The Denver Broncos will pick deep in the first round -- they hope it’s the final pick of the day, the one reserved for the Super Bowl winner -- and they are going to have to fight the usual roster battle that winning teams fight.
Executive vice president of football operations John Elway wants a draft-built roster to, as he puts it, “to compete for the world championship year after year." That means they can’t keep everybody in the salary-cap era, and they need replacements for the players they lose.
The biggest needs likely will be at spots where they have players on the brink of free agency, players who will benefit from the traditional raids on teams that go deep into the postseason. But a big reason the Broncos were able to have five players with at least 60 catches is because they didn’t try to buy them.
But now the choices come because Decker will be an unrestricted free agent; both Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas are up following the 2014 season. Decker may be able to get more in the open market if the Broncos are saving to spend on the position later.
So they likely will give some attention to wide receivers, and with Champ Bailey having struggled with a foot injury this season, plus one-year signings in Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Quentin Jammer, they’ll be looking at cornerback as well.
Guard Zane Beadles will be an unrestricted free agent, so the Broncos will be looking at the interior of the offensive line, even if they were to re-sign Beadles.
But check out Mel Kiper’s Mock Draft 1.0 to see what players he thinks the Broncos should target with their first pick.