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The Broncos want to fix their offensive line before the draft

Zac Stevens Avatar
March 6, 2017


It’s been over two months since the offseason started for the Denver Broncos and the majority of the dialogue during that time has revolved around three players: Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch and Tony Romo.

However, while Broncos Country has had their eyes locked on the quarterback position, the new staff at Dove Valley has been focused on another aspect of the offense. Instead of looking at who will be the signal caller under center, new offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and general manager John Elway have been evaluating the big guys in the middle of the field. The reason behind this is the staff believes the offensive line, not the quarterback, is the most important factor in determining the offense’s success.

“I think our offensive line does need to play better. Our offense will go as far as our offensive line will take them,” McCoy said. “Everyone always wants to look at a quarterback and say you have to have this quarterback. I’m not taking anything away from the quarterback position, it is critical to have that guy, but you have to have the five guys up front playing as one and doing everything right.”

If McCoy gets his wish, a top priority, if not the top priority, during the offseason will be to rebuild the offensive line. While the Broncos could kick the tires on backups Ty Sambrailo, Connor McGovern and Billy Turner, it is widely expected that Elway will continue to address the line in both free agency and the draft.

The goal for new offensive line coach Jeff Davidson is simple: just get the best players on the field.

“Finding out the best way to get your best five guys on the field and then finding out what those guys do well and do more of that,” he said.

Since the Broncos are looking for the best players right now, this suggests that Denver would be looking at more polished players. Typically “quick fixes” are more easily found in free agency, rather than the draft, because free agents are known commodities and have played in the NFL.

Additionally, Elway admitted that he wants to take care of Denver’s needs in free agency, rather than the draft, and there is a strong argument that the offensive line is the Broncos’ biggest area of need.

“I feel more comfortable if we can take care of some needs in free agency,” Elway said. “I think we can supplement some needs that we have through free agency because I don’t like going into the draft with big needs. If you do that you have the tendency to reach and we try to stay out of that situation.”

With over $44 million in cap space, Denver has the means to address the offensive line during free agency starting March 9.

“We would like to have guys that you can constantly rely on, that’s what we are looking for also,” Davidson said. “Continuity and trying to get the best five as possible.”

Rookies, regardless of the position, typically are more inconsistent than veteran players as they are making the big transition from college to the professional level. Since Davidson is looking for consistency, this would again suggest that the offensive line changes will happen in free agency rather than the draft.

This doesn’t mean the Broncos won’t address the line in the draft; it just means that they may look to address starters in free agency and build depth through the draft. In fact, Denver’s new coaching regime, specifically along the offensive line, may have significant pull when it comes to potential lineman they draft.

“I see guys as a blank canvas because of the fact that maybe he has the attributes that you are looking for, not something that I’m willing to delve into right now, but there are certain things that I look for in an offensive lineman,” Davidson said. “If I see that and know that I can develop what that is, obviously I’m going to be a little more excited about those guys.”

Although everyone outside of the UCHealth Training Center is focusing on the quarterbacks, the Broncos themselves are looking at the position they think will impact the offense even more. With plenty of cap space to work with, and a desire to improve the line immediately, the Broncos may turn to free agency, and not the draft, to try and give a quick fix to the offensive line.

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