The Broncos find themselves in a unique position after winning the Super Bowl. No defending Super Bowl champion since the Baltimore Ravens in 2001 has entered the season without their top two quarterbacks. John Elway has no fear when it comes to making draft day trades, and with 10 picks in 2016 and nine likely in 2017, expect Denver to be active in trade talks throughout. Will Elway trade up for a QB? Follow along here as we provide live pick-by-pick analysis.
Team Needs: Quarterback, Inside Linebacker, Defensive End, Guard Update:
The Denver Broncos have agreed to trade the 31st and 94th overall picks to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for the 26th overall pick.
Round 1, Pick #26 (From Seattle)
Paxton Lynch is a diamond in the rough. The tools to be a franchise quarterback are there. He’s got a rocket arm, great size, an ability to scan the field from inside the pocket and great athleticism. His ability to throw on the run and make reads quickly leaves much to be desired. This isn’t a plug and play quarterback. Lynch is going to need at least one redshirt year before he’s ready to step in and contribute. John Elway has preached patience since taking over as general manager for the Denver Broncos; patience is what the Broncos will need if they hope Paxton Lynch will develop into their quarterback of the future.
Round 2, Pick #63
Adam Gotsis, DT, Georgia Tech, 6’5”, 278 lbs
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Gotsis may have been a bit of a reach in this spot, but his raw skills are undeniable. He suffered an ACL injury in October and probably won’t be available until sometime during the 2016 preseason. As a former Austrailian Rules Football player, toughness won’t be an issue for Gotsis. Broncos fans will be happy to hear of comparisons to Malik Jackson. If Gotsis can match the production left in the wake of Jackson’s departure, Wade Phillips and the Broncos defensive coaching staff would be thrilled. At 6’5” and 278 lbs, Gotsis fits the mould of a prototypical 3-4 defensive end and should be able to develop into a solid contributor for the Broncos as soon as this season.
Round 3, Pick #98 (Compensatory)
This pick is one of those magic times when the board and need matched up perfectly. The departure of safeties David Bruton Jr. and Omar Bolden left holes at both safety depth and on special teams. Justin Simmons fills those holes perfectly. With the relatively likely departure of Darian Stewart in free agency after the 2016 season, this pick could end up being one Broncos fans are talking about years into the future. Simmons is a hard hitting rover with huge upside for a player at the end of the third round. He should get a chance to contribute on special teams and could get some playing time in sub-packages from day one.
Round 4, Pick #136 (Compensatory)
This selection might be the best of the draft so far for the Broncos. Booker was rated as the number two running back in the PFS Round 5, Pick #144
Connor McGovern, OL, Missouri 6’4″, 306 lbs
(Photo Credit: Denny Medley – USA TODAY Sports)
McGovern is a savvy pick. When looking to build depth on the offensive line, two attributes tend to take priority over all others: strength and versatility. Connor McGovern has both in spades. A self proclaimed gym rat, McGovern set multiple Missouri records in the weight room. Time spent at tackle, guard and even center will prove invaluable in his transition to the NFL level. Again, this pick is a great value. Although he could potentially step in at tackle as he did at Missouri, McGovern is more suited to fill a swing guard role as a pro. Raw footwork and hands that tend to get soft at times may limit him at the outset of his NFL career, but there is no reason to think Gary Kubiak and Co. won’t be able to develop Connor McGovern into a solid and versatile backup at minimum in the NFL.
The Denver Broncos have agreed to trade the 157th and 253rd overall picks to the Tennessee Titans in exchange for this year’s 176th pick and a 2017 sixth round pick.
Round 6, Pick #176 (From Tennessee)
Andy Janovich, FB, Nebraska 6’1”, 238
(Photo Credit: Steven Branscombe – USA TODAY)
With the failed experiments in 2015 at the fullback position, the Denver Broncos front office knew they needed to bring in someone who can compete immediately. Janovich fits that mould. With a background as a special teams contributor and potential to become an adequate pass catcher coming out of the backfield, Janovich should be able to use his hard-nosed, blue collar attitude to jump in and compete for reps right out of the gate. Not the sexiest of selections, but value is there and the biggest hole remaining was filled.
Round 6, Pick #219 (Compensatory)
Will Parks, S, Arizona 6’1”, 194 lbs
(Photo Credit: Arizona Athletics)
At this point in the draft teams are just hoping to find players who can stick as special teams standouts and develop into solid role players. Will Parks fits that bill perfectly. In 2015 Parks led the Arizona Wildcats with 76 tackles, had seven pass breakups and two forced fumbles. In a pass happy Pac 12 conference, Parks struggled in zone schemes, but performed admirably in man coverage. While Parks is listed as a strong safety, his role would be more aptly described as a hybrid of nickel corner and cover safety with adequate tackling production in run support. This pick absolutely fills the hole left by Omar Bolden’s departure in free agency to Chicago.
Round 7, Pick #235
Riley Dixon, P, Syracuse 6’4”, 224 lbs
(Photo Credit: Stephen D. Cannerelli)
The Denver Broncos needed a punter to come in and compete with Britton Colquitt in camp. They got him. A First Team All-ACC performer in 2015 and Ray Guy Award semifinalist, Dixon averaged 43.7 yards per punt in 2015. He also excelled in fake punt situations. Dixon’s 42 yard scramble vs. Notre Dame in 2014 would serve to suggest he’s got more athleticism than your average punter. If Dixon could beat out Colquitt and take the starting job, it would save the Denver Broncos nearly $3 million against the cap. With players like Von Miller, Brandon Marshall and Emmanuel Sanders looking for new contracts, that money could be invaluable in ensuring the free agency mass exodus of 2016 is not repeated next offseason.
2016 NFL Draft Schedule
- Day 1 (Round 1) | Thursday, April 28, 8:00pm ET
- Day 2 (Rounds 2-3) | Friday, April 29, 7:00pm ET
- Day 3 (Rounds 4-7) | Saturday, April 30, 12:00pm ET