Through the first three rounds, the Denver Broncos have put together one of the best drafts of anyone in the entire league.
Denver kicked things off by trading back from the tenth overall pick with the Steelers and then selecting hyper-athletic tight end Noah Fant.
The Broncos then filled their need on the interior of their offensive line with Dalton Risner and found a potential quarterback of the future in Drew Lock. In the third round, they took Dre’Mont Jones to add much-needed depth to the defensive line in anticipation of Derek Wolfe, Adam Gotsis and Shelby Harris all entering contract seasons.
Let’s take a look at some of the players the Broncos could target with their three remaining picks in rounds five and seven, considering who’s left on the board and the Broncos’ remaining needs.
1. Kris Boyd, Cornerback, Texas.
Relations are beginning to get quite icy between star cornerback Chris Harris Jr. and the front office. Considering he’ll be 30 years old before the season and is coming off an injury, his demand to be made the highest paid cornerback in the league is likely to land him on another team.
That makes cornerback one of the Broncos’ most pressing needs following the first two days of the draft. The Broncos could find an ideal replacement in round five with Kris Boyd.
Boyd is a bigger corner who could play outside and has great physicality and instincts. Following the selections of Dre’Mont Jones and Dalton Risner, as well as the free agency acquisition of Kareem Jackson, it’s clear that under Vic Fangio the Broncos are going to value toughness, physicality, and tackling. Boyd has all three in spades.
The major concern with Boyd is a lack of speed and athleticism that could force him to move to safety. Though, with Justin Simmons and Will Parks entering the final year of their contract, adding depth there wouldn’t be the worst thing.
2. David Long, Linebacker, West Virginia.
When the Broncos traded back with the Steelers, they missed out on the opportunity to draft Devin Bush and shore up the linebacker position. They can rectify that decision here with David Long.
David Long was one of the most explosive linebackers in all of college football last year, but he often takes gambles that can put him out of position. He could use some refinement, making Denver the perfect landing spot considering Fangio’s linebacker expertise.
Long has the speed and athleticism to cover tight ends and has the potential to be the perfect counter to Josey Jewell in the future. Although he’s undersized, his upside led one NFC executive to tell Lance Zierlein, “Personally, I would rather have David Long over Devin Bush for a round or two discount. They have about the same size but Long is more productive and maybe less prone to injury.”
3. Emanuel Hall, Wide Receiver, Missouri.
After drafting Drew Lock in the second round, the Broncos could go back to Missouri well here and take an explosive receiver and Lock’s favorite target.
Emanuel Hall could also be the missing piece in Denver’s future receiving core. The Broncos already have a 50/50 jump ball specialist in Courtland Sutton, a route running technician in the slot with DaeSean Hamilton, and now a tight end that can stretch the seam in Noah Fant. Hall could be the Broncos over-the-top burner on an offense where that’s currently missing.
Considering both Joe Flacco and Drew Lock love to sling it deep, it makes sense to draft an explosive deep threat to take the top of the defense. Not only would it fill one of the last remaining holes on Denver’s offense, but it would give Lock a receiver he already has excellent chemistry with.