Taking a look at John Elway’s options with the Denver Broncos fifth pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
With less than 5 days to go until the Denver Broncos are on the clock at number five, I thought it’d be a fun exercise in futility to sketch out what five scenarios the Broncos may find themselves in on draft day.
1. The Broncos trade up
Elway has already done this once before: trading a 3rd round pick to move ahead of the Dallas Cowboys to grab Paxton Lynch out of Memphis. While we all know how that’s turned out, it looked like a pretty shrewd move at the time.
In this scenario, the cost would be astronomical. There are rumors that the New York Giants have already turned down a Buffalo Bills offer that would have given them the 12th, 22nd, 53rd and 56th pick in the draft, so we’re projecting some future picks going to New York here.
In return, the Broncos land the 2nd pick and Baker Mayfield wears orange and blue.
2. The Broncos stand pat at 5
This may be the most likely scenario. New York balks at the offer Elway’s thrown out and no one wants 5 enough to justify moving down. Instead the front office stands pat and selects one from among the following:
Baker Mayfield. It’s looking increasingly unlikely that he’ll make it past the Jets at 3, but if he slides to 5 he’ll be a Bronco.
Saquon Barkley. With C.J. Anderson gone this move would make some sense. Many think Barkley is the best prospect in this entire class.
Quinton Nelson. My top pick that isn’t a quarterback.
Bradley Chubb. I wrote about this here.
Josh Rosen. Highly doubt this happens, but the prospect I’m pulling for if Baker goes to the New York Jets.
Josh Allen, My nightmare scenario: an inaccurate strong armed project that reminds Elway of himself.
3. The Broncos trade down with the Bills
This could happen if the Buffalo Bills fear that the Miami Dolphins, Arizona Cardinals or another team will move up to catch a sliding QB prospect (such as Rosen). With only A.J. McCarron and Nathan Peterman on the current roster, Buffalo has a glaring hole at the position.
In this scenario Elway takes the rumored deal Buffalo offered New York and lands the 12th, 22nd, 53rd and 56th pick for #5. The move makes sense for Denver if Elway isn’t interested in Josh Rosen. It also makes sense if the front office and coaching staff have seen enough from Case Keenum to believe he can be their franchise QB for a few years.
4. The Broncos trade down with either the Miami Dolphins or Arizona Cardinals
If the front office is lower on this years draft class or the Bills simply don’t offer enough then a move to accumulate future draft picks makes a great deal of sense. One look at either roster offers a lot of hope that their future first will be a high one, something that could be immensely valuable with Nick Bosa on the horizon.
5. The Broncos trade down with the New England Patriots
A scenario that makes sense for a number of reasons. If the Patriots are trying to plan for life after Brady and Belichick isn’t sold on Kyle Lauletta or Luke Falk (the team has visited with both) then perhaps Rosen is the heir apparent.
On the Broncos side of thing it makes sense if the team is looking for multiple long term starters over one potential blue chip player. It’s hard to argue against this line of thinking when you consider that Domata Peko, Emmanuel Sanders, Jared Veldheer, Demaryius Thomas, Case Keenum, Darian Stewart, and Von Miller will all be over 30 before the 2019 season begins. If Elway is serious about the “win from now on” mantra, planning for an aging roster is mandatory.
There seems to be a consensus that the 2018 draft has about 20 top tier prospects and then another 40 or so starter level players. If that’s how Elway views things then the more opportunities to hop in that pool of 40, the better.