John Elway does not seem to have to greatest track record recently with the Broncos after not making the playoffs since 2015. He needs this draft to hit for the Broncos owners to keep confidence in him.
John Elway has an absolutely terrible resume when it comes to quarterbacks for the Broncos. Since he was able to sign Peyton Manning, which I personally believe Elway had no influence in, there has been zero luck at the position. Their position in this draft leaves them an opportunity to make good at the position. Outside of quarterback they could use a little help at both the wide receiver position and tight end position as well.
On defense they are really hurting at the cornerback position. Outside of Chris Harris this is a very weak group. Shelby Harris is a restricted free agent this year and was the only somewhat productive player on the defensive line. They could use somebody to make a good push up the middle. Lastly some linebacker depth would be nice with Josey Jewell and Todd Davis as the only capable linebackers on the team.
Round 1, Pick #10 Drew Lock, Quarterback- Missouri
Drew lock is quarterback with some tools needed to be a starter in the league. He has unbelievable arm talent and has shown amazing tools that leave you to believe he has the chance to become a starting caliber quarterback. John Elway is feeling the heat after failing to produce any quality quarterback options since Peyton Manning.
They just recently traded for Joe Flacco this offseason and will likely open as the Broncos starter for 2019. With Lock’s slightly underwhelming completion percentage, a career 57% rate, it may be best suited to start as the second option and learn from the former Super Bowl MVP. This may be Elway’s last gasp to find his quarterback of the future.
Round 2, Pick # Julian Love, Cornerback- Notre Dame
Julian Love is exactly what the Broncos need in their secondary. He is aggressive at the catch point, a fierce tackler and is able to play any position in the secondary. Love has had a great career at Notre Dame totaling 176 tackles, six tackles for a loss, 39 passes defended, five interceptions, two forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and three touchdowns. His last two seasons have been his best as he has all three of his touchdowns and 36 of his 39 passes defended in those 26 games.
Outside of Chris Harris the Broncos so not have much at the corner position. Love can play either outside or in the slot for them and give this secondary an instant boost. He is a day one starter.
Round 3, Pick #72 Germaine Pratt, Linebacker- N.C. State
Germaine Pratt is a safety converted to a linebacker. He really came into his own during his Senior year where he walked away with very impressive numbers. He is an every down linebacker with numbers of 104 tackles, 10 tackles for a loss, six sacks, three passes defended and two forced fumbles during his senior year.
Josey Jewell and Todd Davis are really the only two capable linebackers on this Broncos squad. Pratt can come in and compete during camp and may even have the chance to beat out Jewell. I am a big fan of Jewell but Pratt’s athleticism and ability to cover during passing downs may give him the edge.
Round 4, Pick #126 Dontavius Russell, Defensive Lineman- Auburn
Dontavius Russell is a big man with an attitude. He stands at 6’3 and 320 Lbs. and is magnificent in clogging up the middle. The Broncos do not really have that run stopping force in the middle of their defensive line. Russell is a big time win scooping him up in the fourth round. Looking at his numbers do not tell his story, but stats do not make up those interior defensive lineman. Russell soaks up blockers and should make this defense significantly better against the run.
Round 5, Pick #149 Jamal Peters, Cornerback- Mississippi St.
Jamal Peters has big time size for the cornerback position. He comes in at 6’2 and 218 Lbs and is really solid in man press coverage. He is not the fastest only running a 4.63 second 40 yard dash but has long strides which allow him to keep up with receivers. He also has great length with very long wingspan. With the Broncos very thin at cornerback Peters can come right in and compete is Isaac Yiadom for a starting corner spot.
Round 6, Pick #183 Jonathan Leadbetter, Defensive End- Georgia
Jonathan Ledbetter has the size to play both 3-4 and 4-3 defensive ends but is better suited for a 3-4 base scheme. He comes in at 6’4 and 280 Lbs. and great power at the point of attack. His frame is just amazing and is a powerful bull rusher. If the Broncos can add somebody on the defensive front to add pass rush to go along with Bradley Chubb and Von Miller on the outside, the pass rush can be an absolute game winner.
Round 7, Pick #239 Jordan Brown, Cornerback- South Dakota St.
Jordan Brown is 6’1 and 200 Lbs. with a marvelous FCS career. In 51 career games he totaled 148 tackles, six for loss, four forced fumbles, 35 passes defended, and eight interceptions. He has very good ball skills and a terrific NFL ready body. The Broncos can make this selection as taking a chance on his ability at a lower level school and hoping it transfers to the NFL.
The Broncos and John Elway take another stab at a franchise cornerback and grab Drew Lock. From there they grab some solid prospects on defense with three cornerbacks, one top 50 in Julian Love. They also take one of the top linebackers in the draft in Germaine Pratt. Overall the defense gets better and Drew Lock hopefully can save Elway’s job. Let’s see where this goes.