Denver missed the playoffs in 2016 and also lost their head coach to illness. They’ll be hoping for a happier 2017, starting with this Draft.
2016 Record: 9-7
What went right in 2016? Most naysayers predicted that Denver would struggle in the post-Peyton era, but on the whole the team functioned well. Trevor Siemian, the surprise choice to replace Manning, was competent without being spectacular. Paxton Lynch, when called upon to step in, did as good a job as could be expected from a rookie. The defense was its usual dangerous self, ranking fourth in the NFL.
And what went wrong? The offensive line has been a mess since at least the 2013 season and remained that way. This limited offensive productivity, meaning that Denver ended up with the 27th best unit in the NFL They’ve also had to replace both Gary Kubiak and veteran pass rushed DeMarcus Ware.
What do they need? Offensive Tackle, Defensive End, Linebacker
Who will they pick? Despite the Ware-sized hole in the defense, and despite the paucity of first round talent at offensive tackle, Denver are arguably the one team who can’t afford not to pick an offensive lineman in this round. The question is more whether they go for a tackle – in which case Alabama’s Cam Robinson should be their man – or a guard. In the latter case, the only guard with a true first round grade is the wonderfully named Forrest Lamp from Western Kentucky.