Was Nathaniel Hackett The Right Hire For Broncos?

Photo: Adam Wesley/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

The Denver Broncos got their man. According to multiple reports, the Broncos have appointed former Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett as their next head coach. This made the Broncos the first team to fill their head coaching spot, and a healthy seven vacancies remain. Hackett will succeed Vic Fangio, who was relieved of his duties following the conclusion of yet another disappointing regular season that failed to result in a postseason berth.

Hackett inherits a roster that is blossoming with offensive talent. The Broncos arguably field the best wide receiving trio in football that features Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick, and Jerry Jeudy. Rookie running back Javonte Williams experienced an excellent debut campaign and should take a sizable step forward in a larger role next season given Melvin Gordon's impending free agency. Noah Fant is a legitimate weapon in the passing game at the tight end position.

Fangio's Broncos failed to get the most out of this excellent supporting cast, as former offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur was often described as vanilla and predictable. Hackett, who worked under the brilliant Matt LaFleur in Green Bay, will provide much more creativity than the previous regime did. For that reason, we applaud and approve Hackett’s appointment.

Former Falcons head coach and current Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn initially seemed the favorite to land the Broncos job. Many pointed out how going from Fangio to Quinn would seemingly be moving in the same direction, as both coaches are regarded for their old-school, defensive-minded mentalities and leadership qualities. Each individual is their own coach, but we do however commend general manager George Paton for his willingness to switch the format up while realizing the Broncos needed some fresh blood in the building, particularly on the offensive side of the ball.

Hackett's appointment also opens up Pandora's box for the second consecutive summer. The Broncos were tied to Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers throughout the 2020 offseason as rumors swirled of a deteriorating relationship between Rodgers and several members of the Packers' organization. With Green Bay's 2021 season concluding in shockingly disappointing fashion once again, rumors of Rodgers searching for greener pastures are bound to ramp up in the coming months. Hackett and Rodgers have grown close throughout Hackett's three seasons as Green Bay's offensive coordinator, and the Broncos will undeniably top the list of potential suitors should Rodgers indeed find himself on the move.

The 42-year-old Fullerton, California native possesses an intriguing resume. Hackett had excellent success as Jacksonville's offensive coordinator in 2017, spearheading the league's best rushing attack while helping lead the Jacksonville Jaguars to the AFC South title and an appearance in the AFC Championship game (this still qualifies as one of the strangest one-off seasons in NFL history). Hackett eventually made his way to Green Bay to work under LaFleur, although play-calling duties remained in LaFleur's hands. 

John Elway and Paton finally have their offensive-minded head coach that's capable of putting their plethora of playmakers in good positions to succeed. Paton must now find a signal-caller capable of elevating the Broncos. If they can convince Rodgers to join Hackett in the Mile High City, this hire qualifies as a resounding success.

Written By:

Justin Melo

Staff Writer

Justin Melo is an NFL draft analyst that cut his teeth at The Draft Breakdown and USA Today's Draft Wire. He specializes in interviewing prospects, but also produces big boards, mock drafts, and scouting reports. He also covers the Tennessee Titans nationally for Broadway Sports Media and SB Nation.