What prospect makes the most sense for Denver to pick after the Combine? For me, it's got to be ILB Devin White.
*-- Scott Thielemier *
With the Broncos' abundant needs and the array of viable players to whom I give a wholehearted seal of approval, I can't narrow it down to a single prospect.
White and Michigan linebacker Devin Bush make a great deal of sense, although when the draft comes, I do not think White will fall to the No. 10 selection. Bush has everything White possesses, except that he's one inch shorter and he took .01 second longer to complete his 40-yard dash at the Combine. In other words, the difference is negligible and Bush could provide better value if he is picked a few selections after White.
Among the cornerbacks, I think Georgia's Deandre Baker and Washington's Byron Murphy make the most sense. Neither possesses the 40-yard dash speed of LSU's Greedy Williams, but Baker and Murphy are more consistent in their game play and, to my eyes, are more aggressive defenders and better tacklers.
Along the offensive line, the better value might come if the Broncos trade down five to 15 picks. Kansas State's versatile Dalton Risner can play any one of four spots and possesses a fervent desire to wear orange and blue after growing up a Broncos fan in Wiggins, Colorado, which is a few miles from Fort Morgan. After seeing how local passion helped Phillip Lindsay last year, I think one must give Risner a close look. It helps that he had an outstanding Senior Bowl week. North Carolina State's Garrett Bradbury also shone at the Senior Bowl, and he had the best across-the-board Combine workout of any offensive lineman.
I'm also intrigued by Iowa's two tight ends. T.J. Hockenson was a more consistent blocker, but Noah Fant was a more prolific red-zone target (18 total receiving touchdowns the last two years) and possesses the physical tools and the willingness to handle the in-line work. And while you don't want to make too much of the Combine workouts, his 40-yard dash time of 4.50 seconds puts him in the company of three outstanding young tight ends around the league: Tampa Bay's O.J. Howard, Evan Engram of the New York Giants and San Francisco's George Kittle.
Even with other needs, if Fant is available at the No. 10 pick, it would be hard for me to pass him up unless Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins fell to that point. And as I said on Orange and Blue 760 this week, if Haskins tumbles to No. 10, I'd sprint to the podium with his name on the card. But that’s just me.
Andrew, what can the Broncos do to get next year's first-round pick from the Cardinals, Dolphins, Bengals or Lions? They are all going to stink next year.
-- John Cameron
It takes two to make a deal, and none of those teams are likely to deal their 2020 first-round pick, barring a ridiculous trade offer.
Forget about the Cardinals or Lions under current conditions. Both pick before the Broncos. Unless they want an extra first-round pick this year, there is no reason why they would be in a deal in which they would surrender their 2020 first-rounder to the Broncos. As for the Bengals and Dolphins, they pick 11th and 13th in the first round, respectively. The price for going from No. 11 to No. 10 is likely some combination of Day 2 or 3 picks, at best. It's a bit more to get from No. 13 to No. 10, but given the rebuilding task faced by the Dolphins, trading their 2020 first-round pick would be counter-intuitive.
It would be more likely to get a first-round pick in 2020 from a team picking in roughly the bottom 40 percent of the first round. So take a look at the teams picking from the 19th pick (Tennessee) and go down. That's the range from which the Broncos would have the best chance of making a deal that included a 2020 first-rounder.
I’m a Melbourne-based Denver fan in Australia. Why wouldn’t Josh Rosen suit the Broncos, if they could get him with a second- or third-round pick?
Love your work, also really enjoy Steve Atwater.
-- Aurelio DeSantis
First, thank you.
As I've said before, they did due diligence on Rosen last year. Broncos officials watched his Pro Day workout in person. They interviewed him at the Combine. They brought him to Broncos headquarters as one of the 30 permitted in-person interviews. Then they had the opportunity to select him with the No. 5 pick. They took Bradley Chubb instead. The price is different, but for that to be viable, the perspective on Rosen would need to be altered from where it was last year.
Has the following idea of strategy of future QB development for the Broncos occurred or been discussed? Drafting a later-round QB in the 2019 draft (example: Tyree Jackson) to provide one year of under-center training. Then in the 2020 Draft use whatever means to gain an early first-round choice for one of the top rated QBs. This would gain the past team history of a backup resembling Kubiak = 2019 Draft & Elway = 2020 Draft?
-- Thomas Gormally
If such an idea had been discussed, would you really want it to become public knowledge? Then other teams would have an idea of what the Broncos might do, and would execute their draft-day strategy accordingly. I'm sure myriad possibilities have been disseminated when it comes to the quarterback position. Whether your concept has been discussed -- I don't know, nor would I be in position to know, in part because no one would want even a hint of a plan to be thrown out there for public consumption. Furthermore, the draft is too unpredictable to bank on a plan with so many variables.
Andrew...someone at Broncos HQ should put on Easton Stick's tape and watch this guy. I think he'd fit in Scangarello's offense better than all these other mid-round QB's. Thoughts?
-- Bob Armbruster
I've been asked many times about Easton Stick. I'll say what I always say, and which is true -- scouts within the football-operations department have studied thousands of prospects, many of whom won't come close to being drafted, and have monitored players like Stick for years. If the Broncos don't add him in the draft or as a college free agent, it won't be because they didn't watch him.
Personally, I think Stick could benefit from an NFL Europe-style developmental league. (Maybe the Alliance of American Football could someday blossom into this.) He needs more work, and will have to become a more precise passer than he was at North Dakota State, in part because he doesn't possess the raw power in his throws as Josh Allen and Carson Wentz, two recent first-rounders who had similar coaching. He also won't be able to get away with taking off and running as often as he did there.
He did work under center at times at NDSU, which gives him an advantage over some other quarterbacks. But he looks to me like a sixth- or seventh-round flyer ... and as I noted on Orange and Blue 760 on Friday, if you are a sixth-round pick, you literally have a better chance of being a first-teamer in the AAF than the NFL. You can develop him, and if he works out, it’s phenomenal, but in the meantime, you’re not crafting your long-term plans around him.