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What will the Broncos do with their limited resources in this year's draft? Depends on who you ask.

NFL Owners Meeting Football
Posted at 4:09 PM, Apr 28, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-28 19:36:20-04

The Sean Payton era in Broncos Country has been bathed in silence thus far, but that's what I’m here for.

This is a great time for us to go 360 and bring in some unique perspectives to try and figure out what the Broncos might do with their limited resources in this year's draft.

“It was a little bit easier 15 years ago,” said Payton. “The white noise wasn’t as loud. I’m always charging our coaches and everyone involved with, "Hey, tune out the noise outside."”

Payton lives life with ear plugs, and I can see why. When it comes to draft coverage, the lines between information and misinformation are severely blurred.

I present to you two quotes from NFL draft analysts:

  • “[These] are the three positions I would look at: receiver, linebacker, defensive end,” said analyst one.
  • “We know one thing they don’t need wide receivers,” said analyst two.

I rest my case.
Anyway, we’ve assembled a rag-tag group of former players and media members to use our special 360 deductive powers and sniff out Payton’s plans for this draft.

John Michael Schmitz


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Troy Renck
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“There are so many talented guys [in the draft],” said Robert Griffin III, a former first round pick of the Washington Football franchise. “When I talk to these college kids, and they’re like, "Hey, I’ve got a second or third round grade. I’m going pro," I say, "You know how many second or third round grades got drafted in the seventh round?"”

Griffin was the second overall pick in 2012, but he knows there are many diamonds in this rough — like KJ Wright, a fourth-round pick who went on to make a Pro Bowl and win a Super Bowl.

“You can find undrafted guys to have a phenomenal career,” said Wright. “It’s all about hitting on the right guy. What’s your formula? What are you looking to bring to your football team to take your franchise to a new level?”

So that begs the question: who is the "right guy" for this new Broncos culture?

“We’re going to take the best player,” said Broncos GM George Paton when explaining his draft strategy. “We were really aggressive in free agency. We wanted to fill as many holes with as many quality players that fit the prototype and fit our culture as we could. They just so happened to be on offense. We feel like we filled a lot of those holes. Now, we can draft the best player. We were good on defense last year, and we still have some talent on defense. We have a foundation. We’re not going to stretch to draft a defensive player. Our mindset is to draft the best player, no matter where we are in the draft.”

That’s interesting, but not specific enough. Griffin has a few more pointed ideas.

“I think they need help at corner, center and defensive line, potentially even running back,” he said.

Wright, the former linebacker, thinks defense is the way to go in the draft.

“I would go defense. I know they did a phenomenal job last year. Keep adding pieces to that puzzle,” he said. “I believe for the Broncos, it’s been a great offseason thus far.”

“If I’m the Broncos, I’m scouring the nation for a linebacker that had 100+ tackles the last three years in college, was a team captain and has six-foot size or above,” said Broncos Super Bowl champion turned NFL analyst Ryan Harris.

But that’s not the only route to glory. Harris thinks Payton could also choose to air it out

“Skill positions pop out to me,” he said. “I think you’re going to get either a speedy receiver that dropped a little lower than you thought, or maybe [a guy that] had a second round grade that got into the third round.”

Broncos Wilson Football


Broncos' Payton & Paton discuss draft vision, offseason approach

Troy Renck
5:09 PM, Apr 20, 2023

In summary, the Broncos could take: a receiver, a linebacker, a running back, a lineman or maybe somebody else — who knows!

And every time a new player gets picked, George Paton’s draft board changes.

“You may have an idea in mind of who you’d like to get at that pick, but you don’t know who’s going to be there,” said former first round pick Brad Hopkins.

Hopkins summarizes Paton’s problem perfectly, saying the moment a player falls further than expected into the Broncos territory, their draft preparation essentially goes out the window.

While watching the Broncos make their first picks of 2023, keep this in mind: this is all guess work, from the player evaluation to the draft predictions, to the future extrapolations.

It’s all, at best, estimation. And those who are good at it, in my opinion, are case studies in luck rather than skill.

Enjoy the draft!

Editor's Note: Denver7 360 | In-Depth explores multiple sides of the topics that matter most to Coloradans, bringing in different perspectives so you can make up your own mind about the issues. To comment on this or other 360 In-Depth stories, email us at or use this form. See more 360 | In-Depth stories here.