Denver Broncos earn “A” after spectacular draft
By Nick Yuska
Following a five-and-11 record last season, the Denver Broncos needed to make a splash in the NFL draft. And did they ever. General Manager John Elway and company utilized their draft picks to restock the depth in multiple positions across the field, something last year’s Bronco team lacked.
After much speculation and rumors flying about the Broncos trading up or down in the draft, Denver stayed put and selected Bradley Chubb, a 6’ 4” defensive end from North Carolina State with the fifth overall pick. Few experts across national media centers expected Chubb to fall to the Broncos but, when he did, there was no hesitation from Elway to pair him with Von Miller.
Chubb had quite a senior season for the Wolfpack, recording 26 tackles for loss and 10 sacks, good enough for a spot on the first-team All-American team.
The Broncos also found stunning value on the second day of the draft. In the second round Denver added wide receiver Courtland Sutton from Southern Methodist University. Sutton, who had been projected to be a first-round pick in many mock drafts across the league, reeled in 22 touchdowns during his final two seasons at SMU, giving newly-acquired quarterback Case Keenum another dangerous target.
Denver also added running back Royce Freeman from Oregon, who has the potential to be a starting running back with the job. Head Coach Vance Joseph likes the opportunities Freeman can bring.
“He’s a big back with speed,” Joseph said in an interview during the draft. “When we get down there in the red zone and we want to run the football, he’s a nice option.”
Freeman had an astonishing career in an Oregon uniform, piling up over 5,500 yards of rushing and 60 rushing touchdowns, and adds great value and another threat for the Denver offense.
Denver added much needed depth on the defensive side of the ball with their next two picks, adding defensive back Isaac Yiadom out of Boston College and Josey Jewell, a linebacker from Iowa.
Yiadom will fill in the vacancy at corner back following Aqib Talib’s departure to the Los Angeles Rams. Yiadom had seven pass breakups, two interceptions, and 53 tackles last season for a Boston College defense that ranked third nationally in pass efficiency defense.
Jewell, a fourth-round pick, has an impressive college resume coming to Denver. Jewell was a first-team All American in his final season at Iowa, and was named the Jack Lambert Award winner, an award given to the nation’s best linebacker. Jewell will serve as much-needed depth at linebacker after the departure of Corey Nelson.
Denver’s next two picks will fill a hole for Denver in places they have struggled to find production the past couple of years.
DaeSean Hamilton, a slot receiver out of Penn State, gives the Broncos a threat from the slot position, something they haven’t had since Wes Welker back in 2013. Hamilton finished his senior season for the Nittany Lions with 857 receiving yards and nine touchdowns and has the most career receptions in Penn State’s illustrious history.
Denver also selected Wisconsin tight end Troy Fumgalli. The pick of Fumgalli not only gives the Broncos depth at tight end, but also a red-zone threat at tight end. Fumgalli tallied up 516 yards in his senior season and was also the 2017 Cotton Bowl MVP.
Denver addressed their needs in the draft, while also taking best available players. There is buzz all around the country about Denver’s great draft and the immediate impact some of these players will have.
But Bronco fans will have to wait to see these new draft picks in action for now, as Denver opens their season with a home game on Sept. 9 against the Seahawks.
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