The Denver Broncos have had quite a successful free agency period as they were able to address some needs on defense as well as the receiving corps. Now the Broncos should shift gears to their next need for the team.
With the NFL Draft a little over a month away, the Broncos’ next focus should be the offensive line. This is a position that has the task of protecting future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning. While the unit was solid last year, it did have some issues. When Ryan Clady was lost for the season with a foot injury, Chris Clark ended up taking over and he was not a solid player to start. Though the left tackle position was not his strong suit, Clark did get better.
The biggest issue with this unit showed up during Super Bowl XLVIII when the line could not contain the pressure that the Seattle Seahawks defense brought, which put Manning under pressure for most of the game. Now with Zane Beadles departing to the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Broncos have to fill some holes and put players in the right spot.
While the offensive line class is not the biggest as far as talent is concerned, picking one up at any point of the draft should benefit the Broncos. One player that can help the team is Cornelius Lucas, an offensive lineman from Kansas State. He is projected to go into the later rounds of the draft, but does have a lot of upside. His abilities to prevent the pass rush is something that the Broncos could desperately need, especially with how the Seahawks were able to get to Manning.
The Broncos have done a solid job in the free agency period. I will call the offseason a success if they can make smart decisions and get solid players from the draft. Knowing John Elway, however, he will not disappoint there either.