3 Moves the Broncos Can Make to Win the Offseason

Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock (3) looks to throw against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half of an NFL preseason football game, Monday, Aug. 19, 2019, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Denver Post

Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock (3) looks to throw against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half of an NFL preseason football game, Monday, Aug. 19, 2019, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

For fans of NFL, the offseason can be used as a big reset button, either wiping away a tough season full of struggle or as an opportunity to look back on the highlights of the season. For Broncos fans, it was both. A bitter 0-5 start led to a not-so-great 7-9 finish. The biggest highlight from an unremarkable season was the production of rookie quarterback, Drew Lock. Lock breathed new life into a struggling offense and finished the last five games of the season with a 4-1 record. His performance was so advantageous that it compelled President of Football Operations, John Elway, to announce Lock would be the future quarterback.

So the question is, how will the Broncos’ front office surround Lock using free agency and the draft?

We can start by looking at the biggest hole on offense and the quarterback’s best friend, the wide receiver. This year’s draft possesses some of the deepest wide receiver talent out of any NFL draft. One receiver that caught everyone’s eye is Alabama’s Henry Ruggs. His combined performance consists of a blazing fast 4.27 40-yard dash, a 42.0’’ vertical jump, and a 10’11’’ broad jump. However, Ruggs’ size puts these accomplishments into questioning. Coming in at around 188 lbs and standing 5’11’’, he’s not exactly the biggest wide receiver. Nonetheless, adding him to the other side of a receiving corps would be the ideal way to make a second-year quarterback like Lock feel more secure. (Other options at receiver include: Ceedee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy, Justin Jefferson.)

Another great way to surround Lock would be to increase his pass protection at the left tackle position. This position is currently occupied by a struggling former first-round draft pick, Garett Bolles. In this past season alone, Bolles allowed 4 sacks and committed 17 penalties, which is second in the league among offensive linemen. With his undisciplined play hurting the team all season long, don’t be surprised if the front office looks another direction. There are two directions to go for the left tackle. The first being to go for an offensive tackle in the draft. The second option is to test the Free Agency Market and bring in veteran leadership to a young offense. If the Broncos choose to go with the first of those options their best bet would be the University of Georgia offensive tackle, Isaiah Wilson. Wilson is a 6’ 7’’ and 340 lbs. His ability to rumble his way to the second level could help free up Philip Lindsay in the running game. The latter option would be to go for the current top free-agent, Anthony Castonzo. In the 16 games he played in the 2019-2020 season, Castonzo allowed only three sacks and committed two penalties. This eight-year veteran would also bring a much needed authority to a young team. (Other options at offensive tackle include: Brandon Schreff, Bryan Bulaga, Jack Conklin.)

A looming sword over the head of the Broncos all year long has been the free agency of Pro-Bowl Corner, Chris Harris. In his nine years with the Broncos, Harris recorded 20 interceptions, 6 forced fumbles, and 4.5 sacks on his way to winning a Super Bowl and becoming an All-Pro. Sadly, good things don’t last forever. As the divide grows between Harris and the front office, the team will have to look elsewhere. On the bright side, letting Harris walk would free up $12.05 million a year in cap space. The 9-year veteran will turn 31 in June. The Broncos will be looking for a younger and more sustainable talent that will suit their team better in the long run. The newly made acquisition of A.J Bouye helps ease the pain, but it won’t close the wound. Luckily, there is Byron Jones from the Dallas Cowboys, a very accomplished corner. This a 27-year-old finished a quiet season only allowing 2.2 completions per game, while not recording a single pass interference call. Jones also still holds the world record for the broad jump, which he broke in the 2015 Combine. Jones lept into the record books with 12’ 3.75’’ in the broad jump. From then on, Jones has received comparisons to megastar Jalen Ramsey. Those comparisons still hold today. (Other options include: (James Bradberry, Jimmie Ward, Bashaud Breeland)

While the 2019-2020 season wasn’t what most Broncos fans had hoped for it did produce one thing; a small glimmer of hope that could lead the Broncos back to their winning ways.

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