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2023 NFL Draft Thread


broncos67
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With our SF 1.29 gone for this year, and Sean Payton as the HC, I would be shocked if we spent anything more than a Day 3 pick on RB now.    I do think we'll spend a pick, but it's more likely to be a value R4-5 pick.    Payton is not going to run the draft, but it's pretty clear he's going to have a ton of clout on priority planning (where Paton makes the picks on best guy who's there, but likely cedes overall goals input to Payton too).

Kamara was an early 3rd, and Ingram was a 2011 1st - but since the RB position has been so devalued, only Kamara was picked, and with a R3 pick to boot.   Given our needs, we absolutely should target a RB IMO, but more likely to get a guy who falls to late R3 or early R4 in a deep class (whether it's Tucker, or Charbonneau, etc.).    While Mickey Loomis has been making the picks (and Payton letting him make the actual player choices), Payton's priorities have always been trenches and D.   Doesn't seem like that should change. 

The bigger issue is how we address OL.  Man, gonna be hard to find 2023 help with only 3rd rounders to start off.   Gonna have to be IOL sleeper time (last year was def the time to get a developmental T too, class doesn't look nearly as deep - ugh).

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2 hours ago, Broncofan said:

With our SF 1.29 gone for this year, and Sean Payton as the HC, I would be shocked if we spent anything more than a Day 3 pick on RB now.    I do think we'll spend a pick, but it's more likely to be a value R4-5 pick.    Payton is not going to run the draft, but it's pretty clear he's going to have a ton of clout on priority planning (where Paton makes the picks on best guy who's there, but likely cedes overall goals input to Payton too).

Kamara was an early 3rd, and Ingram was a 2011 1st - but since the RB position has been so devalued, only Kamara was picked, and with a R3 pick to boot.   Given our needs, we absolutely should target a RB IMO, but more likely to get a guy who falls to late R3 or early R4 in a deep class (whether it's Tucker, or Charbonneau, etc.).    While Mickey Loomis has been making the picks (and Payton letting him make the actual player choices), Payton's priorities have always been trenches and D.   Doesn't seem like that should change. 

The bigger issue is how we address OL.  Man, gonna be hard to find 2023 help with only 3rd rounders to start off.   Gonna have to be IOL sleeper time (last year was def the time to get a developmental T too, class doesn't look nearly as deep - ugh).

RB is such an important position in his system, especially one who can get targets as a receiver.  I haven’t researched backs (or any prospects for that matter) outside of Gibbs, but I think RB will be a position of high priority whether it’s draft or free agency. 

Payton has had Deuce McCallister, Reggie Bush, Darren Sproles, Mark Ingram, Alvin Kamara, Pierre Thomas, Latavius Murray.  They went after CJ Spliller to fill that versatile role at one time.

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1 hour ago, germ-x said:

RB is such an important position in his system, especially one who can get targets as a receiver.  I haven’t researched backs (or any prospects for that matter) outside of Gibbs, but I think RB will be a position of high priority whether it’s draft or free agency. 

Payton has had Deuce McCallister, Reggie Bush, Darren Sproles, Mark Ingram, Alvin Kamara, Pierre Thomas, Latavius Murray.  They went after CJ Spliller to fill that versatile role at one time.

The theme though is that the Saints FO use FA and later draft picks since the RB position has been devalued.   They absolutely want to have RB depth and value - but they don't prioritize early picks since the RB position was devalued.  Bush & Ingram were again in the time when RB's were the centerpiece.   And before the counter argument is that they had their elite RB - they didn't after Ingram was picked.  He split time with Pierre Thomas & Darren Sproles & other guys.     As the RB position was devalued, the Saints mined the value tier in FA and looked to get RB's later on - Kamara being the ultimate hit.    In the last 10 years, they've only drafted Kamara in Day 2 - and found their talent in the UFA / FA pool.  I don't think they should wait that long draft-wise, but Payton's not valued spending early picks on RB.   It's hard to see that change with the pick capital he's left with in 2023.

I totally expect they will go after a FA RB - but I don't expect it's going to be a big swing.   There's so much RB depth, you can get a 3-5M RB and get a guy who would have been top 3-4 most years.   Or even lower, and find a hidden gem (D'Ernest Johnson).   They should absolutely pair them with a rookie RB, it's more how much will they pay capital wise.   With 2 3rd's as our earliest picks, it would be a surprise if they went that early.   Once the top 3-4 RB's go, it's often there's a gap into Day 3.   With this class, man that's a prime sweet spot.    With 2 3rds, they could always reconsider if there's a massive run, but if RB's fall, taking the 5th-6th RB this year might be like the class, where Kareem Hunt goes in the late 80's & James Conner goes in the 100's, or even better, 2019 where Tony Pollard goes in the 120's.   It's definitely a year where going FA & rookie RB makes so much sense - it just may not cost a mint to get a good (and possibly great) player.

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Gonna be really interesting if Hendon Hooker is still on the board when we get to our early 3rd’s. The more I watch him, the more I love the quiet footwork in the pocket and the arm talent. The big weakness I see is holy butts does he stare down receivers. I worry about his live processing. His pre-snap look might be great though, because I’ve seen a bunch of plays where he throws in rhythm to his first read where there’s some kind of bust in the coverage and it goes for a massive gain. Haven’t watched enough to know if those would be his planned initial reads.
 

I hated hedging on the Manning window by drafting Osweiler in the 2nd, but I think this is different. With Payton here now, we can have more of a long term view outside of the next 1-2 years. He can get Russ back into the top 12-15 QB’s in the league again, but at his price point, that’s a really low ceiling. Not many chances to take a shot in the mid rounds at a real potential boom QB. 

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9 hours ago, broncosfan_101 said:

Gonna be really interesting if Hendon Hooker is still on the board when we get to our early 3rd’s. The more I watch him, the more I love the quiet footwork in the pocket and the arm talent. The big weakness I see is holy butts does he stare down receivers. I worry about his live processing. His pre-snap look might be great though, because I’ve seen a bunch of plays where he throws in rhythm to his first read where there’s some kind of bust in the coverage and it goes for a massive gain. Haven’t watched enough to know if those would be his planned initial reads.
 

I hated hedging on the Manning window by drafting Osweiler in the 2nd, but I think this is different. With Payton here now, we can have more of a long term view outside of the next 1-2 years. He can get Russ back into the top 12-15 QB’s in the league again, but at his price point, that’s a really low ceiling. Not many chances to take a shot in the mid rounds at a real potential boom QB. 

The other draw to Hooker is he could be a cheap version of Taysom Hill initially in 2024 (not this year post acl) - with a lot more actual throwing ability.   Payton loves to have a gadget power run QB.    Rather than signing Hill in his 30’s to a deal that isn’t worth the $ - getting a rookie deal sleeper who can fill that role makes way more sense.  
 

And unlike Hill Hooker has legit QB potential.   He needs more time to be in a true pro style O and he’s got footwork issues but those are fixable.   Bigger thing is he’s seldom had to go beyond 1st read in the TEN O.     There’s bust potential but at Rd3+ it’s still very much worth it.    The Q is whether he’d fall that far.  I’d certainly be ok with taking him if he does.  It would scratch Payton’s biggest itch and get us a guy with real potential in case Wilson can’t get back to even decent form.  

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The Broncos cannot be taking gadget QBs with any premium picks this year. We've pissed away any meaningful picks the last few years. One or both of these 3rd round picks need to hit and be immediate contributors. Period. Doesn't matter the position.

That said, if I'm Paton and Payton, I'm going to every player worth his salt and asking for a restructure. If we're gonna go all in, the players better be on board too. Time to help the team. Russ is first on the list. Do something to free up cap space immediately.

Denver needs to be more proficient than ever in this year's draft. That means either big risk guys (i.e. off injury, small school athletic freaks, whatever) but no more picks like we saw last year in Rounds 4-6. Mathis was a nice hit. But we cannot have a stretch of guys who are useless like Uwazurike, Turner-Yell, Montrell, Wattenberg and Henningsen. Just absolutely pissed away the back end of that draft. Granted, not a ton of talent outside of Woolen, Chig, and Likely came from later Rounds in Year 1, but my point stands. 

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3 hours ago, broncos67 said:

The Broncos cannot be taking gadget QBs with any premium picks this year. We've pissed away any meaningful picks the last few years. One or both of these 3rd round picks need to hit and be immediate contributors. Period. Doesn't matter the position.

That said, if I'm Paton and Payton, I'm going to every player worth his salt and asking for a restructure. If we're gonna go all in, the players better be on board too. Time to help the team. Russ is first on the list. Do something to free up cap space immediately.

Denver needs to be more proficient than ever in this year's draft. That means either big risk guys (i.e. off injury, small school athletic freaks, whatever) but no more picks like we saw last year in Rounds 4-6. Mathis was a nice hit. But we cannot have a stretch of guys who are useless like Uwazurike, Turner-Yell, Montrell, Wattenberg and Henningsen. Just absolutely pissed away the back end of that draft. Granted, not a ton of talent outside of Woolen, Chig, and Likely came from later Rounds in Year 1, but my point stands. 

Hooker isn't just a gadget QB though (and not year 1 post ACL regardless).  He's basically in the Jalen Hurts class - a mobile QB who needed time to develop. His arm talent and abilites on the field say there's a raw starter set there, though (but yes it's still raw, nowhere close to ready).    There's no guarantee it happens, but Hooker isn't just Taysom Hill V2 - he just can fill the Hill role in year 1, while we see if he can develop into a Hurts-type player, and he needs at least 1 year before he can step on the field and be a full-playbook QB.   But like Hurts, he has the potential to be a real starter-level (or better) QB - but it's not happening until year 2 (and more likely year 3 - Hurts had a lot of struggles in year 2).      I wouldn't pay a R1 price given the failure risk, but at Rd3+?   One of the few QB's we'd get at that area that has the potential.  That's a massive difference.   The bigger Q IMO is if he makes it to R3 or not.  

The reality is our R3+ guys are year 1 contributors in most cases, and unlikely to be Day 1 starters.    Maybe there's an IOL we find (like Meinerz), or a NT/cover ILB.   But that's unrealistic to expect the draft is going to be our solution, especially for premium positions.    The only exception is RB these days, but ironically it's massively deep this year.  R4+ is likely available to find a guy who'd go late R2 in other years. 

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5 hours ago, broncos67 said:

The Broncos cannot be taking gadget QBs with any premium picks this year. We've pissed away any meaningful picks the last few years. One or both of these 3rd round picks need to hit and be immediate contributors. Period. Doesn't matter the position.

That said, if I'm Paton and Payton, I'm going to every player worth his salt and asking for a restructure. If we're gonna go all in, the players better be on board too. Time to help the team. Russ is first on the list. Do something to free up cap space immediately.

I would absolutely not restructure with Russ. Pushing guaranteed money any further along is begging for disaster. His cap hit this season is only $22M anyways, and unless you think 2023 could be a championship season, there’s no reason to start kicking that can yet. 

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4 hours ago, broncosfan_101 said:

I would absolutely not restructure with Russ. Pushing guaranteed money any further along is begging for disaster. His cap hit this season is only $22M anyways, and unless you think 2023 could be a championship season, there’s no reason to start kicking that can yet. 

We don't need to restructure Wilson regardless.   We part ways with Glasgow (11M), Darby (9.6M), Edmonds (5.9M), Jacob Martin (3.8M) and Purcell (3.5M), we clear 33M in space, and get to 42M overall.  The only big $ hit would be Dre'mont franchise tag at 20M - and if we get an extension, even if its' 20M AAV, it won't be a 20M 2023 cap hit.   

If we need more $, we can restructure other guys like Simmons & Bolles and create 15M more room (obv bigger cap hit later, but they're also not going anywhere).   Plus we can always add void years down the line, and push the cap hit further back to a time when we won't contend, and then eat it all in 1 big hit.   I don't think we need to sell our future cap health regardless, since there isn't a great FA market for what we need at the top tier.    Going to need to find value guys as there aren't a lot of top-tier FA's where we want to upgrade. 

Bottom line, though - we're OK for 2023.   Pushing Wilson's cap hit further back isn't necessary.

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20 hours ago, Broncofan said:

The theme though is that the Saints FO use FA and later draft picks since the RB position has been devalued.   They absolutely want to have RB depth and value - but they don't prioritize early picks since the RB position was devalued.  Bush & Ingram were again in the time when RB's were the centerpiece.   And before the counter argument is that they had their elite RB - they didn't after Ingram was picked.  He split time with Pierre Thomas & Darren Sproles & other guys.     As the RB position was devalued, the Saints mined the value tier in FA and looked to get RB's later on - Kamara being the ultimate hit.    In the last 10 years, they've only drafted Kamara in Day 2 - and found their talent in the UFA / FA pool.  I don't think they should wait that long draft-wise, but Payton's not valued spending early picks on RB.   It's hard to see that change with the pick capital he's left with in 2023.

I totally expect they will go after a FA RB - but I don't expect it's going to be a big swing.   There's so much RB depth, you can get a 3-5M RB and get a guy who would have been top 3-4 most years.   Or even lower, and find a hidden gem (D'Ernest Johnson).   They should absolutely pair them with a rookie RB, it's more how much will they pay capital wise.   With 2 3rd's as our earliest picks, it would be a surprise if they went that early.   Once the top 3-4 RB's go, it's often there's a gap into Day 3.   With this class, man that's a prime sweet spot.    With 2 3rds, they could always reconsider if there's a massive run, but if RB's fall, taking the 5th-6th RB this year might be like the class, where Kareem Hunt goes in the late 80's & James Conner goes in the 100's, or even better, 2019 where Tony Pollard goes in the 120's.   It's definitely a year where going FA & rookie RB makes so much sense - it just may not cost a mint to get a good (and possibly great) player.

Payton led teams have spent draft capital and money on RBs from the start of his time in NO to the end.

He started his career with Reggie Bush and ended it with Kamara and was on both draft selection and contract terms that have made each 2 of the top 10 highest paid RBs in history,

He also made Darren Sproles, Pierre Thomas, Mark Ingram and CJ Spiller top 10 paid RBs during parts of their career.  

Payton’s system under Drew Brees placed a HUGE emphasis on the RB position.  Maybe that changes with Wilson, but Wilson’s best years were in a run oriented offense that also placed a huge emphasis on RB play, maybe the only one in the NFL bigger than Payton’s during his time in NO.

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1 hour ago, Broncofan said:

We don't need to restructure Wilson regardless.   We part ways with Glasgow (11M), Darby (9.6M), Edmonds (5.9M), Jacob Martin (3.8M) and Purcell (3.5M), we clear 33M in space, and get to 42M overall.  The only big $ hit would be Dre'mont franchise tag at 20M - and if we get an extension, even if its' 20M AAV, it won't be a 20M 2023 cap hit.   

If we need more $, we can restructure other guys like Simmons & Bolles and create 15M more room (obv bigger cap hit later, but they're also not going anywhere).   Plus we can always add void years down the line, and push the cap hit further back to a time when we won't contend, and then eat it all in 1 big hit.   I don't think we need to sell our future cap health regardless, since there isn't a great FA market for what we need at the top tier.    Going to need to find value guys as there aren't a lot of top-tier FA's where we want to upgrade. 

Bottom line, though - we're OK for 2023.   Pushing Wilson's cap hit further back isn't necessary.

Cush for another $2.75M, and potentially McManus as a post-6/1 cut for $3.75M. 

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On 2/1/2023 at 5:38 PM, broncosfan_101 said:

Cush for another $2.75M, and potentially McManus as a post-6/1 cut for $3.75M. 

Cush should not be on this team anymore. I’d cut him for sure. But does anyone think he’d garner trade interest? Stokely and Zach talked about trade candidates to acquire more picks and I was very surprised they didn’t mention Cush. I’d take a 7th for him. 

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