AFC West Offseason Report Cards: Chiefs Reload, Chargers Poised for a Run, Keenum Holds Broncos' Fate, Gruden … – Sports Illustrated
2017 record: 5-11
Crucial veteran additions: CB Tramaine Brock, QB Case Keenum, P Marquette King, DT Clinton McDonald, OT Jared Veldheer
Crucial veteran losses: RB C.J. Anderson, OT Donald Stephenson, CB Aqib Talib
2018 draft class and grades
Case Keenum, while not John Elway’s first choice, should be a big upgrade at the most important position on the field. He’ll also help the Broncos identify what they have at wide receiver after using two draft picks (Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton) in the first four rounds to eventually supplant veterans Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. Signing Keenum allowed the Broncos to focus on other positions in the draft, and management was thrilled with edge rusher Bradley Chubb’s availability at No. 5 overall. Jared Veldheer is the latest attempt to stop the bleeding on offensive line—Denver allowed the third-most sacks in the NFL in 2017 (52). Even if you ignore Veldheer’s season-ending ankle injury last December (which you shouldn’t), Veldheer’s performance in Arizona up to that point would indicate he’s only a marginal upgrade over Donald Stephenson if he wins his position battle with Menelik Watson.
What needs work?
C.J. Anderson had an ability to create extra yardage with a so-so run blocking group that his replacement, Devontae Booker, has yet to show in limited opportunities. That’s why Denver spent a third-round pick on Royce Freeman. Bradley Roby should be a fine replacement for Aqib Talib, but there’s no telling what Denver is getting out of Roby’s replacement, whether it’s Tramaine Brock, Brendan Langley or rookie Isaac Yiadom. The third corner spot will likely be a downgrade. Interior offensive linemen Max Garcia and Connor McGovern were liabilities in 2017, especially during Ron Leary’s absence due to injury, and the Broncos did next to nothing to improve the guard position.