NFL Analyst Shares Intriguing Early First-Round Projection For Broncos

NFL Analysis Network

The Denver Broncos had a better season than their 7-10 record would indicate. They were right in the playoff hunt into December before ending the season on a four-game losing streak. Had Teddy Bridgewater been able to remain healthy, they could have pushed for a spot in the postseason.

Denver didn’t win any of the three games Bridgewater was unable to start, which was ultimately their undoing. As a result, the Broncos are expected to be in the market for a quarterback this offseason, in addition to a new head coach.

Vic Fangio was fired as head coach after three seasons at the helm in Denver. They failed to make the postseason in his three seasons with the team, leading to his firing after the 2021 season.

Whoever takes over as head coach is coming to a team with some good talent throughout the roster. They will have to deal with a great AFC West division, but the Broncos aren’t far off from being playoff contenders.

Upgrading at the quarterback position could be enough to move them up a tier or two in the AFC. Denver will likely chase one of the veterans that could be available via trade, such as Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson or Deshaun Watson. They looked into a trade during the offseason and ended up with Bridgewater.

If they are unable to make a trade against this year, could they turn their attention to the 2022 NFL Draft? Daniel Jeremiah of certainly thinks so. In his recent mock draft, he has the Broncos selecting Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett with the ninth overall selection.

Pickett is likely going to be a first-round pick, but how high he is selected is anyone’s guess. He and Matt Corral of Ole Miss are expected to be the first two quarterbacks off the board, but the order in which they are selected very well could be determined by how they test leading up to the draft.

Pickett’s age is something people will nitpick, but there is no denying the development he underwent at Pitt. He was extremely efficient in 2021, being picked as a Heisman finalist. He started 49 games at Pitt, which means he should be ready to step into a starting role right away, something that could draw the Broncos toward him.

Denver doesn’t need a developmental prospect, as they need an instant upgrade. Pickett could provide that to them now and he would have the supporting cast to hit the ground running. The Broncos have all the pieces in place for a quarterback to succeed with a strong run game, great weapons at wide receiver and tight end and a solid offensive line.

Now, all they have to do is land the quarterback to bring it all together. Jeremiah believes that could be Pickett should they not land a veteran via trade.