The 2016 NFL Draft has been completed and ranked by NFL analysts and Superbowl champions, the Denver Broncos, have been positioned at 16th out of 32 teams, despite some interesting picks.
This middle-of-the-park ranking is mainly due to their first-round selection, Paxton Lynch. The Broncos are hoping that their new quarterback Mark Sanchez, who they signed from the Philadelphia Eagles, can help bring promising rookie Paxton Lynch up to speed quickly to help him progress into being a franchise quarterback.
The enthusiasm Lynch showed to being drafted by the defending champs will be an asset to that development, especially as they have lost a number of their Superbowl winners this off-season including future Hall of Famer, Peyton Manning.
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Another player that was given position reviews was second-round pick Adam Gotsis. He figures to play as a bookend defensive end with Derek Wolfe and therefore, he could have an impact straight away.
Gotsis is coming off injuries that could slow his development, and defensive end is one of the Broncos biggest needs after losing Malik Jackson to Jacksonville in free agency, but with the team taking him high in the draft with the 63rd pick, they expect him to make the natural progression up to the elite level.
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Also mentioned was running back Devontae Booker, who was taken in the fourth round with the 138th pick overall. Booker’s style is seen as a clear fit for coach Gary Kubiak's running offence that also features CJ Anderson and Ronnie Hillman.
The former had a productive season as the featured back last season, and scored the most important touchdown of his career in February that secured the win in the Super Bowl on a two-yard run, but there are still some questions whether he has the size and durability to withstand the weekly 20-30 carries a game that Kubiak’s running game requires.
The Broncos have been the AFC West champs the last five seasons, and if they hope to make it six in a row, they need their new additions to play hard at the start of their schedule.
Post-season additions and the young roster that the Oakland Raiders possess, alongside the strong finish to last season by the Kansas City Chiefs make them both serious contenders to unseat the Broncos this campaign.
Justin Houston, Jeremy Maclin, and Jamaal Charles are notorious playmakers that are coming off season-ending injuries, and their return will make the Chiefs team even stronger. The Raiders are a team looking to build off strong performances from last year, led by quarterback Derek Carr, who is improving rapidly into one of the best quarterbacks in the league. Draft day additions to an already young core make the Raiders a team to watch in the coming years.
Do YOU think that the Broncos will struggle to win the AFC West this year? Have YOUR say in the comments box below.