The draft grades from ‘Draft Guru’ Mel Kiper Jr. are out, and one team that got a very good grade is that of the Broncos, who according to Kiper got an ‘B+’ for their collection of players over the two days.
We thought Denver might take a quarterback at No. 5, but with Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold off the board, they went best player available. Bradley Chubb is the best pass-rusher in this class by far. He’s not a perfect fit for Denver’s 3-4, but you have to find a way to get him on the field next to Von Miller. He’s too talented. The Broncos’ defense regressed in 2017 — the Rams say “thanks” for Wade Phillips — and ranked only 22nd in the league in sacks with 33. With Miller and Chubb on the field, they’ll get after quarterbacks.
Running back was one of the Broncos’ biggest needs after C.J. Anderson was released, and there weren’t many guys available at 71. Royce Freeman isn’t a big factor in the passing game, but he was the best back left on my board. He had 60 rushing touchdowns at Oregon and packs short-yardage punch at 230 pounds. John Elway & Co. took two receivers to help out new quarterback Case Keenum. Courtland Sutton (pick 40) is a big, raw target. McShay called him a “finesse” receiver, and I agree. You want to see him use his frame better to block off cornerbacks. DaeSean Hamilton (pick 113) impressed me at Senior Bowl practices and tested better at the combine than I expected. Possible steal.
Denver dealt Aqib Talib in the offseason, and I expect former first-round pick Bradley Roby to take that spot. But Isaac Yiadom (pick 99) is a solid player and big, 6-1 corner who should get snaps. I like Josey Jewell (pick 106) as a dependable two-down inside linebacker, but he doesn’t have the speed to cover running backs or tight ends. Troy Fumagalli (pick 156) could fill a role as a second or third tight end.
There’s a lot of value in this class, and Elway & Co. deserve credit for taking the best player available in spots while also filling needs.
Round/Pick Name Pos College
1/5 Bradley Chubb DE NC STATE
2/40 Courtland Sutton WR SMU
3/71 Royce Freeman RB OREGON
3/99 Isaac Yiadom CB BOSTON COLLEGE
4/106 Josey Jewell ILB IOWA
4/113 DaeSean Hamilton WR PENN STATE
5/156 Troy Fumagalli TE WISCONSIN
6/183 Sam Jones G ARIZONA STATE
6/217 Keishawn Bierria OLB WASHINGTON
7/226 David Williams RB ARKANSAS
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