Broncos Mailbag: Best draft strategy for John Elway — Go big or stockpile picks?

Denver Post Broncos writer Ryan O’Halloran posts his Broncos Mailbag weekly during the season.

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The Broncos firing offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello is a plus heading in the right direction, especially if the Broncos can get Pat Shurmur from the Giants. Will the Broncos run more fullback and tight end plays? And will the Broncos keep Chris Harris and let Isaac Yiadom go?
— Sam Jones, Fairfield, Calif.

We’ll see if moving away from Scangarello and to Shurmur is a positive. What stood out watching the Giants-Arizona game (Shurmur was New York’s coach and play-caller) was that they didn’t use the fullback (only six snaps). That would be a major departure from the Shanahan System used by Scangarello. But the offense should be tight end friendly. In 2018, Evan Engram had 45 catches in 11 games and he had 44 catches in eight games this year. That’s good news for Noah Fant. The other component is a tailback who can catch passes. Saquon Barkley had a whopping 141 catches in two seasons. As for cornerback, Yiadom is under contract so his status is unchanged right now. Harris hits free agency in mid-March and I’m probably in the minority in believing he will stay with the Broncos.

Ryan, how will Pat Shurmur shape the Broncos’ offense? He seems like he has a strong track record with quarterbacks. I’d love to see what he can do with Drew Lock, but do you think we need more weapons to beef up the receiving corps? We have talent but lack experience and depth.
— Kyle, Fort Collins

I hit on some parts of Shurmur’s offense in an analysis piece earlier this week. In the game I charted (home loss to Arizona), he used “11” personnel (three receivers/one back/one tight end) on 51 of 70 snaps. That amplifies the need for the Broncos to consider a speedy receiver in the first round to complement Sutton. The challenge for general manager John Elway: The draft is supposedly loaded at receiver so does he take a cornerback or inside linebacker at No. 15 knowing he can still get a good one in the second round? The skill players on hand gained valuable experience over the last year (Lock/Fant) or two seasons (Sutton/Phillip Lindsay/Royce Freeman).

What’s the best use of all the draft picks? Fill several holes or package some of them and go big?
— Stu Mitchell, Santa Monica, Calif.

This will be a great talking point for the next three months. The Broncos currently have five picks in the opening three rounds and seven picks in rounds 1-4 — plenty of chips to help the depth chart … or move up to get a player they covet. I’ve always favored the filling of several spots because the more kicks at the can, the more chances to hit on a pick. But watch for the second round: The Broncos could use one of their third-rounders to move to the top of the second round. A lot depends on what depth boxes are checked during free agency.

Ryan, I got it! Backup quarterback, go get Trevor Siemian. You weren’t here when he was, but he’s experienced and kind of competent. What do you think? 
— Jim, Denver