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2020 NFL Draft grades: Broncos earn high marks from league analysts

The 2020 NFL Draft is in the books, and NFL analysts widely believe that the Broncos' group, led by WR Jerry Jeudy, is one of the league's best classes. Here's a collection of snippets of what they had to say and what grade each outlet gave John Elway & Co.:

"The fact that Denver didn't have to give up additional draft capital and trade up to land Jerry Jeudy is absurd. The former 'Bama wide receiver had a consensus rank of No. 8 and ranked fifth on PFF's big board. He's a special separator in this class with great YAC ability. He may not look like Julio Jones or Amari Cooper physically, but Jeudy is every bit as good a prospect as those two coming out of Alabama. …

"Anyone that has been following PFF throughout this pre-draft process knows Netane Muti is a stud. The oft-injured Fresno State product has all the tools to be an elite guard in the NFL. We'd be talking about him in much higher esteem had he not had his last two seasons cut short with injury. He ranked first among all interior offensive linemen and 39th overall on PFF's big board."

"I figured the Broncos would hammer the receiver position -- getting Jeudy and Hamler will cause headaches for opposing defense. The team then found help at center, cornerback and the defensive line on Day 2. The Broncos must have figured Okwuegbunam was too good of an athlete to ignore in the fourth round, and it's tough to argue with them, despite his inconsistency on the field. Strnad would have been picked in the top 120 overall if not for an injury that cost him the majority of his senior season. Muti plays like a second-rounder but injuries have kept him to a handful of games in recent years -- he was a very worthwhile pick in the sixth round. Tuszka was a value edge rusher pick late in the seventh round."

"Front-office executive John Elway did all he could to help QB Drew Lock, who showed promise last season as a rookie. Elway used the Broncos' first two picks on WRs, getting Jerry Jeudy 15th overall and KJ Hamler in the second round. There were no major additions to the offensive line other than third-round center Lloyd Cushenberry III, but the passing offense should be revved up if Lock is given enough time to throw."

"The Broncos did a good job of addressing needs for John Elway and Vic Fangio, taking advantage of volume. Jeudy, Ojemudia and Cushenberry stand out as their best picks. That said, they probably overloaded on offensive skill too much hoping to lift Drew Lock vs. putting a higher priority on defense. Hamler and Okwuegbunam were interesting picks of luxury for a team that couldn't afford it, considering it already has DaeSean Hamilton and Noah Fant."

"This home-run group also includes CB A.J. Bouye, whom Denver acquired from the Jaguars in exchange for a mere fourth-round pick (No. 137). In an even bigger steal, Denver robbed the Titans of DT Jurrell Casey for this year's No. 237 pick. Separation dominator Jeudy was my favorite receiver in the draft and makes for a perfect stylistic bookend to perimeter clasher Courtland Sutton. GM John Elway doubled down in round two with T.Y. Hilton clone Hamler, a vertical slot weapon. Ojemudia is a developmental corner with starting-caliber traits. …"

Here's a quick rundown of who make up the Broncos' 2020 NFL Draft class, with a photo for each pick.

"… The team's second-round pick was used on Penn State's KJ Hamler. If there is a DeSean Jackson in this draft, it is Hamler. His game is speed and more speed. Speaking of, the Broncos got Lock another speedy target in tight end Albert Okwuegbunam of Missouri in the fourth round. A year after taking Noah Fant, the Broncos now have two young tight ends to diversify their offense. …"

"The Broncos have a budding star in "X" receiver Courtland Sutton, who can consistently win one-on-one downfield on the perimeter and hurt teams with in-breaking routes. But for their optimism in 2019 second-round quarterback Drew Lock to be fully realized, they needed a "Z" receiver—that guy who can go in motion, run every route at every level and contribute via yards-after-catch. Some feel that Jerry Jeudy is the best route runner coming out of college in this era. The Broncos addressed a glaring need with a stylistically perfect prospect, and they didn't have to trade up to do it. …"

"If there's any element of glass half-empty here, it would be the expectations mounting on QB Drew Lock – he won four of five starts to conclude his rookie year – after GM John Elway surrounded him with so many additional weapons. First-rounder Jerry Jeudy is as polished an incoming player as you'll find at receiver while second-round WR K.J. Hamler should fly down the field, opening things up for Jeudy, Pro Bowler Courtland Sutton and TE Noah Fant. Elway also reinforced the O-line and patched holes on the D-line and secondary. Ball's in your court, Drew. No pressure."

"All along, I leaned wide receiver for the Broncos at No. 15. It just made too much sense to get some help on the other side of Courtland Sutton, who had a breakout 2019 season, accounting for 33% of the Broncos' receiving yards. And if Denver is all-in on giving the reins to second-year quarterback Drew Lock, it needs to give him more weapons to get a fuller evaluation. That's why one of my favorite picks was Jerry Jeudy falling into the laps of the Broncos at No. 15. He is my top-ranked wideout, a big-play machine, a smooth route runner and a plug-and-play starter. He's exactly what this team needs. …"

"… Day 3 was filled with solid depth and value, but two picks stood out, in particular. Missouri tight end Albert Okwuegbunam reunited with Lock, his college quarterback from a year ago, and Fresno State guard Netane Muti had no business being available in the sixth round."

"… Cushenberry was voted as LSU's MVP last season and is a 61st percentile Adjusted SPARQ athlete. He is a mauler in the run game and pass-blocked a lot more than most interior offensive linemen in college. Cushenberry profiles as a quality NFL starter. Getting him at No. 83 was great value... Agim didn't live up to his high school recruiting rank but tested in the 88th percentile at the NFL Combine and lands in a great spot with Vic Fangio in Denver. He could develop into a decent starter within a few seasons..."

"Best collection of offensive skill talent in the NFL? Adding this class to Melvin Gordon, Courtland Sutton, Noah Fant and Phillip Lindsay makes a strong case. Drew Lock is a lucky quarterback."

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