When it came to the 2016 Denver Broncos two things stood out. Their lack of an offensive line and middle defense. They addressed these two areas in the draft. However, they should have gone deeper at them in my opinion.
Let us look at the Denver Broncos 2017 NFL Draft class and give them an overall grade at the end.
Garrett Bolles – T, Utah
Bolles is a solid pick. I had him rated as the number two tackle on my draft board. John Elway had said all week, leading up to the draft, if Bolles was there, that was their man. He did not squander from that.
This big man should become an instant starter at left tackle for the Broncos. I see him protecting the blind side of Denver Broncos QBs for quite a while. Furthermore, he has strong hands, great feet, and tremendous power. He also has a tremendous football IQ. This will help him learn the NFL much sooner.
DeMarcus Walker – DE, Florida State
When I said that the Denver Broncos needed defensive line help, I was thinking more in the middle. Instead, they chose to go with help on the end. This is not as horrible of a pick as some might think.
Walker has tremendous rushing abilities. Teaming him with Von Miller and Shane Ray give the Broncos a very formidable triple threat. One that will especially give defensive coordinators nightmares. Look for the Broncos to move him around their defensive front.
Carlos Henderson – WR, Lousiana Tech
This pick surprised me a little. I did not think the Broncos were in play for a WR. Moreover, I still do not. However, maybe the Broncos are looking at this for special team reasons.
Henderson brings tremendous value to the return game. In fact, he has excellent ability to find lanes and excel through them. With the Denver Broncos struggles in this area the past few years, I can see this pick working out.
Round Three – Compensatory Pick
Brendan Langley – CB, Lamar
Langley is very raw. Although, coming into a system in which the head coach is defensive minded could work for him. He is a former WR. Additionally, he goes up and gets the ball from its highest point. In all, this could be a position of need in the next year or two. The Broncos just got it early.
Round Four – No Pick
Jake Butt – TE, Michigan
Butt could become the steal of the draft. If not for an injury in the Orange Bowl, Butt would have been one of the top three in this draft. Even though, Jake Butt may begin the year on the PUP list he is a solid addition to this offense. Especially in the fifth round.
Round Five – From Green Bay Packers
Isaiah McKenzie – WR, Georgia
Another questionable pick to me. I felt the Denver Broncos had many more needs than WR. Nevertheless, the addition of McKenzie should add some solid depth to the squad. Here again, we may also be looking at a special team addition as well.
The Broncos had one punt return for 25 yards last year. That was their longest. Isaiah McKenzie adds a special weapon here as well. He may also see some time in the slot.
Round Six – From Tennessee Titans
De’Angelo Henderson – RB, Coastal Carolina
The Broncos struggled on the ground 2016. That is no secret. Once they lost starting RB CJ Anderson, the offense was one-dimensional. Henderson should come in and be a productive back for the team. There needs to be some reliability in the backfield. Seeing that, this late round pick is a good one.
Round Seven – Compensatory Pick
Chad Kelly – QB, Ole Miss
To say that the Denver Broncos are young at this position is an understatement. Starter, Trevor Siemian is in year three. Next, their backup QB, Paxton Lynch is in year two. Finally, they add the rookie, Chad Kelly.
Kelly is the nephew of former Buffalo Bills legend Jim Kelly. His arm strength is as good as any QB in this draft. Actually, if not for an injury his draft position would have been much higher. The pick was puzzling at first. Looking at it now, however, the Broncos could be set at the highest priority position in the game for a long time.
Grade – C+
The Denver Broncos had some positional needs. O-line and D-line to be exact. They only addressed those positions with two picks. I feel there should have addressed these deeper. Thus the reason for my grade.
How would you grade the Denver Broncos draft? Please comment below.
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