Fri, 29 May 2020

Evaluating the Broncos' Day 2 options for the 2020 NFL Draft

Denver Broncos
04 Apr 2020, 09:38 GMT+10

WR Brandon Aiyuk WR Brandon Aiyuk WR Brandon Aiyuk WR KJ Hamler WR KJ Hamler WR KJ Hamler WR Michael Pittman Jr. WR Michael Pittman Jr. WR Michael Pittman Jr. OL Tyler Biadasz OL Tyler Biadasz OL Tyler Biadasz OL Matt Hennessy OL Matt Hennessy OL Matt Hennessy OL Lloyd Cushenberry III OL Lloyd Cushenberry III OL Lloyd Cushenberry III CB A.J. Terrell CB A.J. Terrell CB A.J. Terrell CB Bryce Hall CB Bryce Hall CB Bryce Hall CB Jaylon Johnson CB Jaylon Johnson CB Jaylon Johnson LB Troy Dye LB Troy Dye LB Troy Dye LB Malik Harrison LB Malik Harrison LB Malik Harrison LB Logan Wilson LB Logan Wilson LB Logan Wilson

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. - As the 2020 NFL Draft inches closer, experts are debating what the Broncos will do with the 15th-overall pick. Will they select a wide receiver? A cornerback? A linebacker or offensive lineman?

The focus is almost entirely on the first round, where last year's top college stars will likely be selected.

But the first round is just one - albeit important - piece of the draft. No matter which player the Broncos select at No. 15, they'll still need to execute on their remaining nine selections. And with five picks in the first 100 selections, the Broncos could add a handful of quality starters to their roster.

With that in mind, let's take a look at some potential Day 2 picks the Broncos could select in the second or third rounds. Grouped by positions of need, these players could make just as big an impact as the first-round selection.

Need proof? Courtland Sutton, Drew Lock and Dalton Risner are all Day 2 selections from the previous two years.

Denver is currently scheduled to make the 46th (second round), 77th (third round), 83rd (third) and 95th (third) picks.

WIDE RECEIVER

The Broncos clearly have a need at receiver, and if they don't use the 15th pick on Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb, Henry Ruggs III or the like, there are plenty of good options in the second and third rounds. It's possible the Broncos could use multiple picks on receivers on Day 2.

Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State

NFL.com comparison: Robert Woods, LA Rams

Aiyuk, who earned first-team All-Pac 12 honors in 2019, caught 65 passes for 1,192 yards and eight touchdowns last season. He also returned kicks and punts for the Sun Devils, averaging 16.1 yards per punt return and 31.9 yards per kick return. Aiyuk's 4.5-second 40-yard dash time didn't rank among the best at the 2020 NFL Combine, but he excelled in college with yards after catch.

K.J. Hamler, Penn State

NFL.com comparison: Tavon Austin, Dallas Cowboys

If the Broncos want to add a burner to their offense, Hamler could fit the bill. Though he didn't run at the Combine - and Penn State's pro day was later cancelled - Hamler has sub-4.4 speed. At 5-foot-9, 178 pounds, Hamler is a smaller receiver who likely projects as a slot player. He earned second-team All-Big Ten honors as a redshirt sophomore and was an honorable mention as a kick and punt returner.

Michael Pittman Jr., Southern California

NFL.com comparison: Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos

While Aiyuk and Hamler will likely come off the board in the second round, Pittman could still be around if the Broncos want to use a third-round pick on a receiver. After fairly modest seasons as a sophomore and junior, Pittman broke out as a senior at USC. He caught 101 passes for 1,275 yards and 11 touchdowns and earned second-team All-American honors. He was also a first-team Pac-12 player, and he excelled at contested catches and jump balls. The Broncos, though, may want a player with a different skill set than Sutton.

LINEBACKERS

The Broncos were linked to several free-agent linebackers, but they moved forward without signing any of the top veterans. If they feel they need to add a linebacker, these three players could be options.

Troy Dye, Oregon

NFL.com comparison: Zach Cunningham, Houston Texans

Dye, a four-year player at Oregon, built on Freshman All-American honors to earn second-team all-conference honors over the following three seasons. In 2019, he posted 84 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, two interceptions and two forced fumbles as he led the Ducks in tackles for the fourth time in his career. According to NFL.com's scouting report, Dye is "adequate" in pass coverage and is a tackling machine. Dye should likely be available in the third round.

Malik Harrison, Ohio State

NFL.com comparison: K.J. Wright, Seattle Seahawks

Around the line of scrimmage, Harrison made a difference for the Buckeyes in 2019 as he recorded 75 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. The 6-foot-3, 247-pound player has the size you want at linebacker, but he struggled against the play-action game at times. Against the run, Harrison seems like the ideal player. The Broncos, though, may want to target a better coverage player.

Logan Wilson, Wyoming

NFL.com comparison: Kelvin Sheppard, retired

Wilson is a bit of a stretch to be a Day 2 pick, and he'll likely still be on the board in later rounds. He's intriguing, though, as a prospect who grew up as a Broncos fan. Wilson was the only non-Power 5 finalist for the 2019 Butkus Award, given to the nation's top linebacker, and he earned second-team All-American honors from USA TODAY. A former high-school defensive back, Wilson may still have to convince teams he can handle man-to-man coverage responsibilities.

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