The Denver Broncos are one of the most successful teams in NFL history, winning five Super Bowls and capturing 17 division championships since their inception in 1960. The team has been constantly on top with a culture built around competiveness, toughness and excellence fueled by football players like John Elway and Terrell Davis.
The Denver Broncos have a lot of work to do in the offseason. They will likely draft for need, but what are their needs? What should they be looking for? Read more in detail here: broncos draft needs 2022.
The 2021 season for the Denver Broncos started out well, with the team going 3-0. However, they were never able to fully recover from their blatant offseason blunder. During the 2021 NFL Draft, they passed on rookie quarterbacks Justin Fields and Mac Jones, trusting Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock to hold onto the position for the whole season.
For the most of the year, Bridgewater was flawless. However, as is typical of the seasoned journeyman, his performance set a ceiling on the Broncos’ total potential. Denver failed to make the playoffs in 2021, finishing 7-10 for the third consecutive season under head coach Vic Fangio, who was sacked the day after the Broncos’ last game of the season, a 28-24 defeat to the Kansas City Chiefs.
If the Broncos want to finally turn things around in 2022, they’ll need to have a more specific offseason strategy that can be implemented.
Biggest offseason questions for the Denver Broncos
Teddy Bridgewater | Getty Images/Matthew Stockman
Of course, the Denver Broncos must select a new head coach to replace Fangio, who should immediately find work as a defensive coordinator with another club. However, there are a slew of additional challenges that the brand must solve.
The franchise has been in quarterback limbo since Peyton Manning’s retirement. For the last six seasons, the team has moved through a series of below-average quarterbacks, desperately trying to find someone who could remain at the helm.
Just a few examples are Trevor Siemian, Brock Osweiler, Paxton Lynch, Case Keenum, and Joe Flacco. Lock and Bridgewater are the latest evidence of Denver’s effort to patch up its quarterback predicament by putting a band-aid on it.
The quarterback position is the most important offseason concern for the Broncos if they want to improve in 2022 (and beyond). The Broncos need to find a real 1A-type starter, whether via the draft, free agency, or trade.
Kenny Pickett, Malik Wills, Matt Corral, and Sam Howell are all possible draft picks. Baker Mayfield, Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, and even a less well-known quarterback like Gardner Minshew II are all viable trade targets. Regardless, the Broncos need to sign a solid player. They can’t bring Lock and Bridgewater back in 2022 and expect better outcomes.
The most important free-agency choices
“I’m aiming to make it a great game if this is my final game in a Denver Broncos outfit,” Melvin Gordon said.
— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) January 3, 2022
Key free agents: Kyle Fuller (CB), Melvin Gordon (RB), Bryce Callahan (CB), Kareem Jackson (S), Teddy Bridgewater (QB)
The Broncos are set to lose a number of key free agents this offseason. The good news is that none of these should be regarded as very significant. The Broncos should be able to let most of these guys depart this summer, freeing up room for their previously stated quarterback search.
Melvin Gordon, the running back, and Bridgewater, the quarterback, are the two major stars on the offensive side of the ball. Despite the fact that both players were starters in 2021, they should be permitted to walk in the spring. Bridgewater should be allowed to pursue a starter position somewhere, while Gordon may be replaced by talented rookie RB Jameson Williamson.
On defense, a significant portion of the Broncos’ secondary will be up for grabs. Bryce Callahan, Kyle Fuller, and Kareem Jackson are all capable players. It makes sense to bring back one of these people. Denver, on the other hand, should not go overboard. They must continue to clear cap space and invest in younger players via the draft. They already have first-round CB Patrick Surtain II on the roster, so CB isn’t a top priority for Denver at the moment.
Needs and probable targets for the NFL Draft in 2022
Top picks: First round (own), second round (own), second round (Los Angeles Rams via Von Miller trade), third round (own), third round (Los Angeles Rams via Von Miller trade)
Draft needs: QB, EDGE, OT, DB
The Broncos are in a favorable scenario with their current draft money thanks to the Von Miller deal they made with the Los Angeles Rams this season. They presently have five first-round draft choices. They shouldn’t, however, sit back and employ all of these options. Instead, they need to bundle a few of them together in order to trade up for a rookie quarterback or get an exceptional veteran quarterback.
Continuing to build across the trenches with the picks they have is always a good strategy. The Broncos need a starter offensive tackle and a defensive lineman to replace Von Miller. They could also use another top-100 selection in the secondary, given the possibility of losing three critical starters.
The team’s draft selections must be used on a quarterback in the end.
In 2022, one player on either side of the ball must step up.
Jerry Jeudy could be Ja’Marr Chase if he had decent offensive coordinators.
— Will Petersen (@PetersenWill) January 2, 2022
The Broncos are expected to be a busy club this summer, but if they are to progress in 2022, they will need guys currently on the roster to step up. When looking over the roster, two names stand out.
On offense, it’s difficult to overlook wide receiver Jerry Jeudy’s troubles in his second season. Jeudy was a first-round selection in 2020, chosen ahead of CeeDee Lamb and Justin Jefferson, but he has yet to show real WR1 talent. Injuries have plagued him over the previous two years, which might explain his lack of output. His quarterback position has been less-than-ideal as well. However, if the Broncos are to have a good offense in 2022, he must significantly improve.
On defense, all eyes are on Bradley Chubb, the edge rusher. With Von Miller out of the picture, the young DE must step up and become a real franchise defensive end. Chubb, like Jeudy, has had a string of bad luck with injuries over his NFL career. This season, he only played in six games (zero sacks).
Chubb will have to find a way to remain on the field while still contributing in the future. A starting DE with zero sacks is unacceptable.
Pro Football Reference provided all stats.
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The “denver broncos 2022 draft picks” is a must-have for the Denver Broncos. The team will have to make some moves with their roster in order to sign more players and get back on track.
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