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Broncos Eyeing Defensive Players on Day 2 of Draft

Did John Elway and Vic Fangio hint at what the Broncos' Day 2 priorities will be in the draft?

While the dust has settled following the conclusion of the first round on Thursday night, the NFL Draft show is just getting started. Rounds two and three are on schedule for Friday evening, and the Denver Broncos are expected to be busy. 

Denver currently has four picks in the second and third rounds.

Late Thursday night during a zoom press conference, GM John Elway was asked about talent left on the board and whether any first-round-graded players had fallen to the second round. 

“No there aren’t, but we feel like at 46 we’re still going to get a very good football player," Elway said. “There are a lot of good football players left and being the 14th pick tomorrow in the second-round we feel like we’re going to get another really good football player. We’re looking forward to that."

The Broncos should concentrate efforts on the defensive side of the ball looking to fill holes at cornerback and linebacker. There are a lot of interesting options

Before Chris Harris, Jr. left the defected to join the Chargers in free agency, Elway acquired A.J. Bouye via from Jacksonville. Elway also resigned fourth-year CB De’Vante Bausby to a one-year deal. 

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However, there’s major concern that Bryce Callahan’s injury will nag into the 2020 season. Callahan, who’s yet to play in a game for the Broncos, has never completed an entire NFL season healthy. So naturally, there should be a high priority finding another CB to play opposite of Bouye. 

I’d expect the Broncos to covet interest in Jerry Jeudy’s Alabama teammate Trevon Diggs. I had Diggs graded as my No. 3 overall CB behind Jeff Okudah (Lions pick No. 3) and CJ Henderson (Jaguars pick No. 9). 

In 2019, Diggs proved to be a reliable CB logging 37 tackles, three interceptions, and eight passes defended. He’s the younger brother of Bills' WR Stefon Diggs, and his raw athleticism allowed him to convert from WR to CB during his underclassman days at Alabama. 

Diggs is a large, physical corner (6-foot-1, 205-pounds) that projects to be a perimeter defensive back in the NFL. His rare combination of physicality, size, speed and aggression have drawn NFL comparisons to former-Bronco Aqib Talib. Other corners that could be on the Broncos' radar include LSU’s Kristian Fulton, Mississippi State’s Cameron Dantzler, or Utah’s Jaylon Johnson.

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A total of six cornerbacks were selected in round one of the 2020 draft. Yet, Head Coach Vic Fangio is confident the Broncos can still find their guy. 

“There are a pretty good amount of them—all of different flavors and different rounds we’d like to get them in, but yeah, there are some corners available,” Fangio said Thursday night. 

Linebacker must also be a priority for the Broncos, specifically a three-down LB. Although Alexander Johnson and Todd Davis are tackling machines, they can’t cover. For at least five seasons, the Broncos have been exploited by opposing tight ends in the middle of the field. 

Now that the Chiefs are the reigning World Champions, the Broncos need to find their ‘Kelce Killer.” I expect the Broncos to closely monitor their third-round selections specifically picks No. 73 and 77 for the LB position. 

Wyoming's Logan Wilson turned heads last month at his pro day with 28 NFL teams in attendance. He’s a rare athlete that once played cornerback before converting to LB. His speed and raw strength make him an ideal coverage LB. 

However, Wilson is also a big fan of loud collisions and sticking his nose in the pile. By the end of Wilson’s pro day, the buzz in Laramie was so energetic, I expect many teams to make a run at him, and he's unlikely to make it past the third round.

The Broncos could also be eyeing Colorado’s Davion Taylor. Ironically nicknamed ‘DT’ by friends, the 6-foot-2, 225-pound linebacker drew all 32 NFL teams to his pro day in Boulder last month. Taylor’s a three-down LB that has a rare combination of elite speed and natural strength. 

He’s earned a reputation for being coachable, which he’ll need to utilize as a linebacker in the NFL. Some teams project him to play the (WILL) linebacker position, while others acknowledge his playmaking ability in the defensive backfield. His pro day last month could’ve quite possibly moved his stock from the fourth to third round of the draft.

Broncos' DC Ed Donatell is considered to be an expert in the defensive backfield and his resume speaks for itself. He already has prized safeties in Justin Simmons and Kareem Jackson and needs to now address the perimeter and middle of the defense. 

Expect Elway to lean heavily on the experience, analysis, and opinions of his defensive gurus in Fangio and Donatell. 

Follow Luke on Twitter @LukePattersonLP and @MileHighHuddle.