The 2019 NFL Draft is set to begin on Thursday, April 25th. With the impending draft, there have been a lot of bold draft predictions coming out. Most of the news has been around whether or not Kyler Murray will be drafted No. 1 overall by the Arizona Cardinals. However, there are still plenty of teams with holes that need to be filled that they’ll hope to solve with the draft. There’s been a lot of question with the Denver Broncos this draft season as well. Will they draft a quarterback at No. 10 or look to fill some of their other positions? We’ll take a deeper look into some of the players that are projected to go No. 10 by the Broncos.
Denver Broncos Draft Options
Ed Oliver – Defensive Lineman, Houston
Ed Oliver can be considered one of the more unique defensive players coming into the draft. Some have been questioning his size as an interior defensive lineman, comparing him to the likes of Aaron Donald. Oliver played nose tackle during his time in Houston, but some have even said he could also be a very strong linebacker. Oliver was the first underclassmen to win the Outland Trophy, which recognizes the best interior lineman in the nation. This title puts him in the same ranks as both Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh, some of the top defensive players in the league.
Pro Football Focus ranked Oliver 20th in both pass-rush productivity and run stop percentage. Unfortunately, Oliver was plagued with a knee injury that hindered his stats. Despite only starting eight games, Oliver put up 54 tackles, a team-high 14.5 tackles for loss, and three sacks. His standout year was 2017, the year that he won the Outland Trophy. He put up 61 total tackles, six sacks, and garnered All-American Honors and was the AAC’s Defensive Player of the Year.
Oliver has shown that he has a lot of potential as an interior defensive lineman. Oliver could be a great asset to line up along with Von Miller and Bradley Chubb to create a stout defensive line. If he can live up to the hype, Oliver will be a force to be reckoned with in the NFL.
Devin Bush – Linebacker, Michigan
CBS Sports Writer Ryan Wilson put linebacker Devin Bush for the No. 10 by the Denver Broncos. A strong inside linebacker is exactly what the Denver Broncos need, and Bush would be a great player to pair with the defensive mind of Vic Fangio.
After starting out as a reserve linebacker his freshman year, he broke out in a big way in the following year. Bush put up 91 total tackles and seven sacks, which earned him first-team All-Big Ten honors. That year he was also a finalist for the Butkus Award, which is given to the best linebacker in the nation. The following year, Bush was named the Big Ten’s Defensive Player of The Year. He compiled six sacks, 54 total tackles, one interception, and three passes defended.
With Fangio’s history of coaching stellar and standout linebackers, Bush is a no-brainer draft for the Broncos. With the loss of Brandon Marshall, the inside linebacker position is a big hole that the Broncos need to fill. Devin Bush would be an incredible defensive asset to put their defense back on top.
Drew Lock – Quarterback, Missouri
Drew Lock may be one of the biggest wild cards in the upcoming draft. Lock showed a lot of great talent during his career at the University of Missouri, but that wasn’t without some pitfalls. In looking at some of the things he does well, Lock has shown that he has the build of a pro quarterback and has the ability to make smart decisions.
In his sophomore season, Lock threw for an SEC-high 3,399 yards, which also ranked 10th in the league that year. However, despite leading the SEC in passing yards, he only completed 54.6 percent of his passes that year. The next year, he led the FBS with 44 passing touchdowns and completed 57.8 percent of his throws, with only 13 interceptions. Lock has shown a lot of improvement as a quarterback fighting to find himself a spot in the NFL.
When you look at his adjusted completion percentages, however, it shows that Lock does have a lot of talent that could be a good fit for a team looking for an answer at quarterback. Pro Football Focus ranked him 13th in the league in 2018 in both overall adjusted completion percentage (73.9) and adjusted completion percentage against the blitz (72.1). PFF also ranked him seventh in terms of adjusted completion percentage against pressure (66.2).
While there are a lot of glaring holes that the Broncos need to fill with the draft, if they really feel strongly about getting a quarterback, Lock is not a bad pick. While there are some pitfalls in his game, there are also a lot of upsides. If you put him in the right system, he could excel in the position.
Lock, Oliver, and Bush all can offer the Broncos an answer at positions they desperately need. The Broncos have been desperate for an answer at quarterback long-term. Lock has shown the capabilities of being an NFL quarterback. Oliver’s and Bush’s stats and production speak for themselves as the Broncos might be looking to bolster their defense even more under new head coach Vic Fangio.
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