The Broncos selected Missouri TE Albert Okwuegbunam in the 4th round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Albert O brings a freaky combination of size and speed. The 6’5, 258-pounder blazed a 4.49-second 40-yard dash at the Combine. His 127.0 Speed Score is 3rd best among all TEs since 2000 — notably ahead of guys like Evan Engram, O.J. Howard and Noah Fant. Okwuegbunam disappointed with a 23-306-6 line without QB Drew Lock last year. But he tallied 415 yards and a 11 scores as a true freshman in 2017 and then caught 43 balls for 466 yards and 6 scores in 2018. Okwuegbunam missed 5 games over the last 2 seasons with shoulder injuries and looks a bit straight-linish on tape. But that size-speed combo makes him an intriguing fantasy prospect. He reunites with Lock in Denver and, alongside Noah Fant, gives the Broncos the fastest TE duo in the league.
The Broncos added Penn State WR K.J. Hamler in the 2nd round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He joins 1st-rounder Jerry Jeudy in Denver. A hamstring injury prevented Hamler from running at the Combine. But if he had, he might have challenged Henry Ruggs for the fastest man in Indy. He’s a blur on tape and is also lightning quick in and out of his breaks. A 2016 torn ACL cost him his final high school season and had him redshirted for his 1st year at Penn State. But Hamler led the Nittany Lions with 42 catches and 754 yards as a redshirt freshman in 2018. Then he posted a 56-904-8 line this past year, accounting for 26% of the team’s receptions, 31% of the receiving yards and 32% of the receiving TDs. Not turning 21 until July, Hamler is 1 of the youngest WR prospects in this year’s class. The big concern is his size: 5’11 and 178 pounds with 17th percentile arm length. Only 3 sub-180-pound WRs — DeSean Jackson, John Brown and Jamison Crowder — have posted multiple 800+ yard seasons over the past 10 years.
The Broncos selected Alabama WR Jerry Jeudy with the 15th overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. We learned on Wednesday that Jeudy had surgery in the spring of 2018 to repair a torn meniscus. He didn’t miss a single game over the past 2 seasons, but some teams are reportedly concerned about arthritis developing down the road. The Broncos apparently aren’t one of those teams. A route-running savant, Jeudy has drawn comparisons ranging from Keenan Allen to Stefon Diggs to Odell Beckham. He broke out in 2018, leading a loaded ‘Bama squad with 68 catches, 1,315 yards and 14 TDs and becoming just the 8th WR to win the Biletnikoff Award as a freshman or sophomore. Jeudy’s numbers took a slight step back this past year, but he still finished inside the top 25 in receptions, receiving yards and TDs. His 3.3 yards per route run ranked 4th among 30 of this year’s top WR prospects. Jeudy is on the smallish side at 6’1 and 193 pounds, tested as just a 22nd percentile athlete and didn’t show much in contested situations in college. But none of that stopped him from producing at Alabama — and we’re not expecting those things to be problems in the NFL. He should immediately slide into Denver’s starting lineup alongside WR Courtland Sutton and has a chance to be a big 2020 fantasy factor.
The Broncos have released QB Joe Flacco. The 35-year-old is expected to be ready for the 2020 season after missing the 2nd half of 2019 with a neck injury but will surely need to settle for a backup job on the open market. Denver is moving forward with QB Drew Lock, who has some upside as a late-round fantasy pick after an encouraging finish to his rookie campaign.
The Broncos have fired OC Rich Scangarello after 1 year on the job and replaced him with Pat Shurmur. Shurmur has struggled as a HC but had some strong seasons as an OC with the Eagles and Vikings. He's a pass-leaning play-caller, with 9 of his 11 teams ranking higher in pass attempts than rush attempts. Shurmur's top priority in Denver will be maximizing QB Drew Lock's skill set.
Snow is expected throughout today's Broncos-Chiefs game. There are already multiple inches of snow on the field. We're not adjusting projections for this game because there's no evidence that snow impacts scoring. But you can certainly use the weather as a tiebreaker between 2 closely ranked players.
ESPN's Adam Schefter confirms that Broncos QB Drew Lock will make his 1st career start against the Chargers today. The 42nd overall pick of this spring's draft had an up-and-down career at Missouri, completing 57% of his passes and averaging 7.9 yards per attempt with 99 TDs vs. 39 INTs across 4 seasons. Lock boasts plenty of arm strength and is a plus athlete -- but accuracy and decision-making are the concerns. He's just a QB2 flier in Week 13 fantasy lineups. The Chargers DST remains a strong play today.
Broncos QB Drew Lock (thumb) is expected to be activated from the IR, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The rookie has taken the majority of the 1st-team reps in practice this week and seems to be in line to make his debut against the Chargers on Sunday. Lock struggled to a 60.8% completion rate and 5.0 yards per attempt this preseason. Pro Football Focus ranked him 35th in their preseason passing grades among 39 qualifying QBs. Lock is a bottom-barrel QB2 for Week 13. We'll see if he's an upgrade over QB Brandon Allen for Denver's pass-catchers.
The Broncos have placed QB Joe Flacco (neck) on IR, ending his 2019 season. It'll be Brandon Allen under center for the Broncos, presumably until rookie QB Drew Lock is ready to return from his thumb injury.
Broncos QB Drew Lock suffered a "bad sprain" to his right thumb in Monday night's preseason game against the 49ers, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Lock doesn't need surgery, but he's expected to be sidelined into the regular season, reports insider Mike Klis. Lock wasn't threatening QB Joe Flacco's starting job anyway, and this injury kills any chance he had to hit the field early this year.
The Broncos traded up to select Missouri QB Drew Lock with the 42nd pick of the 2019 NFL Draft. Lock was commonly mocked to Denver with the 10th pick but ends up dropping into Round 2. Lock looks the part: 6’4, 228 pounds with a big arm. But he was inconsistent throughout his 4 years at Missouri, completing just 56.9% of his passes. Lock did post a career-best 62.9% completion rate this past season, to go along with 28 TDs vs. 8 INTs. But he ranked just 13th in this draft class in both adjusted completion rate and adjusted completion rate vs. the blitz. Lock’s best asset is his deep ball. Only 3 QBs in this class finished with a better adjusted completion rate on throws 20+ yards downfield. He’s also a plus athlete, earning a 76th percentile SPARQ score at the Combine. So Lock might tally more rushing production as a pro than he did at Missouri. He figures to sit behind Joe Flacco for most or all of 2019 but should get a shot at the starting gig in 2020.
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