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The Denver Broncos may win too much to chase a premier guy. Then what?
The season of Drew continues, and the Broncos sophomore quarterback showed off some real promise in outdueling the Patriots’ Cam Newton last week. There were also issues.
Since it remains far too soon to really know if Drew Lock is the long term solution at quarterback, it’s worth exploring how the Broncos can proceed under a number of different scenarios. Last week I looked at how Lock growing enough to really seize the job would put Elway in a position where he could capitalize on other teams desperation.
This week we’ll look at how the Broncos can proceed if they keep finding ways to win even while Lock fails to grow as hoped. Right now Football Outsiders’ playoff odds report only gives the Broncos a 15% chance at a top 5 pick in the 2021 draft.
Franchised / Extended / Retained
Garett Bolles – Left Tackle
Justin Simmons – Safety
Shelby Harris – Defensive Lineman
Phillip Lindsay – Running back
Alexander Johnson – Linebacker
Von Miller – Edge
Davontae Harris – Cornerback
Calvin Anderson – Tackle
Jurrell Casey – Defensive Lineman
A.J. Bouye – Cornerback
Kareem Jackson – Safety
Nick Vannet – Tight end
The QB Market
The obvious name is Dak Prescott. There’s reason to believe the Broncos would have considered him in 2016 if Jerry Jones had gotten his way and drafted Paxton Lynch. His injury casts questions over his timeline and the price point will be high, which may deter Elway. That said, the negotiations between the Cowboys and their franchise player is something to watch.
After Dak, the impending free agent market gets murky in a hurry. Philip Rivers has a coaching job already lined up for whenever he retires, so I’d assume if he isn’t a Colt he’ll retire with the Chargers and roll off into the sunset. Jacoby Brisset showed some promise in extended action last year, but there’s a reason Chris Ballard was content to make him a very rich backup this season.
Mitchell Trubisky, Tyrod Taylor, Andy Dalton all look like number twos if the alternative is QB purgatory. Ryan Fitzpatrick played really well before Tua Tagovailoa pushed him to the bench, but he’s also going to be 38-years old and has a history of streaky play.
Barring a release that doesn’t look imminent, the best quarterback that the Broncos may be able to land is none other than Cam Newton. After their loss Sunday, New England is stuck in third and it’s no guarantee they make the dance. Bill Belichick almost traded Stephon Gilmore before the 2020 season, if they fail to make the playoffs the Patriots roster probably begins a teardown.
T.1.24. Alex Leatherwood – Tackle – Alabama
Lawrence, Fields, and Lance go in the top six. Atlanta calls me and offers 8 and 109 to for my first, third, fourth, and a 2022 pick. I tell Louis Riddick thanks, but no thanks.
The decision pays off when Brandon Beane calls and we pick up Buffalo’s second and fifth round picks to slide down.
Alex Leatherwood gives Mike Munchak another battle tested SEC lineman who’s played both left tackle and right guard. The wily old Hall of Famer is optimistic he could maybe take over for Ja’Wuan James down the line, and he gives us insurance if Bolles gets hurt.
Alex Leatherwood has been excellent tonight. Silencing some concerns out there on if he can plan tackle at the next level. This was a resume game for him and he’s certainly passed the test.
— Jordan Reid (@JReidNFL) October 18, 2020
2.44. Eric Stokes – Cornerback – Georgia
While Tyson Campbell’s gotten most of the fanfare to this point, this is the Bulldog Fangio’s watched for three straight days before the NFL Combine.
“He can do it all, and I love his play in the redzone.”
Who am I to doubt the man who stole Michael Ojemudia in the third round?
Stokes projects as a capable starting outside corner at the next level. His time at Georgia gives him good experience playing in both zone and man coverage, and his best fit will be with teams that like to utilize press corners. His athletic ability and physicality can transfer inside to the slot/nickel role, but his lack of significant experience doing so leaves that as more projection than certainty. Teams that have holes in their secondary will see him as a good option to plug those holes, and will likely find him available in the early stages of Day 2.
T.2.56. Marvin Wilson – Defensive Line – Florida State
With Shelby Harris playing on the franchise tag and Jurrell Casey a Panther, we need to keep adding talent to the well up front. Adding Wilson to the rotation with Harris, Dre’Mont Jones, and McTelvin Agim guarantees there are always 300 lb. wrecking balls to loop with on stunts.
On FSU’s final four plays on defense, with the game on the line, DT Marvin Wilson made his presence felt:
2 QB Hits
1 QB Hurry
The amount of skill AND effort was incredible.
— Brendan Sonnone (@BSonnone) October 18, 2020
3.76. Bubba Bolden – Safety – Miami
Trey Marshall ain’t happy about it, but Justin Simmons get a young running mate to mentor and we add another special teams stud. Bolden’s relatively inexperienced but combines ridiculous athletic tools with the skills to play wherever Fangio needs him to line up: slot, deep, or in the box.
Best Safety in the country ‼️
1 Forced Fumble
1 interception, 1 Sack
2 Blocked Kicks pic.twitter.com/rOvC52AvaM
— Arturo (@CaneFilms) October 16, 2020
Your Broncos’ News
The Denver Broncos received another big return for a starter after injury with Noah Fant a full participant. He should be a go against the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Broncos quarterback showed critical improvement against the Patriots.
I reached out to Arrowhead Addict’s Travis Steffen to find out.
I reached out to Arrowhead Pride’s Craig Stout to find holes in the KC defense.
Comedy Central on Friday announced that a portion of Empower Field at Mile High will be filled with all new cutouts, some from the recent hourlong “Pandemic Special” that premiered last month. The Broncos take on their rival, the Kansa City Chiefs, on Sunday.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Bucs have reached an agreement with wide receiver Antonio Brown on a one-year deal
While the team was sequestered at its hotel, where no one other than essential staff is supposed to be, Haskins made a reservation for a family friend to stay at the hotel.
Brown’s contacts with the team’s other starting offensive linemen and safety Johnathan Abram led to those players being held out of practice all week as well. Based on the timing of his contact with Brown, Abram is not going to play this weekend but Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said “there’s a good chance those men will be back soon” in reference to the offensive line.