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Rival Roundup: Analyzing the Broncos Offseason

We're taking a look around the AFC West with a breakdown of our division rivals' offseasons. First up is a look at the Denver Broncos.

Key Additions:OLB Von Miller (Franchise Tag), OT Russell Okung (Seahawks), RB C.J. Anderson (Re-Signed), QB Mark Sanchez (Eagles), OT Donald Stephenson (Chiefs)

*Key Losses: *QB Peyton Manning (Retired), QB Brock Osweiler (Texans), DT Malik Jackson (Jaguars), LB Danny Trevathan (Bears), S David Bruton (Redskins), TE Owen Daniels (Released), G Louis Vasquez (Dolphins), S Omar Bolden (Bears), TE Vernon Davis (Redskins)

Analysis: The Denver Broncos are in the midst of an offseason rarely experienced by a defending Super Bowl Champion as they lost not one, but two starting quarterbacks.  Denver's plan for the past few seasons was to have Brock Osweiler take over the reins from Peyton Manning once the future Hall of Famer hung up his cleats.  However, Osweiler spurned the Broncos in the days following Manning's retirement, instead opting to sign with the Houston Texans. Denver responded by trading for Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Mark Sanchez, but the situation at the most important position on the field remains murky.

Meanwhile, the Broncos almost lost their top running back after C.J. Anderson signed an offer sheet with the Miami Dolphins.  However, Denver opted to match to keep him in the Mile High City.  The Broncos also added a pair of veteran offensive tackles in Russell Okung and Donald Stephenson to help reshape their offensive line.

On the other side of the ball, while Denver retained OLB Von Miller by using the franchise tag, they lost a pair of vital cogs to their defense in DT Malik Jackson and LB Danny Trevathan. NFL Network ranked Jackson as the number one free agent available this offseason while Trevathan was listed as the ninth.

Denver holds the 31st overall pick in the NFL Draft. Here are notable Mock Draft projections for who the Broncos may select.

ESPN's Mel Kiper:  OT Jason Spriggs – Indiana

What he says: "Spriggs is a great athlete who will need a little developmental work but is the kind of guy who could thrive under coach Gary Kubiak in this system."

ESPN's Todd McShay:  DT Robert Nkemdiche – Ole Miss

What he says: "Depending on how their quarterback situation shakes out, the Broncos could target Connor Cook here. For now, though, Nkemdiche is an intriguing fit. He has the skill set to play a versatile role within Wade Phillips' defense. He could potentially take over the spot vacated by Malik Jackson. Nkemdiche is a top-10 talent who fell this far because of inconsistent 2015 tape and behavioral concerns."'s Daniel Jeremiah:   QB Paxton Lynch – Memphis

What he says: "The Broncos land their franchise QB."'s Charles Davis:  QB Paxton Lynch – Memphis

What he says: "Brock Osweiler's departure was a surprise, but John Elway made a move for Mark Sanchez to be a place holder while they work to develop this Osweiler lookalike (height/build)."'s Bucky Brooks:  QB Paxton Lynch - Memphis

What he says: "If the Broncos fail to land Colin Kaepernick in a trade, John Elway could cast his eyes to the draft to grab his franchise quarterback of the future. Although Lynch needs some time to develop, the presence of Mark Sanchez gives the Broncos ample time to wait on the talented playmaker."'s Rob Rang:  QB Paxton Lynch - Memphis

What he says: "John Elway reacted quickly to Osweiler's surprise signing in Houston by trading for Mark Sanchez but with only Sanchez and last year's seventh-round pick Trevor Siemian at the position, the Broncos are likely to re-invest at quarterback on draft day. The 6-7, 244-pound Lynch bears a striking resemblance to the 6-8, 240 pound Osweiler. Surprisingly athletic and boasting a live arm, Lynch has first round upside but he's viewed by most as a project and therefore may "slip" lower on draft day than some of his hype suggests. He might be the perfect project, however, for Kubiak to develop."'s Dane Brugler:  DT Robert Nkemdiche – Ole Miss

What he says: "With Malik Jackson now in Jacksonville, the Broncos will be looking for new beef at the grocery store. Nkemdiche has his red flags, but he is one of the best talents in this draft class."'s Pete Prisco:  DT Chris Jones – Mississippi State

What he says: "He has a ton of talent and John Elway knows how to find talent. Jones has some off-field concerns, but he's a heck of a player."

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