Draft review: Denver Broncos


After analyzing the draft needs of all 32 teams, PFT will review how well each team addressed those needs. Up next: The Denver Broncos.  

What they needed: Defensive end, defensive tackle, running back, cornerback, wide receiver.

Who they got:
Round 1: Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina.
Round 2: Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin.
Round 3: Kayvon Webster, CB, South Florida.
Round 5: Quanterus Smith, DE, Western Kentucky.
Round 5: Tavarres King, WR, Georgia.
Round 6: Vinston Palmer, OT, Virginia Tech.
Round 7: Zac Dysert, QB, Miami (Ohio).

Where they hit: The Broncos did well to address needs. Williams is likely to push early for playing time in the middle of the defensive line. Ball is a sure-handed, productive, tough addition to a backfield that has some durability concerns. Webster and Smith add depth at valuable positions and have upside.

Where they missed: The Broncos increased their options at every position group that needed a little more help. They even got some important work done on the final day of the draft, potentially bolstering their pass rush with Smith, who had 12.5 sacks in 2012 before suffering an ACL tear in November; and veteran free-agent outside linebacker Shaun Phillips, who led the Chargers with 9.5 sacks a season ago. The Broncos don’t need Smith to play major snaps this year and figure to be patient as he recovers. Smith, for his part, says he will be healthy enough to participate at the start of training camp, according to the Denver Post.

Impact rookies: Ball is likely to get an opportunity to play early, but Willis McGahee, Knowshon Moreno and Ronnie Hillman all have experience in the Broncos’ offense — and experience working with Peyton Manning. Those are edges the veteran backs carry into training camp. Ball needs to be a quick study if he is to consistently play important snaps in Year One. The same can be said for Williams, but the Broncos’ first-round pick looks to have less hurdles in his way as he vies for a starting spot.

Long-term prospects: Williams and Ball have a chance to be key cogs for Denver in Year One. In the longer term, Webster, Smith and King all could also emerge as contributors, too, as each joins a position that could have some personnel turnover in 2014. The defending AFC West champions have had a productive offseason and again look formidable.

9 responses to “Draft review: Denver Broncos

  1. Youtube Kayvon Webster…dude is a beast…a corner who likes to tackle is rare.

    On another note…out with one Ball and in with another, goodbye Lance, hello Montee!

  2. I’m happy with the way Elway drafted. He got very good value with all the picks and I truly think hell get production with each of them. Smith is a beast and a steal and I like King. We could definitely use a field stretcher. Good Job Elway, Go Broncos!

  3. Love the moves, having depth was a bit of an issue particularly with WR, T and DT… You just never know what might happen with starters.

    I didn’t think MLB and S were issues. Everybody assumes Rahim Moore sucks cause of that one unfortunate play against Baltimore, but PFF graded him out as the 10th best S. Adams is a solid veteran and Carter actually started over Moore on there rookie year’s and played very well but was hurt all of last year. Johnson, Bradley and Irving are expected to compete for the MLB job.

    I’m glad they took the time to FINALLY draft a DT with one of there top picks after all these years. They did with Wolfe last year but they view him more as a DE. Ball was an obvious choice, reminds me of a Terrell Davis or Curtis Martin.

    Webster is basically Bailey’s replacement, perhaps even Bolden. Love Q, had some big games against big opponents. Dysert was the Broncos biggest steal, the guy was projected in the 3-4 round and they get him the 7th, now they have 2 young players learning under Manning. Great draft….

  4. I love the Shaun Phillips move we got him cheaper than the undersized freeney. That was the best move for the broncos made this weekend

  5. How in the world can anyone conclude Ball has “durability concerns”? Yes, he took way more carries in college the last two years than others, but the more important thing is he didn’t miss a game. Compare to some of the other backs who are always in and out of the lineup. Ball is tough as nails. Even if you argue that he had “too many carries” the last two seasons, fine, then take a year off the end of his career — he’ll be gone at 30 instead of 31. But that doesn’t mean he has “durability concerns.”

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