John Elway responds to Broncos trading up report: ‘We always look at the possibility of possibly going up’

It’s no secret that the Denver Broncos are in the market for a wide receiver at this year’s draft to pair alongside fellow wideout Courtland Sutton for second year quarterback Drew Lock. At No. 15, their current position in the first round of the draft, Denver may be on the outside looking in at one of the class’ “big three” pass catchers in Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs along with CeeDee Lamb out of Oklahoma. 

Given that need and their current position in the draft, Woody Paige of The (Colorado Springs) Gazette’s report from over the weekend that John Elway and the Broncos are looking to trade up into the top-10 for one of those prospects (specifically Jeudy) seems to make sense. Paige pegs the Cardinals (No. 8 overall) or the Browns (No. 10 overall) as possible trade partners. 

During his video conference with the media on Monday, Elway was asked directly about that report and didn’t refute it. Instead, he said that he’s always going to look at potentially moving up or making whatever move makes sense at the draft. That includes the possibility of moving down as well. 

“We’re preparing ourselves to go in either direction,” Elway said. “We always look at the possibility of possibly going up and we’ll continue to do that, but we’re also looking at going back. We can play around with scenarios going up, but really it becomes dependent on who is available whether you’re going to go up or if you sit or if you go back. We’re looking at all those combinations.” 

In CBS Sports NFL Draft analyst Ryan Wilson’s latest mock draft, Jerry Jeudy comes off the board at No. 13 with the San Francisco 49ers. In this scenario the Broncos are able to walk away with Henry Ruggs at No. 15, but it would appear that if they want to specifically target Jeudy they’ll have to move up a bit to make that happen. 

As Elway described on the call on Monday, however, those three receivers (Jeudy, Lamb and Ruggs) headline an extremely deep receiver class and what separates them from one another really just comes down to preference. 

“It’s kind of like what flavor you like because it’s a very deep draft when it comes down to receivers,” he said. “I think that everybody obviously is going to have different views on what they think is the best fit for them, but obviously there’s a lot of good wideouts. It’s hard to say exactly how it’s going to fall, but I think the good thing is and fortunate thing for us is, as you said, we do need a wideout and it’s a deep class. We’ll just have to see how things fall.” 

According to CBS Sports senior editor R.J. White’s draft value chart, the Broncos may be able to climb to No. 10 by trading away No. 15 along with No. 77, their first of three third-round selections in this draft. If they want to dictate how each of these three receivers come off the board instead of waiting to see which one (if any) fall to them at No. 15, this is the route they may need to take.  

Of course, pulling off a deal like that may be a bit easier said than done, especially in a year where the draft will be held virtually. The league did hold a mock draft on Monday to give clubs a rundown of what to expect when the picks start counting for year. While there were said to be some glitches at the start, Elway said things ran pretty smooth on their end.

“The [mock] draft went smooth,” he said. “It got off to a little bit of a hiccup when we first started, but other than that it went really smooth. There were really no problems with it so we got more comfortable with it. It should be fine and go off without a glitch. I’m sure there’ll be a couple glitches here and there, but for the first time I thought it went pretty well.” 

The opening round of the NFL draft is set for Thursday, April 23 at 8:00 p.m. ET. 

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