Most of the focus is on what the Broncos will do with the 15th-overall pick, but there are plenty of quality players the Broncos could select in the later rounds as well. The following players could be solid choices for the Broncos in the second and third rounds.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — As the 2020 NFL Draft inches closer, experts are debating what the Broncos will do with the 15th-overall pick. Will they select a wide receiver? A cornerback? A linebacker or offensive lineman?
The focus is almost entirely on the first round, where last year's top college stars will likely be selected.
But the first round is just one — albeit important — piece of the draft. No matter which player the Broncos select at No. 15, they'll still need to execute on their remaining nine selections. And with five picks in the first 100 selections, the Broncos could add a handful of quality starters to their roster.
With that in mind, let's take a look at some potential Day 2 picks the Broncos could select in the second or third rounds. Grouped by positions of need, these players could make just as big an impact as the first-round selection.
Need proof? Courtland Sutton, Drew Lock and Dalton Risner are all Day 2 selections from the previous two years.
Denver is currently scheduled to make the 46th (second round), 77th (third round), 83rd (third) and 95th (third) picks.
The Broncos clearly have a need at receiver, and if they don't use the 15th pick on Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb, Henry Ruggs III or the like, there are plenty of good options in the second and third rounds. It's possible the Broncos could use multiple picks on receivers on Day 2.
Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State
NFL.com comparison: Robert Woods, LA Rams
Aiyuk, who earned first-team All-Pac 12 honors in 2019, caught 65 passes for 1,192 yards and eight touchdowns last season. He also returned kicks and punts for the Sun Devils, averaging 16.1 yards per punt return and 31.9 yards per kick return. Aiyuk's 4.5-second 40-yard dash time didn't rank among the best at the 2020 NFL Combine, but he excelled in college with yards after catch.
KJ Hamler, Penn State
NFL.com comparison: Tavon Austin, Dallas Cowboys
If the Broncos want to add a burner to their offense, Hamler could fit the bill. Though he didn't run at the Combine — and Penn State's pro day was later cancelled — Hamler has sub-4.4 speed. At 5-foot-9, 178 pounds, Hamler is a smaller receiver who likely projects as a slot player. He earned second-team All-Big Ten honors as a redshirt sophomore and was an honorable mention as a kick and punt returner.
Michael Pittman Jr., Southern California
NFL.com comparison: Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos
While Aiyuk and Hamler will likely come off the board in the second round, Pittman could still be around if the Broncos want to use a third-round pick on a receiver. After fairly modest seasons as a sophomore and junior, Pittman broke out as a senior at USC. He caught 101 passes for 1,275 yards and 11 touchdowns and earned second-team All-American honors. He was also a first-team Pac-12 player, and he excelled at contested catches and jump balls. The Broncos, though, may want a player with a different skill set than Sutton.
INTERIOR OFFENSIVE LINE
Following the addition of Graham Glasgow in free agency, most of the Broncos' offense line appears set. Head Coach Vic Fangio said recently Denver sees Glasgow at guard, which means the Broncos need to identify a center to replace Connor McGovern. If they want to address that need through the draft, the following players could be options.
Tyler Biadasz, Wisconsin
NFL.com comparison: Stefen Wisniewski, Pittsburgh Steelers
Biadasz capped a productive career at Wisconsin by winning the Remington Trophy as college football's top center and was also named a first-team All-American. As expected for a Wisconsin lineman, Biadasz's strength is run blocking and he could be an early starter for a team. As a pass blocker, though, Biadasz may still have something to prove.
Matt Hennessy, Temple
NFL.com comparison: Joe Hawley, retired
A third-team All-American in 2019, Hennessy was also a Remington Trophy finalist last season. At 6-foot-4, 307 pounds, Hennessy is considered undersized for an NFL lineman, but his technique and athletic ability helped him compensate in college.
Lloyd Cushenberry, LSU
NFL.com comparison: Corey Linsley, Green Bay Packers
A 6-foot-3, 312-pound player, Cushenberry started all 15 games for college football's best offensive line in 2019. With long arms, Cushenberry excelled in pass protection and should be able to start quickly for a team. He doesn't possess the same quickness as some top players, which limits him at times in the run game.
The Broncos' top two cornerbacks appear set, as A.J. Bouye joins the team via trade and Bryce Callahan progressestoward full health. Denver, though, must decide who will act as the team's third cornerback. If the team wants to add depth, could one of these three players make sense?
Bryce Hall, Virginia
NFL.com comparison: James Bradberry, NY Giants
Hall earned first-team All-ACC honors in 2018, but his final season in Charlottesville was cut short by an ankle injury. He underwent surgery, and that could impact his draft stock in a few weeks. A 6-foot-1, 202-pound player, Hall fits better in zone coverage, which the Broncos tend to play in Fangio's scheme. The Broncos looked at Bradberry, one of Hall's NFL comps, before deciding to trade for Bouye.
Jaylon Johnson, Utah
NFL.com comparison: Shaquill Griffin, Seattle Seahawks
A second-team All-American in 2019, Johnson led the Utes with 11 pass breakups and two interceptions. At 6-foot, 193 pounds, Johnson excels in press coverage and could develop into a No. 1 cornerback for a team. He was slated to have surgery after the Combine on an injured labrum that he played through in 2019, which could impact his stock.
A.J. Terrell, Clemson
NFL.com comparison: Pierre Desir, NY Jets
After running a 4.42-second 40-yard dash at the Combine, Terrell clearly has the speed to match up with almost any receiver. In 2019, he was a first-team All-ACC selection after starting 15 games and tallying two picks and six passes defensed. Despite having the athleticism needed to play the position, Terrell struggles at times at recovering and also against the run. That could make him an unlikely pick for Fangio, who prioritizes tackling.
The Broncos were linked to several free-agent linebackers, but they moved forward without signing any of the top veterans. If they feel they need to add a linebacker, these three players could be options.
Troy Dye, Oregon
NFL.com comparison: Zach Cunningham, Houston Texans
Dye, a four-year player at Oregon, built on Freshman All-American honors to earn second-team all-conference honors over the following three seasons. In 2019, he posted 84 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, two interceptions and two forced fumbles as he led the Ducks in tackles for the fourth time in his career. According to NFL.com's scouting report, Dye is "adequate" in pass coverage and is a tackling machine. Dye should likely be available in the third round.
Malik Harrison, Ohio State
NFL.com comparison: K.J. Wright, Seattle Seahawks
Around the line of scrimmage, Harrison made a difference for the Buckeyes in 2019 as he recorded 75 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. The 6-foot-3, 247-pound player has the size you want at linebacker, but he struggled against the play-action game at times. Against the run, Harrison seems like the ideal player. The Broncos, though, may want to target a better coverage player.
Logan Wilson, Wyoming
NFL.com comparison: Kelvin Sheppard, retired
Wilson is a bit of a stretch to be a Day 2 pick, and he'll likely still be on the board in later rounds. He's intriguing, though, as a prospect who grew up as a Broncos fan. Wilson was the only non-Power 5 finalist for the 2019 Butkus Award, given to the nation's top linebacker, and he earned second-team All-American honors from USA TODAY. A former high-school defensive back, Wilson may still have to convince teams he can handle man-to-man coverage responsibilities.