Click here to return to the 2023 Reports List

Denver Broncos May Scouting Report
Charles Rives

Pre-draft Thoughts

1. WR Tim Patrick is cleared to do everything giving the Broncos a committed locker room leader who will go the extra mile in 2023.

2. RB Javonte Williams: only 18% of players returned to prior performance when suffering an injury similar to Williams. Plus, it could be well into the season before he is ready to play. Sean Payton is strongly inclined to heavily use two running backs.

3. Denver’s best shot at a developmental quarterback would be one who goes undrafted.

4. Two potential every-down backs: Tyjae Spears, Tulane; Roschon Johnson, Texas.

5. Two potential explosive specialist backs: Keaton Mitchell, East Car.; Deuce Vaughn, K-State.

6. Denver desperately needs depth at cornerback, running back and offensive tackle.

Free Agency

The Broncos free-agency splashes were necessary to correct mistakes made from the 2016-18 drafts

The running back position was very important in this years free agency. Denver signed RB Samaje Perine who Payton believes can give him flexibility and help on all three downs. Perine is a value for Denver at 2-years/$7.5M total money. FB Michael Burton has brought the "true" fullback back to Denver. He also plays special teams. Former Saints RB Tony Jones, Jr. rounds out the additions to the running back room.

QB Jarrett Stidham is someone Payton feels can become an NFL starter and will be great in the quarterback room.

The Broncos had to get better on the offensive line. OT Mike McGlinchey is one of the better run blockers in the league and a solid/consistent all around player. OG Ben Powers is one of the best pass protecting guards in the NFL and will help Lloyd Cushenberry at center. C Kyle Fuller, who started nine games with Seattle, is a move for depth. OT Isaiah Prince may be a top backup offensive tackle.

DL Zack Allen will provide balance to the defensive line and consistent pressure on the quarterback.

WR Marquez Callaway will play a substantial role as the number four wide receiver.

TE Chris Manhertz is effective both in pass protection and as a run blocker and plays special teams. WR Lil’Jordan Humphrey, at 6’4 225, has a shot to make the 53-man roster.

The defence resigned starting ILB Alex Singleton and depth S PJ Locke, who is a standout special teamer. DT Jordan Jackson (Saints, 6th Rd.2022)from the Air Force Academy has a RAS score of 9.13 (10.0) and is a man to watch.

Getting better a special teams is a no-brainer and quick way to improve a team. CB/KR Tremon Smith is a great kick returner (and defensive depth) with a lot of speed who also enjoys rocking an opponents returner. P Riley Dixon, a former Denver draft pick (2016) has had some problems (blocks/inside 20) in his career, but the Broncos staff feel he is an improvement over Corliss Waitman.


Signed former Wilson center Kyle Fuller 6’5 320.

OTAs Phase One

HC Sean Payton has stopped unrestricted media access and will limit exposure to his team/players by the press. He’s closed the book on 2022 and they are beginning the difficult road of hard work ahead of them. Payton is eliminating as many distractions as possible and throwing them into the strength and conditioning fire because he believes they weren’t pushed hard enough last season. You can’t play tackle football unless you practice tackle football. It’s all about toughening up and offseason training is just the tip of the iceberg. He’s boiling everything down to hard work, conditioning, and diligent attendance. Payton is creating a team vibe where players get their bodies and minds ready for the more complicated lessons and hardships to come. His focus is a dedicated, hard-nosed offensive line to set standards for the entire locker room. The team meetings about Xs and Os and Payton's coaching philosophy will come in Phase II. In Phase II Payton will begin to introduce the offense, defense and the kicking game along with the Phase II activities they can do.


What will the Broncos do?

GM George Paton has used the "more darts" approach. To do that in 2023, he will need to trade back in the draft. Trading back for more selections doesn’t always translate to having better odds for finding an impact play or a starter, it requires accumulating the proper selections to be the correct move. Payton needs to get at least a fourth and 2 sixth round picks to make trading pick 68 worth it.

For 15 years, HC Sean Payton has made fewer draft choices anyone else. He has succeeded with quality over quantity. He is now the top dog in Denver. However, Denver’s draft success in 2023 will depend on Paton doing the dirty work and Payton making the final decision.

For fun, how about this "Predominantly Orange" mock draft?

67. Tucker Kraft, TE, South Dakota State
68. Tyjae Spears, RB, Tulane
108. Jake Moody, K, Michigan
139. Clayton Tune, QB, Houston
195. Jack Colletto, FB/TE/ST, Oregon State

So, What did they do?

It was clear that HC Sean Payton was in charge of the draft as the Broncos traded up twice on Day 2 to take Oklahoma WR Marvin MIms, Jr (rd 2 pick 63) and Iowa CB Riley Moss (rd 3 pick 83). They used their second pick in round three to take Arkansas LB Drew Sanders (rd 3 pick 67). The Broncos traded picks 68 and 138 to Detroit for No. 63 and 183. Denver traded picks No. 108 and a 2024 third-rounder to Seattle for No. 83.

The Broncos needed explosiveness on offense and got it in Mims. Sanders will be a core special teams player and linebacker. Moss will play at cornerback. All three have long term upside.

The Broncos drafted Boise State S JL Skinner with their 6 rd pick, No 183. Then,

Denver traded pick 195 to New Orleans for TE Adam Trautman and pick No. 257. They turned that pick into Oregon C Alex Forsyth.

The Broncos improved the strength of their tight end room with Trautman’s blocking ability. Skinner as another potential hard hitting safety in the Bronco tradition. Forsyth lacks power/strength, but has a high football IQ and leadership. The back end of the draft gave GM George Paton a chance to do what he does best-find late round gems. Never the less, it remains to be seen what his future is with the Broncos.


OT Garett Bolles, FS Justin Simmons, OLB Randy Gregory, WR Tim Patrick, and DT D.J. Jones have no guaranteed money for 2024. If any of them don't perform well in 2023, they'll be in danger of being cut to save cap space.

Orangeman’s Take

Thank You, John!

Every significant Broncos accomplishment (except the Orange Crush)involved John Elway in some capacity. It’s different now and it’s appropriate for Elway’s formal connection to the Broncos to end. He paved the way to the Broncos’ years of relevancy and contention. He was the first person to win a Super Bowl MVP and then a Lombardi Trophy as GM. He molded the most prolific offense in NFL history and followed that by building a defense that became one of the best ever in the NFL. seen in the sport. The end was a mess, but John leaves in a dignified manner and on his own terms. Their may be new management, but John Elway is a Bronco legend who epitomized the best of the Broncos for three decades.



Back to top of page
FFMastermind Logo

The Definitive Fantasy Information Service

Mastermind Moment

2023 Madness NFL Rookie Draft Reference Guide
Monday, April 24th, 2023

Premium Pro Bowl and Super Bowl Package Subscribers take note. The time has come. The 2023 Madness NFL Rookie Draft Reference Guide has been released for your viewing pleasure. This

Read the Full Mastermind Moment