Denver Broncos 2022 NFL Draft Recap

Denver Broncos 2022 NFL Draft Recap

by May 7, 2022 0 comments

The Denver Broncos were in a tough spot to start the 2022 NFL Draft. Unless you count Russell Wilson as the Broncos’ de facto first-round pick, they didn’t start with a selection on Day 1 but got going with three slotted picks on Day 2. They stayed at No. 64 from the Rams, traded back five spots to pick up a day three pick, and moved out of their late third-rounder to get an extra selection in 2023. This was a productive draft that addressed their primary needs in adding depth to the roster, given what they had. 

Make sure to check out all of our other NFL Draft Recaps.

Best Pick: Nik Bonitto (Round 2, Pick 64)

Their first pick was their best. Per the Broncos documentary “Behind The Broncos,” Bonitto was extremely high on their board, and there’s a clear reason why. He was widely regarded as the best pure speed rusher in this draft class (not to be confused with overall rusher), which is something Denver does not really possess. Their starting duo of Bradley Chubb and Randy Gregory can win reps in various ways, but use a lot of power. They both also have an extensive history of not being able to play full seasons, and depth is crucial at the position. Bonitto should be able to get on the field and see quite a bit of playing time throughout his rookie campaign and in the future. 

Grade: A

Worst Pick: Delarrin Turner-Yell (Round 5, Pick 152)

It’s not necessarily that he was a bad pick. Turner-Yell is a tough physical player and plays hard on special teams, which is why he was drafted. The issue with this pick is going safety and looking past someone like Tariq Woolen, who had already fallen a long way. That said, it’s not all bad with Turner-Yell. He is a hard hitter, does not shy from contact, and has decent ball skills. Not an egregious pick, just not a phenomenal one either, at least as an immediate reaction. 

Grade: D+

Sleeper Pick: Montrell Washington (Round 5, Pick 162)

The majority of this draft could be considered sleeper picks, but this one is the cream of the crop. Samford product Washington was one of the most explosive returners in the nation in the FCS and FBS. This was a sneaky big need for Denver after letting their Pro Bowl returner Diontae Spencer walk in free agency, and they addressed it with a potential home run move. Washington also has sleeper potential on offense. It’s easy to write him off as just a returner, but he has the abilities to be more. There is also the potential to be used as a gadget player, as he has taken handoffs in the backfield in addition to catching passes. If any production comes from that, he can quickly become a winning pick that no one had heard of prior. 

Grade: C

Summary

By and large, this was a good draft for Denver. If you include Russ as the first-round pick, it’s obviously an A+ draft. With only the selections being graded, it was just good. They attacked needs and got good value with most of their picks. Damarri Mathis and Eyioma Uwazurike could potentially be steals in the fourth round. At worst, they provide substantial depth. Matt Henningsen is an excellent pick in the sixth round. With the top 22 starting spots mostly set already, it is going to be a lot of wait-and-see, but solid is the best way to describe it. 

Grade: B


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