In Vance Joseph's first year at the helm, the Denver Broncos finished last in the division at 5-11, the second straight year without a postseason berth and the first year with a losing record since 2010. It's somewhat wondrous that the Broncos finished 17th in total offense considering the legitimate quarterback carousel driven by Trevor Siemian and inconsistent ground game, led by an injured C.J. Anderson, the team tossed out all year. Inconsistent offensive line play didn't exactly help either. The Broncos allowed the third-fewest yards per game but still managed to allow the ninth-most points per game in the league, and the rest of the pass rush contingent struggled to complement Von Miller.
This year, Anderson and Siemian are gone; Devontae Booker is the closest thing to a feature back remaining and former Viking Case Keenum has been brought in, theoretically, to run the offense. Aqib Talib is gone but Su'a Cravens and Tramaine Brock are in to supplement the still-deep secondary, but the rest of the defense could use some help. It wouldn't have been a shock if former QB John Elway took another signal-caller early in this draft, but his team elected to shore up their poor pass rush instead.
How will Denver use its picks in the NFL draft? Here's the full list of picks the Broncos hold in the 2018 draft, which will be updated as each selection is made.
Round 1, Pick 5 (No. 5 overall)
Bradley Chubb, EDGE, NC State
Andy Benoit's grade: B+
When the Broncos won Super Bowl 50, they had Demarcus Ware lining up opposite Von Miller. They must view Chubb as a near-lock to reach Ware’s caliber because they already had last year’s second-rounder, DeMarcus Walker, as well 2015 first-rounder Shane Ray, whose fifth-year option was recently picked up. And let’s remember: Shaquil Barrett can also be noisy off the edge. Ray and Miller are uniquely flexible and can effectively rush inside from a standup position. Don’t be surprised if the Broncos put three or four of these men on the field together in obvious passing situations. Instead of trying to get good in many places, the Broncos are shooting to be GREAT in a few.
Scouting Report: He can’t match 2017 No. 1 draft pick Myles Garrett from an athleticism standpoint, but Chubb combines impressive get-off, an advanced approach to the pass rush and a relentless motor. A strip-sack savant, he’s also athletic enough to make the move to outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense and hold up in space.
Round 2, Pick 8 (No. 40 overall): Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
Andy Benoit's grade: A-
Today’s NFL requires at least three quality pass-catchers, and Denver had no options behind Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. The Broncos got a sizable WR who can adjust to difficult balls, which is important when playing with Case Keenum, an aggressive but not always precise passer.
Round 3, Pick 7 (No. 71 overall): Royce Freeman, RB, Oregon
Andy Benoit's grade: B-
C.J. Anderson was cut for financial reasons, and as much as they love him, the Broncos feel that Devontae Booker, needs to share reps with someone. So they drafted a second runner of similar makeup. Simple as that.
Round 3, Pick 35 (No. 99 overall): Isaac Yiadom, CB, Boston College
Andy Benoit's grade: C-
It’s hard to know what to make of this one given that Denver invested a third-rounder last year in Brendan Langley. Perhaps GM John Elway believes cornerback is a position that must always have replenished talent and depth.
Round 4, Pick 6 (No. 106 overall): Josey Jewell, ILB Iowa
Round 4, Pick 13 (No. 113 overall) DeaSean Hamilton, WR, Penn State
Round 5, Pick 12 (No. 156 overall): Troy Fumagalli, TE, Wisconsin
Round 6, Pick 9 (No. 183 overall): Sam Jones, OL, Arizona State
Round 6, Pick 43 (No. 217 overall): Keishawn Bierria, LB, Washington
Round 7, Pick 8 (No. 226 overall): David Williams, RB, Arkansas