For better or worse, John Elway is filling it up again when it comes to adding offensive linemen via free agency. After signing Graham Glasgow to a 4 year deal worth up to $44 million, it would seem the Broncos have addressed one of their major needs this offseason. What they will do at center or right guard depending on where Glasgow lines up remains to be seen. Either way this is an instant upgrade and, on paper, at least 3 out of 5 starters should be solid in 2020. Boles will have a ‘prove it or lose it’ scenario this year while Ju’wuan James SHOULD be back both physically and mentally. The Broncos could look to add a center in a later round in the draft or try to strike oil again in the second like the year before with Risner. All in all, things are much better when it comes to protecting Drew Lock….for now.
So, assuming Denver waits a few rounds on another OL, I think there’s really only one way to go: Cornerback. Vic Fangio has said it from day 1 that he would like to transition his defense to playing more nickel and dime so that means less depth at LB and more at CB. I know I’ve been saying that Denver needs to build weapons around Lock but with Laviska Shenault’s surgery likely pushing him outside of the 1st round and Henry Ruggs’ chances of being around by 15 being low, the Broncos would be smart to look for Chris Harris Jr.’s replacement. Trading for A.J. Bouye certainly helps the sting of losing a broncos legend in Harris but based on his performance in Jacksonville last season, he’s not a proven number 1. Bryce Callahan was a nice player over a year ago but injuries kept him out all season so counting on him to fill the void at corner is a dangerous game. I’d feel much better assuming Callahan could be an option at nickel and dime while going fishing for an immediate #2.
Like WR Ruggs, Cornerback Jeffrey Okudah out of Ohio State has no chance of being there at 15 so Denver’s best bet in landing an instant improvement at the position lies with LSU’s Kristian Fulton or CJ Henderson out of Florida. My pick would be Fulton as he is a better tackler while that’s definitely a major concern for Henderson. Fulton is quick to react to shifty WR’s which is key because the Broncos have to face WR’s like Tyreek Hill twice a year. He’s aggressive so that allows Fangio to get creative with him in terms of how he lines up on the field be it outside on a top WR or hunkering down at the nickel. Henderson has arms like vines according the Draft network which would aid him in off ball situations but if both are there, it has to be Fulton. I still like Henderson but in a day and age where tackling isn’t practiced as much, I would hesitate.
Bradley Chubb looks to be healthy opposite all pro and future hall of famer Von Miller. That duo is still very dangerous even if Miller has lost a step. That being said, I don’t care how good of a pass rusher you have…if you don’t have a shutdown corner in this day and age of speedy WR’s, TE’s and RB’s, you are going to lose those battles in the trenches.
I believe in the 4 pillars when it comes to building a great defense: Two lock down corners and two solid pass rushers. The Broncos have the pass rushers and if Bouye can recapture his play during his days in Houston then maybe he can fit the description of “shut down corner.” Callahan is solid when healthy but that’s a big if. He’s not a top CB at this point in his career, injury or not. So Denver needs to find that 4th pillar and it should be with the 15th pick in the 2020 draft.