With a new regime in Denver and with some current free agency issues we will take a short dive into players that could be targeted before the 2019 season.
The offensive side of the ball will surprisingly see the least amount of changes due to the addition of Rick “they call me Mello” Scangarello and Mike Munchak, and here’s why. First off Scangarello will be implementing his form of the Shanny Jr offense which relies greatly on the run game. Denver is already successful on this front with their current offensive line and their crop of running backs. While Munchak typically likes to have larger players on his OL, he still runs a ZBS that can be run with a Shanny sized OL. Food for thought: SF’s OL has multiple players under 300 lbs, including their LT who is built like current Broncos LT Garrett Bolles, who weighs 297 lbs. The heaviest player on their OL is their RT at 315 lbs and current Broncos RT Jared Veldheer weighs 322 lbs. The only question marks on the line will be retaining injury prone Ronald Leary and resigning Matt Paradis.
I believe they keep Leary, due to what I will refer to as the Flacco factor. I believe that trading for Flacco was in the plans way back when they were trying to add Kubiak without Dennison. While Kubiak was coaching Flacco at Baltimore the starting LG was Kelechi Osemele who is built exactly like Leary. Paradis is a maybe in my opinion, who could get top dollar elsewhere. Either way I think last year’s draft pick Sam Jones will see more action in the new zone based system.
Where I could see Denver making some moves in free agency on Offense would be at the TE position and possibly an insurance WR.
At WR I only really see them looking at a guy like Jamison Crowder from Washington, who while didn’t perform to a true #1 WR, has the same build and skill set as Sanders, for whom he would be insurance for. I would expect him to pick up the jet sweeps and quick route duties that aren’t part of Courland Sutton’s game.
At TE I only see 2 names that I would accept. One would be taking a flier on the injury prone Tyler Eiffert who if healthy can dominate in the passing game. The other name is Jared Cook who played well despite being 32. But the draft is deep at TE so Denver could address the issue (yet again) there.
This is the side of the ball that I expect most of the changes to happen. Between Vic Fangio and Ed “TMNT” Donatell, there will be some extremely different schemes in the passing game. First we need to look at which positions these guys covet which are LB and CB.
With the departure of Marshall into FA (the Denver community will miss him but the playing field may not) you can expect Denver to look there immediately.
The names to consider here are CJ Mosley, Corey Littleton and Jordan Hicks. Mosley is obviously the best of the three, but I don’t see him making it to the open market. But the other two could be great fits as well. Hicks is injury prone, but as a CO native he is extremely versatile as he is a tackling machine and has 7 career INTs. Littleton is coming off a career year which could make him a little more expensive but is also equally versatile. An outside name that could float around would be Kwon Alexander out of TB. Names to stay away from would be Preston Brown and Denzel Perryman.
At CB the pickings are slim in FA. But with the scheme shift away from man to man into an attacking zone, Isaac Yiadom will definitely flourish as he played well in the zone last year.
The name I see them perusing aggressively is Bryce Callahan who had a standout year for Chicago last year and who is obviously familiar with the schemes that Fangio will implement.
The other position I can see them looking into is Safety just because the market is so deep and it could be time to move on from Darian Stewart who is on the wrong side of 30 and is coming off his worst year as a professional.
The names here are Haha Clinton-Dix, Tyrann Matthieu, Landon Collins and Adrian Phillips. HCD and Matthieu are both coming off 1 year prove it deals and will get paid this offseason. Collins would be a sure resign for NYG but Gettleman has proven in the past he doesn’t like to spend top dollar in the secondary. Phillips would just piss off Clipper fans so I approve. (Actually I don’t really want him). But the good part of signing a Safety is that the versatility of Justin Simmons means we can sign either FS or SS and plug Simmons into the opposite role.
I honestly see Denver addressing CB in FA and then drafting Devin White in the first. Then trading back into the first for Lock. Especially if they can land Bryce Callahan.
Broncos free agents to be considered for re-signing:
Peko, Harris, Paradis, Veldheer, Turner, Krieter, Patrick.