The NFL Draft is quickly approaching! The IDP department is breaking down each team post-free agency and what they should look to address in the draft.
The Broncos defense has taken some losses the last couple of seasons, mostly in the secondary. They traded away Aqib Talib and last season they released T.J Ward. The “No-Fly Zone” will look a little different, but the front seven and pass rush should still be similar. The defense struggled a bit last season as the offense struggled to move the ball and as a result, they did not win much.
Being a 3-4 defense the defensive ends are not quite as valuable to IDP teams as others, but some depth plays are here for your bench. Derek Wolfe played 11 games last season and couldn’t finish the season due to a neck injury. He is expected to return to the team but could be a candidate for the PUP list if he is not entirely healthy. Adam Gotsis was a waiver wire mention a few times last season as he had a few decent tackle games that could help out on a bye. You don’t want to have to start these guys, but if you do they could get you a couple of tackles. Some other possible DE fodder could be DeMarcus Walker. Entering his second season, Walker could get more snaps especially if Wolfe is unable to start the season.
I found myself owning a lot of Domata Peko shares last season. He had a few 3+ tackle games last season, and when you don’t want to pay high dollar for a DT, then a few tackles is very nice. The downside is Peko turns 34 this season, so the Broncos signed Clinton McDonald away from the Buccaneers. He’s no spring chicken either but is a DT that can collect some sacks for you. He had five last season and could do very well for himself with the pass rushing options on the Broncos taking attention away from the inside.
This group has played together the last few seasons, and at least three out of the starting four offers some IDP value. Von Miller is a polarizing IDP asset as scoring impacts whether he is highly sought after or just a late LB for your team. His boom or bust type of play can give you nice production or almost nothing. The two inside linebackers Brandon Marshall and re-signed Todd Davis[/profiler] both get a share of the run stops, but Davis comes off the field more than Marshall making Davis less valuable. Out of these three, Marshall is the one to own. Across from Von Miller the Broncos have [profiler]Shane Ray and Shaquil Barrett. Neither has been a reliable IDP asset and don’t hold much value.
The Broncos traded away their Pro Bowl cornerback Aqib Talib to the Rams. The cupboard is not completely bare though as Chris Harris and Bradley Roby will man the outsides for the Broncos and are quality options in deeper CB required leagues. Tramaine Brock and Brendan Langley will back them up, and one of them will end up in the slot. Bradley Roby was a favorite of mine his rookie season for IDP play and still could be valuable as he had 17 passes defended last season and should see more targets his way.
The safeties are not flashy for you IDP team but can offer a solid floor. Justin Simmons and Darian Stewart can offer you about 4 points per game, and that’s about it. So if you crave a safe floor safety, then grab them. The Broncos traded for Su’a Cravens hoping that they can salvage something from the 2016 2nd Round pick of the Washington Redskins. He chose to retire from football last season and is not somebody I’m wasting a roster space on anytime soon. Will Parks is an interesting option as he was a swiss army knife for the secondary last season and saw 61% of the Broncos snaps last season. He may be a name to watch if injuries strike at any of the secondary positions.
Draft Needs – CB, OLB, & DT
The trade of Aqib Talib left a vacancy outside for the Broncos. While the players they have can hold their own, some youth, as well as an upgrade of slot corner, would be beneficial. Neither Shane Ray or Shaquil Barrett has performed as Denver has hoped as evidenced by John Elway’s refusal to commit to Ray’s 5th-year team option as of yet. Their defensive tackles are solid, but they are not young, so I look for Denver to take some defensive tackles to help out the aging vets. Let’s be honest, Denver needs a lot on offense, so I don’t see many of their picks being used on the defensive side of the ball.
The Broncos currently own a 1st (5th overall), a 2nd (40th overall), two 3rds (71st and 99th overall), two 4ths (106th and 113th overall) and two 5ths (149th and 160th overall)
I don’t foresee the Broncos passing on QB with their first-round pick, so that means that that day two will be the earliest they look at the defense. Jaire Alexander, Mike Hughes, and Carlton Davis should all be around in the 2nd round to select. They could also look to some OLB prospects like Malik Jefferson, Kemoko Turay or Dorance Armstrong Jr. if they look at the EDGE.
Some DT prospects they could look for on day 2 are Taven Bryan, Rasheem Green, or Derrick Nnadi. The Broncos will likely look to fill some vacancies they have at QB, RB, TE, OL, and some youth at WR in this draft, so this may not be a heavy defense draft for them.
For more in-depth analysis of these players, you can get the 2018 Rookie Roundup for FREE and read up on the IDP relevant draft prospects.
Thanks for reading! Be on the lookout for your favorite team broken down IDP style. Follow me @seahawksdan8 and let me know who you would want the Broncos or your team to draft this year!
Liked this? Check out the breakdown of the Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers, New Orleans Saints, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears, Los Angeles Rams, Houston Texans, New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills, Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals.