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'People In Denver Are Tired Of Hearing It, But Broncos Need Offensive Line Help': CBS4's Michael Spencer On Broncos Draft Needs

(CBS4)- The NFL Draft is officially one week away. On Thursday April 23, the Broncos will go on the clock with the 15th overall pick in the first round. The team has made several moves this offseason to bolster the defense (adding corner A.J. Bouye and defensive tackle Jurrell Casey via trade) while also adding former Chargers first round pick Melvin Gordon on the offensive side of the ball.

Still, following a 6-10 season, there are holes to fill. Both of the biggest needs would seem to be on the offensive side, one of which fans are likely tired of hearing about.

"They need a wide receiver and they need an offensive lineman. People in Denver are tired of hearing that they need an offensive lineman but that has been the case for the last several years," said CBS4 sports anchor Michael Spencer in an interview with CBS Local's Katie Johnston. "That is a big need for them. They have some issues with Garrett Bolles at tackle, people here in Denver know all about that. Ja'Wuan James, who they signed as the highest paid right tackle in NFL history at the time, last season didn't even play a full game for them in 2019."

Aside from the questionable tackle play, the interior of the line became more of a concern with the departure of Connor McGovern to the New York Jets in free agency. The team did bring in former Detroit Lions guard/center Graham Glasgow to fill one spot, but as Spencer points out, there is plenty of need there.

This draft does have its share of expected first round talents at the tackle position with five guys currently being talked about as Day 1 possibilities. Georgia's Andrew Thomas, Iowa's Tristan Wirfs, Alabama's Jedrick Wills Jr., and Louisville's Mekhi Becton appear to be the top tier of tackles with scouts having the group listed in various orders. Also in contention to be taken in the first round is Houston tackle Josh Jones.

But, if the team decides not to go to the trenches in round one, Spencer points out the other big position of need as wide receiver.

"They have a wide receiver number one in Courtland Sutton, but the issue would be, who can be that second wide receiver," asked Spencer. "They have yet to have anybody step up to cement themselves in that type of role."

Lucky for the team, this is expected to be an historic wide receiver class. In the most recent mock draft, R.J. White has the team selecting speedster Henry Ruggs III out of Alabama.

Southern Miss v Alabama
TUSCALOOSA, AL - SEPTEMBER 21: Henry Ruggs III #11 of the Alabama Crimson Tide runs for a 45-yard touchdown in the first quarter after catching a pass behind D.Q. Thomas #12 of the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 21, 2019 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

However, once the draft is over, the league still faces the same question as other sports leagues. When will it be safe to have players and coaches return to team facilities and work out together? How will the spread of the coronavirus impact the NFL season? For Spencer, the delay or flat out cancellation of organized team activities and minicamps is likely to hurt the Broncos for one simple reason: youth.

"Teams are already missing out on some of their offseason workout stuff. When you look at a young team like the Broncos, that's going to have a big effect on them," said Spencer. "Drew Lock played in the last handful of games last season but he had plans to work out with his wide receivers this offseason ala what Peyton Manning used to do. Those plans had to get scrapped due to social distancing."

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