It's not hyperbole, John Elway is very, very good in free agency. This year should be no different. The Denver Broncos have glaring needs. They need to tighten up the offensive line. They need to get some depth for their running backs. And their defensive line needs to get it together against the run. Oh, and maybe a veteran quarterback to lead them to the promise land?
The Broncos have approximately $42 million and change in cap room.
Here are the three players in each position of need the Broncos should target in free agency:
The early line is that this NFL 2017 draft class is weak in the offering for offensive linemen. That's okay. Again, free agency is where General Manager Elway shines.
1. Kevin Zeitler: has started all 16 games for the Cincinnati Bengals each of the past two seasons; in all four of his seasons he has graded above average as a run blocker improving each year.
2. J.C. Tretter: although has played primarily as a center for the Green Bay Packers, his value is in his ability to play tackle.
3. Terron Armstead: Pro Football Focus graded Armstead a grade of 92.8 in run blocking last season, the second best grade for tackles
This year both the draft and free agency are loaded with players who could provide instant help.
1. Dontari Poe: although coming off the least productive season last year with 27 tackles and 1.5 sacks, Poe can handle being on the field consistently; he led all Kansas City Chiefs defensive line by playing 73% of the team's snaps.
2. Calais Campbell: has averaged seven sacks per season since 2009; he had sight sacks last season, with three fumble recoveries and six pass deflections.
3. Alan Branch: according to Pro Football Outsiders, Branch is a rotational defender, built to force teams into third-and-long by wiping out early down run plays.
Chris Long: Why wouldn't you want him? led New England Patriots' defense in snaps and quarterback pressures last season.
The draft is deep with talent. Free agency is deep with familiar names.
1. Adrian Peterson: Peterson is just one year removed from his 1400 yard season; and yes he will be returning from an injury---remember how that worked out for him last time
2. Andre Ellington: another running back with health concerns but he also had more than 1000 yards from scrimmage in each of his first two seasons; with the rise of David Johnson many on the Arizona Cardinals became expendable.
3. LeGarrette Blount: last season carried the ball 334 times; he also racked up 19 touchdowns.
I know the words coming out of the mouths of the Denver camp is that they are satisfied with the two quarterbacks they currently have. But sometimes what you say isn't exactly what you mean?
1. Tony Romo: all conversations begin and end with Tony Romo.
2. Brian Hoyer: before his season ending arm injury last season, he had four consecutive 300-yard performances.
3. Tyrod Taylor: the Buffalo Bills haven't said ya or nay yet.
Sure they are not going to have enough money to get the best of the best in each category, but as stated earlier, General Manager John Elway is a magician during free agency. Yes, last year's acquisitions had some glaring misses, but his hits far outnumber the misses.
Look for this year's acquisition(s) to scream Super Bowl Bound....TONY ROMO anyone?
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