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AKRNA

Who are our core players/building blocks? Whats our depth?

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Before we start the Mock Drafts (which I always love. Gives me names to research) I’d really like some input on where we need help and what position group upgrades would make the strongest impact

I’ll toss in a bit on some of the areas I’ve paid attention to. Lets get some conflicting opinions here. I love a lively discussion!

OFFENSE

OL

Well, the last 6 weeks have put a new perspective on that. 1st off, hats off to Munchak and Kuper. What a great job they’ve done.

Watching a lot of Schlottman and McGovern lately IMO we should pencil them in as starters. Schlottman’s played pretty well. Maybe swap them next year and put Schlottman back at his natural position, Center, and move McGovern to RG, but maybe not. Between the two of them they have 0 penalties this year and have both played well.

Risner belongs. Just write him in as our LG for the next decade or so.

Bolles is the pleasant surprise here. He’s actually becoming a dominant LT and cut his penalties by about 70%. Another year in the same system with the same LG should be fun.

Depth at OT is a concern. Watching Rodgers, he can fill in for half a game or so at RT. If a team prepares for him as a starter he’s toast. Kinda the same problem with Wilkinson. He never gets a huge amount of penalties, just gets your QB killed. Maybe IOL backup?

James can play well but how can you count on him?

Anyway, here’s what IMO would make a very good core group.

LT- Bolles

LG- Risner

C- McGovern

RG- Schlottman

RT-Draft pick / James

I’d love to see us come out of the draft with a top OT. Financially, re-sign both Bolles and McGovern to long term deals. Both should be pretty reasonable. James salary is a burden, but as a high quality backup with rookie contracts on the OL with Risner, Schlottman and a draft pick he’s still affordable. A mid round pick on the IOL should give us the depth we need.

I really think we can make a realistic run by 2021 but to do that we need a good, established OL for Scangarellos/Shanahans/Walsh’s offense to work. Adding a kid like Wirfs to the mix would give us just that.

I’ll add another position group later but it’s a start. @BroncoBruin gave me the idea for the post and I liked it. Our outlook seems so much better today than it did 6 weeks ago.

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I thought Patrick Morris did a pretty good job last week when called upon, didn't hear the ref's blow a whistle with his number being called, that's a good sign IMO. Really wouldn't mind seeing him play his natural C position and McGovern back to his RG position as well.

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I think the definition of “core” can be different for everyone.  Anyway, here are mine.

Drew Lock- Obvious.  He’s blown even his critics away and looks like the future face of the franchise.

Courtland Sutton- #1 WR upside if he hasn’t already established himself as a #1 WR.  Does it all at WR.  Teams best deep threat, best red zone threat, best possession receiver, and best YAC receiver.

Phillip Lindsay- He’s went for over 1,000 yards back to back seasons and can do so without being a workhorse.  Vital part of the offense.

Noah Fant- I honestly don’t think Fant is a good football player in the context of instincts and feel.  But his freaky athleticism in this system is unfair at times, even with Fant being a rookie and learning.

Risner-  He’s just rock solid.  Doesn’t do anything off the charts, but he’ll be a good NFL starter for a decade.

Ja’wuan James- You don’t sign him to a record setting contract not to make him a core piece.  I get people are off on him, but Denver isn’t going to pay him $12M+ to be a backup tackle.  He was signed to be a core player and he will be given that opportunity again next year.  

Von Miller-  He isn’t the old Von Miller, but he’s still solid and a player this team is going to rely on to continue to fill a large role on the edge.

Kareem Jackson-  He was unreal this year.  His instincts and closing speed are off the charts and he plays the run and pass equally well.  

Justin Simmons- Denver should bring him back.  Took a huge step in this system (though I think some of that can be attributed to just how good Kareem Jackson is) either way, the combo of Jackson/Simmons is arguably the best safety tandem in the NFL.

Bradley Chubb- Basically missed the season, but based on his top 5 draft position and his quality rookie year, Bradley Chubb is a player you expect to continue his play and be a decades long starter for this franchise.

Those would be the guys I would consider “core” players now and into the future for this franchise.

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Hard for me to think of guys in their 30's as core but James will be 28 when next season starts and Simmons is 26....although you did clarify "core" does mean different things to different people.

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I would add AJ Johnson to the "core" list. Should probably be looking to replace Davis with a better athlete next to him though. 

If Bryce Callahan can come back healthy, he's a very good #2 corner. 

Brandon McManus is probably an average NFL kicker with a big leg. That's a lot better than playing roulette with street FAs who will screw you at the worst time.

 

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36 minutes ago, Cutler06 said:

Hard for me to think of guys in their 30's as core but James will be 28 when next season starts and Simmons is 26....although you did clarify "core" does mean different things to different people.

I don’t necessarily disagree.  As for guys in their 30s that would exclude Miller and Jackson (who is arguably the best player on the team) from my list.  Which I wouldn’t have a good reason to disagree with either.

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On 12/28/2019 at 9:15 PM, germ-x said:

I think the definition of “core” can be different for everyone.  Anyway, here are mine.

Drew Lock- Obvious.  He’s blown even his critics away and looks like the future face of the franchise.

Courtland Sutton- #1 WR upside if he hasn’t already established himself as a #1 WR.  Does it all at WR.  Teams best deep threat, best red zone threat, best possession receiver, and best YAC receiver.

Phillip Lindsay- He’s went for over 1,000 yards back to back seasons and can do so without being a workhorse.  Vital part of the offense.

Noah Fant- I honestly don’t think Fant is a good football player in the context of instincts and feel.  But his freaky athleticism in this system is unfair at times, even with Fant being a rookie and learning.

Risner-  He’s just rock solid.  Doesn’t do anything off the charts, but he’ll be a good NFL starter for a decade.

Ja’wuan James- You don’t sign him to a record setting contract not to make him a core piece.  I get people are off on him, but Denver isn’t going to pay him $12M+ to be a backup tackle.  He was signed to be a core player and he will be given that opportunity again next year.  

Von Miller-  He isn’t the old Von Miller, but he’s still solid and a player this team is going to rely on to continue to fill a large role on the edge.

Kareem Jackson-  He was unreal this year.  His instincts and closing speed are off the charts and he plays the run and pass equally well.  

Justin Simmons- Denver should bring him back.  Took a huge step in this system (though I think some of that can be attributed to just how good Kareem Jackson is) either way, the combo of Jackson/Simmons is arguably the best safety tandem in the NFL.

Bradley Chubb- Basically missed the season, but based on his top 5 draft position and his quality rookie year, Bradley Chubb is a player you expect to continue his play and be a decades long starter for this franchise.

Those would be the guys I would consider “core” players now and into the future for this franchise.

The only guy I'm not sold on that list is Chubb - half of his 2018 sacks were coverage, or 3.5+ secs.   That's very worrisome TBH, now with an ACL - keep in mind that full explosion doesn't return for 18 months, so while I expect he'll play 16 games (assuming no more injuries), I would be VERY cautious in projecting a leap to leader status in 2020.   It sucks, because it means that 3 of his 4 cheap rooke contract years (the 5th year isn't cheap with top 10 picks) are likely wasted/not at peak.   Still a guy I think who will end up being dependable, 2-way type guy.  But I'm not sold he's the next big EDGE for us.

The only other guy I'd add - but with a HUGE asterisk - Devante Bausby.  He showed elite cover skills.  But the neck injury could be a career ender.  That would suck so hard, but very possible - so it comes with an asterisk.  If he plays, I feel good about him as a starting CB, great #2 guy.

I think it's safest to take your approach, though - and not project too many guys as core pieces yet.   Realistically, we need to see them do it for longer, than a hot 4-5 game run and vs. better competition.   With us moving up to a 2nd place schedule, and playing the AFCS instead of the AFCN/AFCE the last 2 years, we're going to face a much higher level of play next year, so best to consider the guys we are locked into as feeling good about play-wise.

 

 

Edited by Broncofan

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For me, it looks like this:

Offense:

  • QB- Clearly Drew Lock going into next season.
  • RB- Phillip Lindsay/Royce Freeman- Though, it will be interesting to see if they renegotiate Lindsay's contract. I add Freeman only because I think having multiple RBs is key to the Scangarello offense (see SF). Wouldn't be surprised if we added another.
  • WR- Courtland Sutton. I don't really think Hamilton and Patrick are a true part of the core. They are replacement level, but good back end depth that any team needs to have. They have game experience which valuable.
  • TE- Noah Fant/Fumagalli will both be part of the team going forward, and I expect Fant to have a big season next year.
  • OL- Dalton Risner and I guess Garett Bolles. It's hard to tell whether he will truly be part of the core. He ended strong, and will probably get that 5th year option picked up as a result, but I do not view him as a long-term building block unless he improves after next year. He's had enough time, it needs to pay dividends.

Defense:

  • Miller/Chubb- even if Miller isn't around forever, you have to view these two as part of the core group going forward. Pass rushers don't grow on trees and this is a dynamic group.
  • Dre'Mont Jones- I would actually firmly include him in this group. Jones has played tremendously well when given a chance. Hard to ask for more, I think he'll make a big jump.
  • Kareem Jackson- best FA signing this year, and clearly a versatile, important player.
  • Justin Simmons- re-sign this man immediately.

Somewhat concerning that we lack some core defensive pieces. FA/Draft should hit on some. I think, candidly, the D played well this year with patchwork CBs. We need CBs that can fit the Fangio system though. 

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Niki reporting that we offered CHJ $36M/3yr before the trade deadline but he refused. The team was in disarray at that point. Hopefully with a concrete direction and a bright future he’s going to take it. I wouldn’t offer him any more than that though and would be surprised if he got more on the open market.

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11 minutes ago, broncos_fan _from _uk said:

Niki reporting that we offered CHJ $36M/3yr before the trade deadline but he refused. The team was in disarray at that point. Hopefully with a concrete direction and a bright future he’s going to take it. I wouldn’t offer him any more than that though and would be surprised if he got more on the open market.

Would suspect he'll be allowed to test the market and shop that offer. If he gets more, it won't get matched unless it's minimal

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30 minutes ago, broncos_fan _from _uk said:

Niki reporting that we offered CHJ $36M/3yr before the trade deadline but he refused. The team was in disarray at that point. Hopefully with a concrete direction and a bright future he’s going to take it. I wouldn’t offer him any more than that though and would be surprised if he got more on the open market.

He has to like the turnaround the teams made. I'd be almost shocked if he didn't take one more team discount at this point.

He mentioned his community ties and charitable work in a post game interview. Doesn't sound to me like a guy that will pack up and move on for a few extra million if he can get it.

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On 12/28/2019 at 7:09 PM, AKRNA said:

Risner belongs. Just write him in as our LG for the next decade or so.

Definitely one of my guys from last year's draft.  The eval on him was easy.  He's going to be a good one for a long time.

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15 minutes ago, AKRNA said:

He has to like the turnaround the teams made. I'd be almost shocked if he didn't take one more team discount at this point.

He mentioned his community ties and charitable work in a post game interview. Doesn't sound to me like a guy that will pack up and move on for a few extra million if he can get it.

I'm not so sure. This is his chance for one more big contract. 3/36 seems like the best he'll get, but FA inflates contracts and we all know that. If someone offers him 3/40 (10% more), I would probably take it if I were him. Anything above 3/40, I would decline to match if I'm Denver. Gotta draw the line somewhere.

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I created a thread like this a while ago and it went over like a fart in church.

Oh well. 

I think we have real pieces in Lock, Risner, Sutton, Fant, Wolfe, Harris, Chubb, Von, Johnson, CHJ, Simmons, Jackson and McManus. 

Lindsay is a nice complimentary piece who gets overrated by the Denver media because he went to South and CU. I hope Matt “pour me another drink” Russell doesn’t talk Elway into over-paying for him. Freeman is also a nice complimentary player but to be honest I’d be fine spending a 3rd/4th on another RB. 

I hope they pay CHJ the contract they offered and he leaked the details of which to Nikki. That’s A LOT of money tied up in the secondary but with a QB on a rookie deal and our highest paid player leaving before said QB’s rookie deal expires, we can afford to allocate that money to one position group for now. 

I think, if only for his contract, James will be kept and penciled is a day one starter at RT, even though it sickens me. We need a new RG as Leary a) sucks, b) is old, c) is always injured and d) is way too expensive in light of a, b and c. Maybe a new C too as McGovern was marginal but a weak link; perhaps is best used as the backup interior OL. 

As regards the meathead Bolles, who as I said yesterday it physically talented but a total head case, if you have an option for a real replacement at LT, do it. If not, I don’t know? He’s not a cornerstone but he’s also not as bad as the drive by media would have you believe. 

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