Our plan for the Denver Broncos
With another disappointing year in the rearview, what moves should the Broncos make to get them back to the playoffs? With about 40 million dollars in cap space and the 10th pick in the rookie draft, the Broncos have plenty of opportunities to retool their roster.
Get a cornerback (or two)
The Broncos secondary was inconsistent this year, often out of position and, towards the end of the season, very injured. The first priority this offseason should be re-signing Bradley Roby. Despite his up and down play this year, he is a talented corner who might benefit from the change in staff. Roby played quite well under Wade Philips and saw a drop off in play once Joe Woods and Vance Joseph took over. The Broncos might even consider drafting a corner with their 10th pick, even if they do re-sign Roby. A lockdown trio would help the Broncos’ talented pass rush get home more often and might elevate the defense to a more shutdown status.
Draft or sign another receiver
Yes, Courtland Sutton, DaSaen Hamilton and Tim Patrick were all solid this year. However, they are all still young and the Broncos have yet to find a tight end they can rely on to produce or even play games. On top of that, star wideout Emmanuel Sanders would save the Broncos 10 million dollars if cut, so it wouldn’t be shocking to see the Broncos move on from him coming off an ACL tear. Case Keenum is not a superstar quarterback, but he can be a decent starter if surrounded with talent. Find a tight end or a wide receiver worth drafting and bring him in. The Broncos have relied on coaching making the best of a mediocre cast of talent for too long. Start stockpiling more receiving talent, don’t rely on a few guys to shoulder the burden.
Keep the offensive line solid
Really this means re-sing Matt Paradis. He’s a been a great center for the Broncos and should be re-signed as soon as possible. Other than that, the Broncos only need a right tackle. Jared Veldheer could be re-signed as well if the Broncos think he can keep playing at a decent level. If not, the Broncos could try to find someone young in the draft. There isn’t a lot of work to be done on the line besides maintaining it and finding the right tackle of the future. That is, if the Broncos get Paradis to stay.
Look for a quarterback
Last year, the Broncos had the fifth pick in the draft and took Bradley Chubb over Josh Rosen, Lamar Jackson, and Josh Allen. Time will tell if that was the right decision, but the Broncos might be in a very similar situation this year with the 10th pick. There are some interesting free agents such as Nick Foles and Teddy Bridgewater, but both would probably be negligible upgrades from Keenum. Either way, the Broncos need to decide if they want to aggressively attack the draft and trade up or if they want to sign someone who they think can be the long-term answer. Keenum can be the short-term solution, but if the Broncos don’t identify a high-upside starter soon, Elway might get on the hot seat.
There isn’t a ton of work to be done on this roster. With better coaching, this team could be in the playoffs with a chance to win some games. They finished 13th in total DVOA, ranking fifth in defense and 14th in offense. Neither of which is a ranking of a team that you’d expect to finish 6-10. In fact, the Broncos would project to finish with nine wins based on those stats. Anyways, the Broncos could be in for a quick turnaround with the right coaching staff and some players that make an immediate impact. This is a critical off-season for John Elway and one that could help ease the pain off the past two seasons or exacerbate the state of the Broncos.