The death of the XFL was close to the near death of my fandom for professional football. As a St. Louis native I have now seen two professional teams disappear from my city over the last five years. I had totally bought into the Battlehawks. I was screaming KaKaw along with my fellow St. Louisans and dreaming of the future of football in my city and it was taken away again. Now on the hunt for a new team to support once again, I have found myself on the outskirts of the band wagon the Kansas City Chiefs have been pushing around my city. While the Chiefs may be a Missouri team my inability to connect with a fanbase that is underrated in their obnoxiousness will forever keep me from enjoying their greatness. I went into the 2020 draft looking for a team and I may have found it. Maybe…..
First Round Pick: WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
Second Round Pick: WR KJ Hamler, Penn State
Third Round Pick: CB Michael Ojemudia, Iowa
Fourth Round Pick: TE Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri
The Broncos look like they have found their franchise quarterback in 2nd year quarterback Drew Lock. Lock started the season on the bench waiting for the franchise to realize that Joe Flacco was no longer a viable NFL quarterback. When Lock was finally given the chance he ran with it, cementing himself as the new starting quarterback of the present and future. In his five starts the Broncos went 4-1, throwing for 1,020 yards along with a 64% completion rate. Immediately a chemistry between Lock and new #1 receiver Courtland Sutton developed. The offense was lacking further exterior threats other than Sutton leading into the draft. They were able to find what they were looking for at the #15 pick, grabbing Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy. Jeudy was competing with CeeDee Lamb for the top rated player at their position. Jeudy has the ability to get separation on the college level averaging 7.8 yards after the catch. His speed will transition to the NFL as well as his ability to make plays from anywhere on the field.
The Broncos continued to be aggressive in filling needs on the offensive end grabbing KJ Hamler out of Penn State. Another player with great speed that will fit into the slot receiver role. He is a little further away from a completed project than the other recievers that were available in the draft. If he can fit into the slot role he could be a sleeper that makes an impact in big ways during the season. He is an explosive potential playmaker.
An underrated 4th round pick was the playmaker out of Mizzou, tight-end Albert Okwuegbhunam. A very raw prospect that will have time to develop behind Noah Fant. Okuegbhunam averaged a touchdown every four catches in college, he is a future red zone threat if he can improve on his routes and speed off the line. He was a high upside pick that won’t be forced into anything right away. I loved that Denver was willing to take the talent in the later rounds.
Defensively, Denver’s No. 2 corner position was a revolving door all season last year; it’s possible Michael Ojemudia was selected to be a potential starter sometime in the near future. He will fit into Vic Fangio’s system which can hide deficiencies of the secondary allowing them to gain experience and progress in the NFL.
Free Agent addition: RB Melvin Gordon, OL Graham Glasnow
The Broncos quietly had a great offseason before the draft. GM John Elway knew that he needed to protect his new franchise Quarterback. Adding veteran Graham Glasnow on a 4-year deal from Detroit was a great way to help fill a hole in the line.
After suring up the line the Broncos went out and made a surprising impact signing. Adding former Charger Melvin Gordon in free agency has put Denver in the conversation for potentially the best runningback combination in the entire NFL.
I loved everything Denver did in the draft. They were clearly trying to build around their young quarterback. Adding speed and athletes that are NFL ready. This team is a serious contender for a playoff spot in 2021. John Elway has made some mistakes over the last few years but it is looking like he has found his groove as a GM.