Broncos could become dangerous with right offseason moves
The Denver Broncos could be a problem in 2020.
Denver, which missed the postseason for the fourth straight year after winning Super Bowl 50, is one of the more promising teams heading into the offseason. While the Broncos only finished 7-9 in the AFC West, they ended on a positive note with four wins over their last five games. The only loss? A 23-3 defeat to the Kansas City Chiefs in snowy Arrowhead Stadium. Nothing to be ashamed of.
For the first time since Peyton Manning retired, Denver has real hope at quarterback. After suffering through the Joe Flacco experience for the first half of the season, second-round rookie Drew Lock got the chance to start Denver’s final five games. While the numbers weren’t eye-popping — seven touchdowns, three interceptions, 6.5 yards per attempt — Lock at the minimum is providing the chance of a solution.
Now, it’s on general manager John Elway to surround him with quality pieces. Looking at the offensive roster, there’s a terrific start. Running back Phillip Lindsay is one of the league’s best, notching 1,000 rushing yards for the second time in his two-year career. Tight end Noah Fantasias came on in the back half of his rookie campaign, finishing with 40 catches, 562 yards and three touchdowns.
There’s also wide receiver Courtland Sutton, who became a star in his second year. Sutton caught 72 passes for 1,112 yards and six scores, earning Pro Bowl honors.
Elway’s main focus should be building an offensive line in front of Lock. The unit has been a problem in past years, and the first step is replacing left tackle Garret Bolles. Bolles was a first-round pick in 2017 but has proven to be a bust. Picking 15th, Elway needs to target offensive line help, and potentially double back with one of his four picks on the second day.
With an improved front and perhaps the re-signing of cornerback Chris Harris Jr. and defensive tackle Shelby Harris, the Broncos would warrant playoff buzz. While Kansas City is the reigning Super Bowl champion and clearly the favorite in the AFC West, Denver could start ascending and fight for a wild card berth.
For that to become reality, Elway has work to do and Lock must prove he’s more than a promising kid. Both need to deliver, but for the first time in years, there’s real reason to expect the Broncos to be more than an afterthought.