The Denver Broncos have a lot of options in the first two rounds, mainly because this broad reception class has been one of the most talented in years. They don’t have to go all out with 15th pick to get a solid number two against Courtland Sutton.
ESPN’s Todd McShay saw this reality in his latest two-tower simulation project. Instead of a wide receiver in the first round, he chose an attacking tackle to replace Garett Bolles. Then, in the second round, he pulled the wide catcher out to open things up for the offense next season.
15. Denver Broncos
Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
Receiver depth remains an issue behind Courtland Sutton, but the offensive line also deserves some attention. Thomas has room to improve some of his technique, but he has the tools to be an offensive tackle from the start. Selecting it would go a long way toward building around Drew Lock, the QB of the Broncos of the future.
With Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb and Henry Ruggs III in front of the Broncos’ 15th choice, that left them open to go in another direction there. Andrew Thomas was still on the board after Tristan Wirfs, Jedrick Wills and Mekhi Becton were selected first. In this scenario, Denver went with the best player available.
I asked Joe Rowles what he thought of this first round and he replied, “If the NFL draft is Christmas morning, the Broncos just have a really nice pair of socks with Bulldogs on him. I have Thomas as the 10th best player on my final board, so I think the value is there. He’s a player who could overthrow Garett Bolles as soon as possible. Perhaps not as exciting as one of the three big receivers, Jedrick Wills or Tristan Wirfs, he’s just a reliable left tackle that is as battle-tested as they come after three years in the SEC. ”
So I hope you like the socks on Christmas morning. The older I get, the more exciting the Christmas socks are if I’m completely honest.
46. Denver Broncos
Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado
Denver still needs a wide catcher across from Courtland Sutton, and Shenault would drive a short drive from Boulder, where he played college ball, to do a bit of everything in this Broncos attack.
The depth of this broad class of receivers almost stifled Denver when they returned to the clock in McShay’s two-tower model. Between 15 and 46, five other wide receivers left the board, leaving a handful of second-level receivers on the board for them to choose from.
“A short while ago, everyone was talking about Shenault at 15 if the three big receivers were gone,” he said. “Since then, Shenault has been trying to get through Combine pain and had to stop it for surgery. Because the teams will not be able to do medical checks on him, there is a very real possibility that he is here so late on the board of directors, and at 46 years old, I think that the advantages outweigh the risk . I wonder how Pat Shurmur could maximize Shenault because he’s far from a pro ready to run, but I think if the new Broncos coordinator can bring him some touches and help him with screens and transfers, he could be an instant impact player as long as he stays healthy. ”
Looking over its large board for wide receivers, the only wide catcher still on the board in 46th place ahead of Shenault was Jalen Reagor who slipped out of the board with the 50th pick. When Joe and I performed a live draft simulation on Twitch last week, he mentioned that Reagor and Shenault were basically on his mind, so from a value standpoint, it could be of great value in the long run. The big problem with Shenault is his injury history.
So what do you think of this two-round mockup of Todd McShay this week?
Would you be satisfied with these choices during the first two rounds?
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