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Draft Grades – Denver Broncos

Montee Ball

I’m going to be looking at the fantasy repercussions of the 2013 Draft and giving out a few grades and rankings. The grades mostly focus on fantasy-relevant positions, but I’ll also be examining overall positional value and strategy. It goes without saying that there’s an informational gap between what the teams have at their disposal and what I have. On the other hand, the great thing about being an outsider is that the informational gap often runs the other direction as well.

No. 22 Denver Broncos                                 Grade: C-

Denver’s selection of Montee Ball to be the bell cow in the Peyton blitzkrieg underlines just how weak this running back class was and how much it sucks to have a high pick in this year’s rookie draft. Bell was a great college running back, but his closest NFL comps are guys like Vick Ballard and Evan Royster. (Ballard had a nice rookie year, but the Colts are rumored to be looking for an upgrade. With Washington drafting two more runners, Royster is in a battle just to make his team’s roster.) The last time the Broncos used a relatively high pick on a hyped but unathletic runner, they struck out with Knowshon Moreno.

But who else would they have drafted? Christine Michael has more talent but seems like the last person Manning would have trusted. Eddie Lacy is overrated. Johnathan Franklin profiles as an upgrade on Ronnie Hillman but a scatback nonetheless. (Of course, frequent readers probably know who I would have taken.)

In dynasty drafts, Ball could go as early as No. 1 overall, or he could fall below Gio Bernard, Le’Veon Bell, DeAndre Hopkins, and the two wideout-as-glorified-running-back OWs. He could go even later than that if there’s an Eddie Lacy enthusiast in your league.

In Rounds 3 through 6, the Broncos consecutively drafted guys named Kayvon, Quanterus, Tavarres, and Vinston. It may be a small sample size, but Zefross Moss’s Career AV suggests a possible correlation between NFL success and how cool your name is.

If you’re looking for a stealth Broncos fan in our midst, RotoViz Staff is more sanguine on the prospects of Tavarres King and Zac Dysert than I am. Dysert’s splits under duress left him with a poor score in the RotoViz Composite QB Rankings. I doubt he’ll put much pressure on Brock Osweiler for the QBOTF mantle.

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