Many people expect the Denver Broncos to take a tackle with the 20th overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft on Thursday. That being said, general manager John Elway doesn’t typically draft based on need, and doesn’t seem to be planning on changing that approach.

“I guess my philosophy’s always been, when we go into the draft, we want to go in picking the best football players,” Elway said on Monday. “My belief is that we fixed needs in free agency, with Ronald Leary, Menelik [Watson] and the offensive line and the guys we signed there and defensive line-wise what we did. We’re still going to try to draft the best football players that are going to help us on our football team, and not get into a situation where we reach for one.”

Should Elway decide to change his mind on that approach, many would think that the team’s greatest position of need is left tackle. Elway doesn’t necessarily think that’s true. Elway believes that Ty Sambrailo, Donald Stephenson and Menelik Watson could all potentially compete at that spot.

“We’re not without there,” Elway said. “We felt like Ty was going to be a very legitimate left tackle until he got hurt.

“A lot of people don’t think that we have a left tackle on our team,” Elway added at a different point. “Ty Sambrailo played left tackle for us two years ago, was playing very well and hasn’t been able to stay healthy. So that’s always an option for us.”

Elway mentioned that the team’s situation at tackle might not be ideal. Then again, the options in the draft might not either.

“Both lines are a little bit weaker than they have been in the past,” he said, later adding that the pass-happy schemes seen in college may be a contributing factor in why the class is weak. “The Alabamas and those type teams, SEC teams, still run the football. So, you get a good evaluation of those people. [But] when you’re talking about teams and how much they throw it, it definitely affects the offensive linemen.”

The Broncos “looked at the options” at left tackle in free agency, but decided to go in a different direction. Elway also pointed out something that is clear across the league.

“Left tackles are not easy to find.”