An early look at analysts’ projections for Denver

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As we take early steps toward the 2023 NFL Draft, NFL analysts are starting to feel out potential targets for the Broncos and other teams with their top picks. The Broncos will receive the 49ers’ first-round pick via Miami, which means the Broncos will select between 28th and 31st in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

Jordan Reid, ESPN (Jan. 4): T Darnell Wright, Tennessee

The main focus of the offseason should be centered around Russell Wilson and correcting what went wrong during his first season in Denver. That starts with better protection after the Broncos allowed 61 sacks through 16 games (most in the NFL). Wright has continued to improve every time he has stepped on the field, and I think he will be a big riser as we get closer to April. There are some scouts who feel he is the best right tackle in this year’s crop, and he’d be a Day 1 starter for Denver. His core strength and power allow him to easily generate movement at the point of attack and halt pass-rushers at the peak of his pass sets.

Bucky Brooks, NFL.com (Jan. 23): EDGE Lukas Van Ness, Iowa

Pass rushers are coveted at a premium in a division featuring Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert.

A pass rusher to pair with Randy Gregory next season to give the Broncos arguably the most complete defense in the NFL.

Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com (Jan. 20): EDGE BJ Ojulari, LSU

This first round is going to be a heavy on edge rushers. Ojulari has a quick first step and active hands as a pass rusher. The Broncos traded Bradley Chubb to Miami during the fall (acquiring this pick in the deal) and the LSU product would be a solid replacement.

Dane Brugler, The Athletic (Jan. 17): OL O’Cyrus Torrence, Florida

How many returning starters will the Broncos have on their offensive line next season? Changes are coming. O’Cyrus Torrence is a large, physical guard with vice grips for hands and the drive power to create movement in the run game. He could be a starter in Denver from day one.

The Broncos must make sure they give Russell Wilson the best chance possible next year. Aside from finding a new head coach, they’ll need to give him better protection, including an upgrade at center.

Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports (Jan. 23): EDGE Drew Sanders, Arkansas

Sanders is a former five-star who transferred from Alabama after the 2021 season and all he’s done is show out for the Razorbacks. He was an edge rusher for the Crimson Tide but he lines up all over the defense for Arkansas and he’s been a one-man wrecking crew when he’s on the field.

Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports (Jan. 18): OL Andrew Vorhees, USC

Vorhees is an NFL-ready interior blocker who’d be a welcomed addition on the interior for the Broncos, especially if Dalton Risner isn’t re-signed.

Michael Renner, Pro Football Focus (Jan. 9): CB Joey Porter Jr., Penn State

Porter could very easily give the Broncos the league’s best press-coverage duo in time. Porter allowed all of 143 yards this past season and broke up nine of the 30 targets into his coverage. That would pair well with Patrick Surtain II.

The 33rd Team (Jan. 16): TE Dalton Kincaid, Utah

When your quarterback is struggling, give him good tight end play. Kincaid is a true mismatch tight end who can stretch the defense.