After finally finding their quarterback for the next two seasons, Case Keenum, the next big question for the Broncos is what they should do with the No. 5 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Having a pick so early means the team can grab a player that is talented enough to immediately make an impact on an NFL roster. The question is, who will the Broncos select with the pick (if they even use the pick at all)?
Former Denver Broncos general manager Ted Sundquist isn’t fond of trying to add another quarterback, or selecting Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson, whom Broncos cornerback Chris Harris thinks the team may pick.
In an interview with Eric Goodman and Les Shapiro on Mile High Sports AM 1340 | FM 104.7, Sundquist said, “I would not go after a quarterback not at the fifth pick if you’re going to bring in a free agent of the caliber of Case Keenum. It just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. There is just way to much pressure as an organization to get that guy into the lineup early.”
While drafting another quarterback right after signing a veteran quarterback for $36 million over two years may not make a whole lot of sense to Sundquist, the team’s former top executive doesn’t feel like the Broncos should select Nelson at the fifth pick either, despite his high praise and the Broncos’ desperate need to strengthen their offensive line.
“I would never take and interior offensive linemen in the top 10 picks. Never. I just wouldn’t do it. I would with an outside guy, but a guy thats primarily on the inside — it’s just hard for me to justify in today’s football.”
Sundquist’s opinion may be right. Last season the entire offensive line struggled, excluding center Matt Paradis, but the Broncos’ tackles seemed to be a bigger issue than their guards. The Broncos had five guards play throughout the season, and they accounted for 14 sacks allowed. Denver’s three tackles allowed opponents a staggering 20 sacks.
So, if the Broncos do not select a quarterback or Nelson, what options does that leave them?
One scenario depends on a lot of moving parts. First is whether or not the Broncos hang on to running back C.J. Anderson. If they don’t, they will need to fill that hole immediately. And if the generational talent of Saquon Barkley is still on the board at five, although unlikely, that’s an easy selection for the Broncos. Barkley would be a major addition to the team and surround Keenum with even more offensive talent.
That may be an unlikely scenario, but the Broncos should be more than happy to have Barkley join their team. Assuming this does not happen, who should the Broncos select?
Sundquist feels they should trade back from the No. 5 spot, saying, “I think there are enough teams that are still looking for a young quarterback. Unless it’s a guy like Von Miller or a guy that you know can totally change your club in an instant, I think you are better trading back and getting more picks.”
A quarterback would most likely be on the bench for two years until Keenum’s contract is finished. Nelson would help, but no lineman alone can instantly turn a team from a losing one to a winning one. Trading away the number five pick might be a tough pill to swallow, but accumulating more picks would help the Broncos become more solid as a whole and keep them competitive for years ahead.
Click here to listen to the full interview with Sundquist, or listen in the podcast below.
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