To QB, or not to QB? That's what John Elway has to decide by the time the Broncos are on the clock at No. 10 in the draft. While the team did trade for Joe Flacco as a veteran stopgap, they're still firmly in play to select their next young franchise quarterback, and it's been reported Elway is particularly smitten with Missouri quarterback Drew Lock. But if two quarterbacks go in the top six, can the Broncos feel comfortable sitting at No. 10 if they want a quarterback, with several teams behind them also likely eyeing an upgrade?
Below, you can check out which picks the Broncos currently have, along with our projection of their top positional needs. I'll then build a war-room big board based upon players I think have some kind of chance of making it to their first pick before sharing multiple draft classes that make sense for the team from myself, Ryan Wilson and Chris Trapasso.
As for the actual draft, you'll be able to stream our live coverage right here on CBS Sports HQ (or download the CBS Sports app for free on any mobile or connected TV device) breaking down all the picks and everything you need to know during draft weekend.
Current draft picks
The CBS Sports NFL writing staff recently compiled positional rankings to identify needs for each team heading into the draft. A helpful guide: any position group that had an average ranking worse than 16.0 (on a scale of 1 to 32) was considered a "need," while any that ranked worse than 23.0 (bottom-third of the league) was considered a "pressing need."
Needs: QB, WR/TE, OL, LB
Pressing: QB, OL, LB
This will shock you, but we here at CBSSports.com do not think Joe Flacco is the solution to the Broncos' ongoing quarterback issues. Drew Lock is a popular pick in our mock drafts, and while you can argue the merits of the selection itself, you can't really argue the need. Similarly, the Broncos don't have much in the pass-catching department beyond a back-from-injury Emmanuel Sanders and Courtland Sutton, and even after adding Ja'Wuan James, the offensive line looks only OK after seeing Matt Paradis leave. Luckily, the Broncos have dynamic edge rushers and defensive backs to win games on their lonesome, because they need some help both up the middle and at the second level -- especially after letting go of Brandon Marshall.
War room big board
Here's how I'd project the Broncos' draft board for their first pick, considering only players I feel have some chance of making it in range:
- QB Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State
- QB Drew Lock, Missouri
- LB Devin White, LSU
- LB Devin Bush, Michigan
- QB Daniel Jones, Duke
- OL Jonah Williams, Alabama
- TE T.J. Hockenson, Iowa
- TE Noah Fant, Iowa
Seven-round mock drafts
|1||10||QB Drew Lock, Missouri|| |
|2||35||G/C Dalton Risner, Kansas State||from OAK*|
|2||41||to Oakland|| |
|3||71||CB Isaiah Johnson, Houston|| |
|4||125||to Oakland||from HOU|
|5||148||TE Drew Sample, Washington|| |
|5||156||to Carolina||from MIN|
|5||170||OLB Justin Hollins, Oregon||from CLE*|
|6||182||to Cleveland|| |
|6||187||ILB Joe Giles-Harris, Duke||from CAR*|
|7||235||to Cleveland||from OAK*|
|7||237||OLB Gerri Green, Mississippi State||from HOU|
| || ||NT Vernon Butler (from Carolina)|| |
Will John Elway and his staff do this much trading? Probably not, but let's have some fun. One selection that doesn't require a trade up is Lock, giving Elway his new franchise quarterback to develop behind Joe Flacco for a year before taking over in 2020. If Washington moves up for Dwayne Haskins, as they do in this mock, the Broncos should feel confident they can sit at No. 10 and get their guy.
After Risner makes it out of the first round, the Broncos waste no time going up to get him, swapping their fourth-rounder for a seventh in order to leap six spots to get the versatile offensive lineman. He'll be an immediate starter on the interior but could also be a starting-caliber tackle if needed down the line. With their other Day 2 pick, the Broncos nab what could be a steal in Johnson, who could quickly turn into a starter at corner with the right development.
With this draft class being deep at tight end, the Broncos should feel confident they can find a quality option to add to their depth chart at the position. Here that guy is Sample, who is an excellent blocker and also a bit underrated as a receiver. After trading back about a round on Day 3 to land a nose tackle from Carolina in Butler, the Broncos can't wait once Hollins gets in range, sacrificing a seventh-rounder to move up for the edge rusher. Despite the move back with Carolina, the Broncos are still able to land an interesting inside linebacker prospect in Round 6, with Giles-Harris bringing physicality to the position as he competes to replace Brandon Marshall. Green is another developmental edge rusher as the Broncos double-dip at the position with their depth lacking behind their two stars.
More seven-round mocks:
(*) indicates pick acquired via trade
Check out more first-round mocks from CBS Sports.