One area that will be a huge focus for the Denver Broncos is the offensive line. With the departure of Zane Beadles to the Jacksonville Jaguars and sudden retirement of Chris Kuper, this is one unit that the Broncos cannot afford to miss out on. The Broncos were able to add Will Montgomery as a free agent, but are looking for more. I stated in my last article that the Broncos should draft Ryan Shazier in the first round. But if he is off the board before the 31st overall pick, the Broncos should then turn their attention to UCLA Bruins offensive guard Xavier Su’a Filo.
If they needed a player who is quick and can do a great job protecting Peyton Manning, then Su’a Filo is the guy to do that job. He ran a 5.04 during the combine, which is fast for an interior lineman. He would go on to improve that number at his workout, posting a 4.97. He has a great physical build as well with 20-plus reps on the 225-pound bench press.
The abilities that he can bring to the Broncos are great. He can use his strength and quickness to gain the initial advantage against defenders. The ability that could draw the interest of the Broncos on Su’a Filo is his ability to pass protect, something that the team had difficulty doing in the Super Bowl. The balance and ability to anchor down would stop defensive ends and linebackers in their tracks. With a line that is getting back Ryan Clady, placing Su’a Filo next to him would make the left side of the offensive line difficult to penetrate.
The only real weakness that he brings is his uncanny ability to lose leverage on contract, which could spell trouble when a defender can shred the block. But he is a player with a lot more upside and is projected as the No. 2 offensive lineman in the draft. If the Broncos really want to improve that offensive line that struggled with injuries and lack of pass protection, then they should look no further than to draft this rising star.