the Broncos go with a two-tight end formation as their base package, as they did in 2012, for example.

In the seventh round of the draft, why did we take David Williams when Bo Scarbrough was still on the board?

-- David Randall

Because Williams had the better senior season, averaging more yards per carry (5.6 to 5.1) and per touch (6.5 to 5.3), which is significant because last year was the first chance that Williams had to be a regular part of the offense. Williams also had more bench-press repetitions (21 to 14) and the same 40-yard dash time (4.52 seconds). And finally, -- and obviously -- because the Broncos had a higher grade on Williams than Scarbrough.

Based on how the current first team stacks up -- LT Garett Bolles, LG Ron Leary, C Matt Paradis, RG Connor McGovern and RT Jared Veldheer -- the Broncos have three previous NFL starters currently serving as reserves: swing interior lineman Max Garcia and tackles Menelik Watson and Cyrus Kouandjio.

They have J.J. Dielman, a late-season waiver claim last year, as an interior option, and he's basically another draft pick, a player the Broncos liked last year before the Bengals took him and put him on their practice squad. Billy Turner is a backup who can play multiple positions. Backup tackle Elijah Wilkinson was promoted from the practice squad midway through his rookie season last year. Then you have Sam Jones, the sixth-round pick Saturday.

Not all of the depth is experienced, of course -- but this is often the case with almost any offensive line in the NFL. Backups are backups for a reason. But the Broncos are clearly in better shape here than they were at this time last year, or even a few months ago.

The word "bust" is reading all over Baker Mayfield as he was selected by the Cleveland Browns. At least Cleveland could have drafted Saquon Barkley as their Number 1 pick, and Josh Rosen as their Number 4 pick. Do you agree?

-- Kenny Smart

No, I do not. I think Mayfield was a terrific pick for the Browns. I think they should have drafted Bradley Chubb at No. 4, but, hey, it was good for the Broncos that they passed on him.

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The analysis, opinion and speculation in this story represents that of the author, gathered through research and reporting, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Denver Broncos organization.

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