The NFL Draft is just one week away and at No. 20, the Broncos have their highest pick since 2011, when they selected Von Miller with the second overall pick.
It is no secret that fans of the orange and blue are hoping that Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey falls to his hometown team, but that seems extremely unlikely at this point. So, let’s take a look at the Broncos other best options in the first round.
1. Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama.
The Broncos biggest achilles heel the past few seasons by far, has been the offensive line play.
Overwhelmed and undersized for the last two seasons, the Broncos’ offensive line was dominated at the line of scrimmage. Across the board, both the guards and tackles struggled in both passing and rushing situations.
The result has been a team that has been awful on third down, failed to finish drives and has allowed defenses to beat the heck out of their quarterbacksIf the offense has any chance of improving in 2017, the offensive line has to improve.
The answer is Alabama’s Cam Robinson.
Although Robinson has struggled with consistency issues at times and needs to improve his footwork in pass-blocking situations, he is definitely the most pro-ready tackle in what is a weak offensive line class.
A four-year starter in the nation’s best football conference, Robinson is incredibly experienced. At 6’6”, 322 pounds, Robinson has the size and build to thrive at the next level and is the big physical type tackle that the Broncos offense has been lacking. His athleticism and handwork is what makes him such an intriguing prospect, though.
Robinson is incredibly strong and uses his upper body strength to overwhelm defenders at the line of scrimmage. This allows him to stun defenders off the snap and then get to the next level.
In a defense-heavy division like the AFC West, which features edge rushers such as Justin Houston in Kansas City and Khalil Mack in Oakland, having an offensive tackle to set the edge is paramount. Robinson could be the answer at No. 20.
2. Garrett Bolles, OT, Utah.
Listed at 6’5”, 297 pounds, Bolles is not the biggest tackle in the world. What he lacks in size, he is able to make up for with above average athleticism though.
Widely viewed as the tackle with the best footwork in this draft class, Bolles is excellent at getting off the snap and sealing the edge. He is also moves well laterally, which makes him a strong run blocker.
Bolles needs to improve at sustaining blocks, which is likely due to his lack of raw strength. Considering he will only get bigger and stronger at the next level, his flaws are minimal.
At the end of the day, Bolles definitely lacks the strength of the prototypical NFL tackle and would probably be a second round pick most years. However, like stated before, the weak draft class increases his value significantly.
Bolles would be somewhat of a project pick and is not as NFL ready as Robinson, but would still be a viable option in the first round.
3. David Njoku, TE, Miami.
As I noted last month, the Broncos offense has lacked production from the tight end position since 2014. Especially in the redzone.
The solution could be Miami’s David Njoku. Njoku made a living inside the redzone for the Hurricanes, catching eight touchdowns last year alone.
Njoku runs well and has consistent hands, which makes him a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses. He is too fast for most linebackers to cover and his too large for defensive backs.
Njoku is not a strong run blocker, but it seems to be an issue of technique and not a willingness to block. In other words, Njoku is not soft. He just is inexperienced and with proper coaching, Njoku can develop into an every down type player.