ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — With the NFL Draft less than two weeks away, seemingly everyone has an opinion on who the Denver Broncos should choose with the No. 20 overall pick—including some current Broncos players.
Speaking to the media to kick-off the second day of Denver’s offseason conditioning program, wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders and cornerback Chris Harris, Jr. spoke about how they see this draft class and what they’d like their team to add when the first round rolls around next Thursday night.
“I like play-makers,” Harris said. “I want a play-maker on defense or offense, a guy that’s going to put up some points or a guy that’s going to change the game. We definitely need a guy that can play running back, receiver, and returner. Any guy that can do that, I would definitely love him.”
Harris’ description sounds an awful lot like Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey. The versatile runner is a Colorado native, the son of Broncos’ great Ed McCaffrey, and one of the most talented play-makers in this class. The Broncos visited with him last week.
“That sounds a lot like McCaffrey,” one reporter joked.
The wide smile Harris responded with said it all.
McCaffrey would certainly be a dynamic piece of Denver’s offense. However, the team still has no quality option at left tackle. No matter how much better new offensive coordinator Mike McCoy’s system is this season, the Broncos will undoubtedly struggle to move the football again this season if they can’t find a suitable option in the draft.
The three best tackles in this class are Alabama’s Cam Robinson, Utah’s Garett Bolles, and Wisconsin’s Ryan Ramczyk. However, all three of those top prospects have considerable flaws. Thus, this class is considered to be one of the weakest at that position in several years.
However, the Broncos’ leading candidates to play left tackle next season are, in no particular order; Donald Stephenson, Michael Schofield, Ty Sambrailo, and Menelik Watson. None of whom are great choices in their own right. So, the Broncos may be forced to take one of the this draft’s top tackles at No. 20.
Denver’s need at tackle seemed to stick out for Sanders, who mentioned the position first when going down his list of preferred choices in the first round.
“Obviously, I feel like we need help all around the board on the offensive line,” Sanders said. “So, if we could draft a tackle or someone.”
He also didn’t hesitate to run through the list of players at his position who interest him in this class.
“I like a lot of receivers,” Sanders said. “I like (Dede) Westbrook, John Ross, I mean the tight end class is just so deep. I mean, look at those guys. There’s a lot of explosive guys. I think this is a good draft and I think Elway and those guys are going to make the right decision.”
Later this week, the Broncos are scheduled to visit with Bolles, the aforementioned bruising left tackle prospect from Utah. Only time will tell whether the Broncos choose to draft for need and select a player at his position or wait on their tackle need and grab a play-maker like Ross or McCaffrey. The 2017 NFL Draft begins next Thursday night in Philadelphia.