In recent years, the Broncos were considered just a quarterback away from contention. The rosters as a whole were excellent, but they were just missing that one key piece —unfortunately, at the sport's most-important position.
In March, the Broncos made the franchise-changing decision to bring nine-time Pro Bowler Russell Wilson to Denver, seemingly filling that hole. But with a trade, one always wonders what holes may be opened to close another. The Broncos gave up tight end Noah Fant, defensive end Shelby Harris and quarterback Drew Lock as part of the package with draft picks, but on the whole, the roster's strengths and depth largely remain.
Wilson will still have Denver's receiving corps at his disposal (led by wideouts Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, Tim Patrick and KJ Hamler, among others), a solid group of offensive linemen and a talented defense.
All that adds up to one of the most-complete rosters, as NFL.com's Marc Ross places it at No. 5 in his top-five ranking.
"The addition of the nine-time Pro Bowl quarterback raises the level of the entire organization with his deep-passing accuracy, ability to escape pressure and make plays off-schedule," Ross writes. "Wilson is the missing piece in an offense full of playmakers, including receiver trio Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick and Jerry Jeudy."
Ross adds that the offense boasts "the best one-two backfield punch outside of Cleveland" with Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon III and notes that as a whole, it "has the makings of an offense that can hang with the AFC's best."
The Broncos don't lack for much on the other side of the ball either, Ross writes.
"The defense should take a step forward with a front that gains a healthy Bradley Chubb and free-agent signees D.J. Jones and Randy Gregory," Ross writes. "Add in rookie Nik Bonitto, a pass-rushing specialist with speed of the edge, and the Broncos have a recipe for success with the infusion of pass rushers setting up a talented secondary led by safety Justin Simmons and cornerback Pat Surtain II. This unit has few holes."
Below the Fold
During Omaha Productions' PGA Championship MegaCast over the weekend, Peyton Manning spoke about what it was like playing with Tiger Woods. It was not quite was Manning was used to for a round of golf.
"I had to be there at 8 in the morning, had to work out with him, work with his body guy, get in the sauna — like a seven-hour routine," Manning said. "I'm like, 'Tiger, this is not what I do.' He's like, 'This is what you're doing today, pal.'"