NFL Draft best available players for Denver Broncos: Theo Johnson, Jaylen Wright



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The Broncos made one pick on Day 1 of the NFL Draft, taking quarterback Bo Nix at No. 12 overall. They made their only pick of Day 2 in the middle of the third round, selecting Utah edge rusher Jonah Elliss at No. 76.

The Broncos will be much busier on Day 3, when they are scheduled to make six selections, beginning with No. 121 overall in the fourth round. Here are players Denver could target when its jam-packed day begins:

Theo Johnson, TE, Penn State (No. 80 in Dane Brugler’s Top 300)
Jared Wiley, TE, TCU (No. 89)
Cade Stover, TE, Ohio State (No. 101)

The Broncos have studied the tight end class closely, and although Johnson’s stats at Penn State don’t jump off the page — he had a career-high 341 yards and seven touchdowns in 2023 — the 6-foot-6, 259-pound target “has A-plus measurements and smooth athletic tools that could allow him to continue developing and become a better pro than college player,” Brugler wrote. Wiley, who caught eight touchdowns last season (most among FBS tight ends), is 6 foot 6 and strong at the point of the catch, traits that could allow him to become a needed target for the Broncos in the red zone. Stover averaged 14 yards per reception in 2023 — up from 11.3 the season prior — as he became more adept at winning routes down the field and adding physicality to his run-after-catch efforts.

Jaylen Wright, RB, Tennessee (No. 83)
Ray Davis, RB, Kentucky (No. 115)

Wright averaged 7.4 yards per carry last season and became significantly involved in the passing game for the first time. The Broncos hosted Davis on a top-30 visit, intrigued by the combination of vision and breakaway speed that helped him rush for 1,129 yards and 14 touchdowns last season. He also had his best season as a receiver in 2023, catching 33 passes for 323 yards and another seven touchdowns.

Dominique Hampton, S, Washington (No. 116)
Jaylin Simpson, S, Auburn (No. 126)

The Broncos made the difficult decision in March to part with Justin Simmons, the Pro Bowl safety who was the team’s longest-tenured player. They signed Brandon Jones as a replacement in free agency while also re-signing P.J. Locke, who became an NFL starter for the first time last season while replacing Kareem Jackson. A healthy Caden Sterns, who missed all of last season with a knee injury, gives the Broncos a strong starting point at safety. But Denver could continue to add young talent to the position as they have in each of the last three drafts.

Javon Baker, WR, Central Florida (No. 120)
Jacob Cowing, WR, Arizona (No. 124)
Johnny Wilson, WR, Florida State (No. 137)

This batch of receivers represents a wide array of different styles and abilities the Broncos could be trying to add to a room with decent depth, if not top-end talent. The 6-2, 195 Baker struggled to see the field while at Alabama, but he broke out in a big way at UCF in 2023 as he averaged 21.9 yards on his 52 receptions, with seven touchdowns. Cowing projects as more of a slot target who can consistently find soft spots in the zone. He’s slippery in the red zone and finished with 13 touchdowns last season. Wilson is a lanky receiver (6-6, 237 pounds) who is still learning how to get the most out of his frame.

Beaux Limmer, C, Arkansas (No. 122)
Hunter Nourzad, C, Penn State (No. 128)

The competition to replace Lloyd Cushenberry at center begins with rookie contract players Alex Forsyth and Luke Wattenberg and veteran free-agent acquisition Sam Mustipher. But the Broncos could be on the lookout for another young player to add at the position as they boost the overall depth on the interior of the offensive line. Limmer would give the Broncos flexibility, with the ability to play center or either guard spot.

Mohamed Kamara, Edge, Colorado State (No. 148)

The Broncos hosted Kamara on a visit during the pre-draft process. He was the Mountain West defensive player of the year in 2023 after notching 13 sacks and 17 tackles for loss, and his motor is reminiscent of former CSU and Broncos standout Shaquil Barrett.

(Photo of Theo Johnson: Dan Rainville / USA Today)





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