The NFL Scouting Combine always accelerates the offseason for various NFL teams and the Denver Broncos are approaching full speed ahead of NFL Free Agency.

Denver Broncos GM George Paton believes Javonte Williams is on track

The Denver Broncos loss of Javonte Williams last season served as a massive blow to the team and the offensive side of the ball. After suffering a torn ACL in Denver’s Week 4 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders, Denver’s offense sputtered even further without Williams — who is viewed as a stable part of the Broncos’ young core.

Not only did Williams suffer a torn ACL, but he also tore several other ligaments in his knee. Through the scope of today’s sports medicine, recovery times for major knee injuries vary. The typical timeframe for ACLs ranges from six to 12 months of recovery time, but additional ligament damage could extend the duration of recovery.

Broncos general manager George Paton believes Williams is on track for next season, but has a plan in place in the event he’s not.

“I think he’s on track,” Paton said on Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine. “I don’t want to put a date on it. But he’s out there jogging. He’s working his butt off. He’s rehabbing. [RB] Javonte [Williams]—they anticipate he would be ready for the start of the season. We’ll have a plan [if he’s not ready at the start of the season]. We’ll have another back or two to be ready if he can’t go.”

Even if Williams is healthy, the Broncos may look to add a back whether that comes via free agency or the NFL Draft.

Paton provides updates on various in-house items

Denver Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy is approaching a crucial timeframe as he nears the end of his rookie contract. The Broncos will have to make the decision by May 1st on whether or not they pick up the talented receiver’s 5th-year option.

Paton addressed how he felt about Jeudy on Tuesday.

“Really happy with how [WR] Jerry [Jeudy] finished off the season, especially the last couple of games,” Paton said. “We make those decisions, I believe in May, right near the draft. We’ll make that decision. Really happy with where Jerry is at.”

Dre’Mont Jones is set to become an unrestricted free agent on March 15 and could very well hit the market if they can’t come to terms on an extension. If that’s the case, Jones will have the opportunity to discuss deals with other teams, ultimately putting the Broncos in a position to risk losing him in free agency. According to Paton, talks have been positive with his representation.

“Very positive,” Paton said of talks with Jones’ agent. “I’ve spoken with his agent, Kyle McCarthy, from Athletes First. I’ve had a number of conversations with [DE] Dre’Mont [Jones]. Dre’Mont is a very good player. He’s one of our core players on defense. They’ve been very positive.”

The Broncos GM once called former pass rusher Bradley Chubb a “core player” before eventually traded him to the Miami Dolphins last off-season. The Combine is a place where coach-speak, GM-speak, and speculation run rampant.

In due time, the Broncos will begin making moves before and during the March 15 new league year.

Broncos always looking to add picks, but will they?

It’s no secret that the Broncos do not possess a first or second-round pick in this year’s NFL Draft. That doesn’t necessarily mean that between now and then they can’t find a way to add more capital to their draft arsenal.

“We’re always looking to add,” George Paton said on Tuesday. “It’s not always easy. It’s easier to do during the draft—to move back and you could acquire picks. We’ve done that here. We’ve done that at other places I’ve been. I do think the top five [picks] of the third round is kind of the sweet spot of the draft. If we can get a couple really good players to contribute, we’re going to do that. We’re always looking for picks.”

As it currently stands, the Broncos have five picks in the 2023 NFL Draft starting off with picks 67 and 68 back-to-back to start round three. For Paton, he believes the top five of the first round is a sweet spot for really good talent.

Since Paton has been the GM, the Broncos’ third-round picks have provided the team with value on both sides of the ball. In his first draft, he came away with Quinn Meinerz and Baron Browning in the third round. In 2022, he selected rookie tight end Greg Dulcich who showcased a lot of potential as an elite pass-catching option.

With two premier picks back to back in the third round, Denver has a chance to snag two really talented players when the time comes. If they don’t like the talent there with those picks, it wouldn’t be a shock if they traded back to acquire more capital for 2024.

The NFL Free Agency period begins on March 15, while the NFL Draft will take place in Kansas City, Missouri on April 27-29.