Rumor mill: Broncos will trade up, no, down in the first round of NFL Draft

John Elway. Credit: Isaiah J. Downing, USA TODAY Sports.
John Elway. Credit: Isaiah J. Downing, USA TODAY Sports.

In a mere 10 days, the NFL Draft will come in to shift our attention to sports for a few days.

And in the lead-up to the draft, the rumors have started to fly.

Thanks to their fantastic 4-1 finish of the 2019 season, the Broncos are now slated to pick 15th in the first round. In hindsight, a few more defeats in a lost season would’ve meant more draft capital and likely a top-10 selection.

But, that doesn’t mean Denver can’t pick in the top-10.

According to Albert Breer, his sources say the Broncos are trying to move up to possibly the No. 9 position, which is the Jacksonville Jaguars’ at the moment. That spot makes sense because Denver is reportedly looking for an offensive lineman at No. 9, with Cleveland (10) and the New York Jets (11) with the same needs.

Beer also says the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are with the Broncos in looking to move up to No. 9, as they likely look to protect Tom Brady in his elder years.

However, then Broncos reporter extraordinaire Benjamin Allbright said he wouldn’t buy that rumor, instead, that Denver is more likely to move back in the first round and secure more draft capital.

Since taking over the Denver Broncos front office in 2011, Elway moved back into the second round to take Derek Wolfe in 2012. More recently, he moved the team from pick No. 12 back to No. 20 last year; the Broncos selected tight end Noah Fant at 20 and then used the second-round pick to take Drew Lock.

If Lock does become the face of the franchise, as many Broncos fans and some media members believe will happen, that trade during the 2019 draft will make Elway look like a genius. A similar move this year would only help cement the belief.

But don’t forget, the Broncos have also moved up twice in the first round with Elway as the main decision-maker. Once was for Shane Ray (a bust) and the other was for Paxton Lynch (another bust).

So, if history serves, it’s a better option to move back than to move up.

Part of that is Elway’s mentality in terms of falling in love with a prospect, like Ray and Lynch. Almost no matter the round, Elway has consistently gone after “his guys,” reaching at times.

Adam Gotsis, Carlos Henderson, Ty Sambrailo, Cody Latimer; they were all second and third-round reaches in recent years. If Denver stays put or moves back to pick up a second-rounder, Elway and Co. can’t squander the opportunity.

Or, the Broncos could just stay put at 15, with five picks in the first 100 selections this year. With one first, one second and three third-round picks, it’s not like Denver needs more early-round selections. Another way to think of it: They have plenty of ammunition to package in case they do what to move up.

SHARE