Could Denver Draft Saquon Barkley After Releasing C.J. Anderson?

First things first, As a Denver faithful, I’d like to say thank you to C.J. for all he has done for the organization. From undrafted to being a key component of the offense. Any given snap, Anderson played with more effort and passion than anyone else on the field. In 2015, he played a huge role in Denver’s magical season and seemingly iced the game and secured a Super Bowl victory for the Broncos. I wish nothing but the best for C.J. Anderson and his future in the league.

Now that Anderson is gone, what happen’s next? Do the Broncos make Devontae Booker their starter and have De’Angelo Henderson back him up or draft a running back from this year’s incredibly deep RB class. Having the 5th overall pick mean’s that there is a solid chance that Penn State phenom, Saquon Barkley will still be available. If he is, it would be hard to pass him up. 

 It’s a fun idea but, would Elway and the Broncos be willing to pass up their bigger needs to snag Barkley? Let’s look at their top 3 needs (in no specific order)
 
Quarterback: This seems to be the most likely pick for Denver according to the “experts”. The thing about this QB class is the fact that it is astoundingly overhyped. Not one of the quarterback’s in this class is truly promising. Rumor has it, Denver is most interested in Baker Mayfield. Don’t get me wrong, he’s extremely talented and has potential to succeed but, I’m not sure he is worthy of being the 5th pick. No matter the QB, they wouldn’t see playing time for a few years anyways. If Barkley is available, I would take him in a heartbeat over any available QB.
 
Cornerback: In my opinion, this is what the Broncos are going to end up with. Specifically, Ohio State’s, Denzel Ward. Aqib Talib left quite the hole in the Orange Crush defense with his departure and it needs filled immediately. As much as I’d love to see Ward in a Denver uniform, this years CB class, like the RB class, is an incredibly deep group and a solid starting corner can be found later on in the draft. Although you can also find a solid RB later as well, there is only one Saquon Barkley.
 
Guard: Considered the safest pick in the entire draft and no bust potential, Quenton Nelson is the top guard available. He’d no doubt be a good pick up for Denver’s struggling offensive line but, I read an interesting point from, Woody Paige on the Colorado Springs Gazette:
 
“Would Nelson or Bradley Chubb turn the Broncos into a franchise that can beat out the Patriots, the Steelers or even the Chargers? No.”
 
An excellent point. The Broncos need someone who can make an impact and turn the organization around immediately. That’s something that can’t be found from a guard. Barkley is that player.
 
A handful of analysts say not to buy into the Barkley hype too much but, after witnessing him play multiple times throughout his college career, I’ve seen enough of him to be convinced. He’s a once in a generation running back and is a player that should not be passed up. He’d be a perfect fit in Denver and could be the player that brings the Broncos back. It’s hard to tell if Barkley will even be available at 5 but, if he his, don’t be surprised if Denver snags him. 
– Collin Borron
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