NFL DRAFT 2023

The Broncos draft proved that Payton and Paton can work well together

May 1, 2023, 6:35 AM

The NFL Draft has concluded, and there were some good players added by the Denver Broncos throughout the process. I’m going to write up more of my thoughts on this class upcoming this week, but in this article, I am going to examine the class overall.

I like when the draft is over, but there is a catch. I am also saddened by the fact that my favorite time of year has ended. The regular season is a grind, but draft season is where I am the happiest.

I also like contemplating life and sports when driving around with the top down on my old Jeep Wrangler TJ! The following is a result of those trips during the week.

Buckle up, let’s take a ride through my thoughts.

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A Lot with a Little

Broncos general manager George Paton was trying to be a baller on a budget in the 2023 NFL Draft. The Broncos only had five draft picks entering the event, and even though they made several moves during the final two days, they ended with five players added to the roster.

With some of my favorite players going off the board in the second round, I was frustrated with the non-action from the Broncos. I then was relieved when they moved into the end of the second round for (Oklahoma) WR Marvin Mims Jr. Instead of letting more talent pass them by as they waited to pick in the third round, Paton was able to work a deal to get one of the most explosive receivers in this class. Mims gives the Broncos an element of danger at the wide receiver position in terms of field-flipping ability that Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, and Tim Patrick do not have.

I liked the two picks they did take in the third round, linebacker Drew Sanders (Arkansas) and cornerback Riley Moss (Iowa). Like Mims (who can play inside, outside and as a return man), Sanders and Moss both have versatility to their games. I graded Sanders as the no.1 inside linebacker in this class, but I feel he can play outside linebacker if needed. I like Moss as a reserve cornerback, but I think if he played at safety, he could make a larger impact in the pros.

The addition of versatility continued Saturday. On the final day of the draft, the Broncos added one of my favorite sleeper players in safety J.L. Skinner (Boise State) and center Alex Forsyth (Oregon). Skinner is a safety, but I think he could be a linebacker/hybrid who can roam the field to make plays. Forsyth did not test well at the NFL Combine, but the ability to play center and guard could land him on the practice squad.

Overall, I appreciate the players who were added to this roster. I think Mims could end up as the best receiver on the roster – perhaps not this year but soon. Sanders has the makings of a perennial Pro Bowl player, and he should immediately become a fan favorite because of his all-out play. I believe Paton did a lot with a little in this draft – and he did a much better job than he did last year when he had big misses late in the draft.

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Opposites Attract

Paton and Broncos head coach Sean Payton have been a nice combination so far. As Andrew Mason and I noted late on Friday night on “Orange and Blue Today” these work spouses are opposites in many ways. That’s not a bad thing, and the duo seemed to work together to make the most of the Broncos’ draft.

Paton wants to trade back, and Payton wants to trade up. Paton wants to be safer in the draft, and Payton wants to make splashy moves for playmakers. Paton likes to find sleeper talent from small schools, and Payton wants to get players from big schools who can be better pros than they were collegians. Paton wants the Broncos to be better. Payton is here to make the Broncos better.

You can tell that this draft class had influence from Payton. However, it’s not like Paton just looked over at the head coach for guidance. This draft class had a bit of both. They made moves up, they traded for a veteran player, they made moves down. The Broncos were all over the place, but there seemed to be a shared vision for what they needed to do.

I believe with the way this draft flowed it’s a sign that Paton is going to be here for some time. Before the draft, I wasn’t sure Paton would stick with Payton. If things were not smooth this offseason, Payton could easily look for another general manager. All signs indicate Paton is working well with his new boss – even though they may be opposites in certain philosophies when it comes to building a football team.

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Follow Me

Some coaches love certain players, and that’s what Payton must think of tight end Adam Trautman. On Saturday during Day 3 of the draft, Payton made a move for his former New Orleans Saints tight end. While with the Saints, Payton traded away four picks and moved up 62 spots to select Trautman in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Trautman played his college ball at Dayton, and he came into the league with the hype of a receiving tight end with a basketball background. He did play Wildcat quarterback in his first college season, but with the Saints he was a little-used receiver and asked mostly to block in the 2022 season (without Payton).

Now that the two are reunited, there is a chance for Trautman to be the leading player at the position. Trautman is fast, and he gets to top speed quickly. He’s a big target, and he naturally does a good job of squaring to the line of scrimmage and presenting a larger throwing area for his quarterback. With his basketball background, Trautman can box out smaller defenders and he can play “above the rim” near pay dirt.

The tight end room is going to be very competitive this year. Trautman has not done much, but that receiving skill he showed in college is still within him. With a fresh start and an old ally, Trautman may finally play up to the potential he once flashed.

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Thanks Guardians

As a comic book fan, I was not collecting Guardians of the Galaxy. Sure, I had a few copies, but it was not a great read, and the characters did not grab my interest. When I heard director James Gunn was making a Guardians of the Galaxy movie for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I rolled my eyes.

I did give the movie a chance when the first movie “Guardians of the Galaxy” hit theaters in 2014. To my surprise, the movie was great, and the characters were incredibly interesting. Yes, the movie is silly – there’s a dance-off scene in act three – but it was fun, had great visuals, and it made me care about these characters in ways the comic book never did.

This week, the final installment of the franchise “Guardians of the Galaxy 3” hits theaters. The trailers look great, and this movie might break your heart if you’re a fan like me, and I’m going to see it on opening day. I’ve heard some reviews are bad, but with the way some movie reviewers are wildly wrong about films, I’m going to make that judgement myself. I love these characters, and I’m ready for one last ride.

Are you excited to see “Guardians of the Galaxy 3” in theaters? Hit me up on social media and let me know!

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The Broncos draft proved that Payton and Paton can work well together