2017 NFL Draft: Denver Broncos' top five needs, best fits on the clock at No. 20
This is one in a series that covers each team, offering viewers information for homework, suggestions and then the opportunity to make a draft pick.
When the NFL Draft begins selections in Philadelphia April 27, the
have the No. 20 pick in the first round.
Here is an in-depth look at the team’s needs, offseason changes, potential best fit and the selections by NFLDraftScout.com’s experts.
Who would you pick and why?
Top five needs
1. Left tackle: The Broncos don’t have a natural fit for the position on the roster. As of right now, either
or free agent
would get the nod, but this is still a position the Broncos are likely to try and fortify with a veteran pickup or via the draft.
2. Slot receiver: Broncos head coach Vance Joseph indicated that
could see some slot work, and
is an option to move inside when the Broncos go three-wide. But the Broncos’ only natural slot receiver,
, is a second-year player who saw most of his work on returns after joining the 53-man roster late last season.
3. Tight end: The Broncos bring back
, but the quality of tight ends in this year’s class means that the Broncos might be able to find a better, more versatile option for their offense even as late as the third or fourth round.
‘s free-agent departure for the
Los Angeles Rams
leaves the Broncos in search of a No. 4 cornerback. A pair of 2015 draft picks,
, are in the mix, but this year’s deep cornerback class and the advancing age of
, who goes into his 10th NFL season, could compel the Broncos to add a corner.
5. Interior offensive lineman: Although the Broncos added Ron Leary in free agency and like the potential of third-year guard
, they could look to bolster their depth in case Garcia doesn’t develop and center
does not recover fully from the two hip surgeries he underwent this winter.
Alabama Crimson Tide
: Although fellow tackles
may have higher ceilings, Robinson is the most ready to step in and start immediately, and with a gaping hole at left tackle, the Broncos need to find a starter, one way or another. Robinson’s stellar performance against Texas A&M’s
last year offers evidence that he can handle edge rushers; he held the likely No. 1 overall pick without a sack.
The pick will be …
Rob Rang: Ryan Ramczyk, OT,
. On paper, the signings of former
right tackle Menelik Watson and
make up for the decision to let starting left tackle
walk in free agency, but reality could prove different. Ramczyk has the feet to handle blind-side duties and at 6-foot-6, 310 pounds, possesses the girth to move people in the running game, as well.
Dane Brugler: Garett Bolles, OT,
. A polarizing prospect in league circles, Bolles has a checkered past and is an older prospect who still needs plenty of strength and technique work. However, he is a fantastic athlete with the mean streak that will endear him to NFL coaches.
Pat Kirwan: In a trade, Denver moves to No. 22 and gets a later-round pick (explained in video) and Miami uses this No. 20 pick to take
(Kirwan, Jim Miller picks based on last Friday’s mock on SiriusXM Radio. Listen to their next mock Friday, April 21, on SiriusXM NFL Radio channel 88).
Frank Cooney, IMO: Regardless of who plays quarterback, that job will be easier without being mauled by pass rushers. Alabama offensive tackle Cam Robinson may be close to plug-and-play — which is often deceiving at this position — but Wisconsin’s Ryan Ramczyk and Utah’s Garett Bolles could have more upside, although Bolles may qualify as a project.
Your chance to go on the record
OK, it’s your turn. Tell us in the comments section who you would pick and why. Check out the top 1,000 players rated by NFLDraftScout.com, including combine and pro day workouts, biographies, scouting reports.