The 2016 NFL season is now officially in the books, and we can begin looking forward to how the Broncos are going to improve in the offseason. Despite going 9-7, there is reason to believe that this team can return to Super Bowl contention with the correct adjustments. John Elway is already targeting players, in both the draft and free agency, that can get this team back into postseason play.

Likely to have 10 draft picks and around $33 million dollars to spend, which positions are the Broncos going to be looking to upgrade?

Offensive tackle

This may be the most obvious, as both of the Broncos’ offensive tackles struggled all season, but it won’t be that easy. Donald Stephenson still has two years left on his current contract, and his release would leave $2 million in dead money. Russell Okung is due to receive a sizeable bonus if he isn’t released, but that is a realistic option, as there would only be $800,000 in dead money. So, John Elway is going to have some decisions to make before he can even begin to look elsewhere.

The free agent crop of offensive tackles is a little sparse this season, with the best prospects being either past their prime, or injury prone. The Broncos could be forced to look in the NFL Draft to upgrade the position. Alabama’s Cam Robinson or Wisconsin’s Ryan Ramcyzk are possibilities, but they will need some time to develop.

A veteran quarterback

New head coach Vance Joseph has stated that the quarterback competition is open, and that either Trevor Siemian or Paxton Lynch will be the Broncos starter in 2017. Joseph and offensive coordinator Mike McCoy have both also said that they are content with their quarterbacks.

Still, it’s a very inexperienced group, and the Broncos could still look for a veteran backup. Matt Barkley, Josh McCown and TJ Yates aren’t going to be a threat for a starting spot, but they could hold a clipboard, and mentor these young guys. There is one name out there that the Broncos could be interested in, and he could come in and compete for the starting job. Don’t forget that quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave did spend time with 27-year-old Matt McGloin when both were with the Oakland Raiders.

Nose tackle

We all saw that Sylvester Williams struggled to man the middle last season, after the departure of Malik Jackson to the Jaguars. He logged only 29 tackles, and just one single sack. Williams is set to become a free agent this spring.

If there is one position that is deep with available players in free agency, its nose tackle. Kawann Short, Brandon Williams, and Dontari Poe are all set to become unrestricted free agents in March. The NFL Draft will feature top prospect Jonathan Allen from Alabama, but he is likely a top-10 pick, that might be difficult for the Broncos to attain.

Tight end

I think it is safe to assume that the Broncos are getting ready to get the tight end position involved with the offense again. Both Mike McCoy and Bill Musgrave have a history of solid tight end production, and we should expect it to continue in Denver.

The Broncos may view A.J. Derby, Virgil Green and Jeff Heuerman as a group that can eventually grow and become a productive unit. That being said, it will be hard not to at least glance at free agency, with names like Martellus Bennett and Trey Burton available. Alabama tight end O.J. Howard has a ton of potential. Evan Engram out of Ole Miss has great hands, and could be available with a later pick.

Inside linebacker

Yes, the Broncos have inside linebackers that are experienced and still under contract. However, this group struggled mightily this season, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Elway go look to shore up the position. Following the loss of Danny Trevathan, Denver plugged in Brandon Marshall, Todd Davis, Corey Nelson and Zaire Anderson, and saw their run defense get softer. Their safeties forced into making way too many tackles.

Dont’a Hightower has been phenomenal with New England, when he has been healthy, but might carry too big of a price tag. The draft might be a better option. Vanderbilt’s Zach Cunningham is a tackling machine, and the Broncos could show some interest in him with one of their early picks.