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  1. #1
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    Back to Back Luxury Picks, Smart Idea ? Wide Receiver Value

    My question to the wide reciever thirsty folk is this, does a wide reciever add as much overall value to the offense as an offensive lineman ? I believe that with a young quarterback you do everything you can to help them, and how do you best help a young quarterback ? Give them a great running game and plenty of time to throw the football.

    We spent a first round pick last year on what you could call a "luxury pick", Noah Fant. Taking a one dimensional player at that spot who is essentially a receiving tight-end only, and in Shurmurs system will play split out often, the question becomes, are we in a spot to be taking luxury, skill position picks, in back to back years ? I don't.

    Looking at our roster, I think our reciever room is further along in having a competent unit than the offensive line, by a fair way. We have a Pro-Bowl guy in Sutton, a hopefully emerging prospect in Fant, and a few other guys who are capable, Hamilton looked to have some chemistry with Lock to end the year, and we can still add guys beyond the first or second round. When you compare that to the offensive line group, it doesn't compare in my opinion.

    We had multiple great receivers for years of this bad run we are on, Sanders and Thomas, did they make up for the woes up front on the offensive line ? No, not at all. We ran out one of the worst offenses year after year after year with them here, and yes quarterback play contributes, but Lock is still an unknown, and the best way to develop him is by giving him a rock solid unit up front.

    At the end of the day, we are a team coming off of 3 straight losing seasons, the worst run of such since the 70's, and we have a roster with a lot of holes. I really don't think essentially taking back to back first round pass catches is the way to go, when you have an offensive line, and interior of the defense being as weak as it has been for how many years now ? I don't like the idea of high round first receivers for our situation right now, I really don't think it makes sense. Build the foundation first, and in 2021 and beyond, we can entertain the idea of adding those play makers who can potentially push you over that hump, but we are not ready now. One step at a time.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnlimburg View Post
    My question to the wide reciever thirsty folk is this, does a wide reciever add as much overall value to the offense as an offensive lineman ? I believe that with a young quarterback you do everything you can to help them, and how do you best help a young quarterback ? Give them a great running game and plenty of time to throw the football.
    In general, no. In fact I think it's been shown over history that highly drafted WRs haven't added much overall value to SB winning teams, however real limitations or opportunities are not factored in if you are just looking at it this way.
    Here is where/why I am totally on board for a "luxury" if you will. The passing game has never been more hands off than right now. NFL offenses are scoring a ton. Teams are isolating these playmakers because they know it's hands off now. The bigger, faster, and stronger stand out. I think we are lucky enough to have two guys in Fant and Sutton who have a these attributes. Sutton and the contested catches are unreal. If this guy can get more 1v1 with that ability the sky is the limit. Fant has the size/speed combo at TE that OCs are utilizing now more than ever. A versatile WR like Shenault would allow so many opportunities for these favorable matchups. A guy with Ruggs/Reagor speed paired with Sutton and Fant is a serious matchup problem and IMO an impossible one for any team in our division.

    There are lots of good WR available this year, I love KJ Hamler and I think there is a good shot he's there in the 2nd. Although a smaller guy he is very versatile and could help with returns instantly as well as be a move WR. I understand why people think it's nuts to get one early, but how far do we think these "top" guys will fall? It's not always a great idea to let the rich get richer around you either.

  3. #3
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    For me it depends on the value. Yes the offensive line has been weak and needs to be addressed. However I don’t see us replacing James and we will likely hope he gets through the season but I do think a developmental RT will be drafted at some point, maybe even a cheap veteran addition such as Ty Neshke. As for LT well I don’t think the top LT prospects fall to us. Thomas may fall at the combine and maybe gets to us but the same reasons he falls at the combine will likely be the same reasons we pass on him at 15. I’d still be very happy to get him however. Becton won’t make it period. That leaves Wills and Wirfs who have both played RT in college, do you feel comfortable reversing everything they’ve been working on in college? If so then by all means. And even though Wills protected Tua’s blindside there’s still a big time adjustment going from right to left while also adjusting to drastically better pass rushers.

    So the way I look at it is, if there isn’t an OT left at 15 or if we aren’t comfortable switching a guy from the right to left side what else can you do to protect your QB? Generally you’ll see teams run the ball more to set up playaction to buy time for those shot plays especially when the oline is weak. That is going to happen regardless of who we draft. But I do think adding a guy like Ruggs, Reagor, Shenault or Hamler can help protect Lock as these are guys you can run a lot of misdirection with to keep pass rushers from teeing off on your QB and create confusion for the defense.

    Now on the other hand WRs like Lamb, Jeudy, Higgins etc don’t offer nearly as much in that aspect. But Lamb and Jeudy are both guys that can win quickly at the LoS and get open quickly reducing the time Lock needs to hold onto the ball. They’re also great YAC guys as well as complete WRs and not one trick ponies. Not sure the thought process behind talking to Higgins, only thing I can think of there is if 1 Courtland Sutton is good why not get 2 but I don’t think he’s a great fit personally.

    And ultimately I just believe the FO is going to fool themselves into believing Bolles will finally turn the corner this year. Austin Jackson in the 2nd round would be ideal for them as it gives Bolles time to prove them right or wrong while they can groom a guy with a ton of potential as a swing tackle to take over for either James or Bolles if they falter.

  4. #4
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    Have to wait and see who is still there at 15. If one of the top 4? OTs is still there than that has to be the pick (unless Isaiah Simmons is still there) they can get a WR in the 2nd... a lot of good WRs will still be there.
    OTOH, I always seem to be in favor of trading down; maybe 7-11 spots and still get an OT (Josh Jones?) Jones can play other spots for a year, maybe two. Or even Laviska, I really like Laviska because of his versatility - RB/WR potential but he might be moving up after the combine? IMO, Ideal situation is moving back and picking up another 2nd, at least? and addressing both WR and OL in the first 2 rounds. Taking a WR and OT/OL with the first 2 picks needs to be the priority but still have to see how the board falls.

  5. #5
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    Personally, I'm on the OL bandwagon, specifically I'm a big Wirfs fan. However, I can see the WR argument. Unfortunately, everything is in flux right now without FA, so I cant one thing or another a luxury pick. Right now I have OL, CB, DL, and ILB as our biggest needs(operating on the educated guess that Simmons is tagged or extended). It's been reported we are looking to "buy" a defense and draft an offense. Luckily, the DL FA class is very deep and diverse. The CB is also pretty deep(although lacking top end talent), and has a high trade market possibility. I think those position groups will be addressed via FA and trade. OL I could see some moves that would be considered 2nd tier talent, but will mesh well with Munchak. I fully expect BJ Finney to come here as a starter somewhere. Ideally McGovern and Finney will be here as OC and RG respectively.

    As for WR being a luxury, I think the major holes will be addressed in FA. I don't think there will be any big time signings, but I think our big move will be trading for Darius Slay. So that leads to the draft. If the major needs are addressed you let the board play itself out. Right now, WR is the deepest position in the draft. The question is whether one of the 4 big OTs will be there, either Thomas, Becton, Wirfs, or Wills. I think all 4 are very capable of sliding inside to OG initially, and then kicking out to an OT spot if the current guys fail for one reason or the other. However, if one of them are not available, WR is probably the best pick there. It's not so much luxury as taking the best value.

    At the end of the day the team will only go as far as the QB. We wasted DT and Sanders, mostly due to bad QB play. Although the OL didn't help, but Lock appears to be trending in the right direction for the team. I'm which case we are going to be look to follow 49ers and Vikings blueprint. High quality Defense, and surrounding the QB with talent and a quality scheme. Now if Lock can be better than Grappolo and Cousins you have a shot.

  6. #6
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    The other thing is that with guys like Ruggs is that you can involve them in the running game. It also forces safeties out of the box, as they have to respect the speed. I think that kind of speed has the potential to really open up things for the offense, and we know that Lock has a cannon.

    I have been as big as anyone on taking an offensive tackle in the draft, but what if none of the top 4 are available? I can see the argument for going for Ruggs given his speed, hands, route-running.

  7. #7
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    The perfect draft for us in the first two rounds for us (regardless of what we do in FA) is a wide receiver with our 1st pick and a cornerback with our 2nd pick.

    Ruggs III at #15. Then either Trevon Diggs or Bryce Hall in the 2nd round (opposite our FA signee-- hopefully, Byron Jones).

    Put me in the "wide receiver thirsty folk" category, but check my posts all season-- I've been banging the table for OT. The important thing to consider is that it is extremely likely that Elway/Munchak decide to start Bolles at LT in 2020 (albeit without exercising his 5th year option). And we absolutely have to play James at RT to evaluate his ability to stay healthy and play at a high level ($14M cap hit this year).

    In the interior OL, the only sure thing on our roster is Dalton Risner. McGovern is a FA and Elway just announced that we will not exercise Leary's team option this offseason. There are rumblings about the staff liking what they saw from Patrick Morris and Austin Schlottmann. So there exists the possibility of our starters at C and RG next season coming from in-house. I would love to pursue Brandon Scherff or Joe Thuney in FA, while also retaining McGovern. Turning to the draft, the only Day 1 prospect that I could see at OG is Tristan Wirfs. At C, I like Lloyd Cushenberry III a lot, but his stock has been anywhere from late-1st to mid-2nd. There's a bulk of IOL options in the 3rd-4th round range. I still have yet to do my homework on the IOL prospects in this part of the draft, but they come in all shapes and sizes so if we do use one of our three 3rd round picks and/or one of our two 4th round picks on OL-- it will ultimately come down to scheme-fit and who Munchak feels confident in developing.

    To answer the question, does a wide receiver add as much overall value to the offense as an offensive lineman? My answer is actually no. Our favorite term on this board, "BPA" comes to mind. At #15, realistically, would you rather have Henry Ruggs III (instant starter at WR) or Lloyd Cushenberry III (instant starter at C). Maybe Cushenberry III becomes the next Tom Nalen, who knows? But the value in the draft at WR, especially in the first two rounds, vastly outweighs the OL talent available in the same range. I am by no means "anti-OL", who wouldn't want to keep Lock upright with healthy amounts of protection upfront? But at the same time, the current state of our wide receiver group will not scare many teams, let alone enable us to go toe-to-toe with Patrick Mahomes twice a year. Teams have started to and will key in on Sutton. The jury is still out on Hamilton as the slot WR of the future. I like Tim Patrick a lot, but do you really think Tim Patrick is going to be a problem for opposing defensive coordinators? I don't think so.
    2014 Adopt-A-Bronco: #43 T.J. WARD & #38 QUINTON CARTER
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  8. #8
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    Too many variables to get locked into a strategy now. Most important, who do they sign or re-sign in free agency and who is sitting there at #15.

    For the oline- who does Munchak have confidence in? Bolles, James and McGovern are unknowns at the moment. I include McGovern because will he be re-signed ? And to play C or G? Do they fill one or two players in free agency? If they do I'm not as enthusiastic about oline at #15. Can they get one of the quality C/Gs in the second?

    Would love to see some defensive free agents added to replace Harris,and Shelby. H. Potentially Wolfe too. Free agents like Littleton at LB and a couple CBs (Prince A?) and dlineman or two will need to be signed.

    Which brings me to the offense. The one that a new OC was just hired to improve from a miserable 17pts a game. The offense that has one of the lowest payrolls in the league. The offense that has had more misses in the draft and free agency then I like to think about. .Offense/Shurmer/Lock needs players. If that means drafting a couple of dynamic playmakers in the first 5 picks and especially if a "special " WR is the one sitting at #15.... I'm all for it!

    Biggest issue is Elway can't choose incorrectly at any position or pick in the first three rounds. That is a luxury the Broncos don't have.

    Perhaps you and I have different opinions on what a "luxury" pick looks like for this offense.

  9. #9
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    Lets trade up and grab Simmons. We have so many pics - I’d love a generational talent that can cover RBs and tight ends. We need that more than anything playing Mahomes and Kelce twice every year.

  10. #10
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    Just to compare...

    Lock had 2.6 sec before pressure and his intended air on pass attempts was 6.8
    Winston had 2.5 secs and intended air per attempt was 10.4 yards
    Wentz 2.4 secs and 8 yards

    Lock actually had more time than the other two QBs, but throws resulted in more dinks and dunks (intended air is good stat because it does not matter if complete or not). An argument can be made that WR is the bigger need (as OL gave plenty of time) but our guys could not break open deep. Of course Lock could also have not had full confidence pushing ball down the field.

    Sanders in 2019 had 8.3 yards in air per reception, when Hamilton took over the number dropped to 6 yards (this is real close to the same in 2018). Maybe we should be looking at a Tyler Johnson in the 2nd for a slot upgrade? Losing almost 2.5 yards per reception from the same routes is pretty bad.

    We need more talent everywhere, do not think where or when it comes from matters much.
    Ravens GM 2016 - Ravens are looking to trade down 4-8 spots

  11. #11
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    I think our current offensive line isn't as bad as many think. Lock is mobile and won't just be a statue waiting to get flattened, he can avoid pressure. Having said that a solid franchise LT is hands down better for a team than added weapons. I think in our current situation a WR makes sense because we are so young on offense. Anything we can do to improve our offense we should do. At pick 15 if the best player happens to be WR than take him, if it's lineman than take him. I don't care, just make the offense better

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JvDub95 View Post
    I think our current offensive line isn't as bad as many think. Lock is mobile and won't just be a statue waiting to get flattened, he can avoid pressure. Having said that a solid franchise LT is hands down better for a team than added weapons. I think in our current situation a WR makes sense because we are so young on offense. Anything we can do to improve our offense we should do. At pick 15 if the best player happens to be WR than take him, if it's lineman than take him. I don't care, just make the offense better
    Here is Fangio on the OL

    Vic Fangio said the Broncos’ offensive line play was “OK”

    “You know those commercials about ‘it’s just OK?’ Well “OK” isn’t good enough.”

    When was the last time a team with a great OL wasn't at least pretty good? I'm not against WR, but if we can get a big time OL, I'd prefer that route.

  13. #13
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    Not opposed to a “big time oline” being developed. But it all depends on who is available.

    Are they drafting a Clady or a Bolles? Or a WR like DT, Sutton or Latimer. It makes a difference who is sitting there.

  14. #14
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    I can't imagine Fangio is all in on taking a wide reciever personally. I also think another factor which needs to be considered is attitude. Fangio is still trying to build his culture, and as a tough, grind it out, old school type guy, I don't see Fangio thinking a rookie wide receiver adds to that. I think Fangio would have an argument that adding Fant last year was the toy for the offense, now add a piece for that defensive or offensive trench, a building block type player.

    When I think of cornerstone positions to draft to build a culture, I think of front 7 guys, quarterbacks, and offensive lineman. Skill positions are the final pieces of the puzzle to push you over the edge, not build around in my opinion.

    Question for conversation. At the start of a re-build, what teams have added a stud wide reciever early, who became a cornerstone piece of the organisation who was a tide turner in terms of long-term success for that organisation ? Obviously many factors contribute, but who can you point at and say, he was the piece the team was build around ?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnlimburg View Post
    I can't imagine Fangio is all in on taking a wide reciever personally. I also think another factor which needs to be considered is attitude. Fangio is still trying to build his culture, and as a tough, grind it out, old school type guy, I don't see Fangio thinking a rookie wide receiver adds to that. I think Fangio would have an argument that adding Fant last year was the toy for the offense, now add a piece for that defensive or offensive trench, a building block type player.

    When I think of cornerstone positions to draft to build a culture, I think of front 7 guys, quarterbacks, and offensive lineman. Skill positions are the final pieces of the puzzle to push you over the edge, not build around in my opinion.

    Question for conversation. At the start of a re-build, what teams have added a stud wide reciever early, who became a cornerstone piece of the organisation who was a tide turner in terms of long-term success for that organisation ? Obviously many factors contribute, but who can you point at and say, he was the piece the team was build around ?
    I don’t know. I think Fangio likes touchdowns.

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