After making a blockbuster trade for Russell Wilson in the 2022 off-season, the Denver Broncos were thought to be one of the breakout teams last season. However, Wilson would end up having one of the worst seasons in his career. As a result of this, when the dust of the 2022 regular season settled, the Broncos would finish as one of the worst teams in the entire league. With a large amount of shakeup on the roster and coaching staff over the off-season, the Broncos could end up having a huge bounceback season in 2023.
In the 2021 season, the Broncos would finish the year with a 7-10 record. They appeared to be a team that was only one quarterback away from making some real noise in the AFC West.
Denver’s front office would get their guy in Wilson. However, they would pay a hefty price to do so. The deal with the Seattle Seahawks would send Drew Lock, Noah Fant, Shelby Harris, a 2022 first-round pick, a 2023 first-round pick, a 2022 second-round pick, a 2023 second-round pick, and a 2022 fifth-round pick for Wilson and a 2022 fourth-round pick. Along with this, shortly after joining the team, the Broncos would give Wilson a contract extension for five years worth $245 million.
Despite bringing in what many thoughts were the only need the roster had, the Broncos would win a measly four games in WIlson’s first season with the team. They would take a big hit early on in the season with running back Javonte Williams suffering a torn ACL that would keep him sidelined for a majority of the season. Along with this, Wilson would have a down year, leading to the Broncos having one of the worst offenses in the NFL.
With the Broncos tight on cap space, they did not make any big splashes in free agency. However, they did make an effort to bulk up the offensive line plan by bringing in Mike McGlinchey and Ben Powers. Along with this, they would make a big addition to the coaching staff. Denver would bring in Sean Payton to coach the team for the next five years.
Payton had an incredible run during his time with the New Orleans Saints, including a Super Bowl win in 2010. This was an incredible signing for the Broncos as Payton spent his most successful stretch with the Saints coaching Drew Brees. Brees and Wilson are both smaller quarterbacks and have a similar style of play.
In the draft, Denver would trade up to the 63rd overall pick to select Oklahoma wide receiver Marvin Mimms Jr. Mimms will round out what should be an elite wide receiver room for the Broncos this season. Mimms Jr. will be joining the incredible duo of Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton.
The Broncos find themselves in an extremely competitive division in the AFC West. The Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers are very likely to make the playoffs, and it is very difficult for a team to make the playoffs as the third seed in their division.
However, if Wilson is able to turn back the clock in 2023, and Williams comes back able to produce at the same level he was before his injury, Denver could be more than capable of making the playoffs. They still likely will have one of the best defenses in football. Along with this, with the addition of Payton to the coaching staff, they now have one of the best head coaching minds in the NFL as well.
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