Denver Broncos Could Focus On Defense In 2024 NFL Draft

Sean Payton, Broncos, NFL Rumors
Feb 27, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton talks to the media at the 2024 NFL Combine at Indiana Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

This offseason has already been an eventful one for the Denver Broncos. The Russell Wilson news has dominated headlines as they are moving on from the veteran signal-caller after only two underwhelming seasons with the franchise.

The deal to acquire him from the Seattle Seahawks, and the extension they handed him after, make this one of the worst trades in NFL history. Wilson is being released with historic dead money hit before the extension he signed has even kicked in.

That is part of the reason the Broncos released All-Pro safety Justin Simmons, as it helps clear more than $18 million off their salary cap. That isn’t the final cap-clearing move Denver will make, as they still need space to be able to afford to sign their draft class, let alone veteran free agents.

NFL News & Rumors: Sean Payton, 2024 NFL Draft, Denver Broncos Updates

When the 2024 NFL Draft rolls around, it will be interesting to see what direction the Broncos go in. Their need for a quarterback is evident, as Jarrett Stidham is the only quarterback on their roster.

Beyond a signal caller, Nick Kosmider from The Athletic believes Denver could spend a lot of their draft capital on the defensive side of the ball. Even before they released Simmons, upgrades and depth were needed at several spots defensively.

“…But what I gleaned at the combine is the more drastic change for Denver could take place on defense. GM George Paton lamented his team’s run defense and signaled that interior depth is a priority. The Broncos also need another cornerback and could use an upgrade at edge rusher, where Denver has some nice pieces but lacks a consistent, game-wrecking force. The Broncos will have a new quarterback in 2024, but this draft could be largely about how they reshape their defense — perhaps even with the No. 12 pick,” wrote Kosmider.

NFL News & Rumors: Sean Payton, 2024 NFL Draft, Denver Broncos Updates

Unfortunately for the Broncos, their path to a quarterback is a difficult one to navigate. Being behind the Minnesota Vikings, who will be on the clock at No. 11, is less than ideal as they are also in the market for a signal caller. By the time Denver is on the clock, four quarterbacks could easily be off the board.

Unless the Broncos want to surrender even more future draft capital to get into the top three, or they fall in love with a prospect further down the list, a quarterback in Round 1 seems unlikely. There are plenty of other needs on the roster, especially with Simmons now becoming a free agent, they could address using that selection instead.

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