I don’t know if you’ve heard, but the Denver Broncos acquired Russell Wilson. This changes the outlook of EVERYTHING; and for the first time in seven years, the team finds themselves with a Super Bowl window. It’s an exciting time to be a member of Broncos Country, as every big name free agent who hints at wanting a Super Bowl run can now add Denver to their list of target destinations. When the new league year opens, I expect Denver’s front office and Russell Wilson to work out some form of extension that will see him become one of the highest paid QBs in the league for hopefully a minimum of five years. With the team currently sitting around $26 million in cap space, they may be better served investing in a few cheaper reliable veterans, as opposed to the big-name free agents that will demand large contracts. One of the benefits of having an elite QB is that you don’t need perfection in every area of the team. Russell Wilson should make this team good enough that they don’t have to overpay to solve their issues at Right Tackle, Edge Rusher, etc. While it’s fun to imagine Von Miller coming home, or Terron Armstead solidifying the offensive line for years to come, it may be smarter for the front office to invest wisely at these positions of need, and find quality depth pieces to help keep the team afloat throughout the season incase of injuries.
Justin Houston – EDGE
Denver is likely to make a play at a top EDGE on the market (whether that be Von, Chandler Jones, Hassan Reddick), but they shouldn’t limit themselves on pass rushers. Justin Houston is one of the best of this generation and has spent years torturing Broncos QB’s in Kansas City. Last year Houston signed a 1yr/$2.75 mil contract with the Ravens, and with the departure of Wink Martindale, could be looking for a new home as a Free Agent in 2022. 2021 was a bit of a down season production wise as he only managed four sacks and 40 pressures. For reference, that would’ve been tied with Dre’mont Jones for the best on the team. He’s a proven, consistent producer who is looking to win a ring before hanging up the cleats, why not have him do it in Denver?
Mo Alie-Cox – Tight End
With the acquisition of Russ came the departure of former first round pick Noah Fant, and while Albert Okwuegbunam can likely step into the field-stretching receiving tight end role quite nicely, he leaves a lot to be desired in the run blocking department, on top of being unproven in the starting role. Hackett’s offense also projects to utilize multiple tight end packages frequently, so additional depth will be needed behind Albert regardless of where he lands on the depth chart. Insert Mo Alie-Cox, AKA Gigantor, to any FantasyFootballers fans out there. Cox is a massive unit of a man coming in at 6-5 262 lbs and shows it on field towering over safeties and barreling over linebackers. He spent the last season leading the way for NFL rushing champion Jonathon Taylor and came in with the eighth best run-blocking grade among tight ends with 200 blocking snaps per PFF. Cox also comes with the added benefit of being one of the lesser known names in a strong free agent tight end class, hopefully allowing for him to be acquired for fairly cheap.
J.D. McKissic – Running Back
We do not yet know if Melvin Gordon will be returning to Denver. I am of the belief that with the progression of Javonte Williams and the minimal cap at hand, the team is better served looking towards free agency or the draft to find a cheaper replacement. Mike Boone is on the roster and deserves a shot at the secondary spot, but as we’ve seen with many teams league wide, you can never have too many capable runners in the backfield. There are many guys who could slide in next to Javonte Williams and complement him well in the new offense, and my favorite is J.D. McKissic. One of the best receiving backs in the NFL, McKissic has spent the last few years targeted heavily in the Washington offense with 125 receptions. J.D. also has familiarity with the new Broncos QB, Russell Wilson, as he spent the first three years of his career catching passes from him in Seattle. Coming off a concussion/neck injury that ended his 2021 season, look for McKissic to be a great rotational buy-low option in the Denver backfield next year.
Chandon Sullivan – Nickel Corner
No player on the current roster is a bigger priority to re-sign than Bryce Callahan, and he might find staying more favorable with the new QB in town. But he’s played under new Vikings DC Ed Donatell since he entered the league, and it makes sense for him to follow his longtime coach to Minnesota. So, the Broncos should turn their attention towards a player Nathaniel Hackett is quite familiar with and the CB with the most snaps at Nickel in the last 2 seasons–Chandon Sullivan. Chandon has logged over 600 snaps each of the last two years in the green and gold, and could favor leaving Wisconsin after back-to-back defeats to San Francisco. He isn’t the strongest in the run game and lacks the coverage ability of Callahan, but he managed a career high three interceptions in 2021 and he’s seemingly much more likely to stay healthy than Bryce. You know what they say, “The Best Ability is Availability”.
Brandon Powell – Returner
Tom McMahon can’t hurt me anymore. It’s officially the Dwayne Stukes era in Denver, and in celebration of our new coach, we should go get his return man from Los Angeles. Of all the players in the NFL to return at least five punts, no one averaged more per return than Powell at 15.8, and was one of only two players to score a punt return touchdown in 2021. He also managed a respectable 22.8 yards on kick returns. This isn’t a flashy signing, but during the Manning era Trindon Holliday emerged as a playoff hero returning multiple kicks for touchdowns. Brandon Powell could fill that same role, and with another year under Dwayne Stukes, could solidify himself as one of the best return men in the league.
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