Well here goes, Super Bowl hasn't been played and time for the 1st mini-mock draft. I thought we might want to look at the the 1st five teams and see what the needs are, who will be available, and how that affects the Broncos selection.
In order are of shame:
1. Detroit Lions
2. St. Louis Rams
3. KC Chiefs
4. Seattle Seahwaks
5. Cleveland Browns
Now lets look at Detroit, where to start, they need help everywhere; the problem with this draft is that the best player IMO is Michael Crabtree/WR Texas Tech. Detroit is has had aweful results in drafting a WR with a 1st round pick, although their latest (Calvin Johnson) appears to be decent and may turn into the true game changer they have wanted. However, picking a WR with the 1st overall pick would probably result in the remaining population in Detroit setting fire to Ford Field, the Ford Motor company, every Ford car, and anything with the word ford in it. QB would appear to be an area of need; however, both of the top rated QB (Matt Stafford - Georgia and Mark Sanchez - USC) are probably both a year away from being starters in that they lack the experience of being seniors (like Ryan and Flacco) and I honestly think they are less talented than both of those players, wasting the 1st overall pick on a QB that won't be ready to start and will likely be ruined if he does start is a huge waste of money an resources. The next logical choice may be a stud LT, lowest risk and usally best value; however they have a servicable former 1st round pick in Jeff Brackus and spent a number one last year on Gosder Cherilos who did not impress at RT and may be too limited to play LT. So the next area would be Defensive Line, problem is there really are no guys who would be top 5 guys that play the line unless Raji Bell makes a huge leap, but doubtful. So that leavs Detroit in a bit of a predictiment, they need quantity right now in addition to quality, they will wnat to have the stigma of the worst season in NFL history detached from this team and the 1st overall pick will do nothing to erase that, and there really is no player that is a clear cut number one who fills a need, so look for Detroit to trade with someone who covets Crabtree. Who will that be, you guessed it, the Oakland Raiders. Al Davis craves a WR that can get "vertical" something Crabtree can do in spades. It will give Russell a big time vertical threat and fit the Raider profile for WR. I look for the Raiders to offer a package of their 1st and 2nd round picks and Michael Bush or Justin Fargus, if I was Detroit I would take that deal in a heart beat.
Now lets look at St. Louis, this a team that has been invested heavily in defensive line and the defense in the past drafts with mixed results. Their offense has fallen on hard times now with only Stephen Jackson and Tory Holt being consistent performers, and both may be gone by next year. Steve Spagnuolo is a defensive minded coach and he may be tempted to pull the trigger on a defensive guy. The top defensive player on the board is up to a lot of debate at this time but I would probably say Malcom Jenkins, Rey Maualuga or Brian Orakpo, but look for St. Louis to draft the best player on the board in Andre Smith/OT-Alabaa to replace Orlando Pace who has been injury prone and may not return. St. Louis is many players away, but addressing the offensive line will help the defense since they will be able to run the ball and keep their QB upright longer.
KC Chiefs have needs in finding a legitimate QB; as I stated previously, I think both top rated QB will likely sit most of their first season. This may work for KC in that Thigpen and Huard seem somewhat capable of perfroming well for short stretches; however, neither is the long term solution and with a division that has Cutler, Rivers, and Russell, KC will feel the pressure to join the arms race. I think it will probably be against Pioli better judgement, but I think they will end up drafting Matt Stafford/QB-Georgia.
Seattle Seahawks are a sad sack that is in need of a makeover in a hurry. They have a new coach, but I expect worse results next year. This team honestly could challenge detroit for an 0-16 record. Jim Mora Jr. is a defensive coach and there are plenty of holes that could be addressed, but this team really could use a legitimate running threat. The signing of Julius Jones and TJ Duckett did little to help the running game, they have age issues on both sides of the line, and they lack a dynamic WR. I think they will likely take Brian Orakpo/DE - Texas to replace Patrick Kerney who appears to have lost a step and to light a fire under Lawrence Jackson who has shown little.
Cleveland Browns appear to have a lot of the pieces on offense except for a legitimate RB, Jamaal Lewis has obviously lost a step and his effectiveness is decreasing steadily. The Browns will likely keep the same systems that Crennel brought with him since Mangini comes from the same philosphy. Defensively, this team spent a lot of money and draft picks to address their defensive line and had mixed results. Their bac seven leave a lot to be desired and they will be looking for some good LB's which brings us to Rey Maualuga. I think this will be a coin flip, but I think it lands on RB versus LB for the siple reason that I think Mangini will look at New England and New York and say that the teams could find LB's in the later picks, it was a lot harder to find a good RB. New York was a better team because of Thomas Jones, New England was a better team when they had Corey Dillion. I think that Cleveland has always been known for hard running/tough RB and they desperately need to jetison Jamaal Lewis attitude more than anything else, look for Cleveland to take LeSean McCoy/RB-Pitt who fits that bruising TB with speed.
So in summary, here's how I see the 1st five picks going:
1. Detroit trades with Oakland for Michael Bush/Oakland's 1st an 2nd round - Oakland picks Michael Crabtree/WR - Texas Tech
2. St. Louis selects Andre Smith/OT - Alabama
3. Kansas City selects Matt Stafford/QB - Geogia
4. Seattle selects Brian Orakpo/DE - Texas
5. Cleveland selects LeSean McCoy/RB - Pitt