Please don't misinterpret what I'm about to break down as anything more than an unconfirmed rumor involving the Denver Broncos. That being said, a recent 'report' fingers the Broncos as one of five teams who've checked in with the Cincinnati Bengals on what the cost would be in trading up to acquire the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
The Broncos currently hold the No. 15 overall pick in the first round, as well as one in the second and three selections in round three. For those keeping score, that equals five picks in the top-100.
In theory, the Broncos have plenty of ammunition for trading up and maneuvering in round one if it were something GM John Elway wanted to do. However, there's absolutely no reason to believe the Broncos' football czar is of a mind to do any such thing.
The cost would be extremely prohibitive and if the Broncos were indeed interested, there would have to be a non-QB blue-chip prospect Elway would covet enough to give up the farm and literally mortgage the future.
Here's the thing, though; if there's any veracity to the rumor sparked by Dan Sileo (and I honestly doubt it), it would come down to Elway simply gathering information, as NFL insider and KOA radio host Benjamin Allbright alluded to in response to Sileo's tweet. Any GM should know what the lay of the land is come draft day.
So, how should fans feel about this Sileo 'bombshell'? File it strictly under the 'Rumor Mill' and if you're inclined to believe anything about it, boil it down to Elway simply covering his bases.
In no way does this unconfirmed rumor mean that the Broncos are looking to trade up to the top of the draft. To get there from pick 15 would figuratively cost the Broncos an arm and a leg.
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A Bridge Too Far
Traditionally, teams only make that big of a move, and risk giving up the type of capital, if they covet the top quarterback in the class. In years past, we've seen multiple teams maneuver to the top of the draft to land the QB they perceive to be their future franchise player. But as we know, the Broncos aren't in the QB market this year.
The 2020 offseason is all about building the nest around Drew Lock, whom Elway anointed as 'the guy' during his end-of-season presser alongside head coach Vic Fangio. Lock went 4-1 as a rookie starter and broke both team and NFL rookie records along the way.
The Broncos just hired OC Pat Shurmur, who brought with him venerated QBs Coach Mike Shula — both of which were coaching moves designed to maximize Lock's potential and give him every possible tool to be successful heading into year two.
Considering the strengths and weaknesses of the Broncos' roster, it's hard to believe Elway would be willing to trade away valuable draft picks to guarantee landing any non-QB prospect in this class. Ohio State's edge rusher Chase Young is widely viewed as the top non-QB prospect in the class, but the Broncos are set at the position for the foreseeable future with Von Miller and Bradley Chubb.
Ohio State's Jeffrey Okudah is viewed as the No. 1 cornerback in this class, but in no way would any cornerback be worth mortgaging the future to acquire, especially considering that Fangio's defensive scheme is relatively friendly to defensive backs.
Based on the NFL Draft Pick Value Chart, which is nebulous and constantly evolving, the Broncos would have to basically triple the value of their current draft position in round one in order to match the value of the No. 1 overall pick. Allow me to elucidate.
The 15th pick is roughly worth 1,050 points on the Value Chart, while it is believed (but not known for sure) the No. 1 overall pick is worth 3,000. What that would mean is the Broncos would have to not only be willing to give up their 2020 first-round pick, but also their 2021 and possibly even their 2022 first-rounder. Either that, or it would require this year's and next year's No. 1 pick, plus this year's second-rounder and every third-rounder the Broncos have in 2020.
Remember those five selections the Broncos currently hold in the top-100 to build the nest, as it we? Yeah, to even match the value of the No. 1 overall pick, Denver would have to give up all of them, plus next year's first-rounder.
It. Ain't. Going. To. Happen.