How the national media graded Denver’s moves

NFL free agency is underway with legal tampering beginning on Monday. The Broncos, fresh off a disappointing 5-12 season, made a big splash by agreeing to terms with several new players and re-signing tackle machine Alex Singleton.

Here’s a look at how national media outlets graded the Broncos’ acquisitions in free agency.

Zach Allen, defensive lineman

Arizona Cardinals defensive end Zach Allen (94) sacks New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) during the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Dec. 12, 2022, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

CBS Sports’ Tyler Sullivan (Grade — D): “The Broncos came to terms former Cardinals defensive end Zach Allen to a three-year, $45.5 million deal. Allen, who was brought in to replace Dre’Mont Jones, is getting a lot of money for a player with 11.5 sacks during his four seasons in Arizona. This is a big gamble that the Broncos need to have pay off.” Read the full story.

Bleacher Report’s Gary Davenport (Grade — C+): “Given the massive deals the Broncos have already handed out and the team’s lack of proven pass-rushers, this is a big contract to give a player whose realistic ceiling is probably seven or eight sacks.” Read the full story.

Fox Sports’ Eric Williams (Grade — B-): “Allen had a career-high 5.5 sacks last season and was rewarded in free agency with a three-year deal that includes $32.5 million in guaranteed money. According to Next Gen Stats, Allen tackled opposing ball carriers for a loss or no gain on 5.5% of his run defense snaps last season, trailing only Aaron Donald (5.8%) in the league. Allen joins former Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph in Denver.” Read the full story.

The Sporting News’ Vinnie Iyer (Grade — C): “The Broncos needed to go to work and to replace Jones but paid almost as much for a lateral move.” Read the full story.

Mike McGlinchey, offensive lineman

Mike McGlinchey (69) of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates an overtime win against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium on Jan. 1, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nev. (Chris Unger, Getty Images)

The Sporting News’ Vinnie Iyer (Grade — A): “Sean Payton gets an upgrade opposite hopefully soon healthy left tackle Garett Bolles to improve the protection for Russell Wilson but also further boosting the run blocking for Javonte Williams outside.” Read the full story.

SB Nation (Grade — D): “Mike McGlinchey is a solid offensive tackle. You don’t pay ‘solid’ $87.5M.” Read the full story.

Bleacher Report’s Gary Davenport (Grade — C): “Given how desperately the Broncos needed to improve up front, it’s understandable that they did what they needed to do to lure McGlinchey to the Mile High City. But there’s a real chance that this contract won’t age well.” Read the full story.

Fox Sports’ Eric Williams (Grade — B-): “New Denver head coach Sean Payton took a step in improving the pass protection for quarterback Russell Wilson by signing former 49er Mike McGlinchey to a five-year, $87.5 million deal. McGlinchey started every game as San Francisco’s right tackle last season. He allowed six sacks, according to Pro Football Focus, but he also helped anchor one of the best run games in the NFL. Denver also signed Ravens guard Ben Powers to a lucrative free-agent deal, as Payton looks to put together an offensive line that can be more effective running the football in 2023.” Read the full story.

Ben Powers, offensive lineman

Baltimore Ravens guard Ben Powers (72) takes to the field before an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

SB Nation (Grade — A-): “Denver’s offensive line signings are a bit of a mixed bag (we’ll get to the other in a bit), but Ben Powers is a GREAT get. He’s a fluid, athletic guard who has great footwork as a pass blocker and will immediately make life easier for Russell Wilson.” Read the full story.

Bleacher Report’s Gary Davenport (Grade — B): “Powers played almost 1,100 snaps last season for the Baltimore Ravens and did not allow a single sack, per Pro Football Focus. However, he wasn’t nearly as stout against the run.” Read the full story.

Fox Sports’ Greg Auman (Grade — C+): “Denver is making a splash with new coach Sean Payton, adding Powers and 49ers tackle Mike McGlinchey. Powers is only 26, a fourth-round pick who worked his way up to become a starter, but Pro Football Focus had him as the No. 38 guard in football, so four years and $52 million feels a little high. Makes sense to want solid protection for Russell Wilson.” Read the full story.

2023-03-15 21:11:16