* = 2019 full-time starter

Need #1: Cornerback

Notable Free Agents:

  • Chris Harris* (legendary Bronco, remains one of league's most effective corners, Denver not expected to pay what other teams will due to advanced age)
  • De'Vante Bausby (was playing quite well before a neck injury ended his season in Week 5, has some upside)

Notable Players Under Contract:

  • Bryce Callahan (2019 free agent singing who didn't play a single snap due to foot injury, should be a solid slot corner if recovery goes as planned)
  • Isaac Yiadom (2018 3rd rounder, has struggled to this point, team can hope he turns it around but will not be counting on it)
  • Davontae Harris (like YIadom, a young player who has struggled to this point of career but has the theoretical talent to develop into a more reliable player)

Need Level: Very High

Need to Address:

  • The only surefire starter who is under contract is Callahan, and even that's a bit murky given his injury status. The Broncos will likely need to add at least one but possibly two new starting CBs.

Updates:

  • Traded for A.J. Bouye (has only completed one 16 game season across 7 year career, struggled last season in Jacksonville, but certainly possible he returns to 2017 Pro Bowl form)
  • Resigned De'Vante Bausby
  • Drafted in Round 3: Michael Ojemudia (has prototypical athletic ability and size, lacks technical refinement and instincts for the position, improved each year at Iowa, has starter upside)

Need #2: Interior Offensive Line

Notable Free Agents:

  • Connor McGovern* (C, established himself as one of the game's better centers in 2019, building block type player)
  • Ron Leary* (OG, team has option on contract, was a big money free agent signing in 2017, but ended up missing a lot of time with injury, team expected to move on)
  • Elijah Wilkinson (RFA, struggled as starting RT after James injury, also has experience at RG - which is the position that the staff reportedly prefers him at, not a starting caliber player at this point)

Notable Players Under Contract:

  • Dalton Risner* (2019 2nd rounder, had an excellent rookie year, should be mainstay at LG for years to come)

Need Level: Very High

Need to Address:

  • The Broncos will need to find a replacement for McGovern if he leaves in free agency. They will also need to find a long term solution at right guard.

Updates:

  • Resigned Elijah Wilkinson
  • Declined Option on Ron Leary
  • Signed Graham Glasgow (excellent lineman, can play OG or C, arguably an upgrade over McGovern)
  • Drafted in Round 3: Lloyd Cushenberry III (powerful center, NFL-level strength, limited lateral movement skills, could start as a rookie)
  • Drafted in Round 6: Netane Muti (very talented player who fell low in the draft due to a lengthy injury history, offers starter upside if he can stay healthy)

Need #3: Wide Receiver

Notable Free Agents:

  • Tim Patrick (ERFA, missed 8 games with injury, has good size and some nice moments of productivity across 2 seasons with team)

Notable Players Under Contract:

  • Courtland Sutton* (breakout year 2019, established himself as one of the league's most promising young WRs, and did so despite a dysfunctional QB carousel)
  • DaeSean Hamilton (did not improve on his rookie production, but did show some chemistry with Lock late in year)

Need Level: Very High

Need to Address:

  • The Broncos need to find a starting WR to pair with Sutton. Preferably someone with speed - an element the current depth chart is currently lacking. Depth and competition must also be brought in.

Updates:

  • Resigned Tim Patrick
  • Drafted in Round 1: Jerry Jeudy (Pro Bowl caliber WR1, excellent production vs. the most talented secondaries in the country, already a professional caliber route runner, could not ask for a more perfect 1st round fit)
  • Drafted in Round 2: K.J. Hamler (T.Y. Hilton comp - a small but speedy playmaker, ready to contribute as a rookie, also a very good return man, real Broncos fans know how big an issue the position was last year and will understand the double dip)
  • Drafted in Round 7: Tyrie Cleveland (developmental WR with impressive size and athletic ability, but very limited college production)

Need #4: Defensive Line

Notable Free Agents:

  • Derek Wolfe* (career high 7 sacks in 2019 - despite only playing in 12 games, solid player but injuries usually an issue)
  • Joel Heath (spent all of 2019 with Texans in a rotational role, was claimed by Broncos in February, but is slated to become a free in March)
  • Shelby Harris* (mini breakout in 2019, recorded 6 sacks and led the league in batted passes with 8, good football player)
  • Mike Purcell* (excelled in run-stopping nose tackle role last season, Broncos should prioritize bringing him back)

Notable Players Under Contract:

  • Demarcus Walker (flashed in 2019 after a disappointing start to career, could continue emergence in 2020 - though injuries have been an issue)
  • Dre'Mont Jones (2019 3rd rounder, impressed both as a pass rusher and run stopper as a rookie, bigger role in 2020 likely)

Need Level: High

Need to Address:

  • All three of the Broncos starting D-Lineman are set to enter free agency, while Jones and Walker are internal replacement options, the Broncos will still need to replenish this unit in the offseason.

Updates:

  • Resigned Shelby Harris
  • Resigned Mike Purcell
  • Resigned Joel Heath
  • Traded for Jurrell Casey (excellent run stuffing 3-4 DE, also offers a decent amount of pass rush, contract is pricey for a +30 year old)
  • Drafted in Round 3: McTelvin Agim (big-time high school player, strong production as a senior at Arkansas, has the physical tools, still a bit of work in progress, more of a pass rusher than a run stuffer)

Need #5: Safety

Notable Free Agents:

  • Justin Simmons* (2nd-team All Pro in 2019, very well-rounded safety, a special player)
  • Will Parks (versatile, started 7 games and was key special team contributor in 2019, may look for starting opportunity on free agent market)

Notable Players Under Contract:

  • Kareem Jackson* (big 2019 free agent acquisition that paid off - strong vs. the run and pass)

Need Level: High

Need to Address:

  • The Broncos will either need to resign (franchise) Simmons or replace him.

Updates:

  • Franchise-tagged Justin Simmons

Need #6: Special Teams

Notable Free Agents:

  • None

Notable Players Under Contract:

  • Brandon McManus* (made 85% of kicks in 2019, above average kicker)
  • Colby Wadman* (2 season tenure in Denver has been inconsistent, buzz team will look to upgrade)

Need Level: High

Need to Address: The Broncos need to find a more consistent punter.

Updates:

  • Signed Sam Martin (above average punter, upgrade over Wadman)
  • Released Colby Wadman

Need #7: Linebacker

Notable Free Agents:

  • None

Notable Players Under Contract:

  • Alexander Johnson* (entered the season as a relative unknown, but ended it as an established member of the Broncos defense, organization is very high on him)
  • Todd Davis* (team holds option on contract, led team in tackles, considered a solid / unspectacular LB who lacks the athleticism to be a true impact defender)
  • Josey Jewell (opened year as starter but lost job to Johnson, hasn't developed the way team imagined he would, lack of speed has been an issue)

Need Level: Moderate

Need to Address:

  • The Broncos need an impact LB - someone who can add a level of dynamic playmaking ability to a position group that currently lacks it.

Updates:

  • Drafted in Round 5: Justin Strnad (looks like a big safety, good athlete, plays with a bit of range, should at very least become a core special teams player, has some developmental upside)

Need #8: Offensive Tackle

Notable Free Agents:

  • Jake Rodgers (ERFA, made two starts at RT in 2019, at this point is not considered anything more than a backup)

Notable Players Under Contract:

  • Garrett Bolles* (LT, 2017 1st rounder, still developing into NFL caliber OT, penalties have been a MAJOR issue, on bright side 2019 was his best season to date, organization unsure if he is long term solution on left side)
  • Ja'Wuan James (highest paid RT in football, only played in 3 games in 2019 and has not gone a full 16 since 2016, when healthy he is a solid player)

Need Level: Moderate

Need to Address:

  • The Broncos can no longer assume Bolles will convert into a consistent presence at LT nor can they assume James will avoid the injury report - therefore they must invest in OT talent that is capable of starting in 2020 and beyond.

Updates:

  • Resigned Jake Rodgers

Need #9: Running Back

Notable Free Agents:

  • None

Notable Players Under Contract:

  • Phillip Lindsay* (efficient and productive player, lacks powers, not a true RB1)
  • Royce Freeman (lack of explosion an issue, only averaged 3.8 ypc in 2019, team may look to upgrade his timeshare role with Lindsay)

Need Level: Mild

Need to Address:

  • The Broncos should strongly consider adding another back to pair with Lindsay, to form a more complete 1:2 punch.

Updates:

  • Signed Melvin Gordon (despite big name has only averaged +4 ypc once across 5 seasons, still a solid fit in Denver - where he will form an exciting duo with Lindsay)

Need #10: Quarterback

Notable Free Agents:

  • Brandon Allen (underwhelmed across 3 starts, Broncos could do better at backup QB)

Notable Players Under Contract:

  • Joe Flacco (tenure in Denver was a mess, expected to be released in offseason)
  • Drew Lock (2019 2nd rounder, showed a lot of promise and a knack for winning football games across 5 starts late in season, will enter 2020 with opportunity to secure franchise QB designation)

Need Level: Low

Need to Address:

  • QB2

Updates:

  • Signed Jeff Driskel (brought in to backup Lock, not an accurate passer but rushed for at least 50 yards in each of the 3 games he started for Detroit in 2019)
  • Released Joe Flacco

Need #11: Tight End

Notable Free Agents:

  • None

Notable Players Under Contract:

  • Noah Fant* (was impressive as a rookie, a Pro Bowl berth in 2020 would not be surprising given his playmaking ability, not much of a blocker)
  • Jeff Heuerman (has been in a reserve role for a while now, buzz team will move on in offseason, in part because he has never completed a 16 game season)
  • Troy Fumagalli (2018 5th rounder, career has never really gotten off ground due to injury)
  • Andrew Beck (2019 UDFA, expected to serve as team's starting FB in 2020)

Need Level: Low

Need to Address:

  • The Broncos are in the market for a blocking specialist TE.

Updates:

  • Signed Nick Vannett (blocking specialist, only 13 receptions last year, signing likely signals end of Heuerman tenure)
  • Drafted in Round 4: Albert Okwuegbunam (speedy seam route TE, big-time red zone threat, still learning the position and needs a bit of refinement as a route runner, definite upside, ideally becomes the next Darren Waller)

Need #12: Edge Rusher

Notable Free Agents:

  • Jeremiah Attaochu (recorded 3.5 sacks across 5 starts in 2019, solid rotational rusher)

Notable Players Under Contract:

  • Von Miller* (team holds option on contract, sack numbers were down a bit in 2019, but continued to be among league leaders in QB pressures - needless to say he remains an elite player)
  • Bradley Chubb (after a 12 sack rookie season in 2018, Chubb missed the majority of his sophomore year with injury, he will likely establish himself as one of the league's top edge rushers in 2020)
  • Malik Reed (2019 UDFA, flashed upside in limited appearances)

Need Level: Low

Need to Address:

  • Miller and Chubb make up what is arguably the best pass rushing duo in the league, but depth and life after Miller must be considered.

Updates:

  • Resigned Jeremiah Attaochu
  • Drafted in Round 7: Derrek Tuszka (super productive DII pass rusher, tested well at the Combine, lacks ideal length, has the makings of a steal)