Denver Broncos Draft Needs 2021: Offense

Denver Broncos Draft Needs
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The Denver Broncos draft needs for 2021 are largely similar to those of recent years. The difference lies in the fact that this will be their first season with George Paton as general manager. While some of Denver’s needs will surely be addressed during free agency, there are other positions that will be best left to the draft. So which positions are they, and who would be the ideal pick for each?

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Denver Broncos Offense NFL Draft Needs (2021)

Per Predominantly Orange‘s Sayre Bedinger, Paton has already stated the importance of building a new Broncos through the draft. Developing those picks into second-contract players is the goal. Now, what are the Broncos biggest roster needs?

Running Back

This is a major need, maybe even big enough to use their first pick (9th overall) on. Their run game has been questionable for some time. Plus, none of Denver’s running backs are a sure thing for a variety of reasons.

Phillip Lindsay is a restricted free agent. He is a two-time 1,000-yard rusher but finishing the season on injured reserve for two out of three years, it is unclear whether the Broncos will decide to keep him. Meanwhile, Royce Freeman hasn’t replicated his strong 2018 season – he had just 35 carries in 2020. And Melvin Gordon is facing a possible three-game suspension on the back of a DUI charge. If he is convicted, it’s Denver’s right to void all guarantees and move on.

Pat Shurmur’s offense is one that relies on a versatile running back who can help on all three downs. The 2021 running back class has a multitude of top-tier guys. Travis Etienne (Clemson), Chuba Hubbard (Oklahoma State), Jaret Patterson (Buffalo), and Najee Harris (Alabama) are all instant impact players.

Right Tackle

Free agent pickup Ja’Wuan James opted out of the 2020 season due to concerns over COVID-19. With the NFL’s newly implemented rule (player contracts will toll from 2020 to 2021), it’s hard to imagine the Broncos could move on.

The uncertainty with him playing a full season means the Broncos must look towards incoming tackles like Rashawn Slater (Northwestern), Penei Sewell (Oregon), Christian Darrisaw (Virginia Tech), Teven Jenkins (Oklahoma State) and Alex Weatherwood (Alabama). The 2021 class is impressive, so Denver is in for some improvement.

Quarterback

It seems the Broncos are considering 2020 a rookie year for Drew Lock. Many believe he can still develop, but that feeling is waning. He is far from consistent and the hint of star quality he displayed occasionally isn’t enough. To boot, Jeff Driskel and Brett Rypien are a far cry from being labeled ‘reliable’.

Spending their first pick on a quarterback will depend on a few things. Paton will need to determine Lock is no longer a feasible option. It would forebear a major rebuild and new offensive system, bigger than anyone expected. It would mean Lock would need to look elsewhere for work.

This year’s class will be one for the history books. As many as six may be drafted in the first round. Mac Jones (Alabama), Justin Fields (Ohio State), Kellen Mond (Texas A & M) and Trey Lance (North Dakota State) would fit nicely into the Broncos puzzle.

There is a lot of uncertainty, yet a lot hope with a new GM. Denver needs a big switch-up in their current rebuild mode. 2021 may be the year they finally move upwards.

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