Denver Broncos May Scouting Report
The Broncos signed DL Billy Winn, DL Mike Purcell, and OL Jake Rodgers the week of the draft. There had been more talk about adding players on offense than on defense. They signed AAF interception leader, CB De’Vante Bausby, and the signings of Kareem Jackson and Bryce Callahan took the secondary off the front burner. The inside-linebacker then dominated the defensive chatter, but the offensive discussion continued to incorporate tight end, interior offensive line, wide receiver and quarterback. The additions of QB Joe Flacco and OL Ja'Wuan James made quarterback and right tackle better. But the Broncos needed to add to the offense throughout the draft. ( Fangio: "I like everybody to watch [film] by themselves and form their own opinions — not be influenced by others’ opinions," I want their honest opinion, and we’ll all come together at the end and form a Denver Broncos opinion.")
They need significant steps forward by: WR Courtland Sutton: WR DaeSean Hamilton; RB Royce Freeman; OL Sam Jones; OL Connor McGovern; OL Elijah Wilkinson; WR Tim Patrick; TE Jake Butt; and, TE Troy Fumagalli. The draft's sweet spot appeared to be the 20-50 picks. So, what did the Broncos do?
Round 1 Traded down with Pittsburgh for pick 20, pick 52, 2020 round 3 pick.
Pick 20: TE Noah Fant: He has the rare physical profile to be a primary receiver at tight end, no matter how poor the quarterback is. Speed tight ends can be very effective in Denver’s offense. Fant (4.50/40) is a good fit for Denver. He is an incredibly gifted and athletic tight end at 6’4, 249 lbs. Fant is far better as a receiver than he is as a blocker, but if Denver wants to coach him up, he’s got the size and strength to be successful. Tremendous value for Denver and they also get a player that fits into their offense and should help Flacco.
Round 2 The Broncos traded the 52nd-overall, 125th-overall and 182nd-overall to Cincinnati for the 42nd pick.
Pick 41 OL Dalton Risner 6’5, 312 Risner is a long armed (34") plus athlete and elite run blocker who can play all offensive line positions. A terrific pick-stable, consistent, powerful.
Pick 42 QB Drew Lock 6’4, 228. Lock is a boom-bust pick, but his upside is worth it at this point in the draft. He should be able to sit behind Joe Flacco for 1-2 years. Lock is an unfinished plus talent who improved every year at Missouri. Denver has to coach him up,
Round 3 Pick 71 DL Dre'Mont Jones 6’3, 281. Jones is a gap-shooting specialist, a plus run stopper and led the Big Ten in quarterback pressures by an interior lineman.
The Broncos traded a fifth-round pick (No. 148) to the San Francisco 49ers for LB Dekoda Watson who will be a key special teams player and depth at linebacker.
Round 5 Pick 152 LB Justin Hollins 6’5, 248. Hollins is a big, athletic linebacker who can play inside and outside, with edge-rush ability and some off-ball linebacker potential. We will begin his career on special teams.
The Broncos received No. 187 pick from Panthers for No. 212 and No. 237 picks.
Round 6 Pick 187 WR Juwann Winfree 6’1, 210. Winfree is a tough, physical player with speed, size and good hands.
Denver's six selections are the team's fewest in any draft since 2014.
Denver’s College Free Agents
Historically, the Broncos have done a great job of signing undrafted free agents.
Elway on Lock: "We look at it as a Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers-type situation. He’s going to have time to sit and watch Joe and take his time and learn and continue to get better". Rodgers sat three years behind Favre.
NFL: Practice can be no more than four hours of on-field work in one day. One practice in pads per day that can’t exceed three hours with the other session being a walk-through. There can be no pads on the first three days of training camp.
DENVER: Practice will be mostly about fundamentals and developing them within the scheme. Fangio wants a solid base of understanding and fundamentals. There could be more camp days with tackling, but the primary goal remains to be ready and at full strength for the regular season. Teaching, not situational drills, will be the focus.
Fantasy Outlook The Denver Broncos had a rocky offensive line the last couple of seasons and new head coach Vic Fangio can’t tell who will start this early. Royce Freeman suffered a high ankle sprain early last year. He rushed 130-521-5. Expect him to be much more involved in the offense in 2019. The combination of Freeman and Phillip Lindsay is special as both backs can be three-down backs. Pass blocking and catching is an underrated aspect of Freeman’s game. A player’s best growth happens from year one to year two. Noah Fant will likely be the number one pass catching tight end, but expectations should be tempered due to his inconsistent blocking and hands. Courtland Sutton and DeaSean Hamilton should make their leap from year one to year two, but Denver will be a run first offense.
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Sunday, September 13th, 2020
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