Hello, everyone! I've been asked by TSG to post a Diary with my pick for the Denver Broncos in our community's Mock Draft and the rationale behind it. And so, without further ado, it is my honor to present to you (below the fold) our newest Bronco!
With the 17th pick in the MHR Mock Draft, the Denver Broncos select:
Chris Williams, OT, Vanderbilt
Though this is not a flashy pick and it may well be profoundly unpopular with a considerable portion of our fan base, it is simply the right thing to do for our team at this time. I was initially prepared to select OT Ryan Clady of Boise State at #12 before trading down with Minnesota; the ability to chose Chris Williams at #17 while regaining our original third round pick instead is a real benefit. It may be unlike the Broncos to make this kind of investment in this position, but we have rarely been faced with this level of need there before. The sudden retirement of LT Matt Lepsis created a void and the more recent trade of Chris Myers significantly depleted our depth throughout the line as a whole. Shanahan does not seem to think that Ryan Harris - last year's third round pick - is ready to start in the NFL and would instead start Chris Kuper, a natural guard, at LT. I am not at all comfortable with that solution. It is often said that Denver has a knack for discovering starters along the O-line in the later rounds of the draft, but I simply do not see a single one that could compete for the starting LT spot immediately and that is the nature of our need. We must build around Jay Cutler to ensure our future, as well as our short term success. Though this is by no means a sure thing, I think it is the safe pick and one that will help our team significantly. In the best case scenario, he would be out there at LT for us right out of the gate after earning the job in training camp and preseason. The absolute worst case scenario would have him as depth at tackle and guard, providing immediate and necessary insurance in the face of injury; something that is still significant.
I seriously considered RB Jonathan Stewart of Oregon with this pick. I truly believe that we can afford to gamble on him because of our built-in depth at his position. He could be worth the selection with limited carries and return opportunities alone. With Travis Henry and Selvin Young both questionable for different reasons, we could use a potential All-Pro feature back. However, I simply could not overlook our true needs when there were reasonable means by which to address them. As for the top WR prospects remaining, they all seemed less safe than the actual pick I made and the position seems much deeper than any of our other needs. I will look to address our numerous other needs as this goes on and, with the draft proceeding as it has, I believe that to be a reasonable assumption. I hope the fans can embrace this selection and come to appreciate it once it is put in the context of our entire haul from this draft.
P.S.: The other half of that awesome chest-bump in the image selected is also a potential Bronco: Vanderbilt WR Earl Bennett.