As the NFL Draft inches closer, the chatter about who the Broncos might pick in the first round is getting louder. Read on to see which players have been slotted to Denver, which will make the 15th-overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: WR Henry Ruggs III, Alabama
The Broncos could use a versatile, big-play speedster to complement Courtland Sutton, Daesean Hamilton and tight end Noah Fant to take better advantage of Drew Lock's big arm. Ruggs (5-11, 188 pounds) fits the bill as a field-stretcher who also can use his route-running skills to win on shorter routes.
Joel Klatt, FOX Sports: WR Justin Jefferson, LSU
Bryan Fischer, Athlon Sports: WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
John Elway will run to the, uh, telephone line to turn in Jeudy's name as he finds Drew Lock a new best friend. There's no better route-runner in the draft, and he could be a top option in the thin Mile High air right away.
Dan Kadar, SB Nation: WR Henry Ruggs III, Alabama
Ruggs has been the pick for the Broncos countless times at this point.
Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com: DT Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina
The Broncos could go receiver here, but they also have a need on the D-line. Kinlaw has unlimited potential.
Adam Rank, NFL.com: WR Henry Ruggs III, Alabama
Great job on the decision to roll with Drew Lock this season. He looked great at the end of last year. And now you have surrounded him with some great players, adding Melvin Gordon to the mix for a team that had some nice pieces with Phillip Lindsay, Courtland Sutton, DaeSean Hamilton and Noah Fant. Complete the set here with Ruggs, who would be a great replacement for Emmanuel Sanders.
Pete Prisco, CBSSports.com: WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma
They have to get help for the passing game and Lamb is a polished receiver who will step in and help Drew Lock right away.
Charles Davis, NFL.com: WR Henry Ruggs III, Alabama
Drew Lock gave Broncos fans optimism with his play down the stretch, and now his front office gives him the fastest WR in the draft to open up the offense.
Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com: WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
The Broncos could choose to address the O-line here but why would they pass on Jerry Jeudy, the best route-runner in this class?
Peter Schrager, NFL.com: LB Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma
I had an NFL GM tell me at the combine that Murray was the best interview subject he's had in years. Teams love what they see on film, but Murray might be an even better leader and person. The Broncos obviously already have two absolute studs on defense in Von Miller and Bradley Chubb. Make it three with Murray.
Patrick Walker, CBSSports.com: DL Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina
Despite the top three WRs being gone and the Cowboys having jumped them to steal Henderson, landing Kinlaw is not simply a consolation prize. Throwing him in the mix with Von Miller and Bradley Chubb creates a devastating pass rush.
Kevin Hanson, Sports Illustrated: WR Henry Ruggs III, Alabama
Drew Lock and Noah Fant both showed promise in their rookie seasons and Courtland Sutton had a breakout sophomore campaign (1,112 yards). The Broncos could use an upgrade opposite Sutton, however, as no other returning wide receiver reached the 300-yard mark in 2019. Posting a combine-fastest 40-yard dash (4.27), Ruggs has the ability to stress any defense and is a threat to take any slant to the house.
Maurice Jones-Drew, NFL.com: WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma
Lamb is an automatic threat with the ball in his hands and gives the Broncos a weapon opposite Courtland Sutton.
Walter Football: WR Henry Ruggs III, Alabama
Courtland Sutton is a beast, but the Broncos have nothing else at receiver after moving on from Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders in consecutive seasons. Drew Lock looks like he has some potential, so John Elway needs to give his young quarterback another weapon.
Cynthia Frelund, NFL.com: WR Laviska Shenault, Colorado
Drew Lock will benefit from this pick, as will Courtland Sutton. Shenault's ability after the catch -- breaking tackles and turning shorter, scheme-based passes into big gains -- will complement both a developing quarterback and a receiver who broke out last season. Shenault has a less-certain projection than the two receivers picked ahead of him, but his potential is maximized in a scheme that can leverage his physical style early on.
Charley Casserly, NFL.com: WR Henry Ruggs III, NFL.com
The Broncos need speed at receiver, and that's certainly something Ruggs supplies. He's just as good as -- if not better than -- D.K. Metcalf, a speed merchant who made waves as a rookie in 2019.
Luke Easterling, Draftwire: DL Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina
Chad Reuter, NFL.com: WR Henry Ruggs III, NFL.com [via mock trade]
General manager John Elway must give Drew Lock as many weapons as possible. Swapping Pick No. 15 and a couple of Day 2 picks this year to grab their top wideout target (Ruggs, CeeDee Lamb or Jerry Jeudy all have a case to be the first WR drafted, but we'll go with Ruggs here) gives them their best shot to become a legitimate contender in the AFC.
Steve Palazzolo, Pro Football Focus: CB Kristian Fulton, LSU
Another team that would love to take one of the speedy receivers should they fall to pick No. 15, the Broncos will attack another important position with Fulton. The depth chart features newly acquired cornerback A.J. Bouye on one side and a group of unproven, younger players, so Fulton could start right away and allow Bryce Callahan to man the slot. Fulton had the fourth-best coverage grade in the draft class last year (86.3), and he has forced incompletions on 27.4% of his targets over the past two years, best in the class.